Video Streaming App Development Cost
We all had those days when the whole family would plunge in front of the TV to see their favorite show at a fixed time of the day. Or a shared screen of live-streaming games where three or more people would join in live at the same time from the comfort of their own homes. However, the massive development in technology across the globe made evolving video streaming one of the most powerful ways for B2B companies to connect with customers all over the globe, and this presents a vast opportunity for video streaming app development.
Everyone knows the names of the major players in the streaming business —Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime —but they aren’t the only ones bringing TV shows into millions of homes every night. Hundreds of video streaming apps are out there, with opportunities for new ones to emerge.
However, seeing the competitive yet opportunist landscape of monetizing value from video streaming app development, should any business invest in video streaming apps? And what is the OTT app development cost? This blog will break down everything you need to know about video streaming app development costs and features.
The way people access video streaming, such as through video streaming apps, made the revenue surpass $95 billion in 2021. It’s projected to rise to $115 billion by 2025.
What is video streaming?
Streaming is sharing video content over the internet with any intent. In business cases, it’s largely for live commerce and making it accessible to the large audience base that has subscribed for the content.
Live commerce emerged in 2016 with the launch of Alibaba’s Taobao Live. Seven years later, almost 90% of video streaming apps support live commerce through in-app purchases.
These video streaming apps have fueled influencer marketing, live commerce, entertainment, business marketing, and the way people interact over the internet. Here are some live-streaming apps that are highly popular among users:
These streaming apps are all across the internet and allow viewers to follow and get updates from public officials, social media influencers, industry experts, and other digital content creators. With 23% of global viewing time spent watching live content, these apps connect creators or businesses with their audiences and provide a way to make money from their live streams using ads, partnerships, and other monetization efforts.
A Little Backstory
Pay TV just crossed over $100 billion in revenue in the U.S., where over 90% of U.S. households subscribed to cable, satellite, or another pay TV service as recently as 2012. But the market was in turmoil, and despite multiple attempts to suggest watching pre-recorded content as business as usual, that proportion has dropped in recent years. Live streaming and video apps have soared in popularity during the pandemic, as has the mobile app development economy as a whole.
Twitch, for example, has seen its global number of monthly active users go from just over 40 million in January 2019 to almost 90 million in January 2021. Despite streaming’s ascendance, the early social media and entertainment apps dominate in terms of time spent, with Netflix and Prime holding the top slots in as many years.
How Do Streaming Apps Work?
Video streaming apps work by transmitting a few seconds of the file at a time over the internet, wherein user devices do not have to download the entire video before starting to play it. Some video live-streaming apps work by sending the video over the internet in real-time without being recorded and stored.
So, if you’re wondering how OTT platforms make money, ad content is the answer.
By offering a mix of free and paid content, video streaming platforms can attract a large audience while also generating their share of revenue from advertising and paid content that users have subscribed to.
Popular streaming apps like ESPN, Netflix, and Hulu have one thing in common: all have mobile apps and Smart TV apps ready to serve movies, TV shows, and other video content to their audience wherever they are.
Hence, the key elements of a live video streaming app are all about streamers’ user experience.
Why Do Customers Prefer Video Streaming Platforms?
With a growing number of mobile devices and better internet connectivity, mobile applications have become preferred choices among users for all sorts of needs. Watching videos, whether for entertainment or to learn something, has become a new habit among people. In such scenarios, video streaming application development for a business has several reasons to jump into the league. Let’s check some concrete examples of why people today prefer video streaming apps and why you must consider developing one for your business.
One of the biggest reasons why video streaming apps are gaining momentum is their ability to stream on mobile phones. Mobile phones are portable devices that allow users access to the required video on demand whenever they require it. You can also enable a download option within your app that allows users to download videos during better internet connecting areas and watch them later. Besides, live video streaming, videos on-demand is yet another convenience added to a user’s day-to-day life, making it a popular choice among technology-driven users across the globe.
With a video streaming application, people don’t need to stick around prime hours to watch their favorite shows or news, more specifically, on their home devices. As the application comes in handy with mobile devices, it is also possible to send users about new entertainment series launches or events happening at a particular date or time through notifications or in-between advertisements. Instant messaging or notifications keep users hooked to apps for their favorite genre of shows or videos. Making sure that notifications are not unnecessarily disturbing a user experience, instant notifications are appreciated among subscribers.
Easy to Get Started
Registering over streaming platforms is as easy as registering to other applications. Hence, people prefer streaming platforms over anything largely due to their ease of use. A user can create an account with just an email address or use the social media log-in or mobile number, and they are set to manage their language preference, interests, type of content that they like to appear on their dashboard, etc.
The internet today is accessible by everyone, and the content available is uncategorized regarding maturity levels. Hence, adding multiple profiles to the video-streaming app can help users create separate interest-based profiles for their family and friends and enjoy a seamless and personalized experience over the app.
Just like making profiles on Netflix lets users set the maturity level of the profile so that shows and movies that fall under that category are only shown in that profile. Useful for kids.
What Is The Feature-Wise Video Streaming App Development Cost?
A successful streaming app needs a thorough concept and a full lot of features to serve its customers, attract viewers, and generate revenue. Here is the list of functionalities analyzed by the key players in the streaming industry and the OTT app development cost based on the features.
(This list covers all the features, from MVP to a full-fledged product.)
1. User Registration
User registration is the basic feature of the MVP for any type of video streaming app development. The login capabilities for this application should be impactful and should capture the basic information about the user for data collection. In the future, the app can be further upgraded with registration via phone numbers and other options. You can also enable social signup that allows users to skip the tedious form-filling process and join streams right away.
The cost of developing a user registration login feature for the video streaming app may be from $4,000 to $10,000.
2. Payment Integrations
Payment integration is one of the non-negotiable features of video streaming apps as it lets users pay for the premium content over the OTT application and can be used as a part of the monetization strategy of these apps. Integrating payment gateways is essential to any video streaming app as they create a more secure and efficient transaction process, enhance customer experience, and facilitate global reach.
The payment gateway handles the automatic billing process, and users are charged at the agreed-upon intervals based on their subscription models.
Creating the payment gateways can cost between $3000 and $7000, along with the integration of multiple payment gateways into the application.
3. In-App Subscription
An in-app subscription feature for a video streaming app allows users to subscribe to premium or exclusive content within the app through recurring payments.
Many video streaming apps offer free trials for a limited period and offer in-app subscriptions to continue the content
This feature is commonly used by video streaming platforms like Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, and others to monetize their services.
The search option in the video streaming app should not only search the titles based on their name but should also search based on the content and genre. Your users may want to find new content playlists and search by criteria like
- Content language,
- Artist-based search,
- Content genre,
- Release years
- The number of viewers.
This enhances the user experience by saving their search time, which can be utilized in the watch hours over the app. The quality and consistency of metadata play a crucial role in making the search feature fit right in the app. Searching becomes easier if metadata is well-structured, accurate, and consistently applied to all videos.
Advanced search features
- Voice Search: Voice search allows enhanced accessibility and convenience by letting users search for content by using voice commands.
- Auto-Suggestions: Auto-suggestions automatically complete the user query as they type in the search bar. This helps users discover content they may not have initially considered.
- Personalized Recommendations: With the power of machine learning algorithms, video apps can offer personalized content recommendations based on a user’s viewing history and preferences. These recommendations can appear in the search results.
A customized user interface with content search capabilities can cost $15,000 to $60,000.
5. Push Notifications
Push notification has been a common feature of every app these days, regardless of the industry. The features can be used to suggest various titles that the user may watch based on their watch history. Moreover, this will also send notifications for recently launched titles.
Adding push notifications to the video streaming app can help increase user engagement and retention rates. By sending timely and relevant notifications, your app can remind users to return to your app, reducing churn and massively increasing the click-through rate
The cost of developing push notifications falls between $800 to $1,500.
6. Multiple-Language Support
Netflix is popular all over the world because of its multiple-language support feature that gives users the comfort of consuming content with the ease of their native language.
Multiple language support will attract more and more users to your app. Development of a the video streaming app enabled with multiple-language support can significantly expand the total addressable market (TAM) by catering to a more diverse audience.
Moreover, one can also add various language options in the subtitles for an even more attractive appeal. The content localization (e.g., subtitles, dubbing) enhances the viewing experience for non-native speakers. It can also make your content more accessible to viewers with hearing impairments.
Adding the multiple language support feature in the video streaming app can cost from $5,000 to $15,000.
7. Monetization Models
Video streaming apps offer different subscription plans to users. These plans often come in various tiers, such as basic, standard, and premium, each offering different features like video quality, the number of concurrent streams, and access to exclusive content.
Here are the monetization models used by the video streaming apps:
Subscription-Based Monetization: This model allows users to subscribe to plans with different tiers (e.g., basic, standard, premium) and provide access to exclusive content, higher video quality, offline downloads, and other premium features.
Advertising-Based Monetization: An ad-based monetization model works by giving access to content with ads inserted at regular intervals. Advertisers pay for ad placements, and the app owner earns revenue based on ad impressions and clicks.
Freemium Model: Freemium is a combination of free and paid content where users can access basic content for free, but premium content or features are behind a paywall. Hulu offers a freemium model.
The cost of video stream app development depends largely on the monetization model used for the development process, revolving around features like user account management, content access control, and payment integration.
What Are The Factors Contributing to Video Streaming App Development Costs?
The design of the application is what appeals to the users the most; hence, investing in good design for your video streaming app plays equal importance in making it feature-rich.
Creating an appealing and user-friendly design can cost between $5,000 and $15,000 or more.
Developing the video streaming application for multiple platforms (iOS, Android, web) will increase costs due to the need for separate codebases. Hence, it’s safe to say that the cost of building the video streaming app depends on the platform type. For instance, the hybrid video streaming app can cost up to $100,000. For creating a native app, the cost can be up to $200,000.
Hybrid and Native:
Hybrid app development is typically faster than native app development because a code, once written, can be used for deployment on multiple platforms. This can result in cost savings as less development time is required. However, Native app development usually takes longer because separate codebases are required for iOS and Android. This can result in higher development costs due to the extended timeline.
Technologies Used in Video Streaming App Development
|Language||Content Delivery Network||Frameworks||Storage|
|PHP||Microsoft Azure CDN||Laravel||MySQL|
The cost of video steaming app development will be directly proportional to the tech stack opt during the process.
Scalability and Server Costs:
A feature-rich video streaming app grows over time. Hence, you’ll need to invest in server infrastructure and scaling solutions. Costs for this can vary widely but may start at around $10,000 to $20,000 per year.
Cloud computing platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform are used for hosting, scalability, and performance optimization. The ongoing cost will depend on the level of usage and features utilized. These recurring costs can go around $500 to $2,000 per month.
Testing and Quality Assurance:
One of the major factors that contributes highly to the cost is ensuring your app is stable and free of bugs through continuous testing and quality assurance.
The cost for QA and testing can range from 20% to 40% of the total development budget.
Legal and Compliance:
Costs related to legal advice, privacy compliance (GDPR, CCPA), and intellectual property rights can vary depending on your location and the complexity of your app.
Integrating analytics lets the app host track user behavior and app performance. Incorporating analytics tracks user behavior, such as video engagement, drop-off rates, and user demographics, and requires the integration of tracking tools and a backend system to process and store this data.
Analytics tools and solutions used by video streaming apps
- Flurry Analytics
- Adobe Analytics
The hourly rate of a video streaming app development team depends on various factors such as their location, experience, and skillset. For instance, developers in countries with a high cost of living, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, typically charge higher hourly rates than developers in countries with a lower cost of living.
(the USA, Canada, etc.)
(UK, France, Italy, etc.)
(UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc.)
(India, Russia, Japan, China, etc.)
|Australia & New Zealand||$35-$150|
|Location||Per-hour rate / 1 Resource||Per-month rate / 1 Resource||Per-month rate / 5 Resource||Total Savings||Benefit (in %)|
|Off-shore Development Team||$30||$4800||$24000|
Driven by a combination of technologies, including high-speed internet access, billions of users access video streaming daily on their smartphones. This opens an opportunity for people wanting to reap the monetary benefits of video streaming.
Considering every factor, the cost involved in video streaming app development can go beyond $150,000 (with advanced features and functionalities). However, to get started, you can build a minimum viable product (MVP) for less to test your OTT app. As a pioneer app development company, Successive Digital builds scalable video streaming apps that stand the test of time and promise high performance 24/7. Our experts can clone features of leading apps like Netflix and create a personalized experience platform that costs significantly less. If you want Successive Digital to help with bespoke video streaming app development, please contact us.
Get in touch with us for an estimation of OTT app development cost.