In the good old days, families would spend evenings watching TV. And people would argue over which programs to watch. Nowadays, this problem is no longer relevant. With online movie streaming services, you can turn on any program whenever you want, on whatever device you have.

Mobility and the possibility of watching a movie on demand have led to a surge in video streaming software. Grand View Research estimates that the streaming market will grow to $330.51 billion at a CAGR of 21.3%. Entrepreneurs can join the competitive race in the entertainment industry. To make a streaming app like Netflix, they need to take seven steps.

Why Regard Netflix As A Paragon?

According to RadioTimes.com, Netflix is one of the five best video streaming software products in the UK and a global market leader. It started in 1997 as a DVD mailer with a team of 30 people. By 2022, the firm had grown into a corporation with a staff of over 12,000 employees.

The company has successfully shifted to streaming video over the Internet and providing subscription-based services, which explains its striking growth.

Currently, Netflix serves a global audience of 220 million people. It stands out with its original shows, TV classics and movies. Netflix software developers deliver video content by streaming or on demand through PCs, smartphones, tablets, and TVs.

Recently, the firm has released games for its mobile app: Lucky Luna, IMMORTALITY, Animal Adventures, and others. The company is in the Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000. It is the second-largest media firm by market capitalization. Its net income is $1.4 billion.

The global analyst organization Morning Consult has ranked Netflix as one of the world’s most trusted brands. Netflix shares remained the most profitable in the 2010s, and this proves its stability.

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These arguments are in favour of making an app like Netflix.

Netflix Software Development Process: The Secret Of Popularity

How to make a streaming app like Netflix? For that, try to figure out the features of this platform. Among the abundance of streaming services, Netflix stands out with its user-friendly and affordable offers:

Selecting The Optimal Subscription Plan

Subscribers watch an unlimited number of movies and TV shows and play mobile games, but on different terms. To do so, you need to choose the Basic, Standard, or Premium plan. The plan determines the number of devices on which you can consume or download content and the video quality (HD, Full HD, Ultra HD).

Affordable Content

Netflix is ubiquitous. Delivered video content is accessible through any connected device: smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, personal computers, etc. Therefore, this online movie streaming service reaches its maximum audience. Downloading videos to a device for later consumption without an Internet connection is an extremely useful feature.

Unique Video Content

Netflix distributes the content it buys the rights to and creates original streaming TV shows, series, documentaries, and movies. Recent releases include Emily in Paris, The Last Bus, The Watcher, and other works. Fans appreciate the fact that this content is unavailable on competitive platforms.

Personalized Recommendation System

Netflix has created its recommendation algorithm, which makes it easier for viewers to find genres that suit their tastes. The system detects what devices a person has, when they are active, what movies and genres they prefer, and how long they have been watching videos. Then it generates a selection of videos from the catalogue based on the client’s preferences, gradually refining it.

Excellent User Interface

The Netflix site has simple navigation adaptable to various devices. You can easily find movies by thumbnail poster in the catalogue, and if you forget the exact name of a picture, a built-in search will help you.

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The platform is a great example of care for the consumer: resuming videos on another device or switching to the next season of a series directly in the player is very convenient. 

You should consider these strengths when building apps like Netflix in the UK.

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Making A Streaming App Like Netflix: Seven Steps To Succeed

The Netflix software development process is not much different from creating other software. The teamwork has the same stages, from planning to implementation, given the peculiarities of the streaming platform.

To successfully implement an idea and win the favor of the target audience, examine how the Netflix business model works.  

1. Find A Market Free In Terms Of Competition

According to some estimates for 2022, there are over 200 streaming services available worldwide. There are fewer competitors than in other categories. By comparison, you can find 500,000 mobile gaming apps on Google Play – it’s almost unrealistic to break into the tops.

But given the complexity of technology and giants like Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Disney+, making a name here is not a simple task. So, try to find your niche by selecting the type of content and ways of delivering it to your target audience.

You can choose an all-purpose subject, such as entertainment. You may as well deliver highly specialized content: documentaries, educational videos on crafts, or videos for children. 

Decide how you will supply content: renting from distributors, purchasing from right-holders, or shooting your videos. Determine the format – streaming or VOD. By taking these initial steps, you will get a scheme for your video streaming software.

#2. Research Your Target Audience

You are fully aware of what you offer as an expert. But avoid “spamming” content, and try to understand what attracts your target audience, and what their needs are:

what topics potential customers find interesting;

  • Who your viewers are (their age, profession, hobbies, lifestyle);
  • Why users watch the supplied content (to broaden their horizons, for educational purposes, for entertainment);
  • What unique value your platform provides to viewers.

By considering these points, you’ll understand whether your ideas coincide with the wishes of the target audience. You will understand how to develop your software, attract the first customers and gain profit right away. Without knowing the exact goal, it is difficult to develop a video streaming app.

#3. Adopt A Pricing Policy: Netflix Business Model Analysis

By investing money and effort in video streaming app development, entrepreneurs hope for a quick return on investment. To generate revenue, a platform needs a built-in monetization model. Typically, video content providers use three basic pricing models or a combination thereof:

  • Pay-Per-View – a consumer pays for each video view separately. This payment option is convenient for apps to broadcast concerts, conferences, or competitions.
  • Earnings from advertising, when users can view the content for free, with a break for promotional messages. Hulu and YouTube use this format. However, be careful with advertising and resort to it when your service becomes more or less popular.  
  • A subscription-based model, where participants use a service by paying monthly according to their plan. Netflix and Viaplay work on this principle.

A combination of these models is ideal in terms of audience reach. Each viewer can exploit the platform on favourable terms. One-time Pay-Per-View customers who like the software will gradually turn into regular subscribers.

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#4. Study The Technical Requirements Of The App

To see what video platforms have market success, what technologies are prevalent and how much you need to invest, make a “technical portrait” of the future app.

To make a streaming app like Netflix, select the types of streaming video technology beforehand:

  • A protocol (HLS, RTMP, RTSP or MPEG-DASH) that is optimal for streaming, compatible with the necessary devices and codecs, supports the right video player and provides the proper bandwidth;
  • An encoder (Wirecast, OBS Studio or VidblasterX) that converts RAW video files into digital files available for network transport;
  • A content delivery network (CDN) comprising several servers in different regions to distribute the video around the world;
  • A cloud hosting service for storing video content;
  • Payment gateways to support various payment options (Stripe, PayPal, BrainTree); 
  • Technologies supporting the streaming platform architecture (APIs, microservices, databases, programming languages).

If the organization does not have a competent specialist, a technology partner who will develop the video streaming app will perform the analysis.

#5. Create A Launch Version Of The Product – An MVP

Lean software development followers and forward-thinking entrepreneurs who want to test products in the market before investing in them build MVPs. This initial version of a streaming platform has the critical functions necessary for the software to work. Such an app can be released into production.

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An MVP is an independent product with minimal functionality. Its task is to attract clients, to surprise them with uniqueness, convenience, and design. Only then you’ll interest the first users, who will start viewing the content and leaving feedback about the product.

Feedback is valuable for business. By assessing viewers’ comments and evaluations, the creator of a product will know in which direction to develop the software. They will understand what features to add to increase the value of the platform and avoid wasting money on functionality that the audience doesn’t find useful.

For instance, if most customers aren’t happy with the search, it must be optimized or strengthened with a recommendation algorithm with the help of software development companies, for example Andersen.

The drop wears away the stone, so gradually, guided by customer feedback, the development team leads the product to its most perfect state. Development is an ongoing process to withstand competition and stay relevant to users.

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#6. Plan Marketing Activities

Anyone who has already released a software product knows the power of pre-launch marketing. Relevant activities announce a new app before it becomes available.

It is important to arouse excitement around the video streaming platform, promote its uniqueness, get consumers to sign up for the mailing list and look forward to the product launch.

You should take care of the following marketing activities before developing an MVP:

  • launch a landing page on the Internet promoting your product, and redirect paid traffic to it;
  • publish several SEO-optimized articles which organically promote the product;
  • write promotional texts to be posted on popular external blogs;
  • negotiate with influencers to promote the new solution among subscribers;
  • create brand pages on social media and expand your audience;
  • release a teaser that draws people’s attention to your streaming video platform.

Consumers buy products they know or hear positive reviews about. Pre-launch marketing helps suggest to users that they desperately need a new product and prepares them for purchase.

#7. Gather Feedback And Improve The Product

As we have mentioned above, the process of improvement does not end with an MVP and product release. More advanced streaming technologies and successful competitors are constantly emerging. In addition, the audience is growing, and new user groups constantly appear. 

There are new product requirements that you must meet to stay afloat. Therefore, constant consideration of market trends and customer desires becomes the basis for the evolution and competitiveness of a video streaming platform.

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Software Like Netflix: Mandatory Features

When creating an MVP of a streaming platform, mind the following features that software like Netflix has:

User Account

Through which a client accesses video content. It also collects statistics on what videos the viewer watches, what genres they prefer, and what videos they save. A smart algorithm uses analytics to create recommendations.

Catalogue Of Videos

A convenient search engine so that users can easily find the content by title, genre, description, topic, date, or duration of the broadcast. 

Interactive UX

A recommendation algorithm, where the user can comfortably navigate between pages and adjust the quality of video viewing from different devices. 

Geolocation Tracking

To quickly find live streams in a region. Netflix software engineers can put markers on a map next to the user’s location to show who is streaming live nearby.

Ratings And Reviews

Collect remarks about the service’s performance on the platform itself, rather than tracking it in different sources.

Streaming Video And VOD

It’s important to give users a choice of viewing formats. So, they can watch streaming content they like, request video uploaded on the platform, or download it for offline viewing.

Service Usage Options

The more collaboration options you offer, the more chances you have to reach a wider audience. By offering flexibility, you’re not closing the door to people with different needs.

Conclusion

Video streaming app development requires careful planning of every detail, from features and technology to marketing activities. Focus on the Netflix business strategy and take it as a paragon for your video service.

Study the market, select a niche, and understand what your target audience wants. Opt for technologies supporting the service and consider industry requirements and market trends. 

If you have a clear software idea, engage experienced developers who will make a streaming app like Netflix. Thus, your dream of a great video service will come true.