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How to Build a Netflix-Like Broadcasting Service: Features Guide, Costs, and More

Build a Broadcasting Service Like Netflix, Hangouts, Disney+, or TikTok: What is The Price?

Even the deadly boring evening can be brightened by TV shows or movies. Furthermore, while broadcasting websites are at your command, you’ve got an opportunity to watch whatever you like without switching the channels and waiting for ads to pass out. 

One of the most popular broadcasting services, Netflix, offers a set of TV production fitting every taste. Don’t think that it’s almost impossible to replicate the success of the outstanding streaming app/website. A new service can quickly gain popularity if you know how to approach its development. 

Here, in this post, we’ll also discuss broadcasting services in general, their features, development costs, and many other things. 

Netflix Operating Principles

All the TV production can be found in the boundless Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) database of Netflix. For providing access to all the content, only a monthly subscription fee has to be paid. Moreover, many operating systems and gadgets allow Netflix to be used for clients. 

The interface of Netflix’s site

To start interacting, you should primarily choose a Netflix website or an app. Remember that the app can be utilized free of charge for the first month after downloading. Then, all the purchases and subscriptions have to be paid in the app. But remember, if you use the service through iTunes, the fees also must be covered via the iTunes profile.

Getting access to the unlimited video library, you can turn to such features as:

  • Creating 5 profiles at 1 account maximum for your inner circle to get their preference-based Netflix experience. 
  • Watching new materials free of charge. You can look for it via the search bar (supplying new search categories) or the pre-existing library.
  • Rating the content you’ve got acquainted with. Thus, next time, Netflix will show you films and programs regarding your previously demonstrated preferences.
  • Looking through a variety of other videos

So, this vast feature set can guarantee a unique user experience for every Netflix customer. Let’s find out how to develop such a multifunctional app for your own business. 

Building a Netflix-like App: Where to Begin?

To build service like Netflix, TikTok, or Hangouts, you should pass through the following stages: 

  • Choose the right building strategy
  • Create your business model
  • Define the technology stack
  • Define MVP functionality to develop and implement it
  • Meet the requirements 

Steps for building a Netflix-like app

Starting Strategy

How to prepare yourself for Netflix-similar service building? We’ve listed the crucial stages for you to pass through.

Find your own domain. Primarily, your broadcasting peculiarities should be defined. SVOD creation is just a concept, but you should use it by finding your particular business niche. Maybe, you’ll prefer to show something for children, or you’d like to stream movies via your app/website.

Remember: this choice is essential. Users should feel that your service is built specifically for them, and if so, it will be popular. But you shouldn’t hurry up to develop everything as soon as possible. Do one step at a time.

Manage your video content: it is crucial for your upcoming SVOD service. You should care about it, thoroughly choosing the materials and operating with them. 

How often would the materials be refreshed? Do you need to implement a subscription plan, or would the materials be partly chargeless? Would you add the part of the series or place it at once on your app or site? You should ask yourself this way, checking your starting strategy again and again.

However, there are some more crucial issues to think about. They’ll be enlightened further.  

Obtain the required license. You should have a permitting document to show the content you’ve planned because you must follow the regulations. It can be done in a variety of ways, depending on your capabilities. 

  • A distributor can be contacted directly to rent the film. If you intend to employ this method, you can submit an application to SWANK Motion Pictures or Motion Picture Licencing Corporation, the leading US distributing company.
  • A license can be obtained from the copyright holder. Make contact with a studio that has the rights to the content you want and negotiate with them. 

Nevertheless, there are two potential pitfalls that you should be aware of. Different types of licenses give you varied options. One or two seasons of a TV show, for example, can be sold to you by one of the studios. This way, you can stream it and see if users like it and then eliminate it without the license extension. 

Then you should know what video production has exclusive rights because it won’t be available for everyone to buy, except for 1-2 streaming sites. Furthermore, the license can only be distributed to specific regions. So, when selecting content for your forthcoming service, consider all of these factors. 

Check out the financial costs too. First and foremost, you should start off small (even if you’d like to be as large as Netflix) and keep track of your business development stages. As a result, if you achieve the same level of success as Netflix, you will have to pay astronomical amounts for video content. 

Consider your future user interface. After Netflix, you can model your broadcasting site/app and select some pre-built templates for your partner software company. Your service should be distinctive; therefore, you’ll need to create your own style from the start. 

Make a list of all the platforms you’ll need. If you want to create a Netflix-like service, you’ll need to build video streaming website and a mobile app. Most consumers interact more with their mobile devices than with their desktop computers, and it doesn’t need to be scientifically demonstrated. 

Keep in mind that it would be better if you limited your development to adaptable or responsive site alternatives and built a native Android or iOS mobile application. It could help you feel more comfortable while using the service and make it more personalized. 

Start a promotional campaign aimed at your target market. It can be done in a variety of ways:

  • Email marketing is a good option. Make each customer’s newsletter attractive and presentable. 
  • Use social networks to find your audience. There, you can share videos that reflect your streaming service. 
  • Use YouTube to promote your brand, demonstrating that your service is reliable and appealing. 

Starting strategy steps

Appropriate Business Model

You can learn more about the business model once you’ve solved all of the issues with the starting strategy. When launching a new service, you should consider that your company will go through development stages rather than generating an immediate result. So, there’s information for you to consider while developing a business strategy that will ensure your future success.

  • Count the lifetime value. It’s a critical component if you want to maximize your profits and establish a business that would be as profitable as Netflix’s. The essence of the lifetime value is as follows: to improve your income, you need to track every customer. Examine statistics and observe people’s behavior to avoid client outflows, as Netflix did. 
  • Subscription fees can be used to monetize your service. You can collect payments from your members on an annual, quarterly, or monthly basis, but free trial versions should be provided as well. You can also have complete monetization control by making the video library available to clients in whole or in part. Free trial options, user plans, discounts, multi-currency payments, and auto-update should all be considered.
  • Think about your expenses. You should plan your marketing strategy carefully, considering the lifetime value of consumers from various channels and the number of users you may attract via multiple sales pipelines. As a result, the funds allocated to your company’s demands will be used wisely due to the considerations above. 

Remember that developing an effective marketing strategy for your company will lead to your streaming service’s success with the least cost and time losses. 

What Kind of Tech Stack Do You Require?

Though the toolset required to launch a successful SVOD service is long, you should become familiar with the most crucial ones to build your streaming website or app.

Suggested Technology Stack

Example of a service to create TV Web Mobile
TikTok, 

Instagram Stories

—  NodeJS Swift (for iOS)

Kotlin (for Android)

Hulu, Disney+, Netflix LG TV:
– React Samsung TV (containing React, NodeJS)– C#
C#

NodeJS

Swift (for iOS)

Kotlin (for Android)

Hangouts —  NodeJS Swift (for iOS)

Kotlin (for Android)

Good functional MVPs and development speeding up are crucial for a lot of businesses. That’s why they hire third-party firms to assist them. Thus, you could use AWS technology to provide a function similar to content streaming in a Hulu or Netflix-style app. Wowza or AWS would be great for giving live streaming to your TikTok or Instagram-like service.

It’s also worth noting that most third-party services aren’t free. So, we’ve compiled prices for the resources you’ll need.

Third-party services costs

Type of streaming  Agora Socket AWS Wowza
Group calls (video) The prices start from $3.99 for 1,000 minutes For free —  — 
Streaming —  —  The prices start from $0,0850 for 1 GB The prices start from $0,095 for 1 GB
Broadcasting The prices start from $0,06 for 1 hour For free —  — 

The toolset is quite extensive, and you should choose technologies that are acceptable for your organization. 

MVP Development for Netflix, Disney+ or TikTok-Like Services

Being a multifunctional streaming platform, Netflix needs a wide range of server-side functionality, but it will cost a lot of money to build. That’s why you should start with the MVP version of your future product. It’s more cost-effective to test your concept for viability first, then add more features once it’s gathered traction. 

MVP features to build

To help you find out the costs, we created an MVP development pricing estimate. Note that the charges are rough and provided solely for your convenience. The final pricing is based on the hourly wages of Eastern European software developers (primarily Ukrainians), which are around $50/h.

 MVP dev costs for a streaming service

Service example to build Components to include Time Prices
Hangouts 1 mobile application & 1 server (iOS/Android) 1,050h $52,500
TikTok, Instagram (Stories) 1 mobile application & 1 server (iOS/Android) 1,180h $59,000
Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ 2 mobile applications & 1 server 1,432h $71,600

Let’s think about the OS and interface for the future MVP to figure out the approximate pricing. 

To build an app, should you use Android or iOS? Again, there’s no appreciable difference. However, while creating an MVP, you must start with only one platform in mind. Then, as your company expands and attracts additional customers, you might be able to develop an app for a new operating system. However, developing only an app isn’t enough because streaming platforms’ websites are also popular. 

The more complex the broadcasting platform is, the simpler the interface should be. People expect information to be delivered quickly and without errors; therefore, you need to design a user-friendly interface. Look through the features listed below to achieve it.

  • Sign up/Log in must be considered during interface construction. Allowing your customers to register by social media or email would be convenient. 

Login interface in Netflix mobile app

  • User account. Users will require a place to save their favorite programs, episodes, etc. You should also be able to add more relatives/friends to a user’s profile so that they can watch shared video content on your Netflix-style service. 

User account interface of Netflix’s mobile app

  • Consider the content search, which allows visitors to browse movie reviews and genres. Comments and chat are also necessary for the communication process and the exchange of impressions. 

Netflix’s search bar

  • You can avoid installing a payment system by solely permitting users to pay using payment gateways for iOS or Android. You won’t have to make your own as a result. So, a gateway like Braintree or Stripe would be beneficial for you because it has a set of functionalities available on both iOS and Android.

Payment system integrated in Netflix website

  • When a new episode or movie is launched, your customers will receive a push notification. Subtitles, audio track selection and multilingual support should all be able to be enabled in the settings. 

Netflix settings page

  • To protect your copyright, you should utilize screenshot blocking. It is essential to note that it is only available on Android. 
  • The admin panel must be built. You’ll get access to all of the video assets as well as the ability to block individuals.

More Options to Consider

The above elements are required for MVP creation. Meanwhile, you can learn about the other features that can help your app. So, let’s start with approximate costs and time estimates before moving on to the additional feature set. 

How long will it take to add additional functionality, and how much will it cost?

Service example to create Components to include Prices Time
Hangouts 2 mobile applications & 2 servers  $147,450 2,949h
TikTok, Instagram (Stories) 2 mobile applications & 3 servers  $114,050 2,281h
Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ 2 mobile applications & 1 server $133,250 2,655h

The following is a list of extra features that could be included: 

  • Users can utilize social login to publish comments and news on social media. 

Netflix sign in via social networks

  • Customers can vote and form their own suggestions about a TV show or movie based on ratings and opinions.
  • Live broadcasting allows viewers to see sporting events or television shows in real-time.
  • Media recommendations (like Netflix’s CineMatch) may provide users with relevant content. 
  • Customers can choose from several video quality options and enjoy their viewing experience. 

Video quality settings

  • Geo-blocking is required to avoid certain restrictions that exist in some countries. 

It’s not a short list of things to accomplish; you can add more if necessary to meet the requirements of your project.

Points to Know if You Want to Be in the Business Leads

To make your service appealing to clients and meet the significant needs of today’s IT environment, you should be concerned about the topics listed below. 

Security. Add token security, geo-limits, and domain restrictions, among other things, to protect your service from hackers. 

Safe storage. Users should trust your service and be able to interact with the content without difficulty. As a result, you should save your files to a secure cloud storage service. 

Constant network connection. To avoid server overloading and speed up data processing, you should utilize Content Delivery Network (CDN) technology.

Video broadcasting protocols. Choosing between HLS, RTMP, and WebRTC is challenging due to the benefits and drawbacks of each protocol. As well, you should discuss this with the developers at your partner IT firm. 

High capacity. You’ll need to take care of this if you want to add video content with a 4K resolution. Keep in mind that integrating a CDN with a suitable video streaming protocol will significantly increase your service’s speed.

Final Advice to Think Out

If you would like to be an owner of a successful video streaming service like Netflix, follow the advice below. 

  • Correctly define, value, and plan your product. These are essential components for successful development. 
  • Using big data and personalization, you may construct a variety of recommendation algorithms. During the creation process, A/B testing or the use of other analytical data can be done. 
  • Examine your video streaming app from every angle to assess how user-friendly it is. 
  • Make a strategy for your ad campaign. This way, you should plan for an increase in revenue as well as an increase in potential audience. 
  • Think about security and service quality. To avoid legal complications, take care of video content licenses. Also, remember that one of the most crucial parts of a pleasant UX is the quality of video content. 
  • Examine your analytic data to see what’s perplexing customers and how you may boost engagement. 
  • Choose the most appropriate platform(s) for your upcoming service. You’ll need it to provide suitable video quality to your customers and allow them to follow your updates from various devices.

Overall Development Price for the Netflix-Like Service

You’ll need a lot of time and money to create a Netflix-like app or website. Keep in mind that the final price is decided by the number of features you choose. A preliminary budget estimate is given here to help you plan the costs of your future project. 

It’s essential to note that your streaming service’s ultimate price may differ. It may be defined by your requirements and needs. Therefore, the processing of code documentation and meeting time was also estimated throughout this brief investigation. Based on the conditions described above, the estimation data would be as follows:


MVP development of Netflix-like SVOD

Service example to create Components to include  Prices Time
Hangouts 1 mobile app (iOS/Android) & 1 server $52,500 1,050h
TikTok, Instagram (Stories) 1 mobile app (iOS/Android) & 1 server $59,000 1,180h
Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ 2 mobile apps & 1 server $71,600 1,432 h

Keep in mind that the app/site interface will determine your company’s future popularity and profitability. You should concentrate on making it as user-friendly and appealing as possible. If you want to construct a streaming service with a broader feature set, you’ll need to think about the same things.

Service example to create Components to include  Prices Time
TikTok, Instagram (Stories) 2 mobile apps & 3 servers $114,050 2,281h
Hangouts 2 mobile apps & 2 servers $147,450 2,949h
Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ 2 mobile apps & 1 server $133,250 2,655h

Let’s take a closer look at the time and cost issues. The financial estimates were made using hourly wages as a basis. They, in turn, are determined by the location and size of your IT partner. As a result, the most outstanding software development companies charge $75-150/h on average for their services. The services of middle-sized businesses, on the other hand, cost $30-70/h. Furthermore, both types of companies guarantee high-quality final products, with tiny businesses or individual freelance specialists appearing to be the most efficient at first glance – they charge $15-30/h. However, bear in mind that low costs do not always imply appropriate quality, so hunt for the best quality-to-price ratio and adequately analyze the information provided about the company.

How much will it cost to create the specific features? Is it going to take a long time? (rough estimates)

Functionality to create Approximate time Approximate price
Front-end 618h $28.900 – $37.900
Back-end 820h $36.650 – $48.000
Android 941h $37.750 – $54.050
iOS 935h $37.600 – $53.750
UI/UX design 140h (depends on the number of development stages)

Wrapping up

We described the crucial points you need to know for creating a Netflix-style streaming business. To learn about the development process in detail, you should apply to a software company experienced in media/streaming. The professionals will give you a specific time estimate (as well as a cost estimate) for your next project, suggest better features to implement, and assist you in resolving the most inconvenient project development challenges.

 

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