How to Create a Streaming Service Like Netflix?
Entertaining content takes up more and more space in our lives every year. Anyone who has access to the Internet can watch their favorite movies, TV shows, and games anywhere and anytime. According to Statista, in 2024, the value of the global entertainment and media market will rise to 2.5 trillion US dollars.
Moreover, the global video streaming market size was valued at USD 50.11 billion in 2020. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.0% from 2021 to 2028. Not surprisingly, many companies are looking to create their streaming services to compete with leaders like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.
We have made a guide for you in this article to help you understand the key points about developing a streaming app like Netflix.
Check out the basic and additional functions for such a project. Moreover, let's talk about the technological stack and the approximate part of the MVP distribution. Article is based on Softermii’s experience building custom streaming apps.
MVP Stage for Netflix-like streaming platform development: Core Features
If you are planning to create something like Netflix, then, first of all, you need to build a step-by-step strategy:
- Find your niche. You have to decide what types of movies or TV programs your website or mobile app will contain.
- Plan your content. You need to think about how often you will update your content.
- Get licensing to rent movies and TV series. Here you agree with distributors and copyright holders.
- Create a style. We recommend you have your unique design rather than copy existing models.
- Consider all platforms. Create a website and mobile applications for your video-on-demand service. This way, you reach as many people as possible who can become your regular customers.
- Find your target audience. We encourage you to research the market of streaming services.
- Think about monetization. You can propose variable plans for your viewers: a monthly, quarterly, or annual paid subscription. You should also add a free trial period for new users.
- Provide security. You should protect your service from any unwanted intrusions from third parties.
- Choose your video streaming protocols. They divide a video into small chunks and transfer them to a user's device.
These are your first steps to build your Netflix-like streaming service.
So, we figured out the strategy. So, what is next? We now turn to the functionality of your application. We recommend that you start with MVP development to save your budget and time. Moreover, after the launch of the project, you will be able to assess the intermediate results. And based on the data, you will understand whether your expectations coincide with them. If you see a positive trend, you can safely plan to create a full version of your streaming service.
We had a similar situation when our team created the audio and video chats app Scoby for building communities. The client wanted to have one simple app that combines Twitch, Tiktok, Clubhouse, and Zoom.
We chose Mediasoup as a video broadcasting technology for Scoby. This app includes different features: AI-generated news feed, private rooms, video calls, room moderation. Our team also added gifts & donations, streaming, and broadcasting.
First, we developed the MVP in three months, which helped us quickly launch the product to market. Our team got feedback from users and built a full app in a couple of months.
As you can see, this "MVP first" approach works successfully in practice as well. Next, we will talk about the main features of the MVP.
CMS (content management system)
CMS or admin panel is the main function of your MVP because, with it, you can easily:
- Add, edit and delete content
- Block users when needed
- Place advertising and product banners
- And others. It all depends on the number of functions in your service.
You can hire an administrator to manage your application.
User registration and profiles
Make registration and authorization as simple as possible. You can add the ability to log into your account via social media and email.
Pay special attention to the profile. Make it like in Netflix: add the ability to create separate profiles in a single account. It's a handy add-on for any family, where everyone can watch different content in your application. Users can create their own lists of favorite movies and preferences, and your service will select relevant movies for them.
Subscription and payments
What about subscriptions? We recommend making several options:
Your users will choose the best option for themselves. And you also need to add different payment methods to your service: Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, etc.
And don't forget to offer new customers a free trial. But here you need to be very careful. Many companies give users a free subscription for 7 or 30 days, and then they automatically charge them for the next period. This approach can cause negative emotions with your service. Therefore, we recommend that you think about ensuring that after the end of the trial period, the client receives a notification about the transition to a paid subscription. Then there will be no questions for you.
Make this function in such a way that your users can easily search for the content they want with the following parameters:
- Friends preferences
Besides, you can add a query auto-completion, making finding the content you want much easier.
We pay attention to the ratings of the films on the site. Add the ability to rate the movie. Then users feel that they are influencing the popularity of a particular movie or TV series.
Settings (language, quality, speed, etc)
You should add the ability for users to choose how each of them wants to watch the video content: For example, they could configure the following parameters:
- Playback speed
You can make such notifications through your admin panel. For example, you can write about things like:
- Release of a new film or series
- Special offers (subscriptions)
- User preference recommendations
Additional Features: Create a Video Streaming Website like Hulu
We described the core features of the MVP of your future streaming service. And you clearly understand why they are needed in your future application. Now we're going to talk about additional features that can make your project more competitive in the video streaming market. All the below features are necessary to build a live streaming app like Hulu.
You should consider that part of the content on your service in some regions may be forbidden due to various restrictions from distributors. If a person visits your site from such a country, a message about access restriction should appear. For example, you can see how Disney + did it:
Your users will enjoy this feature. After all, they will be able to watch their favorite movies without the Internet.
You should consider multiple language support if you decide to set up a streaming service like Hulu. Then you can get even more clients from different parts of the world.
You can also integrate a recommendation algorithm that suggests relevant content to your customers.
Your service can go to the next level with this feature. Your users will be able to see the live broadcasting of sports events, shows, TV programs, etc.
Perhaps you also want to have the latest news from the world of movies and TV shows on your website every day. Then this function will suit you well.
We recommend you add another feature to your project:
- Chat. It's useful in live broadcasting
- Comments. Some users can write their impressions under films and TV series.
Video streaming platforms can now expand into cross-platform multi-service companies, offering gaming as one of the features. For example, Netflix has recently added a lineup including mobile games based on one of their shows, "Stranger Things," and several casual gaming titles on Android and iOS.
The service has added it in the recommendation section where, by clicking, users are sent directly to Google Play or App Store for a download. In order to begin playing, users should sign with their Netflix credentials.
Tech Stack to Create a Streaming Service like Netflix
The technology stack is the foundation of your future streaming service like Netflix, determining how it will work. That's a key step in the life cycle of your project. You need to choose technologies (languages, frameworks, libraries, databases, web servers) that fully meet the requirements and needs of your business:
- Front-end: React JS
- Back-end: NodeJS
- Android: Kotlin
- iOS: Swift
- DevOps: AWS
In addition to the above, we at Softermii can also use technologies such as .NET, WebRTC, Kubernetes, and Azure in those specs.
Now we are going to tell you about streaming leading services tech stacks. And you will understand what technologies are now popular with such giants as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max.
Netflix tech stack
The front-end of the Netflix tech stack is created on React, Falcor, and Node.js. They use Amazon's hosting service to distribute content with a custom content delivery network (CDN). Their developers use Cassandra, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle databases. Netflix also uses Python, Node.js, and Java for its server-side.
So, the front-end and the back-end for Netflix-like video streaming platforms should include these technologies.
Hulu tech stack
The back-end of this streaming service is built on Next.js. Hulu uses React and Node.js for its front-end.
Disney+ tech stack
Disney officials don't publicly state what is included in the technology stack of their platform. But based on our expertise, we suppose they use Node.js, React, and Java on the front end with Amazon hosting.
Amazon Prime Video
They use the Amazon Web Service (AWS) Cloud as the underlying technology for all its services.
The front-end of HBO Max is developed on React and Bootstrap, and the back-end is built on Java. HBO Max uses such web servers as Apache and NGINX.
Cost of live streaming app development like Netflix
First, you must decide what you will develop: MVP or full version of streaming service. Next, you need to decide on the following components:
- The set of features
- The software provider (freelancers, in-house team, or a development agency)
- The location of software providers
- The software development methodology
- Launch date
Based on our expertise, we know that Netflix-like MVP development costs could be between $ 75,000 and $ 150,000.
What about the details of the complete application development? Below you can find information about the time and price for each stage of app development. And you can understand the required budget and timing of your project.
1. Estimation & Research
Time: 1 month
Cost: $12 000
We study your requirements, needs, and wishes for your project. Then our company creates a list of items for analysis. We collect all the necessary data and process it to find patterns that are relevant to your expectations. And our company approves with you all details of your future streaming service.
Time: 6 month
Cost: $150 000
Developers build your streaming service (client-side and server-side). They link databases to dataflow, create mechanisms and system architecture, and much more. Meanwhile, the UX/UI designer works with the interface of your future project.
3. Testing & Launch
Time: 1 month
Cost: $25 000
Then we do many different tests to check if everything works correctly in your application. Our team corrects errors if they occur. Then we agree with you on the final version of your streaming service. And then our team launches your project.
Time: depends on your tasks
Cost: 12 month of continuous support is $180 000
Sometimes, continuous support is not needed, in this case you can address us only when the solution requires updates or some features have to be added. Our specialists help in maintaining your product. We also make sure it runs smoothly and is updated as needed.
Estimation & Research
Testing & Launch
$ 25 000
8 to 20 month
from $172 000
Do you want to get the precise time and the cost of a streaming service project development? Contact our Softermii team, and we will help you.
Our Experience in Building Streaming Services
Our development team uses the latest technologies to design live streaming platforms. Below we will tell you about some of our cases.
We developed a video conferencing app for online events Event10x. Here we will describe all the details we faced.
The app's goal was to develop a simple and convenient app with private and big group networking.
Our team faced an issue creating a special engine for a future app. Our specialists created a special engine (based on WebRTC) for broader streaming opportunities. We have successfully implemented Microsoft Azure and Ngenius in Event10x.
We created in three months an online events app for organizing conferences & exhibitions with broadcasting to over 15000 people. We included such features as сalls, broadcasting, messaging, calendar planning, multiple hubs options, AI-powered translation. Besides, we added conference participants' matchmaking, private video chat rooms, and white label solutions.
Our development team has improved the healthcare conferencing application HIPAA Video. Here we will show you all the details we faced.
One of the main issues we had to address in this regard was doctor-patient secrecy, with all possible means taken to remove the possibility of any data leakage. We also had to update technologies.
We have implemented TSL, TDL, and Role-based Authorization for app entry to ensure the sensitive personal data exchange is fully secure.
We've managed to create a fully functional HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software for healthcare. It enables doctors and patients to conduct remote meetings without having to be physically present in the hospital.
We created a Video Conferencing Engine VidRTC that simplifies the development of business communication software.
We wanted to develop a communication tool for various industries with basic features:
- Video calls
- Text messages
We also set ourselves the task of making this platform intuitively easy to use.
Our team developed a communication platform applicable for all niches and adapted to any industry's needs. You can conduct one-on-ones, broadcast to a small group, and host conferences.
VidRTC is accessible for everyone without a long-lasting education. And here's what we managed to achieve after development:
- 1000+ сalls can be hosted with one media server
- Up to 200 users can be hosted in one room
- 25,000+ viewers can join your broadcast
If your project idea requires audio or video streaming capabilities, we're ready to do WebRTC Development with you now. We are successfully working in the following areas:
- Intranet/Internal Business Communications
- Online Education
- Virtual Conferences
- "Business Speed Dating" and Networking
Although our development team can also create solutions for companies from other industries.
Сreate Your Own Netflix Today
As you can see, the global video streaming market has been actively developing lately, and this trend will continue in the coming years. That's a good chance for your company to come up with its unique solution.
We recommend that you create your own strategy that will help you decide where to go. If you already have an idea and are ready to implement it, turn to professionals in the IT industry.
Our development team at Softermii constantly devotes time to learning the latest technologies to create successful solutions. We are ready to build your streaming service from scratch, testing it at every stage of development so that it works without errors.
We have a dedicated team consisting of Project Managers, Business Analysts, UI/UX Designers, Mobile App Developers (iOS & Android), and Quality Assurance Engineers.
Contact us, and we will build a video streaming website like HBO Max or Netflix.