Live streaming services are now one of the primary mediums of entertainment for GenZ and even a good portion of the Millenials. According to a statistics article by Business of Apps, users spent 22.8 billion hours live streaming content on twitch in 2021.
Video on demand (VOD) streaming platforms are doing just as well as live streaming platforms. A report by Statista indicates that Netflix now has over 223 million paid users globally. With such statistics around the sector, it is safe to assume that live and VOD streaming apps will see more growth in the coming years.
What this means for entrepreneurs is that now is the time to invest in the streaming domain. While the average cost to develop a live streaming app would be $45,000 to $60,000, it is vital to get yourself versed with how to create a live streaming app from industry experts to manage the whole development process effectively.
How Does Live Streaming Work?
A live-streaming app provides users the feature to record and broadcast live videos to viewers in real-time. The app also usually includes live comments, live chats, and media sharing in real-time.
Typically, millennials, GenZ, celebrities, and influencers are the target audience of most live-streaming app today.
Types of Live-streaming Apps
Understand the difference between different live-streaming apps and choose one strategically before spending any money or time on the project.
Live Video Broadcasting App
Live video broadcasting apps enable users to record and broadcast live videos for any small or large audience online. Many movie or TV celebrities use it to connect with their fans regularly, while the majority of influencers use it to promote a brand or product, and gamers use it to broadcast their gaming sessions and make money with viewer donations.
Most popular live streaming apps are YouTube Live, Twitch, Instagram Live, and Facebook Live.
TV Streaming Apps
TV streaming apps are a little different than live video broadcasting apps. A TV streaming app enables users to watch live channel broadcasts that you usually have to watch on TV. Moreover, you cannot record and broadcast regular videos on TV streaming apps.
Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV Blue, and YouTube TV are some well-known examples of TV streaming apps.
Live Audio Streaming Apps
Audio streaming apps enable users to record and broadcast live audio over the internet. People use it for live music shows, radio, podcasts, celebrity interviews, and political discussion/interviews. Top live audio-streaming apps are Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music.
Must-have Features of a Live Streaming App
Knowing which features you need to create a live streaming app and features that improve the user experience will help your app stand out from the competition.
An MVP app would only include the core features of a live streaming app.
User Registration & Login
Provide an easy way for your users to register to the app with an email, phone number, and social media accounts. It would help them log in within a matter of seconds and without any effort. When planning your user registration screen, a ‘Forgot password’ feature to recover or reset it with a phone number/email is a must-have add-on.
A user profile feature will help users upload their photo or logo, create a unique username for the channel, set their location, and add their streaming interests. This feature will also show the number of subscribers users have on their channels.
Users with a profile will be able to broadcast and stream as many live videos as they can. In addition to this, Search and Filter feature will allow users to find the type of videos they are looking for with ease, while a Set Interests feature will personalize the videos the users see on their feed.
Viewers can chat with the live streamer to compliment or provide other feedback in real time. The streamers must also be able to reply in the same manner. It helps improve the live streaming experience of your app. For example, teachers, gym trainers, and professors can solve queries and guide better with such a feature.
Advanced features help you add a unique element to the overall functionality of your app.
Rating & Reviews
Users can rate and add reviews on the broadcasts of live streamers to provide better feedback.
Filter & Effects
Live streamers can add more eye-catching factors to their broadcasts with multiple filters and effects. For example, a singer or a music band can improve the visual experience of their performance with video effects/filters that highlight the energy of their music.
Viewers can send requests to chat privately with the live streamers and streamers can decide whether to accept or reject these requests.
These features will help live streamers showcase various talents and earn money with viewer subscriptions. For example, a gym or martial arts trainer can decide to broadcast their lesson only to those viewers who pay and subscribe to the channel.
Make a Donation
Donating money is an option live streaming viewers prefer. It gives them time to figure out whether they like the content of a live streamer before donating. For example, a subscriber once donated $75,000 to Exotic Chaotic (gamer) during one of his live streams. The app owner can benefit from this by charging a small fee for every donation.
This feature helps the users check the views on their live streams, see what kind of streams get more viewers, what kind of streams make viewers leave the stream as soon as they play it, and the detailed streaming history report. It can help streamers improve the content of their channels.
Live streamers can share their reaction or get viewer feedback on a video using this feature. For example, streamers can broadcast a movie or an episode of a TV series with screen sharing to show their reaction to it to viewers.
How to Develop a Live Streaming App?
First, figure out how to start a streaming service and how you will approach the live streaming app development project.
- Are you planning to create a streaming website as well?
- Are you hiring in-house developers?
- Will you be hiring freelancers or outsource to a live streaming app development company?
Get familiar with the video streaming app development process to figure this out and choose better.
Create a Streaming App Development Plan
Live streaming is now one of the fastest-growing and most competitive markets worldwide. According to a report by Vantage Market Research, the value of the global live streaming market was $988 million in 2021 and it may reach $4290 million by 2028 with a CAGR of 23.50% between 2022 and 2028.
That is why you need a foolproof development plan to ensure the success of your app. Figure out the answers to questions like:
- Who is your target audience?
- What problems do they have with current live streaming apps?
- What solutions can your live-streaming app provide?
- Who are your main competitors?
- How can you make your app better than the rest?
- What is your development budget? And how will you secure it?
Make sure the data you collect is verified and accurate, since such data will help you develop an app that can capture target user interests.
Gather an App Development Team
You can manage this step in three ways depending on what is most convenient for your requirements.
Inhouse Team: You will have to hire every team member and developer individually and do the work required to ensure productive collaboration between the team members.
Here is the list of people you will need to need in an app development team:
Hiring an in-house team is a time-consuming process with many interviews, plus you will need to have a plan in place with respect to what you will be taking the team’s help in once the app is live. So, go for the option only if your budget, time, and planning supports such a process.
Freelancers: You can hire freelancers individually as you do with an in-house team. Freelancers will charge less and deliver on time if you state your deadline conditions from the beginning. However, hiring freelancers does come with risks like data theft & leak, poor quality work, missed deadlines, and miscommunication.
Outsourcing: You can outsource the live streaming app development work to a company from India. A professional app development company from there will manage everything from initial planning to development and post-launch support, and they are also beneficial for your development budget.
Choose the Right Technology Stack
Live mobile streaming apps need top-tier technologies, frameworks, and platforms to perform well when thousands of people use the app at once. Choosing the right development team will help select technology stack required to create such an app.
Outsourcing to an all-in-one app development company proves helpful in this case. They have experience choosing tech stacks for many apps and will make sure you get the best ones for a live streaming mobile application.
Your app may need the same, less, or more tech stack depending on your business requirements.
Focus on the App Design
The app design is the most crucial factor of your live-streaming app. It determines how the users will move through the app, how appealing it will be, and how convenient the functionality of your app will be for every user. That is why you have to interview and verify the UI/UX designers personally whether you hire an in-house team or outsource. You must examine the past work of designers to get an idea of what they can do for your app’s design.
Start with an MVP App
Develop a minimum viable product for your live-streaming app with only core features. It will help you get early user feedback on app design and functionality and it may generate revenue. An MVP version of your app will reveal the potential of your live-streaming app through real customers’ feedback – a data you can use to upgrade the same with advanced features.
What you did wrong and what you can do better in your app are the two things you will most likely learn with an MVP product.
Monitor the App Testing Process
The testing process is how you ensure that your app does not fail or disappoint users. You must carefully monitor this process to understand how the users respond to the app design and functionality. It will help improve the features that are not up to the mark. The testing process is the best way to evaluate the functionality of your app and figure out any loopholes or glitches. Knowing this before the launch can save you from financial risks and a bad reputation.
Plan a Marketing Strategy
The live-streaming app market is a highly competitive one and thousands of live-streaming services already provide what you plan to offer in your app. That is why you will have to go above and beyond with your marketing strategy to get people to notice and take an interest in your app. Make sure you get a marketing strategist who has successfully done this kind of thing before. It will help you turn the capabilities of your app into an impactful advertising message.
Launch the App
The launch of your app must be a carefully planned project itself that you need to execute like an event. Spread awareness about the launch date and keep doing it until you generate some curiosity or excitement in the target audience. You must figure out how to submit your app to the iOS and Google Play store to launch it. Outsourcing will also save you from this trouble as the hired team will know how to do this professionally.
Your app will need post-launch support to deal with any app functionality errors, customer queries/complaints, and updates. A professional mobile app development company can take care of this for you.
Cost to Develop Live Streaming App
Creating a streaming service app requires a complex technology stack, experienced developers, core and advanced features, impressive app design, and the right development company. All of this will contribute to the development costs. It is impossible to know the exact cost to create a streaming app without knowing the app design and feature requirements.
Another factor that contributes majorly to the cost is the development team. The chosen development team also decides how much it will cost you to build a live streaming app. An in-house team will be costly and time-consuming. Freelancers will be affordable and fair with charges if you find professional and trustworthy ones.
The best option is outsourcing to a development company from India or Ukraine. You can find highly skilled developers in those countries and at a price range that only benefits your budget.
Here is a breakdown of the average cost required for live video streaming app development:
Cost to Develop a Live-streaming Android App
|Simple App Development||$40,000 to $60,000||$40,000 to $60,000||$20,000 to $25,000||$10,000 to $20,000|
|Standard App Development||$80,000 to $100,000||$80,000 to $95,000||$50,000 to $80,000||$40,000 to $70,000|
|Complex App Development||$200,000 to $300,000||$150,000 to $180,000||$90,000 to $120,000||$90,000 to $100,000|
Cost to build a streaming platform for iOS
|Simple App Development||$50,000 to $80,000||$50,000 to $80,000||$30,000 to $40,000||$25,000 to $35,000|
|Standard App Development||$90,000 to $150,000||$90,000 to $120,000||$60,000 to $90,000||$50,000 to $80,000|
|Complex App Development||$250,000 to $350,000||$200,000 to $250,000||$150,000 to $180,000||$120,000 to $150,000|
The cost breakdowns mentioned above are the average app development charges. They can be less or more depending on your design and feature requirements.
How to Monetize Your Live Streaming App?
One of the last yet equally important things you need to do is figure out the monetization strategies for your live streaming app. Here are some recommendations to make the process easy for you:
This model includes some core app services for free and users need to pay for the premium app version with advanced features and benefits. It is best to use this model when you have already gained a decent user base.
Paid App Model
This model means the users will have to pay to download and install your app. Avoid this model unless you have something truly unique to offer. It is also not easy to get users interested in a paid app. You have to come up with captivating ideas to make it happen.
For example, provide benefits like no ads or access to online media for screen sharing.
This model depends on the success of your app and you can use it if your app gets many users in a specific niche like sport or gaming. A game developing company will approach you to sign a partnership deal in such cases. You will have to promote a new game launch/update or provide your app as a platform to launch a game online. It is very similar to the advertisement model where you can sign a deal with multiple brands to advertise their product and services on your live streaming app. Partnership model helps you generate revenue with every ad view.
You may have a better understanding of how to make a live streaming app by now. Developing a live streaming services app requires dedication, professionalism, and a well-planned budget. The usual trick in app development is giving attention to every tiny detail like app load time, design, slightest delay in some functionality, and unnoticeable errors. Dealing with every minor app problem during development will ensure a user-centric final product.
You may also consult or hire a reliable mobile app development company to guarantee that your app meets or exceeds the expectations.
Frequently Asked Questions
– Choose one or multiple niches for your streaming service
– Hire a website/app development team
– Choose a unique design for your website/app
– Create an MVP product first (Website/app)
– Conduct frequent testing
– Create a good marketing plan for the service
– Launch the app/website
– Provide post-launch support for the app
1. Make a strategic development plan
2. Create an app development team
3. Choose the best tech stack for your app
4. Make an MVP version of your app first
Test the app
5. Create a good marketing strategy for the app
6. Launch the app
7. Provide post-launch support
Here is a list of tech stacks that developers can use to develop a live steam video service:
3. Amazon EC2
4. AWS Elemental MediaConnect
5. Amazon DynamoDB
9. Oracle or MySQL
10. Cloudflare Stream
11. RTMP protocol
12. WebRTC Protocol
13. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
14. Amazon Chime
The average cost to develop a live streaming app would be $45,000 to $60,00 but that can vary depending on your design/feature requirements and the location of the development team.