How To Start A Streaming Service

Video Streaming: Technical Aspects, Challenges, Budget

Looking at the modern tendencies of the network’s development and Internet speed increase the services which work with video content gain popularity. Live video streaming allows solving such issues as increasing brand recognition, engaging the audience from all over the world, growing traffic, generating leads faster, establishing real-time interaction with potential clients, etc. Though this cutting-edge technology allows receiving multiple positive results in a short time, it carries lots of challenges to those, who intend to apply it through a custom-built solution. Let’s look closer into the matter.

Playing a video file online looks like a simple task, but it’s only at first glance. It can be compared with the work of a simple computer, which contains video files. The access to them can be received with a simple link. Actually, such a variant really exists and has a right to, but it’s wrong. First, let’s find out what video streaming is and how it’s realized.

Why You Should Create a Streaming Service?

Streaming video is huge and only getting bigger. By creating your video streaming service, your company can tap into this massive market and reach more customers than ever before. Here's why launching such a platform makes smart business sense.

Streaming is the future of video. Traditional cable TV is on the way out. More and more people are "cutting the cord" and switching to online video services. A typical U.S. consumer pays 77 dollars a month, or $924 a year, for subscriptions. Streaming allows viewers to watch what they want, when they want, on their preferred devices. It's flexible, on-demand entertainment that cable can't match.

Massive market opportunity. The industry is projected to keep growing rapidly in the coming years. According to Statista, the streaming video market volume will reach US$137.70bn by 2027. Streaming video development allows you to claim a piece of this lucrative pie.

New revenue opportunities. Launching a streaming service like Netflix creates new potential revenue sources beyond just subscriber fees. These include advertising, premium pay-per-view content, merchandise sales, and more ways to monetize your video offerings. It diversifies your income sources.

Lower costs than cable/satellite. Streaming eliminates costly infrastructure expenses of traditional cable and satellite TV providers. No cable lines, satellites, or clunky set-top boxes are required. This allows for lower operating costs and more competitive consumer pricing.

Viewers want more choices. While Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ dominate streaming today, viewers want even more choices. In fact, 47% of consumers are frustrated by having to subscribe to multiple streaming services to access the content they want. You can fulfill this unmet demand by launching your own service with unique programming.

Those are some of the key reasons why launching such a service makes strategic sense for a company. The market is ripe with opportunities for innovative new providers.



Client Manager

7 Steps of How to Create a Streaming Service

Below, are seven simple steps on how to start a streaming service. This guide will help you create a product that stands out from the crowd.

Find Your Niche

The first step is to identify your target audience. Decide on the type of content you want to offer. Do you want to focus on a specific genre, such as movies, TV shows, or live events? Or perhaps you want to cater to a particular demographic, like children or sports enthusiasts. Conducting market research and analyzing consumer trends can help you pinpoint your niche. Finding your niche will help you create a unique value proposition and attract the right audience.

Create USP (Unique Selling Point)

Giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu dominate the streaming landscape. With so many services available, it's crucial to differentiate yourself from the competition. Your USP could be a unique content library, exclusive programming, or a subscription model that offers better value for money. For example, you could offer a curated selection of independent films or niche documentaries. You could do live streams of local events that are not available on mainstream platforms. Whatever it is, make sure it's compelling enough to attract and retain subscribers.

Choose a Monetization Strategy

Decide how you want to generate revenue from your service. Popular options include:

  • Subscription-based models. Users pay a recurring fee (monthly or annually) to access your content library.
  • Ad-supported models. Users can access content for free. Yet, they have to watch advertisements.
  • Hybrid models. Combine a subscription model with ad-supported tiers or pay-per-view options.
  • Transactional models. Users pay for individual titles or episodes on a rental or purchase basis.

Consider your target audience's preferences and willingness to pay for content when selecting a monetization strategy.

Find an Experienced App Development Company

Building a streaming service requires expertise in app development, video hosting, and content management. Partner with an experienced app development company. They can guide you through the technical aspects, explain how online video works. A professional team ensures a smooth user experience.

Select Streaming App Features

Your streaming app should offer a range of features that enhance the viewing experience for your audience. Essential features include:

  • compatibility with various devices;
  • high-quality video streaming;
  • user-friendly navigation;
  • robust security measures.

Additionally, consider incorporating features like offline viewing, parental controls, and personalized recommendations.

Create UX/UI Design

A well-designed UI and UX can make or break your streaming service. Work with experienced designers to create an intuitive and visually appealing interface. It should be easy for users to discover and consume content. Pay attention to details like navigation, search functionality, and content organization.

Publish and Market the App

Once your service is ready, it's time to publish and market your product. Optimize your application for various app stores. It is not enough to know how to build a streaming service. You need to make your application visible. Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. It should include social media promotion, influencer partnerships, and targeted advertising to reach your target audience effectively. Don’t forget to track user feedback, analytics, and market trends. Thus, you will be able to refine and optimize your service for long-term success.

How to Make a Video Streaming Website: Technical Implementation

Generally, everything looks like it’s described above with video streaming platforms. So, what does video streaming mean? There is a remote server, which can be accessed from the net and on which certain video files can be uploaded, there is also an open API for getting the links to the video. However, it should be considered that video files should be prepared for uploading; it’s realized both on the client and on the server side.

Traditionally the preliminary files compression or their conversion to the appropriate format occurs on the client side with the help of predefined codes. Such a preparation will simplify the player setup. It will be not necessary to configure it for different types of video, with different formats, codecs and the pitfalls of the budget segment devices. In addition to the potential bugs avoidance the compression reduces the size of the files which should be uploaded to the server.

Unfortunately, at present, the access to the high-speed Internet or WiFi is not always available. While in big cities this problem will not be a problem for the majority of users, at some points of high people density or out of the networks of the new generation reach one should consider that the users should be able to use the app and the service as a whole comfortably. A 10-megabyte file is much easier to download than a 100-megabyte file with a similar duration, especially when the connection speed is low.

After the video uploading, there should be server-side post-processing of the file. There are some common formats for video streaming: HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) and MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP). Though the principle of their work is different, in fact, it is adding the keyframes to the video. These are the image frames that are taken directly from a video at regular intervals. When the video is rewind, the users see these frames.

To put it simply, it’s the pictures we see instead of the black screen at the moment when the video is being loaded. Along with the image, service information is added from where the file should be transferred further. Also, when playing a video, the quality of the client connection may deteriorate, so there are formats that allow choosing the video quality. Meaning that if the connection is good, the video will be demonstrated in its best quality and if the connection is poor, the video quality will be worse, but it will be played without permanent stops and pauses.

So as you can now see, even though the advancements of streaming technology are great, there are still hurdles to overcome. Fortunately, most of the tools to cope with the challenges already exist, however, there is a difficulty: to use helpful add-ons and components a high learning curve of the developer is required, and this directly affects the time it takes to implement this functionality.

Challenges in Video Streaming Development with a Tight Budget

Everybody should realize that video streaming service development requires huge financial investments. If you use the format mentioned at the very beginning of the article, you are likely to get the following challenges in video streaming development:

  • Long time of the video files uploading to the server;
  • Possible loading errors. This may be due to a timeout on uploading a large file;
  • Long video buffering time due to the fact the file fails to contain additional details about the keyframes;
  • Great server response time, since in case of the limited budget it will not be possible to add geo-distribution support. Not only should the possibility of geo-distribution, but also synchronization of information between servers be considered;
  • Possible problems in the Asian network segment.

It is logical to assume that with a small budget, you cannot expect high servers’ capacity. So the technical aspect is the additional area of expenditure, which adds up to the cost of development and can exceed the client’s financial expectations. The average cost of video streaming service is approximately $80,000. Nevertheless, this figure is not absolute, as various factors can influence it.

The Client’s expectations

A limited budget often forces clients to abandon most functionality and build an MVP model that is not intended for heavy workloads. Unfortunately, most customers don’t realize that MVP is not a minimal viable product but a full-fledged service with fast access and maximum functionality just at a lower cost.

In the context of video streaming services, the client will expect fast content uploading, no buffering or any delays during video playback in case he is far from the server location.

It is very important to explicitly explain to the customer that an MVP variant in this context is more suitable for idea testing, or just for its demonstration to the investors, but not for the first product release. The main reason for not making an MVP variant release is that you may make a poor first impression on the users and it will be difficult to return their loyalty later.

There are many things you can save on a limited budget, but not when building a video content service.

Best Video Streaming Websites

For you to realize the level of competitiveness, we’ve prepared the current top five video streaming solutions. They are the following best video streaming websites.


The first app occurring to mind, being on everyone’s lips is by default YouTube. It may be installed on any streaming device existing, allowing streaming in various quality and video streaming downloads for offline entertainment.

At present YouTube offers music, tutorial, movies and trailers, and even recently added live TV features. All the leading top news channels and TV shows streamed over YouTube. The number of active users exceeds 2 billion monthly.

However, the service is restricted in some countries and some videos also have restrictions as to the region they are available in.


Netflix is another service, which tops the list and allows watching TV shows and movies ads-free. In 2019 Netflix has become the front-runner in the category, due to the reliable core catalogue and excellent usability features integrated across various interfaces.

Besides. The users can download and watch a TV episode or a movie later. The devices supported are smart TVs, laptops, tabs, smartphones.

The service requires a subscription, however, a 30-day free trial is offered for the user to make a well weight decision.

Amazon Prime Video

Speaking for itself, the application belongs to a premium global service class allowing the users to explore thousands of Bollywood and Hollywood movies, TV shows and live sports events anywhere, anytime. More than that, one can watch the first episode of any TV show free of charge.

Though the service is paid, you can only pay for the shows and films you want to watch using the catalog.

Amazon Prime Video allows you to only pay for what you want to watch and to download what you like.

Besides, it’s the only video streaming application, which doesn’t require Chromecast support.

Megabox HD

Being one of the best online solutions, Megabox provides you with smooth and intuitive navigation around hundreds of TV shows and movies. This Android application offers multiple lucrative features for free.

Some of the advantages to mention are — convenient dropdown menu, absence of advertisements and the possibility to download for watching later.


Hulu is noted for the possibility to stream all the latest movies as well as old ones. Besides, one can find here TV series, live sports, news, entertainment channels, and many more. With HULU a user can enjoy the best video quality and content combined in a user-friendly streaming service.

The app is available on all platforms from mobile devices to smart TVs, not mentioning laptops and tabs. The download option has been recently, added, however, it’s now available in premium subscriptions only.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Streaming Service?

If you're thinking about launching your own video streaming platform, one of the biggest questions is: how much does it cost? The total cost can vary quite a bit. It depends on the specific features and scale you have in mind.

At the very basic level, you're looking at spending anywhere from $25,000 on the low end all the way up to $100,000 or more. The exact price tag depends on many factors. These are the app's features, the number of platforms (web, iOS, Android, etc.), and the developer resources you have in-house versus outsourcing. Adding more advanced features like social functionality, sophisticated recommendations, and supporting additional platforms increases the complexity and costs.

In terms of the development timeline, a very basic streaming service app can be built in 3-6 months. But for a more robust product, be prepared for the project to take 6-12 months before you're ready to launch. Rushing development will only lead to technical debt and issues down the road.

The costs don't stop once your streaming service is live. You'll need to budget for ongoing hosting and streaming infrastructure, maintenance, updates, marketing, and more. Many services also spend large amounts on acquiring and producing exclusive content.

Starting a video streaming service isn't a trivial undertaking. But with upfront planning, the right team, and sufficient resources, you can get your video streaming dreams off the ground and capitalize on this booming market.


To summarize the above: when considering how to make video streaming website, keep in mind that it requires a consistent budget since you should not only hire qualified developers but also have proper technical equipment. Contact us, and our dedicated team will be glad to help you.

Here are answers to some common questions. This section summarizes what is video streaming and how does video streaming work.

FAQs about Starting a Streaming Service

What is a streaming service?

A streaming service is an online platform that delivers video and audio content over the internet. It allows users to watch or listen to the content in real time without downloading files to their devices. Popular examples include Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.

What are the benefits of starting a streaming service?

Starting a streaming service offers several advantages. Firstly, it provides a new revenue source by offering paid subscriptions or advertising opportunities. Secondly, it allows you to reach a global audience and expand your customer base. Thirdly, it gives you control over content distribution and a direct relationship with your audience.

What types of content can I offer on a streaming service?

You can offer any type of video content. These can be movies, TV shows, instructional videos, podcasts, live streams, music, and more. The key is having enough quality content that will attract and retain paying subscribers.

What are the key features of a streaming service?

A streaming service needs a robust video hosting platform to store and stream videos efficiently. You'll also need apps or web players for people to watch on different devices. These are phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. Other important features are user accounts, parental controls, search/browse functions. Add to this, integration with billing systems for subscriptions or payments.