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How to Start a Netflix-Like Streaming Service In 2021?

It’s no secret that Netflix is the leader in the video streaming industry. By April 2020, the video streaming giant had almost 183 million subscribers. In 2019, the company’s annual revenue reached 20.15 billion U.S. dollars.

The best part? The demand for streaming services is growing, and most likely, it won’t stop any time soon. Now is the perfect time to create a streaming service like Netflix! But how do you start a streaming service? What is the right strategy to build an app like Netflix, and how much will it cost? In this post, we will try to address all those questions. But before you go any further, check out some facts and statistics about Netflix. Let’s begin!

Netflix Facts and Statistics

To help you find out more about the media industry leader, below are some interesting facts and statistics about Netflix you should know about:

  • Netflix is available in over 190 countries.
  • 47% of Americans prefer Netflix over any other video streaming service (News10)
  • As of Q3 2020, Netflix had 195.15 million paid subscribers. (Statista, 2020)
  • Netflix is now worth more than Disney
  • Netflix is worth $162 billion as of April 2020 (Comparitech, 2020)

What’s the Right Strategy to Start a Business Like Netflix?

So, you’ve decided to build your own Netflix. Perfect! But where do you start? What is the right strategy to start a streaming service? Should you copy Netflix or just build a Netflix-like app? Well, starting a streaming service is not an easy task. Luckily, Netflix’s business strategy can somehow help you reach your business goals.

  • Netflix uses a subscription-based business model. It offers 3 subscription monthly plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium.
  • Netflix users can watch their favorite movies, shows, and documentaries across different platforms, operating systems, and devices.
  • Netflix subscribers can watch the entire seasons of “Stranger Things” and “Narcos” without being interrupted every 15 minutes by ads. Netflix shows ads only to free account users. A smart way to motivate users to buy a subscription, right?
  • The video streaming industry leader is investing billions of dollars in production, and development of original content that is not available on other platforms.

Just keep in mind, following the exact business model of Netflix may not guarantee 100% success. While following their successful business strategy may be a smart decision, most importantly build an app that stands out in the crowd (the name of the service, logo, the UI, features, remarkable SEO — all are going to help). Of course that’s going to take some time, but trust me, with the right team of analysts, designers, and developers, your business will succeed!

How to Build a Netflix-Like App

The business model to follow considers important requirements. Wondering how to start Netflix? We’re here to help! Bear these 5 tips in mind when building your streaming service:

1. Find Your Niche; Plan Your Content

What types of movies or TV programs your mobile app will stream? Do you want to cover all potential viewers just like Netflix? Or maybe you’re planning to build a streaming service for kids or sports? How often will you update your content (daily, monthly, or weekly)? Will you be able to create original content?

Since the content is the basis of your streaming service, first, you need to determine what your content will be. But whatever you choose, focus on building an app that stands out in the crowd rather than copying Netflix.

2. Get Licensing for Content

If you are planning to build a Netflix like website, you will need to get licenses for all types of content you plan to stream. There are two main ways to license movies for streaming: You will either need to contact the copyright holder directly to obtain the license, or you will need to rent movies and shows from authorized distributors. There are two main distributors in the United States:

  1. Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC)
  2. SWANK Motion Pictures

3. Consider Revenue Models

Be honest: Why do you want to build an app? I’m sure, earning money is one of the main reasons (and that’s totally fine). So how are you going to earn from your streaming service? There are three main monetization options to choose from:

  • Subscriptions: Subscribers are charged a monthly fee and gain ad-free access to a library of movies and TV shows.
  • Advertising: Charge other companies for running video advertisements on your streaming platform.
  • Pay-per-view: The user pays for each video they want to watch.

4. Find an App Development Company

Finding a good company to develop your streaming service isn’t an easy task. But with a little research you can find the right development company for your project.

Find out if the team has experience with the technologies required for your project? How much time will the development take? What is the approximate cost of the project? What do previous clients say about them?

Having answers to these questions will help you shorten the list of candidates and make the right choice.

5. Marketing and Promotion

So, you have built an app. Now what? Well, even if you have a billion-dollar app, believe me, no one will know about your streaming service (no matter how awesome it is) if you don’t market it properly. To make a profit, you need to attract mobile device users and get them to use your mobile app. Needless to say this will require some effective marketing. So, making marketing strategy an integral part of your business plan is crucially important.

How Much Does It Cost to Create a Netflix-Like App?

So, you have a general idea on how to start a streaming service. Now, the big question is how much it will cost to build an app like Netflix. Well, the approximate cost of developing an app like Netflix is around $65,000 per platform. However, there are a number of factors that determine the total cost of building an app like Netflix (including the number of features, design specifications, supported platforms, etc.). That is why giving an exact figure is almost impossible.

MVP for Netflix

Ta-da! Finally, it’s time to talk about the development stage. During this stage you’re going to clarify the app’s functional and non-functional requirements, design specifications, set timelines, etc.

If you have some money to spend, but not a ton, it’s a good idea to build an MVP with basic features. As you may know an MVP is the basic version of the app with only the main features. Without a doubt, creating an MVP will cost you less. Of course, you can add additional features later when your app starts gaining popularity. Below are some of the main features that you definitely need to include in the MVP. Keep on scrolling!

What Technology Stacks and Additional Possible Features Are Used to Create Netflix?                

The time is ripe for you to choose the technology for building a streaming service. Here are some of the technologies the top streaming services use.

Below are the main features the average streaming app should have:

Onboarding: An important feature that helps users learn more about your app, it’s main functions, and benefits before using it.

Registration: Create a user-friendly registration process. Plus, make registration convenient by allowing users to register/log in via email or social network accounts.

User account: App users should be able to manage their personal data, email addresses, passwords, as well as manage billing right in the app.

Settings: Play/Stop, Subtitles On/Off, rewind, volume control…These are the basic settings you should include in the MVP.

Search: Let users explore more content based on genres, actors, directors, reviews, and more.

Reviews and ratings: Add this feature to let subscribers rate your content and leave reviews.

Push notifications: A must-have feature in the MVP to make users aware of your latest content.

Payment gateways: Android and iOS support their own payment systems. However, if you’re planning to use your own payment gateway, make sure to include payment methods like PayPal, Stripe, etc.

Multi-language support: Make your app more accessible by enabling users to choose the language of video playback, and turn on subtitles.

Blocking of screenshots and screen recording: A must-have feature to prevent the app users from making screenshots and screen recordings.

Download: The download button will allow the app users to watch a movie or TV series without an internet connection.

Content recommendation: Include this feature to offer content based on user preferences.

Video quality adjustment: Allows users to select the video quality to watch content.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating a streaming service is one of the most lucrative business ideas in the entertainment industry.
  • You can create your streaming service learning from Netflix’s business strategy, but if you want to reach your business goals, work on building an app that’s unique and stands out.
  • Different factors determine the total cost of building an app like Netflix, including the number of features, design specifications, supported platforms, etc.
  • Once you have a clear picture of your project, choose the outsourcing agency to bring your idea into reality.

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