25 September 2020

by Spark Eighteen

How to create a video streaming platform like Netflix


With over 167 million subscribers now turning to Netflix worldwide, there is no doubt on the fact that the video streaming is taking the world by storm. Here, we will talk about why are streaming services becoming more and more popular, how Netflix become so big and how to create a video streaming platform like Netflix.

Table of Content:

Do you remember the last time you went to a theatre to watch a movie?


How about the last time you watched a movie on Netflix?

If yes, congratulations! You’re like most of the consumers.

On this note, let us first educate ourselves on the portal that has been entertaining us constantly for years!

A brief history of Netflix

Believe it or not, Netflix was there even before Google. The former was founded in 1997, while the latter in 1998. (Yes, we’re as surprised as you are!)

Another astounding fact? The original idea of the initial founders, Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, was to start an eCommerce company and sell items over the internet just like Amazon. However, the complexity of full-cycle online sales made them settle down with a DVD rental company.

In 1999, after two years of the foundation, they launched the digital distribution of movies and TV programs. The very next year, co-founder Reed Hastings, approached Blockbuster (a prominent movie and video-game rental company of that time) to acquire Netflix for $50 million – but Blockbuster refused.

See how the tables have turned today! Netflix is now a $50 billion-dollar company while Blockbuster is out of business.

Today, even some of the top media companies are struggling to keep up with Netflix. However, we have been seeing quite a hike in video-streaming platforms over the years as more and more niche video-publishers are coming up with their own app and streaming services.

The question arises, therefore: How to create a video streaming platform like Netflix yourself?

Before we get into the “how”, let’s first understand the “why” – Why should you build a video-streaming app today?

Imagine this,

You had a long and tiring day at work. Now, you know that the best way to relax and de-stress is by watching the show that everyone has been talking about lately. Cut to midnight and you’ve nailed half the season and find yourself tempted to stay up to watch just one more episode before you hit the bed – even though you know you’ll be paying for this on the next day at work.

If you relate to the story above, you’re not alone. It happens to the best of us. There is even a term for this, popularly known as “binge-watching”. In fact, when we look at the current scenario, for a majority of people today binge-watching is a normal part of their weekly routines.

business wire

Here is the time spent watching an online series in one-go among binge-watchers worldwide by gender (Source: Statista)

binge watch

And now, with the compatibility of video-streaming services with devices like smartphones and tablets, we can watch our favorite shows and movies literally on the go. What a time to be alive, right?

Not only this but according to Grand View Research, the global video streaming market size was valued at $42.60 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.4% from 2020 to 2027.

grand view research
Source: Grand View Research

Advanced technologies, such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a major role in improving the video quality of these streaming services that will boost their market value in the coming years. AI will be an essential element in several aspects of video production including editing, cinematography, voice-overs, and scriptwriting.

There has been an increasing demand for video-streaming platforms over broadcasting media and is expected to grow tremendously over the years. As per reports, it has been predicted that by the end of 2021, the total worth of video-streaming apps will be more than $10,691 million.

But looking at the various choices in the market, what makes Netflix so different from its competitors?

How did Netflix become so big?

Take a look at the statistics below, you can clearly see that Netflix is winning over the battle with its competitors. Netflix is leading higher than any of the other entertainment services available in the US, with 51% of the target market share. The other popular streaming services, Amazon Prime and Hulu are standing at 14% and 33% market share respectively. Given the increasing growth rate of the company, the shares are likely to increase in the near future.

netflix market share
Source: App Inventive

“How is Netflix able to do that?” – If you are among the millions of others who have been wondering this, then your quest ends here. Look at some of the reasons how Netflix became so popular:

1. Constantly Evolving

The first reason why Netflix is known to be the big deal in the market is that it is literally changing the way the world watches TV and movies. What does this mean you may ask? The platform is constantly changing and improving to provide its viewers with the best possible shows at their fingertips. With great user experience and easy access to the content anywhere they go. All of this sounds like a pretty good deal especially when Netflix starts with $13 a month.

2. Personalized Content

As mentioned above, Netflix is always considerate of its users and contemplates providing an exceptional experience. It encourages users to rate and review shows to collect data about their interests and likes. All this data helps the platform to recommend shows and movies which the user might like. This way, users get personalized recommendations without wasting time searching for the perfect show to watch next. This level of personalized content is what draws people’s attention to new content.

3. Saying ‘No’ To Ads

What Netflix’ users admire most about the app is that one is able to glide through seasons of a show without being interrupted by unnecessary commercials in between. Showing ads is quite a common practice among some platforms like YouTube, where sometimes you have to wait a few seconds to skip an ad (or even worse, watch the whole 30s video). So if any platform is able to provide uninterrupted entertainment, it is viewed as a positive sign.

How to create a video streaming platform like Netflix?

Now that you understand why you need to build a video-streaming platform and all the basic features that it must have, it’s time to carve out the creating process. While looking for ways of how to create a video streaming platform like Netflix, you can either make one with the help of your own app services or hire developers.

Just to make you understand the process easier, we’ve divided the process into a few steps. Take a look at them below:

1. Plan Out A Strategy

Planning out your new video-streaming app strategically is the right approach to eliminate any chances of under-performance or mistakes in the future. Here is the right way you can plan out your Here is the right way to plan out your app:

  • Identify your niche:

The greatest thing about this world of the internet is that there is almost everything for everyone. So there is no need for you to follow a certain niche just because everyone is working on that. Find your niche by exploring what kind of content do you think will get you the right audience. Is it Anime? Korean Drama? Bollywood? Start exploring what types of TV shows or movies are working best in each niche.

  • Curate Content:

Once you have your niche in place, it’s time to start creating content for your video streaming app. Remember that the content that you provide on your service will be the bedrock on which your app will continue to grow. Be careful when you curate ideas for the content that will be available on your app. The next thing will be to keep in mind that you constantly update and be consistent in providing the content.

  • Make It Personalized:

The main trick to get more viewing time from your audience is by capturing their attention with relevant and engaging content. The key to this is personalization. With the help of highly advanced technologies like AI, you can serve your viewers with the most tailored content possible.

  • Choose your Platforms:

It can be really hard to choose the right video-streaming platform that can match up to all your requirements and provide a hassle-free service when talking about how to create a video streaming platform. Take your time and do proper research to choose the platform your service can be compatible with. Keep these points in mind before you choose the right platform for your app:

  • What all streaming models does it support?
  • Does the platform provide analytics?
  • What payment gateways are supported?
  • Does it have multi-currency/multi-lingual support?
  • What devices does it support?
  • Guide Your Audience:

How are you planning to spread the message about your app with your audience? Through social media platforms? Blogs? Your newsletter?  Your audience is the key to success for your movie streaming application, in order to efficiently guide potential customers to your app by making use of social media. Famous social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc can act as a great medium to ‘spread the word’ about your digital service.

2. Choose a business model

Sure, your end product can be the most amazing thing ever but without a business model, it is indeed useless.

Ensuring that your service fits the current need of the market is just one ingredient, the next step is to focus on how you are going to make money out of it. This is where the business model comes into the picture.

To put it simply, a business model is how a company makes money. It’s an explanation of how you add value to your customers at an appropriate cost.

Netflix is a subscription-based business model that makes money by providing three simple plans: basic, standard, and premium giving access to its TV series and movies. Although this business model did wonders for Netflix, it may not work the same for you.

Netflix is a profitable company. In a letter to the investors, the company said that it had added 15.77 million new paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2020 as against the estimate of 7 million paid subscribers.

netflix subscriber growth

Here’s how you can plan a business model for your streaming service app:

  • Monetize Your App:

Monetizing your streaming platform is the best way to up your marketing efforts and earn some money out of your app. Subscription-based models are likely to be the best option for most on-demand video-streaming platforms available out there. So in exchange for your content, offer a variable of plans to your target audience. For example, you can charge a monthly fee to your audience to be able to view your content. You can also offer free trials for your streaming app. A free trial for a month will help your audience watch your content for a month for free, and if they like it, they may pay for your subscriptions.

  • Keep On Adding Value:

Why most apps succeed is because they keep on evolving and updating their features to fill in the needs of their customers. Even if it can pose a risk of losing money, you shouldn’t take a step back to serve your audience’s needs and listen to them. Read reviews, watch out for ratings, and even conversations on social media to see what your customers are talking about your app.

  • Maximize Profit:

Take notes on customer behavior. Check on some of your most active customers and see what is encouraging them to pay more. Also what is making some of your customers not active most of the time. In order to increase profit for your app, you need to look at both sides of the coin. For this, you need to have strong data and statistics regarding your app.

  • Market Your App:

Building an app is one crucial stage, while marketing is another. Without marketing, all of your efforts are fruitless. The marketing expenditure should never be too much if your business model cannot correctly predict the future state of your video streaming app.


Now you know how to create a video streaming platform like Netflix!

While creating a video-streaming app like Netflix is no easy task, it is not impossible! You have to be innovative and creative with the strategy you use and your business model. In the end, remember to always keep in mind the needs of your customers and their behaviour with your app.

If you want to develop a video-streaming app, you require a talented team of mobile app developers, designers, and testers, Feel free to reach us – because an app for your business can be the most viable opportunity.

Spark Eighteen

Spark Eighteen is a brainchild of innovative young minds and a group of alarmingly out-of-the-box thinkers who happen to see the world of marketing from a new age perspective. With a proven expertise in the field of Brand consulting, Digital Marketing and Website Design and Development, our team of designers, developers, and creative heads work towards delivering maximum results, tailor-made to all your business needs.
Spark Eighteen

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