Netflix has taken the internet and online streaming to an extraordinary level. People have now turned to online sources to keep themselves connected as well as entertained. There is a surge in applications that provide online video streaming and video conferencing. With the growing demand for applications like Netflix, Disney+, and others, now would be the appropriate time to build a Netflix like app.
Also in this blog, we will cover lessons to be learned from Netflix about how to build scalable video streaming apps.
Video streaming services and applications like Netflix, Disney+, and others allow its users to access numerous movies, TV shows, documentaries catering to various genres all in one place. Especially during the pandemic, the user base of these applications has rocketed because of the constant demand for content and entertainment. Mainly speaking about Netflix, it drew people worldwide and got 16 million new sign-ups during the lockdown (BBC). Other video streaming services, YouTube-like apps have also seen a surge in its usage during the lockdown. People took to these applications to learn more and keep themselves busy.
Fig:Some facts about video streaming services
The business model of these video streaming applications greatly differs. Focusing our attention back to Netflix, their business model is content-oriented. It offers different plans for the distinct needs and requirements of the viewers. With screen plans ranging from one to four users, Netflix has various content types for all ages. Multi-device availability helps the audiences being hooked onto their favorite content from anywhere, any time. While Netflix’s primary business model is subscription-based service, Netflix also earns from its own produced content and media rights.
Fig:Netflix business model
Creating a Video Streaming App like Netflix requires you to consider a few points:
Fig:Important things to consider when creating a video streaming app
There are various strategies you can employ to build a video streaming app. These are some of the strategies used by the most successful streaming service, Netflix:
The idea behind a content distribution network is to put content as close as possible to the users. When the user requests a video, the app will find the nearest server with the video. The app then streams the video from there to the device. The most significant benefits of CDN are speed and reliability. By moving the video source as close as possible to the people watching it, the viewing experience will be much faster and reliable.
Along with the optimization of page content and libraries, the use of CDN also ensures that the application has a faster load time. It loads content from the nearest location of the user. The use of AWS Cloudfront can make a significant difference in terms of loading speed along with supporting caching strategy.
Some streaming services even start their own CDNs, but this can only be done if their video catalog is small enough. If the videos are lesser, one location can store all content. As companies grow, building their CDN makes even less sense. Third-party CDNs allow them to have a global reach instantly using existing services. By outsourcing their distribution networks, services get more time to work on higher priority projects. They can utilize this time to create algorithms to adapt to changing network conditions.
In 2012, Netflix launched its dedicated CDN solution to maximize network efficiency. Its own purpose-built CDN has proven to be very advantageous for Netflix. Open Connect is less expensive compared to other third-party distribution networks. It allowed them to control the entire video path. They now have control over transcoding, CDN, and clients. It has also made the app more scalable. Higher scalability is in line with Netflix’s goal of offering its service the world over. Their CDN allows them to know who their users are. They even have their own computer system for video storage called OCA (Open Connect Appliances). This helps Netflix make various optimization choices other services cannot make. Their high-performance CDN has allowed them to deliver a superior video viewing experience.
Fig:Tech stacks for video streaming
The total cost of development of a Netflix-like Service ranges between $150000 to $250000. This cost includes the iOS application development, the Android application, back-end, and front-end development. A lot of work goes into the optimization of streams and building scalable architecture. DevOps practice is required to make optimized use of storage and retrieval services.
Netflix, an on-demand app, runs on a microservices architecture. To simply put this, each application is, the microservice’s code, and its resources, are on its own. There is no basis of sharing that one can expect or observe. If multiple applications wish to interact, that will happen only via APIs.
On average, Netflix uses 700+ microservices that control all the application’s services. The advantage of this is that Netflix’s engineers can make any required changes without changing or altering the rest of the application, which ensures that the entire mechanism does not go down.
Fig:AWS gateway service
As a leading live video streaming app development company, we spend a considerable amount of time learning new practises and optimization methods. Using a Design Sprint led development methodology, we carefully create an application interface, designs, and user experience. We also develop and test your app in phases so that by the time your app goes live, it is stable and bug-free. This approach is what differentiates us from plenty of other mobile app development companies out there.
Learn more about our Video Streaming here