How to Develop a Video Streaming App: Technologies, Pricing and Industry Trends Rediscovered in 2021

How to Develop a Video Streaming App: Technologies, Pricing and Industry Trends Rediscovered in 2021

Over the past decades, our viewing behavior experienced a significant shift from traditional television to on-demand video streaming platforms like IGTV, Netflix, or YouTube. 

Today’s new normal claims that 82% of internet traffic will account for streaming video by 2022 according to Cisco. Subscription-video on-demand revenue is projected to reach an annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 11.04%, resulting in a predicted global market volume of US$108,306m by 2025.

So what makes video streaming so trending, that it penetrates various niches, from online marketing and retail to healthcare or eLearning, changing their standards upside down? 

First of all, live streaming is totally resistant to pandemic restrictions and lockdown realia. It’s all about online, thus the stakeholders don’t need to adapt to the current circumstances to keep the business profitable in great demand.  

On the other hand, video streaming apps prove to be even more convenient for people who are busy during business hours and prefer to watch their favorite TV series regardless of the schedule, but when they have some free time. This significant advantage keeps video streaming platforms ahead of the competition. 

In this post, we will explain how to build a live streaming platform, what features can accelerate the growth of your solution, and why industry leaders, like Twitch or Periscope, make a dent in live streaming. The brief checkout to route your mind further.

Table of Contents:

Soaring Popularity of Mobile Video Streaming Apps

Being interested in the cost-efficiency of their projects, entrepreneurs opt for building audio/video streaming platforms, optimizing some internal processes, and reducing operational costs. 

Indeed, the industry of broadcasting services has significantly grown, expanding new audiences and businesses: 

  • In 2019 the survey showed that 55% of enterprises used live video for their business objectives or division-wide broadcasts. 
  • 53% of enterprise-level companies stream or broadcast live video to organize their operational processes at least once a week, with 29% using it daily. 
  • According to respondents, the top 3 streaming-related challenges their companies face include: live streaming to employees working remotely (41%), live streaming from remote locations or conference centers (39%), and managing bandwidth in their facilities (36%). 
  • 81% of enterprises, using live-streaming apps, demonstrate their live video streams or broadcasts on employee desktops. 64% run their live streamings on mobile devices or smartphones, while 31% used the two-fold options of TVs and screens with set-top boxes. 
  • By 2023 the global rate of investment in video content is expected to reach $100 billion.
  • Besides, some operational processes (like support calls or tutorials for future employees) may be held on behalf of video streaming content. According to Wyzowl, support calls have been reduced by 43%, being replaced with videos. 

How does a live streaming app work?

Long story short, a live streaming app empowers users to broadcast the video and audio to viewers in real-time over internet-enabled devices. Live streaming apps get the video and audio output of your camera and share it with other users through specific protocols, listed in the next section. Besides, it can record your screen for streaming tutorials and games.

Streaming Industry Trends: How to Establish a Recognizable Brand

Needless to say, industry newbies have to strive all possible efforts to stack against market leaders, who already occupied top positions among the most famous streaming platforms. But nothing is impossible if organized properly in the partnership with a reliable software development company. Especially, when you buff up your bespoke application with these trending features: 

  • Background audio/video playing

It’s very handy to keep audio playing while you scroll the application down. Using YouTube, for example, you can hide an app, but the video won’t be interrupted or stopped, so it preserves playing and you listen to it, while also being busy handling other tasks on your device. During the age of multitasking on top - it’s extremely beneficial functionality.

  • Digital rights management protection

Rights protection and tight security measures play critical roles in video streaming platform development. Thus, DRM (digital rights management) is another crucial, must-keep feature for the protection of the content owners' rights, which’s really important for users. It’s essential to introduce this feature in the process of video broadcasting app development. 

After the video has been adapted to a video streaming format, it gets encrypted with the help of media keys, therefore the player communicates with the DRM server to make sure the license is relevant.

  • Personalized recommendations and saving options

Nothing is more frustrating than poorly-tailored applications, where you have to spend hours to find the content of your interest and remember the place where you stopped watching the video. Some intuitive audio streaming services use machine learning and provide useful recommendations based on the customer's preferences automatically and preserves its running status. This means you can get back and log in to the app on any of your devices and instantly continue watching the video from where you left off without further ado.  

  • Multilingual user interface & content

The more diverse content you offer the widest audience you engage. To broaden your reach, try to go beyond English as a standard language option. Providing multilingual content alongside a multilingual interface shows that you understand and update to user preferences who may want to switch between global languages and regional content frequently.

Video Streaming App Monetization

The first and foremost end goal of any business is to generate profits and increase revenue more and more. Since the adoption of live-streaming apps or implementing this kind of functionality into your existing software, initially designed for other purposes, the number of users will drastically soar and you have to be ready to monetize the platform. Here are some options:

  • Subscription-based access
  • Premium/free accounts
  • Advertising on the app

None of these ways is more or less profitable. Your choice here has to be based on the peculiarities and nuances of your application type, purpose, content you offer, etc. For example, if you have a lot of prospective sponsors, who are eager to promote their service and goods within your portal - feel free to play the card. 

Besides, it’s also possible to go for several monetization strategies simultaneously and create your own blend of making money through your app. 

Types of Streaming Applications

On-demand video streaming apps

There are a lot of famous on-demand video streaming platforms, including Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu. Their growing popularity is caused by increasing requests for getting content you want at a time that is comfortable for you. These apps allow users to access movies and TV series without downloading them on devices despite the TV schedule. 

Video-on-demand apps are the best match for people, who are busy when their favorite show is broadcast, so they’ll appreciate a distinctive feature to pause, replay and rewind the content at any time. 

Audio streaming platforms

Well-known apps, like Pandora or Spotify, are better suited for people who want to stream and share music they already heard before or those who are looking to discover new music fitting their taste and styles. It operates based on the same principle - no download is required, but users pay the subscription fee.

Live broadcasting services

During the pandemic realia, this type of streaming apps probably came into the limelight, engaging a lot of admirers. Live streaming apps allow you to watch videos that are recorded and broadcasted simultaneously in a real-time mode. 

Today, it’s very popular to carry out webinars, tutorials, and discussions within live broadcasting platforms, such as YouTube TV, Instagram Live, etc. 

Standalone live TV streaming applications

This kind of streaming app is like your ordinary cable subscription, but taken up a level, providing users with a cluster of premium functions and separate networks, like HBO or CBS. Usually, all-inclusive TV subscriptions are more expensive than live TV streaming services. Live TV portals enable watching TV shows that are on air at that particular moment.

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Streaming App?

As we always say, it’s impossible to estimate the project without knowing the customer's expectations and having the requirements, since there are numerous types of streaming platforms with different feature-set, architecture, and functionality. So the final pricing will range dynamically, according to your changing vision. 

Based on our hands-on expertise, the cost of a live streaming app starts from $40, 000.

How to Start a Streaming Service?

Here your possible scenarios vary in complexity, but the shortest and probably the most hassle-free way is hiring a software development agency to delegate the whole process and not to suffer from a headache. The IT team will elicit your requirements, analyze and investigate your vision, choose the most appropriate tech stack and develop the functionality professionally. 

Speaking about the process step-by-step, here are the stages you’ll come through if you decide on the Apiko team:

      1. Concept development
        • WBS elicitation
        • Software requirements specification
        • UI/UX design
        • Detailed project estimation
      2. Technical development itself
        • Custom web or mobile application
        • Thoroughly developed product features and functionality
      3. Quality assurance
        • Flawless, refined application structure
        • Smooth and user-friendly software performance
        • Completely tested features and functionality
      4. Further maintenance and support
        • Maintenance of your software even after product launch
        • Long-time partnership and project support

What tech stack is used when building a live streaming app?

Here are the technologies we recommend for live streaming app development:

    • Programming languages: Java 
    • Streaming protocols: RTMP, Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming, Apple HTTP Live Streaming, M2TS, MPEG-DASH, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, WebRTC, RTSP/RTP
    • Databases: MySQL
    • Content delivery network: Amazon CloudFront
    • Analytics: Google Mobile App Analytics, Flurry Analytics, Hadoop, Hive, MixPanel, - Localytics, Mode, Parquet, Pig, Presto, Spark.
    • Frameworks: Node.js, React
    • Cloud platforms: Amazon EC2, Amazon S3.
    • Media formats: MKV, MP4, AVCHD, AVI, DMW, MOV, FLV, WMV, SWF.
    • Media containers: MP4, FLV.
    • Geolocation: Google Maps API, MapKit/Core Location frameworks (for iOS).
    • Messaging queues: Twilio

How Apiko Can Help?

We’re experts in custom software development and know exactly how to produce a top-notch streaming service of the highest quality. Moreover, our expertise is endorsed by previous successful case studies, like Motipio and other projects, where we developed video/audio streaming functionality.

In general, we have a few available options to start with: you can estimate your future project through Apiko Cost Calculator to get the overall vision of the final price. On the other hand, you’re able to proceed further and submit a request to speak directly with our managers and discuss your prospective solution in detail.   

As a software development company, our job is to establish a reasonable project plan and balance the client’s short-term happiness with the long-term technical stability of the system we’re building. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the benefits of a live streaming app?


In a pandemic realia, the first and foremost advantage of a live streaming service is its ability to perform seamlessly in all circumstances.
Thereupon, this type of application may be used for growing your target audience and extending business perspectives while offline marketing efforts are pretty limited. An online streaming event opens your company to consumers who wouldn’t have otherwise participated in the announcement, forum, question & answer session, or whatever event your business chooses to host.
If using a live streaming app properly, companies benefit from reduced maintenance costs and increased revenues as well. The time and money saved allows spending more resources improving your brand awareness and promoting products. Moreover, within the live streaming platform you have a chance to implement and take advantage of user-generated content, intended to advertise your brand.
Some companies also use live streaming for managing and holding their internal courses and training programs for tutoring new employees, thereby saving budget.


Which API will be helpful in building a mobile (iOS/Android) streaming app?


Streaming APIs are used to deliver media content of different kinds to internet-enabled devices and their structure is cut out for significant types of data, for example video, audio or TV live. Here are a few streaming APIs, entailed with its functionality and pricing details.

Streaming API


Pricing details


Video streaming


Wurl Video

Video streaming



Video streaming


SoundCTL Audio Engine

Audoi streaming



Audio streaming


Twitch TV

Video streaming


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