A Brief Guide On How to Build a Live Video Streaming App

How to Build Live Video Streaming App Like Netflix

In recent times, people are more engaged in online activities. Mobile devices are now used for professional broadcasting, making video content readily available to viewers across many devices.

According to a study, by the end of 2021, the live video streaming app market will reach $70 billion and beyond. Having a piece of this lucrative and upcoming industry is everyone’s dream.

And by 2023, it is predicted that 2.72 billion users would watch on-demand or live videos on mobile devices. The figure rose from the data of 2019 at 2.16 billion users with a CAGR of 6% growth rate. These statistics only make up for a minuscule portion of this massive trend.

However, developing a live video streaming app is not as easy as it sounds. Understanding how to make a live streaming app involves meticulous planning. Let’s dive in deeper and explore the concept of these apps and understand what it means to deliver these apps.

What is a Live Video Streaming App?

Live video streaming apps are simple applications, which allow users to capture videos and broadcast them simultaneously. These apps are growing in numbers because of high-speed internet connectivity and advanced camera technologies. Developing a live video streaming app can boost sports broadcasts, TV stations, news channels, and similar outlets with a massive collection of live events and content to share.

Such apps also drive influencer marketing, business marketing, entertainment, and people’s online interactions. These are some live video streaming apps that are very popular today:

  • Facebook
  • Periscope
  • Twitch
  • Kuaishou
  • Bilibili
  • Douyu etc.

People use Facebook Live regularly, whereas Twitch is another popular platform for broadcasting gaming sessions. It means there are different types of video streaming apps for various objectives.

Types of Live Video Streaming Apps

Before learning how to make a live streaming app, you should know the type of app to create. There are three common live video streaming apps:

#1: Live Broadcasting App

These are arguably the most sought-after live-streaming apps. These apps also let users broadcast live video and sound recordings to other users who access this stream. The apps are also the source of many online influencers. Popular live video broadcasting apps are YouTube Live, Twitch, Periscope, and Livestream.

#2: TV Live Streaming App

This type of live streaming app allows the user to watch TV online. This facilitates the users to enjoy content made specifically for TV without compromising on switching to different platforms. The seamless experience and service are the key benefits of this type of live streaming application.

#3: Video on Demand (VOD) Streaming

VOD apps enable users to plan and watch favorite shows online whenever they want to. Some common examples are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.

Read More: Top 9 Mobile App Development Trends to Watch Out for This Year

Why Is Mobile Streaming So Important?

However, before plunging into how to make a live streaming app, consider some mobile streaming statistics to get some idea about live streaming and its relevance.

  • Over 50% of all videos playing worldwide originate on mobile phones or smart devices, and the growth will continue in the coming years.
  • By 2023, the video will make up for three-quarters of mobile traffic.
  • Sports enthusiasts prefer to watch matches on mobile devices and smartphones. Over 30% of sports fans stream matches to their tablets and phones.

How to Make a Live Streaming App?

There are many approaches to build live video streaming apps. Developers can be creative, but technology rules. Before creating an app for live streaming with an online host, you must understand the essential technical aspects of the broadcasting game.

Step#1: Define Audience and Niche

Do not create an app-based only on assumptions. Instead, you must know the real needs of users, their opinions, and expectations. Plan accordingly, and hold discussions or interviews with users to detect early challenges.

Consider the potential fields like sports and news, video games and cartoons, personal content, academic content, live tours, meetings, conferences, etc.

Early feedback can set your vision right. Moreover, you can secure the first batch of loyal beta users.

Step#2: Determine Monetization Strategies

Ultimately, the purpose of having a live stream video app is to monetize it and make revenue. The three most popular ways of monetizing streaming apps are:

  • Paid apps that charge users when they download an app
  • Premium apps that offer a free app, but only with limited features. Other premium features can be accessed only upon payment
  • Advertisements that run ads on an app for the advertising fee

Creating a live video streaming app with all the customized functionality is now easy

Step#3: Study the Requirements of Streaming App

There are specific characteristics of streaming performance that you would want to ensure.

Internet connectivity: Internet speed influences the ability of the platform to download content on-demand. Minimum requirements would be 2 Mbps for streaming standard-definition movies. Thus, consider internet speed greater than 2Mbps for YouTube streaming services.

Computing architecture and cloud hosting: Cloud services are the best to store video content as it provides ease of access to video content. Consequently, imagine a platform that scales right from the start. This would prevent complex data migrations in the final stages.

Network: Video streaming sites would scale up eventually, though they may not expand fast. Implement a network for content distribution into this service. A live-streaming app is also a scalable tool to manage a large volume of online traffic using the CDN.

Developing Live Video Streaming App Like Netflix

Step#4: Choose a Trusted Platform

You must choose the right platform viable for live video streaming content, hosting, and storage. Always select a reliable provider.

Do not compromise with quality because of price. Sometimes, paying a little more can give you excellent performance, which also ensures traffic growth. Users cannot tolerate low-resolution videos and slow streams.

Step#5: Design UI/UX

Besides choosing a viable live video streaming, you have to create brilliant UI/UX for a live video streaming app.

Technology is a crucial part of this equation. In this exceedingly competitive industry, your app should have an outstanding design with an exceptional user experience. Hence, you should invest in attractive UI/UX design. Take a minimalist approach instead of a mixed-up interface.

Step#6: Develop & Test the MVP

Your mind may be bustling with dozens of development ideas for the app, but testing with the help of a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) proves to be more effective. MVP is a lightweight variant of the original app and contains the necessary features & functions. It is a simple tool that would help you to get easy feedback from users.

Live Video Streaming App & Tech Stack

Like other apps, you must decide on the programming languages, messaging queues, databases, and development elements. Pay attention to these three critical areas:

1) Streaming Protocol : Video streaming requires two protocols – RTMP and WebRTC. While RTMP protocol ensures HD streaming, WebRTC emphasizes real-time communication.

RTMP is best for broadcasting live concerts, conferences, and meetings. WebRTC is the technology behind video-calling platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, BeLive, etc.

The most significant advantage of RTMP is that you can transmit good-quality audio and video. However, it is expensive for long-term processing where there could be a lag of 10 to 20 seconds between the capture screen and the viewer’s screen. Contrarily, WebRTC offers superior speed and compromises on the quality of transmission in case of inadequate bandwidth.

Live Video Streaming Mobile App & Tech Stack

2) Streaming Platform : It is imperative to choose the right streaming platform viable for video content streaming. Amazon Web Services, or AWS, is a perfect solution. It delivers all the tools for online streaming, host application and provides the content to users.

3) Content Delivery Network : CDN is a critical choice, which ensures the performance and availability of live streaming for users. Amazon Web Services CloudFront is a great option that powers different streaming services like Netflix. Amazon Chime is another option for real-time WebRTC streaming and video rooms.

Live Video Streaming MVP Features

These features are necessary to build a dynamic MVP for live streaming:

  • User Registration : A simple format of user registration to open an account with valid credentials
  • Live Streaming : Enables the user to broadcast and records live streams to users who subscribed to the channel.
  • Search : The search box allows users to search content by popularity, topic, channel, trending, interests, or location.
  • User Profile : It shows the personal information of users with profile pictures.
  • User Gallery : Gallery organizes and stores recorded videos on the user’s profile.
  • Rating/Commenting : Live video streaming apps thrive on their social engagement. So, you must include a rating/commenting system to allow users to review and leave feedback.

Do you know Live video streaming apps costs much less than you can ever think


Now that you have an idea to get started take the process ahead to build a live video streaming app. Since the path to developing these apps pose technical challenges, it is better to choose a top-rated mobile app development company with dedicated mobile app developers to realize your idea.

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Vinit kariatukaran is a senior mobile application development manager at Radixweb and passionate about developing and designing innovative high-reach mobile applications. He endeavors to keep himself abreast of all the latest technological changes and updates to deliver the best in the business. When at leisure, he loves to read books and have interesting conversations with his colleagues and friends.