How to Build Video Streaming App Like Netflix? [A Complete Guide]

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By: Sagar Sharma

How to Build Video Streaming App Like Netflix? [A Complete Guide]

In a world where the “on-demand economy” is taking over, the traditional televisions are dying. Video streaming apps are taking the place of TVs that we used to watch as a child.

Starting from its inception in the 1920s to the late 2000s, traditional cable TV has been one of the primary sources of entertainment of people.

However, today, that has been replaced by on-demand video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, Apple TV, Twitch, and more.

According to Fast Company, the cable service providers faced its biggest loss in terms of the number of subscribers, loosing around 762,000 subscribers.

Hence, the rise of video streaming apps is evidential. Many factors affected the fall of cable TV.

Why do people love video streaming apps? (Benefits of a video streaming app)

A video streaming app like Hulu and HBO Now offers a handful of benefits because of which people love them.

Easy to Multitask: Video streaming apps allow users to finish other essential tasks in the background while watching their favorite Movies or TV Shows.

Entertainment on-the-go: Since almost 2/3rd of the world has access to the Internet, users can get entertained at any time and from anywhere, on-the-go.

Multiple video quality: While streaming a video, users get multiple resolution options to choose from. They can select the appropriate resolution based on their device.

Fantastic user experience: Video streaming apps provide seamless user experience to its users because of its user interface. The UI is so simple that anyone starting from a 5-year-old to a 75-year-old can use it.

Subscription: One of the best features of video streaming apps is that you can subscribe to your favorite genre, actor, director, etc. and it will show you the content based on that.

In-app downloads: Almost every video streaming app offers the facility to download your favorite shows, which allows you to enjoy them offline.

Compatability with casting devices: A majority of these apps are compatible with most of the famous casting devices such as Google’s Chrome Cast, Amazon FireTV Stick, etc. It allows you to view the movies and TV shows from your smartphones to TV. The good part is that you can do other work on your smartphone while it is casting.

Live video sharing: In traditional cable TV, governments have the right to stop the on-going show and broadcast his/her message in case of an emergency. Now, using video streaming apps, they can do a live broadcast whenever they wish.

How to Make a Video Streaming App? (Essential Features)

Although every video streaming app is more or less similar, they have some features different than one another.

The reason for this change is that they are at different stages of their success and customer acceptance. You can include more features and charge more for it once your brand is built.

User Registration

It is one of the first and one of the most crucial features to consider while developing video streaming apps. You can allow users to register via email and social networking channels.


Simple design and easy-to-use interface is the key to win your customers. Users don’t like complicated user interfaces. If you don’t provide a great user experience, it is less likely that a user will ever return.

Therefore if you’re planning to build an app like Netflix, make sure to keep the user interface as simple and straightforward as possible.


While creating the MVP, it is recommended that you choose either of the two platforms, i.e., Android and iOS. It will help you to reduce the initial cost of development.

However, if you wish to cover more user base and you have the budget for the same, then you can go ahead for creating an app for both the platforms.

Payment Gateway

Similar to other video streaming apps, you must be planning to offer full or partial content for a price. For that, you’ll need to integrate payment gateway into your app. You can also put Google Pay and Apple Pay as alternative payment options in the respective native apps.

User Profile

If you’re developing an app like Netflix, this is a must-have feature. This section allows users to add “much-liked” videos here and share it with other users.

Block Screenshots

The app should have a functionality that prevents a user from taking screenshots or recording screen. Your content is precious, and you must protect it from piracy.

Comments and Chat

This feature is currently available in limited video streaming apps. However, this feature can bring significant value to your app. Allow your users to communicate with one another via integrated chat, which also allows them to create groups. You can also add a comments section to increase engagement.

Push Notifications

Push notifications is a must-have feature in your video streaming app as it allows users to get notified whenever you release new content.

Multi-lingual Support

If you’re looking forward to building an app like Netflix, you must think of offering your content in more than one language. It will bring a fantastic impact on non-native users.


Users should be able to search the content directly using the search bar/button. You can also provide various search filters like genre, language, ratings, etc.


Users should be able to select subtitles, play/pause the video, change audio tracks, rewind, fast forward, control volume, and more via settings pane.



You don’t want to create an app for nothing, do you? Since you’re spending so much time and money in building a video streaming app, it should drive revenue.


The first thing that you should do to attract new users is to give them an optional free trial. Once they get an idea about what kind of content you produce, they’ll decide whether they want to pay for your service or not.

For the ones who opt for paying the price, you should give them a flexible subscription system, i.e., monthly or yearly.


You can sell ad-spaces to potential advertisers once your app goes viral. You must only apply this tactic if you wish to provide your content free for the lifetime.

If you apply this tactic, make sure that the ads you show are relevant to your business domain and adds value to your users. Later you can offer a premium subscription for add-free entertainment at a specific price.

Paid Access to Archived Content

If your app has a live broadcasting feature, then you can offer free live broadcasting to users and then ask for a price for the archived content. You can also ask for a premium price if a user wants to save/record the live content.

Third-Party Content Creators

You can ask third-party content creators to publish video content on your platform at a fix or variable cost. You can also set pricing models on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis to post content on your platform.


Once you have all your requirements clear for developing a video streaming app, you must contact a mobile app development company and discuss your requirements.

At Credencys, we’ll help you to identify and solve the critical pain points of building a video streaming app with our Discovery Workshop program.


1) What is the best video streaming app?

Some of the leading online video streaming apps in 2019 are Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Twitch, Crunchyroll, YouTube, HBO Now, etc.

2) How much does it cost to develop an app like Netflix?

Roughly it takes around $30,000 to $40,000 to develop a video streaming app. However, the exact cost depends upon the features you want to include in the app.

3) How do I start the streaming business?

  • Follow the right strategy to build an app like Netflix
  • Create your business model
  • Use appropriate technology stack
  • Build the initial skeleton by adding MVP features
  • Consider a few key requirements
  • Keep up with all the necessary hints to make your service successful

4) How viable is it to develop a free video streaming app?

There are plenty of free video streaming apps on the App Store and Play Store. All of them earn money via ads or through premium subscriptions.

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