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How to Build an OTT Video Streaming App?

  • August 14, 2021
  • 7 min read
How to Build an OTT Video Streaming App?

Over-the-top or OTT video streaming is already part and parcel of our daily lives. The industry is projected to hit $167 billion by 2025, according to Statista, which is a whopping $83.3 billion more when compared to the median revenue generated by the industry in 2019. This stat shows how lucrative the OTT industry is even for new OTT entrants despite the fierce competition. For OTT players, it means incredible user numbers, for consumers OTT streaming implies enjoying streaming anywhere, whenever and on whichever devices they want. If you are looking for a guide on how to build OTT apps, this blog contains valuable, actionable tips that actually work. 

Building an OTT streaming app

OTT video streaming has become the future of entertainment as most users are relying on OTT services rather than traditional TV connections. Building an OTT app involves following a streamlined approach to attracting the audience on a larger scale. Here are the steps to follow to make your business idea a reality. 

Select a niche

Developing an OTT app is a general idea, but you must choose a specific niche to target to enter the streaming industry with an impact. Launching a successful OTT app becomes possible only if you select the right niche. Fitness, sports, and eLearning are some of the popular niches you can choose for your OTT app. 

Build your OTT library

The soul of an OTT service lies in the content it hosts. You must have an idea about the content you want to stream when you think about how to build OTT apps. Content being the foundation of your streaming app, it is a great idea to create a content inventory to stream once you launch your OTT app. Consider making a content strategy that defines what type of content and the exact number you are planning to acquire or produce. Ask the following questions yourself and include them in your content plan to have a clear picture. 

  • The number of videos you want to post daily on your OTT platform?
  • Would you post all content on the go or in parts like “Seasons”?
  • Are you planning to offer the content for free or on a subscription basis? 
  • Will you be licensing the content or producing originals or follow a combination of both?

Choose the right business model

Running an OTT business only makes sense if it generates revenue for you. To monetize your OTT offerings, choosing the right business model to power your service is vital. 

Here are some of the common OTT business models to select from. 

Advertisement model

The advertisement model is one of the common sources of income for OTT video streaming platforms. This business model offers content free to users and makes money by running ads on the content. Implementing this model can be great when you are starting to build a vast user base, but it takes a huge viewership to start making money using this business model. 

Subscription model

This is another common business model followed by many OTT platforms, including Netflix, where the content is offered to users for a fixed subscription fee. The subscription model is great if you have ongoing content that can entertain your users, consistently tying them to a subscription fee. 

Transactional model

The transactional business model is basically a pay-per-view model where users can just pay for individual content they like to watch. iTunes is one of the popular streaming services using this business model. This model works great if you offer seasonal content like a sports event or a live show that is compelling for users to purchase. 

Hybrid model

The hybrid business model combines the three business models we have discussed now in different patterns. This model works great when you want to cater to a broad range of audiences and monetize users with different interests and preferences. YouTube is an example of a popular OTT platform that follows all three combinations of business models. 

Important features of the OTT app

Before building an OTT application, you must know about the must-have features of the OTT platform. The success of your OTT app depends greatly on the video content and its user interface. Here are some of the features to include in your OTT streaming app. 

Sign up and user profile creation

Allow users to create an account on your OTT platform if you are planning to create a subscription video on demand service. User profiles allow users to add and edit their personal information, including payment details. 

  • Smart search

Integrate smart search features to help your users find what they are looking for. Add the right filters to make the search process easy for users and find their favorite videos easily. Also, show the related or trending content to keep your viewers engaged in the content search is not available. 

  • Categories

If your OTT platform spans multiple categories, you must organize your content into different categories according to its type. Movies, shows, games, news, etc., are some of the popular categories. Categorizing your OTT content allows users to navigate when they don’t have a specific choice. 

  • Offline viewing

This is one of the essential features that allow your users to enjoy their favorite videos when the internet connectivity is not stable. For example, YouTube allows its users to download the videos and view them later offline. 

  • Watch list

These features allow viewers to add their favorite videos to the watch list to view them later. 

  • Video player

Integrate a video player to your OTT platform to deliver the best viewing experience to your users.

  • Payment integration

Allow your viewers to pay for subscriptions or to buy content within the OTT platform. Integrate a secure payment gateway to allow our users to conduct monetary transactions.

  • Analytics

Add strong analytical and reporting features to your OTT app to gauge the performance and engagement of your videos.

  • Admin

An admin panel is essential to any OTT app to help you moderate content, control and manage payments, and control advanced analytics. 

Create your OTT platform and mobile app

Yes, we have come to the most important part of running an OTT business, building your OTT video streaming app, which is the essence of this whole blog. Building an intuitive OTT service is important as it provides a great user experience to your end-users. Now let’s look into the best approach to creating an OTT platform. The obvious method is to create your OTT platform from scratch, but it not only is an elaborate approach; it takes a lot of time, effort and is expensive as well. 

If you are looking for an alternate approach that is simple and cost-effective, using a Netflix clone is recommended. Clone scripts are ready-made solutions that facilitate you to get started with your own OTT video streaming platform. You can customize the OTT platform to suit your requirements be it modifying the UI, adding essential features, monetization strategy, or anything else. 

Conclusion The viewers of today prefer a convenient, flexible, and engaging content experience over traditional satellite TV. Running an OTT service that can be accessed conveniently from any device of the user’s choice is already a big hit. When you build an OTT pp, make sure you deliver a great user experience to your target audience. Choose a niche that suits your business and create a business strategy that supports your goals. NOw you are all set to disrupt the market with your unique OTT offerings.

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