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There’s no point in questioning the popularity of streaming platforms – their success is more apparent than ever. Probably, no one can describe their daily routine without mentioning Netflix, YouTube or Spotify once. The lockdown situation made that dependent on streaming services as a way of escapism. Hence, researchers estimate that the worth of the live-streaming industry will reach $187 billion within 5 years! With such hype around streaming web platforms, have you ever wondered how you did not develop one? Let’s remedy the situation! In this article, you will find out if your business truly needs a streaming platform, along with a description of the best features for streaming platforms to beat all competitors.

How to Determine the Best Features for Streaming Platforms?

A streaming platform is an on-demand online entertainment solution for streaming media, like films, TV shows, music, video clips, etc. With the help of a fast internet connection, users can stream different files in real time without waiting for them to load completely. The main peculiarity of streaming is that it allows everyone to receive and create high-quality content in large volumes. We’ve all heard of YouTube, Spotify or Apple Music, right? So all of them provide streaming services. Other examples are Disney Plus, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu, and many more! Basically, all the content we consume in our leisure time is related to streaming.

Essential Features for Streaming Platforms

Due to the ever-growing popularity of streaming services, lots of industries are adapting to such progressive trends. Indeed, businesses are active users of streaming platforms that help them build brand awareness, improve marketing strategies and multiply sales. Hence, platform functions and features vary depending on the industry they represent. Moreover, target audiences’ needs play a pivotal role in choosing the functions of streaming platforms. So, naturally, game-streaming platforms will differ more or less from video-streaming websites and so forth.

To lay the robust groundwork, businesses can consider building an MVP of the platform with the necessary basic features and launch it on the market. This way, they’ll be able to upgrade the product with features their audience desires. Like Spotify, which started as a small startup and has grown to one of the largest music and podcast streaming service providers with viral features that users adore!

What are the Types of Streaming Platforms?

Before picking must-have features for streaming platforms, choosing the type of platform you want to build would be good. And actually, there are plenty of them! Let’s find out more about the kinds of streaming platforms so that you can make your final decision!

Music streaming platform

Legally listening to high-quality music might sound like a challenge. What if you don’t have a player for a CD or a vinyl record? How can you listen to your favorite artist’s new album, then? Thankfully, that’s not a problem since we have profound music streaming applications nowadays! Users can discover new artists, create playlists and even download music to listen to it offline. What’s more, music streaming platforms may contain not only music but also such forms of digital audio content like podcasts.

Not to mention that most apps use a freemium revenue business model. That means the platforms provide a free trial for a specific time. Then either a limited and ad-supported service for free or an unlimited service with more functionality for a fee. Some music streaming platforms don’t even have free versions – only paid ones.

On-demand video streaming platform

Unfortunately, the DVD era is long gone and forgotten. But no need to mourn the past when we can watch all of our favorite movies on one website! On-demand video streaming services make media consumption more accessible to users than ever. Now, we can watch TV shows, cartoons, and movies whenever and however we want: on the TV, laptop, mobile phone, etc.

It allows people to pause, rewind and rewatch the video file numerous times. Well, as long as they have an internet connection and paid subscription to the platform, of course. Also, such video streaming apps make regular television and satellites useless in households. And the main reason for such changes is that some on-demand video streaming apps provide an addition of live TV with international and local channels.

Such applications have their own business model – it’s called the Subscription Video-on-Demand model or simply SVOD. Users choose their subscription plan and have access to the platform’s suggested media library. They can also select the most convenient way to pay for the services: on a monthly, yearly or quarterly basis.

Live video streaming platform

An outstanding option for fellow gamers. And others, obviously. The video is simultaneously recorded as it’s being broadcasted over the web. Live streaming allows people to be present at the event at the same time it’s happening. Whether it’s a video game stream, a webinar, a TV broadcast, or a social media video, users can watch it efficiently on video streaming websites. Companies that provide live streaming services might use the freemium business model, just like Twitch does! That includes making a monthly subscription fee, running ads, having specific digital currency and their own merch! Plus, creators can make a good profit from the content they publish thanks to such platforms.

Streaming Platforms in Different Industries

Indeed, the usage of streaming platforms can be applied in various niches. Of course, in some industries even the most top-notch streaming platform with advanced features won’t be effective and profitable. But for what industries the streaming platform would be the most relevant? Here are your answers!

Essential Features for Streaming Platforms

Education

It’s not a secret that nowadays, the education industry achieves more and more transformation to fit into the new reality. And the latter ones require flexibility, engagement and personalization! With the help of streaming platforms, students can visit virtual classrooms, lectures and webinars wherever they are. We can actually learn through streaming platforms, whether it’s a live stream, previously recorded video or podcast.

eCommerce

Do you remember the TV shows where people showed off home utensils, fitness equipment and even jewelry? And now, how is it different from using a streaming platform? With a more modern approach, more and more buyers worldwide choose to try out this method of selling through social media and streaming websites. But really, what can sell a product better than an aesthetically pleasing video of it? No idea!

Healthcare

Certainly, the spread of digitalization has had a significant influence on the healthcare industry. Meet the new term — Telehealth! That’s a new way of remote communication with healthcare professionals and service providers. Undoubtedly, we can’t provide every single service with a video streaming service. Still, streaming platforms have become an inseparable part of this phenomenon, making the industry more accessible and practical.

Entertainment

Probably, one of the most apparent markets that can be integrated with the streaming platform is entertainment! The list might be never-ending: cinematography, gaming, music, art, sports, festivals, literature, etc. All of the services this industry offers are doomed to success. Or at least it seems like it. It is actually hard to become a worthy opponent to those corporate giants that have been in the game forever.

Top Features of Streaming Platforms

As we have already learnt, the choice of platform features depends on lots of things. The list includes both overall budget and platform type. Still, when we talk about streaming platforms, there must be some major requirements. Next, you will get a list of streaming web platform features you need to know!

User-friendly interface

First and foremost, an easy solution is what users dream of having. No one wants to wander around tabs and categories searching for Eldorado. The truth is that a bad interface might scare users away in a matter of seconds. You need to consider only user-friendly features for streaming platforms to keep your customers and save money and nerves!

Security

Cyber security must be a number one priority to any web platform, let alone the streaming one. The list of streaming platform features must include the protection of all sensitive data linked to payment features. Restricting access from suspicious third-party integrations and domains. Additionally, you must thoroughly examine every media and content uploaded on the platform. This way, you’ll spot any violation of copyrights or community guidelines.

Scalability

They say, “Go big or go home”, so why don’t you try to extend an enormous user base? One of the essential features for streaming platforms is their capacity. Your application needs scalable backend support capable of hosting millions of users. Remember the first feature we’ve discussed, so try eliminating any glitches, bugs and other annoying experiences.

Pricing plans

Think of sane prices for the services you would provide. Some users only want just enough features, but some would pay to have it all! Yet, firstly allow users to have a taste of your incredible platform with the help of a free trial.

Onboarding

Welcome new users with a quick, easy and practical guide about your streaming platform. Try to touch every vital detail while keeping users as engaged as possible! Suggest plans with mentioned prices per month/year so they can be more aware of it.

Registration

A simple sign-up is one of the key features every streaming web platform needs! During the development process, remember to let users set up multiple accounts so that each person who shares one subscription plan will have a personalized experience.

Search

What makes a streaming platform a good one? An effective and quick search engine, of course! Placed somewhere on the home page, a search box is users’ devoted guide in browsing and discovering content within the platform.

Library

The privilege of having a customized account is that you will have everything in your palms. Indeed, all the saved and liked media can be stored in separate categories, like libraries, watch- or playlists so that users won’t lose anything. Therefore, they don’t need to browse every time they want to watch or listen to something

Recommendations

Based on preferences, likings and predictable behavior, AI-powered tools generate relevant content recommendations that might attract users’ attention. This way, your streaming platform will enhance user experience and satisfaction with provided services.

Feedback

One of the key features for streaming platforms is giving ratings and reviews on the provided content. Thanks to that, other users can see popular themes, and administrators analyze the tendencies.

Offline availability

Certainly, an Internet connection isn’t the most reliable companion — sometimes, it can become a real issue. So providing users with an opportunity to consume content without a strong connection to the Internet is an excellent option.

Multi-language support

The more, the merrier! If you want to expand your business and make the content more accessible, don’t forget to add more languages. This gesture will indeed make your streaming platform extremely appealing to users from all over the world! Plus, such an audience expansion would be super lucrative for your platform.

Parental control

Based on the diversity of today’s Internet users age, we don’t have a right to neglect the safety of everyone. Especially kids. So, such features of streaming platforms as parental control help parents manage the content their children will be able to view.

What Technologies are Required for Streaming Platform Development?

Discussing the top features of streaming platforms is one thing but developing them is another story. To begin the development process of streaming platforms, you need to choose a tech stack. First, data streams peculiar to streaming platforms require fault-tolerant processing, repository, and geographical allocation. Hence, processing frameworks might find such systems as Apache Kafka appealing. Not to mention that the latter one is optimized just for processing streaming data!

A common practice is integrating frameworks like Flink, Sanza, and Spark with your streaming platform to process batch data and, naturally, feed the data-processing pipeline. But we need to switch to the backend infrastructure to discuss the most tricky part of creating a streaming web platform. The most beloved by developers solutions are HTTP Live Streaming and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP. Yet, some actually stick to the classic choice for a backend: Java, Python or C#.

Good databases to devotedly serve you include MySQL, Oracle, Cassandra, and PostgreSQL. Front end can be built on JavaScript, Node.js and React. Additionally, Amazon Web Services turns out to be great for API and SDK, while Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 — for cloud hosting and cloud storage.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Streaming Platform?

Obviously, there are plenty of factors that vastly influence the total development cost. One of the platform development peculiarities is that there are lots of customization of product elements, depending on its idea. Some of the most prominent stages of development include Discovery Phase, where all researches are conducted, goals are defined, and prototypes are created. The fee for this work might reach up to $10,000. Next, we roll to the development stage with a total sum of approximately $25,000. Moving to the testing, you will have to spend nearly $7,000. After six months of development and up to minus $50,000, you receive the streaming web platform of your dreams!

Try Inoxoft’s Custom Web Development Services

If you actually consider building a streaming service platform of any type, we are lucky to know one of the best tech selections on the development market. Meet Inoxoft — an outsourcing company that provides your business with top-notch custom web development services! Our team of certified engineers creates not simple web applications but powerful tools that meet all client’s requirements and business needs.

We suggest you examine our case study about the women’s movie streaming platform. Inoxoft ensures delivery of a highly functional and innovative streaming website that would satisfy all of the end-users expectations. Sounds good? Don’t hesitate to contact us so we can discuss details!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are streaming platforms suitable for every industry?

No, in some industries even the most top-notch streaming platform with advanced features won't be effective and profitable. Yet, streaming platform would be the most relevant for:

  • Education 
  • eCommerce
  • Healthcare
  • Entertainment

What features should be added to a streaming web platform?

Some of the must-have features of streaming web platform include:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Pricing plans
  • Onboarding
  • Registration
  • Search
  • Library
  • Recommendations
  • Feedback
  • Offline availability 
  • Multi-language support
  • Parental control 

 

To get more information about each streaming web platform features, go read the article!

What influences the total cost of streaming platform development?

One of the platform development peculiarities is that there are lots of customization of product elements, depending on its idea. Thus, more work and adjustments have to be done.