Gone are the days when entertainment was limited to our TVs in living rooms. Now, with video streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, the norm of cable/satellite TV as a primary entertainment source is being challenged. People have access to more personalized content they can stream directly on their iOS and Android devices, anywhere anytime.
Considering that the global video streaming market is estimated to hit $688.7 billion by 2024, it is only natural that you’ll want a piece of this booming industry.
An iOS app is a great way to bring your video content to Apple users. However, building an iOS video streaming app isn’t an easy feat. From deciding your app’s niche to choosing the most viable platform to build the app, the struggle is real.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step guide to creating your iOS streaming app. But first, let’s explore what video streaming means in general.
So, let’s dig and find it all.
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Nowadays, ‘video streaming’ is a buzzword that gets thrown around like a frisbee. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Video streaming means continuous delivery of video files from the server to the end-user via the internet. In simple terms, when you watch a video on YouTube or Netflix, you are streaming it online. And, these platforms are called video streaming apps.
You can view the video content online without downloading it onto any device. Plus, you don’t need to have a vast storage capacity to access such large files.
Movies, TV shows, music videos, and podcasts are common forms of streaming content. These are delivered in either of the two ways – On-Demand or Live Broadcasting.
Now that you know what video streaming is, let’s see why you should care about building an iOS streaming app for your business.
1. Video Streaming Apps are the Future
Video streaming is popular and growing fast in recent years due to its flexibility and wide range of features provided.
According to research, 61% of young adults in the US prefer watching video content via some online streaming service compared to 31% who watch via cable or satellite.
Such astonishing figures show that there is a huge market and the corresponding demand for video streaming apps among viewers.
2. TV is Doomed
There were times when television was the biggest source of entertainment. But with a massive number of users turning to video streaming apps, cable TV is slowly losing ground.
Video streaming apps took away a significant chunk of television viewers, causing a disruption in the TV industry. Now, many consumers prefer customized and convenient content which they can consume in any way they prefer. And that’s exactly how streaming apps work.
3. Ease of Watching Any Video, Any Time
Gone are the days when people had to go to their nearest theatres, rent a DVD, or wait for their favorite show to telecast on TV at a particular time.
With iOS video streaming apps, you can take your favorite shows and movies anywhere with you. All you need is a good internet connection and an Apple phone to stream whatever content you want to watch and that too at a time and place of your choice.
4. Fewer Interruptions
Let’s face it: Nobody likes watching advertisements in between their favorite movies or TV shows. Free streaming services like YouTube are bombarded with ads that can interrupt the video flow and make the more impatient users click on other videos.
This is where online video streaming apps come into the picture. Not only do they provide high-quality video content of your choice, but they also ensure fewer and shorter adverts. Hence, enhancing the overall viewing experience. However, not all iOS streaming apps support ads. Apps that are monetized with subscription or pay-per-view allow users to stream content without any ads, resulting in zero interruptions.
Building the perfect video streaming app for iOS might sound daunting, but trust me when I say, it is pretty simple.
But why build an iOS video streaming app? Let’s look at the following statistics:
- With a huge fan base worldwide, iOS is popular among young audiences aged between 18-24 years old.
- An iOS user earns 40% more than an average Android user, which means they are more likely to make in-app purchases and spend more on them.
These numbers clearly show that there is a huge potential in building a video streaming app for iOS.
Here’s how you can build it:
1. Find Your Niche
There are tons of thousands of video streaming apps in the world. If you want your app to have any chance of standing out, you need a niche.
A niche is a core topic or theme that gives a clear idea of what your video content is all about and sets your audience’s expectations. Having a niche video streaming app with a unique set of content and few but loyal users can do wonders.
Here are a few examples of successful video streaming platforms and the niche they operate in:
- CuriosityStream: Documentaries related to science, art, technology, history, and much more.
- Latido Music: All genres of Latin music
- Joy Joy World: Nursery rhymes and songs
To find your niche, you need to keep an open mind. Think about all the ideas you have in your head and jot them down on paper. Then, choose the one you’re good at and what your audience wants to know.
To help you out, here are three trending and profitable niches to start an online video streaming app:
Entertainment: People love movies and TV shows. This niche is great for creators who produce films and shows to entertain people. Examples: Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu.
Fitness: The global pandemic has spurred video streaming platforms to expand their content portfolio to the health, fitness, and spirituality niche. With anytime access to fitness videos, there is a massive demand for such apps among fitness freaks. Examples: ClassPass, Peloton, etc.
Education: Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many students are forced to remain inside their houses. As a result, online learning has emerged as a crucial resource for education. So, if you love sharing insights and knowledge about a particular subject with others, this niche is for you. Example: CuriosityStream.
2. Decide on Content Availability
Now that you have your niche in place, it’s time to decide how you’ll deliver your content. Content is the foundation of your video streaming app, and it depends on content how successful your app will be.
Before you launch your iOS streaming app, you need a huge library of content to deliver to your target audience. Here how you can do this:
First, you need to decide whether you want to create your own content, get licensed content from distributors, or a combination of both.
Talking about licensing, you may either rent the content directly from the distributor authorized to grant such licenses. Or contact the copyright owner directly.
Next, decide whether you will update your content daily, weekly, or monthly. Will you add a TV series in parts or everything at once? Will your content be partially available for free, or will it be necessary for viewers to pay for watching?
No matter what option you choose, there will be an external cost of either creating your own content or buying it from others.
3. Pick Your Technology Partner
When it comes to picking a platform to build your video streaming app, there are several approaches you can take – building a custom app or using a SaaS platform.
In-house iOS App Development
This option is suitable for high-budget creators who have the money and resources to build and manage the iOS app.
Since you are building the app in-house, you will get good flexibility and control over it.
You will need to hire at least 2-3 people to build and manage your apps. Don’t forget that you need to build the platform that is used to manage your OTT operations from scratch. The platform usually consists of the following:
- Video CMS – to upload and organize videos and live streams
- Video player – to play the videos on the app
- Servers – to auto-scale when the demand increases/ decreases
- CDN – to stream the videos
- Storage – to store the videos
- Ad server – to manage ad campaigns
- Payment gateway – to collect payments
- Analytics – to view analytics
Overall, it will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of app development and maintenance.
Using a SaaS Platform
Trying to build a custom video streaming app is a lot of work. Fortunately, a SaaS platform like Ventuno makes the process easy. These platforms come with ready-made frameworks that have the infrastructure, tools, and support to help you create an iOS video streaming app.
With Vetuno, you don’t need to wait for months and spend a lot of money to get your app running. You can manage everything in a single platform – be it uploading and organizing your content, tracking analytics, payments, advertisements, and much more. In short, the platform is fully customizable and provides you with complete control over your monetization strategies (such as TVOD, SVOD, or AVOD).
Here’s how it works:
- Select which apps you want to launch
- Choose the template design
- Upload your content
- Set up your monetization strategy (AVOD, SVOD, TVOD)
- Go live
- Track your analytics
As simple as that. Want to implement your custom design or want to build additional features? We are happy to help! We have a separate team that handles custom development work.
Ventuno regularly updates your app with new features to make sure it’s running optimally. Plus, you get 24/7 support and maintenance whenever you need them.
4. Finalize the Features
For viewers to enjoy your video streaming service, you need to add some user-friendly features to help them enhance their viewing sessions. Such features are the biggest reason behind people cutting their TV cords and switching to these platforms.
Let us take a look at some of these features:
User Registration: This is the most basic but essential feature of a video streaming app. This allows users to register on your iOS app via email or social media accounts and collect all their preferences in one place.
User Profile: This allows the app users to add their favorite movies and TV shows all in one place. It also lets you personalize content for them – making their binge-watching experience a memorable one.
Search Content: This feature allows users to search and select content to view from your app based on their preferred movie, actor, series, etc. Search feature defines whether viewers keep using your app or leave if they don’t find something quickly.
Push Notifications: This feature can come in handy when you want to update your users about new video content uploaded on your app. It also helps send reminders to the users regarding upgrading plans, subscription renewal, app updates, and so on.
Multi-language Support: Want to attract users from different regions and countries? Adding a multilingual feature can be your best bet. The more the number of languages your app supports, the more you can be sure of tapping into a vast untouched user segment.
5. Choose the Monetization Model
The real success of any video streaming app depends largely on the monetization method you’ll adopt.
Normally, your app monetization should start beforehand; it should not be something you decide afterward. Having said that, the revenue strategy should correlate highly with the type of user experience you’re offering.
Although there are dozens of monetization strategies you can choose from, the three most profitable ones are:
TVOD: Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) is a monetization model that allows viewers to purchase content on a pay-per-view basis. They generally have the option to buy or rent the video content.
This model is entirely different from AVOD. Instead of watching free content with a couple of ads, users pay up-front for the content they like to view and experience ad-free content.
Common examples include Apple iTunes and Prime Video content.
AVOD: Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) is the model that provides streaming services to users for free. This strategy is becoming more and more popular as it is beneficial for users (they get to access the content for free) and businesses (they get a huge user base to market their services and earn revenue by putting up ads throughout the free content).
The only drawback with this model is that you must know how many ads are enough. Too many ads can interrupt the video flow and spoil the fun for users.
Examples of AVOD include YouTube ad monetization.
SVOD: A Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) model is ideal for getting started with video monetization. Here, users pay a recurring fee to access the video content. In simpler terms, think of it as an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet. Users can view as much content they want – as long as they continue to pay for their subscription.
Examples include Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and many more.
Now, I hope you have a better idea of what is required to create an iOS streaming app to take your business to another level.
All you need is a niche, decide your content deliverability, and a simple-to-use SaaS platform. Plus, you need to incorporate some user-friendly features and a perfect monetization model(s) to start generating revenue within a short time.
Want to create your iOS video streaming app?