How to Create a Streaming Service? A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated
February 21, 2024
How to Create a Streaming Service? A Step-by-Step Guide

To start with, you must understand the meaning of streaming services. A streaming service is an online entertainment service provider that delivers content through internet connectivity. You can access such entertainment services as music, movies, and web series on your TV, mobile, or tablet device. Some of the most common streaming services are Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney, Discovery, and so on. Every day, a new streaming service is being introduced into the market. 

Streaming services have gained a lot of popularity in recent times. Undoubtedly, it has revolutionized the entertainment sector. At least 85% of American homes have at least one paid subscription to a streaming service. 

In the next few years, this industry will see continuous growth. Streaming services have somewhat brought the TV model to a halt today. Most high-end streaming services companies are investing heavily in original content production. With captivating shows and carefully curated content, it has given rise to the era of binge-watching. Let us delve into the reasons why this industry is doing so well. 

Reasons Why Streaming Services Are Such A Hit Today


As people have less time to spend, they often miss out on their favourite shows. In most double-income families today, no one has the time to watch shows at the original time. This is where streaming services have come in. Today, streaming services have changed the way people look at entertainment. You can also get personalized recommendations, based on the shows that you see. 

Global Reach 

When it comes to global reach, streaming services have completely blown the sector. You can now access all kinds of shows, beyond borders. Thus, you are more exposed to different cultures and traditions, like never before. 

Breaking The Traditional Model 

There was a time, when people used to rush home from work, just to catch up with their favourite shows. But, that is passé. Now, you have the freedom to watch such shows at your convenience. Pause, resume, fast forward, do as you please. 

Access To Niche And Diverse Content 

If you are seeking unconventional storytelling, or innovativeness in shows, then it has to be streaming services. 

Distribution Ease

Another amazing fact about streaming services is that it is a direct-to-consumer model. Earlier, producers had to rely on cinema halls, and channels, to showcase their work. However, video streaming services have changed the game completely. Niche productions have a chance to shine bright today. Artistic freedom is at its peak today, owing to streaming services. 

Why Create Streaming Services?

Take Control Over The Content 

You can put your marketing budget to good use, for your firm. If you showcase your shows on a third-party app or streaming service, your content may get side-lined. Moreover, your show might get lost due to huge competition in the sphere. However, with your personalized streaming services, you can push viewers to your shows and content. 

Lower Costs 

When you try to sell your content to a third-party streaming service, you have to pay a good deal of money. Then there are additional costs involved, like annual charges, slot charges, and so on. 

Some of the free streaming services will charge you a hosting fee. It is often priced according to the number of views. When you are launching a show or visual content in the first instance, it can raise your budget. But with your streaming services, you can save a huge sum. 

You are In Control Over Your Data

If you have done your research and know your audience well, then you should create your streaming service. If using a third party, you may not have full say over anything. There may be a lack of transparency as well. Creating your own ensures that you have complete control over user-generated data. Moreover, you can also gain valuable insights into audience behaviour, interactions, and habits. Using these metrics, you can create similar content, which your audience will devour. 

Better Monetization 

You can monetize your content in more ways if you have your own streaming services. Others may also pay you for ad-based services. 

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start a Streaming Service

You have to keep in mind that the development of a streaming service can be a lengthy and complicated process. There are a few steps listed herein that you should follow. 

Finding A Niche And USP

Before jumping into the app game, you have to decide your niche. Every company today has a unique selling proposition, without which your streaming service will fall flat. While zeroing down on the offerings, it is important not to emulate the models of big streaming services or brands, like Netflix, as they have a huge user base and huge finances. 

You can take inspiration from the company Netflix, as it clocked almost $0.938 billion in the last quarter ending 31st December 2023. With that, you should brainstorm and find out how to create a streaming service with unique features. This is the only way to get success. 

Some of the unique features that you can work around are our on-demand streaming, behavior-based suggestions, and affordable pricing. You can go for entertainment content, educational content, live streaming, or more.

Moreover, you have to finalize the type of audience whom you want to target. Check out potential niches, where there is a lack of quality content. Apart from the above, you should do a SWOT analysis of your streaming service and that of your competitors. 

These are some ideas for which you can create streaming services

  • Streaming of sports events
  • Services for streaming video games
  • Streaming platforms for educational content
  • Live-streaming of various events such as conferences, seminars, and workshops

Market Research And Planning

Before starting a streaming services company, it is absolutely important for you to research the market. Determine what sort of content you want to sell. Try to find differentiators that help you to set yourself apart from the rest. Analysis of competitors is also absolutely important. Identify what gaps you can fill in the market. Once you have done this, you can move on to the planning stage. 

Creating A Business Plan

Next comes to the stage when you are supposed to develop a business plan. This should always include the kind of content you are trying to sell, your prospective market, prices, and monetization strategy. 

Your marketing promotion is also a part of this. Several different types of business models are available in the market. You can either choose a subscription-based model, or a pay-per-view one. These are the most common ones, which you will come across. 

Content Acquisition and Licensing

Video content is the basic foundation of almost all streaming services. You have to decide on the type of content you are looking for. There are two main types of content – one that you create for yourself and the other one that is created by third parties.

If you choose the former, you also need to allocate resources to that. You can also include live streams, podcasts, and pre-recorded videos. However, you have to remember to keep the content engaging and of high quality. You can also partner with content creators, in your niche. 

Just knowing what content to curate does not end the job. There are certain legalities involved. You need legal registration and content licensing. In the US, there are majorly two video distribution companies, Motion Pictures Licensing Corporation and SWANK Motion Pictures, with whom all major companies work.

You first need to understand the licensing and related investments, which can burn a hole in your pocket. Then, there are a few licensing companies that sell you a license for a season, not for the entire series. Therefore, you have to be smart enough to negotiate an agreement. 

Finding A Reliable App Development Vendor

In this step, you have to find a company that aligns with your goals. The company whom you choose for the development of the streaming service must also have good company culture. Several steps go into choosing the right vendor for this job. 

You can find plenty of app development companies on sites such as Clutch and The Manifest. Check the reviews and testimonials, apart from studying their portfolios.You should also check out their technological expertise. 

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You may create a streaming service for launch in a foreign location. In such cases, you need to find companies that provide content localization services. Such partners will make it easy for you to accomplish your task. 

We have listed a few important parameters. So, it makes sense for you to go through them

  • Expertise and experience – Your tech partner should have the requisite experience in building a similar type of technology, which will help you to propel your streaming services project.
  • Flexibility and expansion - A partner who can adapt according to changing technology, is desirable. The partner should also offer scalable solutions. 
  • Integration ease – If you are using multiple technologies for your business, ensure to check whether you can integrate them with the streaming services technology. This will ensure a seamless experience. 
  • Support and maintenance – You should choose a partner who can provide continuous support, even after the project gets delivered.
  • Costing – You should choose a partner who provides competitive pricing. 

By considering the above factors, you can zero down on the right app development partner. 

Deciding On The Video Streaming App’s Functions And Features

This is another important stage in the creation of streaming services. A video streaming service may have several user roles. There is often an end user, then there is a video creator, and then there is a content admin. You may need to create an app for these different roles. You must have the following features, to get the functionality on track. 

  • Onboarding – This mainly gives an introduction of the features of the app to the user. 
  • User Registration – This is the most important part of streaming services, wherein users register via phone number or email ID. 
  • Social Media Sign-In – This is the ability of the user to sign in via social media login. 
  • User Account – All the user activity is stored here, along with the activities and billing. 
  • Search Feature – This will allow you to filter content, set recommendations, and find content fast. 
  • Push Notifications – These give you pop-up intimations about new content releases and updates. 
  • Payment Gateways – It helps in integration with Apple, Google Pay, and Stripe. 
  • Multi-language Support – The ability to choose the language, along with subtitles. 
  • Download Feature – This allows one to download favorite content into the device. 
  • Video Quality Selection – This allows the user to choose the quality parameters, like resolution and picture sharpness. 
  • Analytics – This is especially useful for the admin to analyze how users are interacting. 

If you are a first-timer, you must select only the most important ones. 

UX/UI Design Creation

If you want to create a streaming service that users will love, you should create a user-friendly interface. Do not copy other streaming service’s styles, as it could confuse people into expecting more. Instead, you can create a unique style of your own, to lure the users. 

Choosing Platforms and Technologies

This is also another important step that, if chosen wrong, can lead to the downfall of your streaming service, even before it is launched. Use tech stacks that the most successful companies are using in this genre. 

If you are developing streaming services for Android, it makes sense to go for programming languages like Kotlin and Java. Android Studio toolkit is also desirable. Media formats to choose from are MKV, MP4, AVCHD, AVI, DMW, MOV, and FLV, to name a few. In case you want to focus on iOS, go for Objective C or Swift languages. 

Security And Infrastructure

You must take into account the security feature as well. Testing is important in this case, as bugs may cause a breakdown. And, if people are affected, then they could stay away from your streaming services. You ought to implement a variety of security features, to protect your content. Additionally, one must prevent unauthorized access, with features such as encryption, authentication, and DRM. 

You must set up streaming services on a server or cloud. Configuring network settings and establishing strong internet connectivity is also a part of the parcel. Storage and bandwidth solutions also need to be taken into account. These things will affect the quality of your services, and users will judge you on these aspects. 

Market Launch And Promotion

Just because you could accomplish the task of creating the streaming service, does not make it a success. That is why you need to create a marketing and promotional strategy. Some of the possibilities include

  • Paid ads – These can tell people about your streaming application and let them know about your service. 
  • SMM – Connect with potential customers through social media. This will help you to engage with them. 
  • Influencer Marketing – Working with influencers and bloggers will help you to spread the network. 
  • SEO – You can utilize SEO tactics to help you to promote the landing pages, and depict them in first position on search engines. 
  • Events – You can organize live events, conferences, and trade shows. 
  • Partnership – This is another option for you to collaborate with other start-ups. They can also promote your services on their platforms, which leads to a win-win situation. 

Feedback Gathering And Planning For Growth

When the first version of your app streaming service is released, you must gather all the feedback, good or back. This will help you to rectify things and plan further. You can incorporate the changes in the latest versions. Surveys, analytics, and interviews can help you to collect data from the market. 

Monetization Strategies

You should set up a proper revenue generation system, to collect payments from the users. Offer subscriptions, pay-per-view plans, advertisements, and purchase of in-app services. Offer a proper gateway for the same. 

Customer Support 

Creating a separate customer support department is also very important. Your users may face issues while using the streaming services. A dedicated support number will help users develop conviction on your services. You can provide support in the form of call support, chat support, or email support. 

Scaling Options

There should be adequate options to scale the streaming services in the times to come. Sometimes, it can also mean buying a ready platform, rather than building things from ground zero. 


Building a streaming service can be challenging due to the intricacies involved. However, it can also turn out to be a very lucrative business venture. Find out partners with expertise in the development of websites and apps. You also need end-to-end solutions, from the design stage to the development stage, and not to forget support. You must keep everything ready while trying to meet your business goals and exceed user expectations.