How to Build Apps that Will Keep Business Profitable in Crisis (Part 1): Video Streaming

, Apr 28, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic changes businesses, making flexibility and sustainability critical to their survival. Everyone, from enterprises and tech giants to local sports club chains, is seeking ways to offer products that would be relevant under quarantine and help them stay afloat. Whereas Apple and Google team up on COVID-19 tracking technology to save the world, smaller market players do their best to ensure business continuity.

Fortunately, today we have something that didn’t exist during previous pandemics – easy access to technology and the online environment. With a bunch of apps, people can work remotely, maintain physical activity, order groceries, watch movies, and complete many other tasks from their homes. Apart from improving the daily life of consumers, it also allows businesses to remain profitable in crisis time.

According to Statista’s estimations, in 2021, the global mobile app revenue will reach 693 billion US dollars compared to 582 billion in 2020. Since software development trends during the pandemic have a strong focus on mobile, these numbers may become even higher.

Source: Statista

But before you rush to hire a mobile app development company, there are several questions to answer. What types of applications and services are highly demanded and, at the same time, are relevant to your niche?

Streaming, delivery, and fitness app development are our top picks. Why so? These development trends are tightly bound with SMEs that end up the most vulnerable during the pandemic. Such applications are relatively quick to design, develop and deploy (especially, if you select an experienced app development agency as your partner) and allow quarantined businesses to provide a large share of their usual services.

For each of the types – video streaming apps, delivery apps, and fitness app development – we will talk about:

  • Market overview,  development trends during the pandemic, and how they affect the businesses
  • Key features a specific type of an application should have
  • How long does it take to make such an app?
  • Technical and business tips on application development

Roadmap on How to Create an App

Today we will talk about the nuts and bolts of building a video streaming application, but before we start some basic things need to be mentioned.

App development is a time-consuming process that requires careful planning and management. Whether you opt for in-house development or choose to outsource to a third-party software development company, you will go through several inevitable stages. Note that if an app is created for iOS and Android platforms separately, this will additionally increase the scope of work and final cost.

These steps comprise the standard application development roadmap:

  1. Requirements identification. Consult with a mobile app development company to analyze the future app, determine its target audience, and clarify the business requirements. At this stage, software architects take into consideration everything that can affect the structure of the application. Based on the conducted analysis, experts create app fundamental structure that serves as a solid foundation for the upcoming development stages.
  2. Technology. Consult with software engineers to select the most suitable kind of an app: native, hybrid, or cross-platform. Note that for complex and high-load solutions, native apps are recommended. If you are an Android app development company and lack iOS specialists, you may need to hire a remote team or team extension.
  3. App design. Hire designers or request the assistance of a mobile app development company to create UX and UI design. Leobit’s team of UI/UX experts can develop a highly successful digital product from scratch and believes that every customer deserves a personalized approach that will completely meet their business needs.
  4. Development. Start development with an MVP to get feedback for future updates and minimize risks. Continue adding the necessary functions and prepare for the launch of the final version.
  5. Testing and maintenance. Cooperate with a mobile app development company to test the product for any bugs and continue supporting it after the launch. Leobit’s team of QA engineers guarantees reliable and stable application performance on each phase of software development, from requirements discovery to testing and post-release maintenance.

Obviously, the application development is more complex than just a sequence of stages. Nevertheless, such a roadmap should help you understand where to start from and how a software development team works.

Video Streaming Mobile App Development

Our choice #1 among applications for a profitable business is not accidental. Video streaming has left behind all other media in terms of the number of users. Streaming trends show that technology has reached new heights and developing a video streaming mobile app guarantees quick ROI and improved customer engagement. Based on Statista’s data, YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu are top-performing video streaming services of this year.

Source: Statista

With total Netflix’s revenue reaching $20 billion in 2019, many companies started turning their heads towards video streaming mobile app development. Due to the decline in satellite TV, leading communications providers also switch to on-demand or live mobile streaming services. HBO, Disney, CBS are just a few of those who have invested in video streaming app design.

The global crisis and the way in which the pandemic changes businesses additionally speed up video streaming expansion. In the last week of March 2020, streaming time in the US increased by 12%. Consumers seek ways to spend quarantine with joy and balance the negative news out with entertaining videos. Besides, musicians, sports teams, actors, and other professionals with strong offline focus need video streaming to adapt to the new reality and keep working.

Video content is also gaining popularity among marketers with 87% of businesses currently using videos to promote their products. After offline activities have been suspended, digital marketing has become the main (if not the only) way to connect with customers.

To launch a profitable mobile streaming app, you will need to choose one of the following models:

  • Subscription model (SVOD). Users pay a yearly or monthly fee to access the whole collection of videos (e.g., Netflix, Hulu).
  • Transactional model (TVOD). Users pay to get limited or unlimited access to specific content (e.g., iTunes).
  • Advertisement (AVOD). Users can freely access videos in exchange for viewing online ads (e.g., YouTube).
  • Select the model that suits your business idea best, and get down to planning the future product.

Key Features of a Video Streaming App

To withstand market competition, every mobile streaming app must be unique, but broadcasting apps still have a lot in common. These universal features are essential in video streaming app design and development.

  • User registration and login. If your content isn’t freely available, offer users to sign in through their social media accounts or emails. Video streaming app design with social login is a preferred option since it significantly simplifies the registration procedure.
  • User profile. Enable users to edit information about themselves, their payment details, and preferences.
  • Live video streaming. Note that 63% of users aged 18-34 regularly watch live streams. The popularity of live video streaming among other age groups is equally striking. That’s why if you plan to invest in video streaming mobile app development, live broadcasting is a must.
  • Search bar. Create a video streaming app design that provides quick access to all content and is easy to navigate.
  • Comments and social features. Let users exchange their thoughts and share favorite video streams with their social media friends and subscribers.
  • Recommendations. Use machine learning to analyze previously viewed content and offer similar streams. This will enable the mobile streaming app to show tailored recommendations and engage the audience more effectively.
  • Subscription and monetization functionality. Build or integrate the paid features to monetize the provided video streaming services.
  • Push notifications. Notify subscribers about any important updates or streaming status.

The listed functionality is the backbone of video streaming mobile apps. There are tons of other capabilities you might add depending on your business goals and target audience. To better clarify what product is the most likely to outperform its competitors, remember to conduct preliminary market research.

How Long  Does It Take to Make a Video Streaming App (MVP)? And How Much Would It Cost?

​Obviously, the time needed to develop a video streaming app depends on clients’ needs and project specifications and is hard to predict in advance. However, we prepared a table with the main tasks required for development with the minimum time estimations that should help you better manage the budget and schedule ahead.

Functionality Estimated Hours, Pure Development
User registration 32+
User profile 30+
Search bar 20+
Subscription and payment 80+
Push notifications 24+
Chat and comments 74+
Social media shares 30+
Live video streaming 400+
Design 100+
Total 790+

Clutch, a B2B market research firm, indicates that, on average, software development companies in the USA charge from $100 to $149 per hour of work. Based on this information, we can easily calculate that the cost of an application will be starting from $79,000 to $117,710, with the additional budget allocated for risks, fixes, tests, and unplanned additions. As a result, the total price of a delivered application might fluctuate from $158,000 to $235,420. However, outsourcing your software development into Lviv, Ukraine you can build an app 2 times less expensive if compared with development internally or locally in the USA.

Technical and Business Tips on Video Streaming Software Development

  • Use cloud hosting platforms for video content storage
  • Simplify the development of in-app messages and notifications with FireBase
  • Choose one of the video streaming platforms as a basis for your future app before starting the video streaming app development (e.g. Brightcove, Livestream, Wowza)
  • Take into account the Internet speed in the location you target and make sure it allows streaming videos in the expected quality
  • Consider outsourcing to a third-party video streaming app development company if you don’t have the relevant experience
  • Make sure the video streaming app doesn’t overload mobile devices

Leobit’s experts have shown solid expertise in developing video streaming applications for our customers. One of Leobit’s most prominent examples is a live sport video streaming solution for a Swedish company. The platform allows fans to peek behind the scenes of sports events and offers broad functionality including streaming, chats, and polls which can be adapted to the user’s needs.

Contact Leobit for expert consultation and make your business profitable and prosperous during the lockdown.

Don’t miss Part 2 of our blog series where we will take a look at another type of application for profitable business — delivery app.

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