How to Create a Live Streaming App [A Full Guide]

Published On: February 8, 2023
Last Updated: May 25, 2023
How to Create a Live Streaming App [A Full Guide]

Live streaming has transformed the way of speaking to online audiences. Brands and users share unedited, raw footage in real-time.

Streaming grew in popularity as audiences started craving raw and genuine videos. Grand View Research’s latest report shows that the live-streaming market will reach $330.51 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 21.3% from 2022 to 2030.

The considerable shift occurs because of the change in the habit of content consumption. Also, Gen Z has shown more interest in live streams as they spend more time on social platforms.

Technology has allowed us to connect seamlessly with people of our choice anytime, anywhere.

However, building a live-streaming app is difficult as it requires thorough planning. Many things need to be decided, including which platform is most feasible for streaming content.

Here, in this guide, we have presented a closer look at this online video trend and explained the process of creating a live-streaming app. Before going ahead, first, let’s understand what it means.

What is a Live Streaming App?

The live-streaming invention allows you to watch, create and provide recordings continuously, like live TV. All you need is network-enabled devices like a tablet and a platform (like a site or application) to live stream from.

Such apps have grown immensely in recent years, all thanks to high-speed internet and advanced camera technologies.

Currently, live streaming applications highly popular amongst users are Facebook, Instagram, Twitch (frequently utilized by gaming enthusiasts), Douyu, and many more.

Some live streams are private, such as Skype or Zoom video conferencing. They are secured with passwords that shouldn’t be shared with individuals you don’t know.

Live Streaming Trends and Statistics

  • More than 90 million subscribers will use live streaming by 2024.
  • 7.2 billion hours of content watched during the third quarter of 2022.
  • More than 93% of internet users aged 16 to 64 watch TV content via streaming services each month.
  • Live videos capture attention between 10 and 20 times longer than prerecorded, on-demand content.
  • In Q3 2022, nearly 7.5 million hours of online games were streamed via Facebook Gaming.
  • 88% of people want to see more videos from brands in 2022.

Types of Live Streaming Apps

Several different live-streaming apps are hovering around the most popular app stores. So before planning to develop the live streaming app, you need to know what types of apps are available. Here are the 4 most common types of live-streaming apps.

Live Broadcasting Apps

One of the most popular types of streaming media is live broadcasting apps. The app allows users to watch videos in real-time mode. It’s recorded and broadcast simultaneously.

You can build a live streaming app that allows users to broadcast live recordings of videos and sounds to others who have access to the stream. It shows how users play games or talk about different things online.

Live TV streaming services enable watching live TV shows at that particular moment. The most popular live streaming apps are Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Livestream, Twitch, and Periscope.

Audio Streaming

Want to build the next version of Spotify or something more niche specific? If so, audio streaming is for you. You get to listen to audio that is broadcast over the internet in real-time.

There are chances to create a podcast app that serves specific genres or topics. Similarly, there is a lot of exposure to developing audio live-streaming apps for niche artists.

Some examples in this category are Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and more.

Also Read: How to Create a Podcast App?

Video On Demand Streaming

Video-on-demand (VOD) streaming refers to the ability to watch video content, such as movies and TV shows, whenever a viewer chooses to, rather than having to watch at a specific broadcast time.

Users can enjoy them without downloading them on devices. Also, they can pause, rewind, & resume. VOD streaming typically requires a subscription or rental fee, and content is often available in high definition.

Examples of VOD streaming providers are Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

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TV Live Streaming App

A TV live streaming app allows users to watch live television on their devices over the internet. When they switch to on-demand video streaming services, they lose their favorite TV shows, sports channels, series, etc.

The apps allow users to watch live television from anywhere and anytime, as long as they have an internet connection. They don’t need a traditional cable or satellite TV subscription.

Examples of live TV streaming apps include Sling TV, YouTube TV, and AT&T TV Now. Some live streaming apps also allow users to record live TV to watch later.

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6 Steps to Create a Live Streaming App

Here’s a quick step-by-step instruction for building a live-streaming app.

1. Research and Identify the Audience

Building a live-streaming app based on assumptions is not possible. You need to do proper research and understand the actual needs and opinions of users who will be using the app.

The primary purpose is to broadcast content for users through a live-stream app, which needs to appeal to them. Identify your audience as they help you decide which features you should include while developing. Also, it includes narrowing down the monetization options.

Plan about how to ask users and try to find difficulties early on. Their feedback will help you while developing the live-streaming app.

2. Prepare Documentation

Before developing a live-streaming app, it is important to prepare documentation outlining the project’s requirements, goals, and objectives. This documentation should include the following:

This documentation should include the requirements of users, which you have found in the above step. Also, mention technical needs for the app that include any necessary API or third-party integration.

Define the core features and functionalities of the app, including live streaming, chat, and video on demand. Also, decide the monetization model for the app, such as subscription-based, advertising-based, or in-app purchases.

Outline the project timeline, including goals and deadlines. By thoroughly preparing documentation, you can ensure that all team members clearly understand the live-streaming app’s goals and how it will generate revenue.

3. Hire an App Development Company

Modern app development is highly competitive. So to make your app stand out in the crowd, you need a team of experts to create a live-streaming app for Android or iOS.

Hiring an app development company to create your live streaming app can save you time and resources and ensure a high-quality end result. When choosing an app development company, research and compare multiple options.

Research for a company with experience in building live streaming apps, a solid portfolio, and positive client reviews.

Guru TechnoLabs is a reputable web and mobile app development company that ensures you the smooth creation and launch of your live-streaming app. Clearly communicate your vision, features, and monetization strategies to ensure you both are on the same page.

4. Select a Reliable Platform for Live Streaming, Hosting, and Storage

In order to create a live streaming app, requires investing in an online streaming platform. It should be feasible for streaming, hosting, and storage of content. Your video content will live on this platform; you just need to embed its video players in your app.

The platform you choose relies on its unique streaming needs. To build a live streaming app that should be fault-tolerant, you have to choose reliable hosting for smooth streaming services for your customers.

Have a robust server infrastructure and ensure that users have quality video delivery. All your content should be stored in a reliable place that allows users to watch a video without disruption and unexpected failures.

Cloud services are the best option for live-streaming app development as they have cost-effective plans and scalability. Use cloud solutions like Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Akamai, and many more.

It is not preferable to sacrifice quality for cost as it will diminish the app. Users have no patience for laggy streams or low-resolution videos. Ask your development team to help you select the most appropriate solution for your specific case.

5. Build, Test & Launch Your MVP

You have ample ideas to implement in your live video streaming app, right? The right way to put them to the test is by developing an MVP app.

A minimal viable product (MVP) is a lightweight version of an app that includes basic and important features needed to function the app. It allows you to get early feedback which will drive you on the right path. Also, you had your first group of beta users secured.

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6. Monitor, Maintain, and Expand

Finally, you have completed the discovery, testing, and MVP development steps, and your live-streaming app is ready to launch!

But wait, the work still needs to be completed. You should track the analytics of users’ behavior on your app. Keep a close eye on the KPIs you have set for your app and customize the UX to improve it. Consider what perception comes up and test and implement its existing functionality.

You must market your app in such a way that it stands apart from your competitors and your users have a fun experience using it.

Basic Features to Include in Live Streaming App

Here are the essential features without which your live-streaming app can’t exist.

  • Sign up/sign in: Users will have a basic registration form to create an account and log in to the app with those credentials.
  • User profile: It shows the user’s profile picture and personal information to their subscribers.
  • Live streaming: The core feature allows users to stream live video content.
  • Push Notifications: Notifications for new live streams and updates from followed users.
  • Search bar: A search box that allows users to search content by interests, popularity, trending channel, and more.
  • Commenting/Rating system: Allow users to leave feedback on the video.

Advanced Features of a Live Streaming App

Consider incorporating advanced features to take your live-streaming app to the next level. Here are some advanced features that set your app apart from the competition.

  • Extended streaming features: Consider adding multistreaming features where users can stream to multiple platforms simultaneously. Add filters or screen-sharing options for more innovation to the usage of apps.
  • Extended user profile: Allow users to sign up using their social accounts. Add advanced options like preferences, location, and interests.
  • Interactive Elements: Add a chat feature to communicate with the audience in real-time. Include a more interactive feed to control & personalize the types of content delivered.
  • Subscriptions: Add different subscription options and allow users to easily manage them from the app.
  • Recommendations: Based on their interest and viewing history, recommend content to the user.
  • Send Virtual Gifts: Encourage stream hosts by sending them your love with virtual gifts. This ultimately helps live-stream app owners to earn more revenue by selling credits for sending virtual gifts.
  • Integrate AR Filters: Integrate funny and innovative face filters to live stream to make the streaming experience more interactive

Technology Stack for Building a Streaming App

Advanced technology has made live-streaming platforms even better. Similarly to other mobile apps, you must decide on programming languages, databases, and other development elements. However, a couple of areas deserve your attention more.

API/SDK

When it comes to professional broadcasting, two types of API are there: player and video.

Player API is used to customize the video player.

Video API is used to customize the backend broadcasting experience and access additional features.

To build a live streaming app, use player API, which allows developers to create a player that works smoothly with customized mobile apps.

Video broadcasting API is like a group of instructions, and video streaming SDK is a toolkit that helps you put those instructions into use.

There are iOS and Android SDKs available to make live-streaming app development easy. These SDKs help to build, test and launch it to the app store in a minimal time.

Streaming Protocol

Two standard protocols for video streaming are RTMP and WebRTC protocols.

RTMP
RTMP is used for high-definition streaming of audio or video. For example, live streams broadcasted at concerts and conferences through RTMP. However, this comes at the cost of longer processing time, as there will be a delay of 10-20 secs between the screen capture and the viewer’s screen.

WebRTC
WebRTC focused on real-time communication. For example, find it on video-call platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and more. WebRTC is best in speed, but if bandwidth is poor, it will revoke the transmission quality.

When it comes to choosing a tech stack for live-streaming apps, nothing is fixed. Define the problem you wish to solve and modify your tech stack accordingly.

Monetization Models for Live-Streaming Apps

When it comes to monetizing your live-streaming app, there are several strategies to consider. Some common monetization methods include:

Paid App

To use a live-streaming application, the user should purchase a subscription. After purchasing, the user will have access to the app’s functionality.

Also, there is no advertising and in-app purchases available. For example, in the Netflix app, users can view or listen to the content if they pay an ongoing fee. The basic cost is $9.99/month.

Freemium

One of the most common strategies when building a live-streaming app. When you download it, some of the features are free to use. If you want additional privileges, you need to purchase them (either for a feature or for subscribing).

For example, the Twitch platform has a prime subscription that provides users with free games, free subscriptions to their favorite channels, various content related to the game, and more for only $12.99 per month.

Advertisements

In-app streaming monetization with advertising is fairly common. You allow advertisers to advertise in the videos on your app. Such advertising can be in the form of banners or full-fledged commercials appearing on different parts of the screen or blocking the ability to use the application for a few seconds.

In live streaming applications, the feature is used by streamers to monetize their streams. Contrarily, you can charge a small fee to viewers to get rid of ads. For example, Spotify and YouTube Premium.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Live Streaming App?

Live streaming app development needs significant finance. The average cost of developing a live-streaming app that works on Android and iOS will cost approximately $25k to $100k or more.

There is no fixed price. The cost of building a live streaming app or MVP relies on the app’s features, platform, and design complexity. The cost of streaming engine integration will also impact the app development cost.

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Wrapping Up

Now, you have a better idea for building a live-streaming app. Live video streaming apps help you reach a broader audience where they can always access your streaming content everywhere. The process is quite straightforward.

Nevertheless, a team of experts familiar with streaming platform development can drive you to success. Guru TechnoLabs has years of experience in delivering enterprise-grade and high-performing applications.

With the right approach and a focus on delivering a high-quality user experience, our team delivers you a live streaming app that can be a powerful tool for connecting with people and building a strong online community.

FAQs

The approx time it takes to create a live streaming app is between 6 to 12 months.

Some of the best live-streaming apps in the market are Periscope, Livestream, and StreamNow.

Yes! You can include plenty of ways to earn money in the app, even if you offer users a free app. Apps like Periscope are free to use. Check out here: How do free apps make money?

Usually, celebrities and influencers are streamers. So normal people can stay close to their idols and get updates from them. Live streaming allows viewers to chat with and get instant feedback from them. There are many corporate uses of live stream apps as well. It gives amazing ROI.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.