How to Build a Netflix-like Streaming Service from Scratch?

How to Build a Netflix-like Streaming Service from Scratch?

It all started in the first decade of the 21st century when YouTube was trying to make its ground, and some other streaming services were getting out of order. At this time, the world was unaware of what they would witness by the end of the next decade. But as they say - “Good things take time.” Even the streaming services were untouched by that.

With the rise of Netflix, the market around it suddenly started to expand, and the COVID-19 pandemic played a masterstroke in taking it to the next level. So if you are also interested in knowing how to reap the benefits of this streaming service revolution by creating your own Netflix-like application, then this article is for you.

Before diving into the details, let’s get familiar with some basics of how to build a streaming service.

What is a streaming service?

In simple words, a streaming service can be defined as a - digital entertainment platform that broadcasts audio or video content like - podcasts, movies, TV shows, sports, and live broadcasts, among others.

Since the article is about building your own Netflix-like app, let’s discuss video streaming services specifically. For example, some of the best streaming services are - Netflix, Amazon Prime, Discovery Plus, Disney+, etc. We all know that video streaming services have taken the entertainment world by storm but do we know -

What was the purpose of the video streaming services?


How and why did streaming services become so popular?

Let’s try to figure out answers to these crucial questions in brief.

As they popularly say - “Necessity is the mother of inventions, and it can take you to the newer heights.” The same happened with old broadcasting services. People gradually got bored and wanted to see something out of the blues and the box. Video streaming service found their ground in these muddy waters.

In fact, video streaming services found a unique place in a market that was originally dominated by cable-based and satellite-based broadcasting mediums. They provided services similar to their predecessors but prioritized efficiency and individual user customization. Thus, making them way more preferable and in-demand.

Some of the major missing keys in those broadcasting services were -

  • Lack of on-demand content
  • Geographical restrictions
  • Passive support to live events
  • Restricted content type

Streaming services overcame these hurdles using cutting-edge technologies such as - artificial intelligence-based algorithms, voice recognition, Internet of things (IoT), etc. And now, there is no looking behind.

Features of a streaming service

Let’s shed some light on the crucial and unique features of streaming services -

On-demand content

These apps are based on the on-demand principle. That means you can access it from anywhere and anytime. To access the streaming services, you only need a host device such as - a laptop, phone, television, etc., with an active internet connection.

Build for dedicated audiences

In most cases, a streaming service is dedicated to a particular age group, demography, interest, or region.

Some other widespread benefits are -

  • It supports high-quality streams by using different resolution rates.
  • It has greater audience potential than traditional broadcasting services like cable and satellite.
  • It makes a wide variety of content available at your fingertips.
  • East to navigate.
  • Analytics tracking helps in crafting more audience-dedicated content.
  • Mobile streaming has definitely changed the way of consuming online content.

Steps to build your own streaming app

This is the most enthralling part of this article. In this segment, we will talk about how to start a streaming service or how you can create your own streaming service.

Let’s get started!

Decide what you want to create for your audience

This is where you need the utmost focus and energy to unleash your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Since the internet is full of different types of content like - web series, short movies/videos, documentaries, movies, etc., you need to go the extra mile to get something fresh.

That’s why think of something novel, unique, and fresh content. Some suggestions could be - fitness and wellness, dance and drama lessons, sports lessons, finance or money management-related lessons, environment-related content, etc.

Therefore, creating content along these lines could be a money-making business. So think carefully about it before you start building your streaming application.

Now mark and analyze your target audience

Once you have decided on the niche, the next crucial step should be exploring the target audience. There is no chance that you can create content for everyone, so select as per your niche.

For example - if your niche is health and wellness, the target audience age range could be 20-41 (Gen-Z or millennials).

Though it does not mean that you will leave the other age groups. The ideal strategy here should be to focus on the target audience aged between 20-41. But do not forget the other potential customers of different other groups.

Explore and create your own content

The web is full of content. You need to be focused while creating your own content. Some of the critical hacks to keep in mind are -

  • It should be imploring to your target audience.
  • It should be device friendly.
  • It should be unexplored, distinctive, and fresh.
  • It should add some value to your target audience.

In addition to creating your own content, the other option could be renting the content. You can ask different producers, social media influencers, personalities, etc. to create content for you. This was one of the master strategies used by Netflix back in 2016 that made it the leader and the best streaming service.

Therefore, aim high and align with the top strategies followed by Netflix to become a content king.

Work on your business model and plan

Building a streaming service takes a lot of effort. It would be evident to you after reading the first three steps. So how do you start?

The answer is to build a strategic and data-driven business model and plan. Research the market and get a dedicated team to work on the app development project as per your business model. There are various models available for instance -

  • Subscription-based model - Based on this model, you can get monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, or yearly subscription rates. In addition to that, you can also add features like - multiple device support, browser, and app-only subscription, among others.

  • Advertisement - It is one of the primary sources of revenue. But remember not to bombard your audience with too much of ads. This can be very annoying to them, and you can lose your relevance score.

  • Voucher redemption - This is one of the most interesting models nowadays. Through this, you can get aligned with other businesses that can provide vouchers for your platform. For instance - after shopping for a period of time, you can redeem those points to get 50% off on the half-yearly subscription.

Look into the requirements for the best streaming service

Building a dedicated streaming service is not just about the content and building the application. Numerous other features need to be sorted out before reaching the MVP phase.

Some of the crucial requirements are as follows -

  • Cloud hosting and architecture - Since your end goal is to improve the speed and intensity of your content and business growth, you need to look for a cloud platform that - is scalable, meets your requirements, and is pocket-friendly and flexible, among others.

  • Network security - It is one of the main concerns of the present world. You must make the connection secure and reliable, not only for the application but also for the web version.

  • Data privacy - Customer data is the key to your success. So, the responsibility for their personal data is totally on you. Keep an eye on data management, security, and privacy with the help of a dedicated team of experts.

  • Payment gateways - This will help you get your chunks of revenue based on your business model. Hence, make sure you are giving your customers multiple payment options.

Build an MVP before taking the next steps

Creating a streaming service takes too much effort and lots of monetary help from external sources. Thus, you should be very careful about how you want to utilize it for your business. Additionally, the success of your streaming services depends on the quality of your content, application, support, etc.

So, all of these need to be taken care of. One of the best approaches is developing and designing the MVP of your original product.

But wait, what is an MVP in the first place?

An MVP is a prototype of your original product with the same looks and features. It works as a launch pad to check the market response for your product. So, getting your MVP before launching the original product is an excellent idea.

Launch the product

Based on the review received on the MVP, you can work on enhancing all the relevant features in the original product. You can also relaunch the MVP with all the new features to check if it appeals to your customers.

After two rounds of MVPs, you will have so many things in your bag that you can utilize to make your streaming service better before launching it.

Closing notes

You must clearly understand that building a streaming service is a tedious task, and you must be very careful on most occasions. So, be patient and follow the above-mentioned steps to create a fully-functional streaming service and take your business to the next level.

If you’re looking to hire skilled and dedicated remote developers to help you build a functional streaming application, try Turing. It has a vertically integrated, AI-based Intelligent Talent Cloud that allows you to source, vet, match, and manage the world's best software developers remotely. Join 300+ companies that trust Turing to hire developers and build your dream engineering team today! Sign up here and get 2-week, risk-free trial.


  • Content Writer -


    Abhishek is a Geek by day and Batman by night. He loves to talk about Data, and his passion encircles around Trekking, Hitch Hiking, Gardening, and analyzing Ancient Indian Texts. His geeky stuff got highlighted at Microsoft, Code Project, C-sharp Corner, etc. For more info, either catch up with him for a cup of coffee or reach out to him on LinkedIn | Twitter | GitHub @jabhij.

Frequently Asked Questions

The steps involved in building an OTT platform are -

  • Choose a niche.
  • Create a content store.
  • Select a business model.
  • Decide the tech stack for the project.
  • Build and launch the OTT platform.

As per an estimate by usmsystems - the average cost to develop a video streaming mobile app like Netflix is estimated to be around $10,000 to $25,000.

Yes, to build a Netflix-like app, follow these steps -

  • Select a genre or category
  • Generate content or collaborate with others for the same
  • Work on an optimized business model
  • Build and launch a dedicated mobile app
View more FAQs


What's up with Turing? Get the latest news about us here.


Know more about remote work.
Checkout our blog here.


Have any questions?
We'd love to hear from you.

Hire remote developers

Tell us the skills you need and we'll find the best developer for you in days, not weeks.

Hire Developers