Whether it is a movie, web series, sitcoms, or any other genre series, it can make even a gloomy boring evening an interesting one. In fact, nowadays, the TVs have also become smarter, so now you can watch your favourite web series with your family on a larger screen. You just require a smart TV and a good internet connection. The video streaming applications or we say OTT platforms have drastically become popular within a few years. The youngsters are now not even looking for the cable connections and go to the video streaming platforms for meeting their entertainment needs. In fact, Amazon Prime or Netflix have become part of their daily routine.
As per a report, the video streaming services are having more subscribers globally (613.3 million users) than the number of cable connections (some 556 million users). Another stats has predicted that the revenue generated by the video streaming services can surpass the worldwide theatrical revenue this year. The overcrowded video streaming market — valued at $22.6 billion last year and estimated to grow to $30.6 billion by 2022.
There are many players in the market, who are looking to develop video streaming apps to improve the recognition of their brand, generate traffic, get an audience from the international borders, and for many other benefits. However, this cutting edge technology is giving lots of benefits over a short period of time but comes with many challenges that only a reputed mobile app development company like us can overcome.
Apparently playing a video seems a very easy task. One may think it is like playing a video on the computer of which everyone is having the access, which can be given by a simple link. But it is a lot more than that.
In a bigger picture, things are the same as described above. There is a server which can be accessed remotely through the internet. The video files are uploaded on these servers, and there is an API to provide links to the video. However, the videos need to be considered to upload on both clients as well as on the server-side.
Traditionally, the compression coding or the conversion of the video files to the proper format is done on the client-side. Its aim is to simplify the player setup. It doesn’t only helps in eliminating the potential bugs but the compression also reduces the size of the file. This, in turn, gives the user to stream the video without consuming a large amount of data.
Unfortunately, despite a lot of users are using 4G internet there are a huge amount of users who still rely on the medium speed limited internet. Hence, the app developers keep this in focus that every category of users would be able to use the app and the service comfortably. Henceforth, a 100Mb file is easier to download or stream than a 1000Mb or 1GB file, especially when the speed is slow.
After uploading the video, there would be post-processing of the video on the server-side. The common formats of video streaming are:
- HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)
- Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH)
Though their working principle is quite different, in fact, it is based on adding the keyframes to the video. These are the image frames which are taken from the video at periodic intervals. As a user, if you rewind the video, you can see these frames.
In simpler words, we see pictures instead of a black screen while the video is loading. In addition to image, service information is also included where the file needs to be transferred. Also, there are different quality formats of the video which are adopted as per the internet speed of the user. That is if the internet speed is fast the video will stream in best quality and vice versa.
Now you can see, there are so many obstacles that you need to overcome while developing a video streaming application.
Issues you can face with a tight budget
You must face a lot of potential issues if you are working a tight budget. Developing an out-of-the-box video streaming platform definitely requires good financial investments. The common issues are:
- Video files taking a lot of time for uploading on the server
- Loading error due to a time out on uploading a large file
- Long buffering time as the file can fail of containing keyframe details
- High server response time as you can’t add geo-distribution support due to the limited budget.
- It will also affect the synchronization between the servers
- Limited Servers Capacity
What are client expectations?
As the client is having a limited budget, therefore, he needs to eliminate many of the advanced functionalities and develop a product like an MVP which is not intended for heavy workloads. However, most of the customers don’t realize that it is not a Minimum Viable Product but a complete solution however, at a lower cost.
The client expects a faster video uploading, no buffering, or any other delay during playback. But that too can disrupt with limited budgets. The client should realize that firstly it is best to demonstrate the idea to a user or investors by an MVP variant. but not for the final product release. It would be a poor impression on the users if you come with improper features and it doesn’t matter how best your video content is. There are many things you can save on a limited budget, but not when building a video content service.
Top Video Streaming Applications:
Thinking about the video, the first thing that comes to mind is YouTube. It is the world’s largest video streaming platform with 1.9 billion users. On YouTube, 500 hours of video content is uploaded every minute. Interestingly, 70% of YouTube views come from mobile devices. It is powered by Google, and in fact, is a pre-installed app for every Android device. The user can stream videos in many different qualities and can download for offline entertainment.
It is free to use service i.e. the user can upload and stream videos for free, however, there is some paid content too. There are two types of users on Youtube: Video creators which have their own channels on YouTube and upload videos on them, and video viewers, the users who watch videos, like, comment, or share them, and subscribe the channel. At present YouTube offers music, tutorial, movies and trailers, and even recently added live TV features. All the leading top news channels and TV shows streamed over YouTube.
Netflix, the first video-stream platform comes to mind when talking about premium video content. It is the second most used video streaming service in the US. As of Q1 2020, there were more than 182 million paid subscribers on Netflix of which more than 60% are based in the US or Canada. It comes with a free trial while the subscription can cost you from $8.99 to $15.99 per month. It has diverse and excellent web series content, and also support for 4K, Chromecast, Miracast, most smart TVs and game consoles, HDR10, and Dolby Vision. It was initially started as a subscription-based DVD service but now offers on-demand TV shows, movies and a wide range of web series content across every genre you can imagine. Netflix has more entertainment than you could ever possibly watch.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is a video-streaming service available only for the Amazon Prime Members. The Amazon Prime membership can cost you Rs. 1000 in India. Amazon prime is a business division of Amazon, the largest e-commerce chain across the world. It offers you unlimited ad-free video streaming content such as premium movies, and TV shows around the world. With an Amazon Prime membership, a customer can access thousands of Prime Video titles at no additional cost. It also doesn’t require Chromecast support.
Megabox HD is an application by which you can enjoy a lot of movies and TV shows with your Android Smartphone. You can either download or stream them. The interface of Megabox HD is highly intuitive with great filters of popularity, latest releases, and reviews. This Android application offers multiple lucrative features for free.
Some of the advantages to mention are — convenient dropdown menu, absence of advertisements and the possibility to download for watching later.
Hulu is the best platform for those users who hate missing their favourite shows on TV broadcast but love staying up to date with the current productions. There are hundreds of seasons and thousands of episodes available on this platform. It covers shows from popular networks including ABC, Fox, NBC etc.
Currently, it is owned by Disney and Comcast, and it is only available in the US and Japan. If you are currently living in the States, you’d be happy to know that Hulu is among the best streaming platforms available. There are more than 32 million subscribers on this on-demand video streaming platform with more than 2,500 movies and 40,000 episodes. Hulu is easy to access on almost any device on your choice. As you would expect, you can stream Hulu content on the web and through the service’s Google Play and App Store apps.
If you are planning to develop a video-streaming platform then you need to start with a good investment, as the users don’t only look for premium content but also an attractive and easy to use platform. We at Amplework Software, the best development mobile app development company, are expert in meeting custom requirements at affordable rates. Let us know your idea.