How to Make Live Streaming App

Live streaming apps
Video Streaming apps
Video Streaming Development
WebRTC
13 Dec
Stanislav Zayarsky
Background

What is a Live Streaming App?

Live broadcast is a real-time broadcast of events taking place in any eye-catching location, which can be watched on any Internet-enabled device such as computers, tablets, smartphones, game consoles and smart TVs. Which makes it a more convenient way to get media content than TV.

Popular social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope include live streaming capabilities so users can share and showcase their activities in real time. However, due to the demand for this technology and for a more professional approach, there are also applications designed directly for real-time streaming. These apps and platforms offer more advanced features and streaming capabilities, and are therefore suitable for professional media streamers seeking to monetize their video content.

Why is Live Streaming so Popular?

News have long used live streaming, when a reporter broadcasts information on TV from an event spot. Previously, TV crews were monopolists in this niche. Now it seems that everyone is broadcasting live videos, from Hollywood showbiz stars to church preachers. Live streams have become available to any channel, website or blogger. You can live in a city or in a rural area and become a participant in a rally, seminar, press conference, taking place anywhere in the world. Streaming technology allows you to watch the final game of your favorite team or a concert of a world rock band, to witness a volcanic eruption or a space rocket launch. And it’s all in real time!

When an event is broadcast in real time, you can’t cut or edit anything, so there are more and more people who want to see a live online broadcast, and not a pre-recorded video.

Here are the top 5 reasons why live streaming is so popular:

Accessibility

Live broadcasting is the evolution of live broadcasting on TV. The reason why live TV is so popular is because of the content that is relevant, informative and accessible. Online streams have taken over TV. Streaming allows viewers to watch what they want and when they want, not only from TV screens, but also from various mobile devices, both in real time and recorded later.

Interaction and involvement

Stream viewers can leave comments that are automatically displayed live. The stream author and other viewers can interact with each other. This instant reaction creates a bond between viewers and the author and encourages the audience to ask their questions. Real-time interaction creates a sense of community and helps you get to know your target audience better.

Human factor

Live, anything can go wrong at any moment. If the presenter makes a mistake, stutters or laughs at something, the audience sees the naturalness of what is happening and identifies themselves with the author. It unites.

Increasing coverage

One of the reasons for the increase in reach is that social networks promote live content. For example, Instagram subscribers will receive a notification that the community has started a live broadcast, and to see a post with a photo or video in the recording, they will have to go to the community or come across them in the feed. YouTube also prefers to promote live videos in search queries.

Profitability

There are many effective ways to reach your target audience in SMM, but most of them require investments – time and money. A live stream can be created on a tight budget and still deliver great results.

Streaming videos are wanted by millions of audiences. People have become too lazy to read information on blogs and social networks, if you can connect to the online broadcast and see everything with your own eyes.

It’s time to start using it in your business in order to keep up with your competitors. Maybe you will become a leader in your niche, and a cool live streaming app will help you with this.

Types of Live Streaming Apps 

To understand which video application is right for you, you should learn about their varieties. There are 3 main types of live streaming apps.

Live Broadcasting Apps

It is one of the most requested live streaming apps. It allows streamers to broadcast live recordings of video and audio to other users who have access to the stream. Live streaming apps are used by celebrities, internet bloggers, gamers, coaches, university lecturers, healthcare professionals, etc. Users watch live videos, to get their questions answered, learn new things, have fun, or even get help. YouTube Live, Periscope, Livestream and Twitch are popular examples of this type of streaming apps that you can look up to building your own platform.

VOD Streaming

Another popular industry using streaming technology is Video on Demand (VOD). If you want to own an app like Netflix or Hulu, you can’t go wrong either. This type of application is in high demand. People love being able to watch their favorite TV shows and movies on any device without having to download content. Therefore, they spare no expense in paying for subscriptions to access their favorite content.

When designing a VOD application, include features that will allow users to pause, rewind, or watch a video after it goes live. Consider building streaming apps for different movie genres. This will make it easier for users to find something to their liking.

Live Streaming Audio

For lovers of music and podcasts, there are audio streaming services. So if you want to create an app for this group of people, you can be inspired by such successful projects as Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora, which have won a huge audience. These apps work in the same way as live video streaming apps, only without video. Users listen to their favorite music tracks without having to download them to their mobile device.

Features of a Live Streaming App

For your live streaming application to be successful, it is important to understand what features are the most requested in the industry and how they can be implemented so that users want to download and use it.

In fact, there can be plenty of functions in a mobile application. However, it is important to strike a balance in this matter. A mobile app overloaded with functionality may not appeal to users because of the need to search for the necessary information for a long time. On the other hand, a lack of functionality may lead to little interest in the mobile application, and users will not want to work with it.

Therefore, it is important to include functions that will work for the purposes for which the mobile application was created, i.e. help increase the flow of customers and stimulate sales from existing customers.

To meet this sweet spot, find out what features users most often look for in live streaming applications.

User Registration & Authentication

When registering, a person receives something like a place of residence in your application and ceases to be a rare visitor, but a regular user. At the moment, there is a general trend in development to simplify the authorization mechanisms and to abandon long registration forms with a large number of questions. 

It’s standard practice to add the ability to sign up with existing social media profiles. This allows you to simplify the registration process to a couple of clicks. If all processes are simple, the chances of users aborting the registration process will decrease as each additional action reduces their incentives.

Personal Profile

Personal profiles help users interact effectively with applications. And for app creators, they enable them to collect and analyze data that is useful for their business.

Consider the information that will be presented in their profile. The user profile, like any other mobile page, is limited by the screen space of the smartphone. This means that you should not try to fit too much information into it. The user should be able to both quickly find the profile page and quickly navigate through it. Menu options should be easily accessible.

Also think about your privacy settings. If users can view each other’s profiles, then you have to consider what data will be shared and what will not.

Video Player

Use a premium player with HTTP live streaming (HLS) or MPEG-DASH support in your app. It will provide perfect pixel quality for watching live video both on the web and on mobile devices. You can also integrate your live streaming app with other advanced players.

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming

Through this technology, the pixel quality is dynamically changed according to the bandwidth in which they are streamed. This allows viewers to get the highest quality video on all screen sizes, depending on the level their network can support.

4K & HDR Streaming

Today, viewers are increasingly demanding the quality of the content they consume, so the ability to deliver high dynamic range video and audio streaming will increase user satisfaction.

Push Notifications

Not required, but a very useful feature. Your app users will appreciate being reminded of current and upcoming streams of their followees. Also, you can add a calendar where the streamer can schedule all of his streams and set up automatic notifications of his subscribers for each of them.

Offline Watching

This feature will allow users to download their favorite videos and watch them even when they are offline.

Communication

One of the undeniable advantages of live streams is the ability to communicate with both the initiator of the stream and other viewers. Various situations can arise during streaming: awkward questions from users, deviation from the script, and even conflicts, but this is exactly what the audience likes. For them, streaming is real, live communication and emotions, so the application should be developed with feedback functions: chat, likes, emoji, etc.

Multi-Screen Compatibility

The multi-screen flexibility of your application will allow you to stream live video to a variety of devices, from wall-mounted LED screens to compact smartphones.

User Interface & Experience

The user interface and experience is the impression that the user gets from interacting with the application from start to finish. The effectiveness of UI and UX for your app’s target audience depends on how you build your app. An ideal interface should be user-friendly and easy to use. Your app’s target audience appreciates a seamless and consistent user journey that gives them quick access to the information they need. It is usability that largely determines whether your target audience will use your live streaming app instead of the competitors.

Search Function

The search box allows users to quickly find the content they are interested in. You can customize the search for current live streams by topics such as topic, channel, popularity, trends, location, interests, and more.

Cloud Storage

For the success of the live streaming mobile application, this feature greatly improves performance. High-quality videos have a large digital weight, which means they require a lot of storage space. Therefore, when developing an application, you also need to invest in cloud storage solutions that provide cloud services that support a wide range of file types. In this way, you will ensure the constant high performance of your streaming project.

Social Network Integration

In order for your videos to reach more viewers, and you get more income, you need to be able to broadcast them in multiple places. Where do the most people hang out online? That’s right, social media! Therefore, integration with social networks will allow you to stream your real-time video content in several crowded places at the same time and help you get the maximum number of views and participation.

Screen Sharing

The ability to share your screen content with your viewers is a must-have for streaming conferences and educational videos. In addition, without this feature, game streaming is impossible, and it attracts millions of viewers and occupies a huge niche in the streaming industry.

Hosting Fellow Streamers

A fairly new feature allows streamers to go live on the channels of their colleagues. Attracting popular streamers will increase the audience at the expense of their subscribers. And invited streamers can get paid for sharing their popularity with a budding channel, which is also one of the ways to monetize.

Monetization Options

Content creators need to be rewarded for their work, so consider the ways you will monetize your live streaming app. Let’s look at how you can make money on creating live videos.

Can Live Streaming be Monetized?

The streaming platform allows you not only to share content with other users, but also to earn good money from it. You can earn an income from streaming in the following ways:

Affiliate program

The streaming platform invites streamers to become part of a special program. During the broadcast, ads will be shown, which activates monetization.

Subscription

A very popular monetization option especially on VOD and audio streaming platforms. App developers get paid monthly or yearly for a subscription, which guarantees a stable income. Subscribers get access to unlimited or only certain content, depending on the chosen subscription plan. This monetization model is used by Netflix, Amazon, Apple Music and many others.

Pay-Per-View

Unlike a subscription, where the user usually pays a certain amount, regardless of the amount of content consumed, under this monetization model, only the content that is viewed is paid.

Donation

These are voluntary payments in any amount that subscribers send to streamers to thank them for creating quality content. For this type of monetization, it is important that the application has integration with a reliable payment gateway. It should be easy for users to donate, otherwise they simply won’t do it.

Advertising

Advertising is the most proven and profitable monetization option. It is common for third-party brands to use streamer channels to promote their product or service. Also, users can download the streaming application for free, and its owners will receive revenue from ads. In such a strategy, it is important to collect as much data as possible about the target audience. The data is analyzed and provided to advertisers who are willing to pay for advertising.

A good example is the Facebook app. The social network collects arrays of data about users and shows them targeted ads.

What to Do After the App Launch?

After launching your app, you may want to breathe a sigh of relief, but it’s too early to relax. The streaming industry is full of competitors and is growing at a very dynamic pace. Therefore, the success of the event will largely depend on the quality of software promotion and user retention methods. 

The main promotional tool is advertising. If you think over the idea, concept, and create an attractive message in the ad, you will stimulate the user to install the app. As platforms for promotion, use Google, social networks, applications of related topics that may be of interest to your target audience, etc. High-quality advertising costs money, but with a competent approach, investments in it always pay off.

After launching an advertising campaign, regularly devote your time to its analytics. End-to-end analysis tools will provide visual, detailed reports, and help to pinpoint unprofitable channels. Analyze information about traffic, leads, deals to build an effective sales funnel and develop a promotion scheme.

But that’s not all. According to a Localytics report, 25% of users uninstall apps after first use. Advertising and user purchases are important factors, but retaining those users is even more important. Therefore, it is imperative that your application makes a good impression within the first few days, demonstrating the most value and providing a good user experience. If you can’t get users interested right away, you’ll likely lose their interest.

There are several techniques that can be used to increase user engagement and retention. One of these methods is to encourage users to use your application. Incentives can be anything: rewards, access to specialized content, coupons, special promotions, and other offers. All this will give users a reason to choose your application, help increase conversions and motivate engagement.

Conclusion

There are various services and even free app builders to help you develop your own live streaming software. It will cost less than building an application with hiring professional live streaming app developers. However, an experienced developer and a senior student are two completely different qualification categories. If in the first case you get a guarantee of results, then in the second case any surprises are possible. For example, there is a possibility of making mistakes, both in choosing the best functionality or UI/UE, and in the way the application is promoted. Whereas a team of experts will oversee the development process all the way through, even after it is launched.

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