How to Create a Video Streaming Website: 10-Step Guide with Business & Technical Parts

Do you want to snap off part of the very lucrative $11.34 billion market of video streaming?

Or possibly you want to know how to build a system like Netflix?

Though, let us tell you, this is no simple task.

This article explains how to create a video streaming website based on MLSDev’s experience and how we’ve overcome the difficulties.

The following infographic summarizes the information covered further.

Infographic Covering Points to Make a Streaming Site

MLSDev Experience in Building Streaming Sites

The MLSDev team has performed outstanding work to create ADASA, a video processing and live streaming solution for one of our clients.

At its core, the project had many similarities with Netflix. It needed to provide users with stream-on-demand content that was managed and added only by administrators.

The first version of the service provided essential functionality, namely:

  • video categories with search and filtering options
  • basic interaction with videos (time counter, play and pause buttons, volume control, and slider)
  • video broadcasting on smartTVs
  • functionality to share a video with friends

These features were enough to test the first version and identify the main points of interest for potential users.

Diagram: Basic Version of Video Streaming Site

Technology stack for the front end part:

  • Markup languages: HTML5, CSS3
  • Programming languages: JavaScript, TypeScript
  • JavaScript framework: Angular 6.x+
  • Compatibility: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge

Back end architecture and tech stack:

  • Programming language: Ruby
  • Web framework: Ruby on Rails (5.2)
  • Database server: PostgreSQL
  • Web servers: Nginx
  • Cloud server platform: Amazon Web Services

10-Step Process to Build a Streaming Service

How can you start a streaming service like Netflix?

The 10-step guide below covers all areas of video streaming site development and explains how to make a video streaming website in detail.

Step 1: Stand out by identifying USPs & your niche

Step 2: Create a business plan & choose a monetization model

  1. Application of Business Model Canvas

Application of the BMC to the planning process will allow for the structuring of all elements that describe the value of your proposition and product.

High-Level Business Model Canvas for Video Streaming Website

2. Prepare for new markets

3. Accumulate content & partner with content creators

4. Decide on monetization models for your video service

Generally, video streaming platforms utilize one of the following monetization models:

  • Subscription
  • Freemium
  • Advertising
  • Ad Blocking

5. Continuous video-streaming service improvement & expansion

Step 3: License your content & get all the paperwork done

Definition of Licensing Agreement

When you are questioning specifically how to build a streaming service like Netflix, you might need to deal with two major distributors in the USA:

Note: Companies spend millions of dollars on these agreements and the creation of an application of this variety may require serious investment. For instance, in 2018, Netflix spent $13 billion on content licensing and production.

Step 4: Select & hire a capable software development firm

Presented below is a step by step process of finding a web development outsourcing firm.

Main Steps to Finding Vendor for Video Streaming Website Development

Step 5: Come up with functionality for your streaming site

You need to have defined the type of video streaming website you are going to build and whether you need to create functionality for a few types of users:

  • Video consumer
  • Video creator
  • Admin

When considering building a video streaming service, it is important to understand that the feature-list can be broad, namely:

  • Home page & onboarding
  • User registration
  • User profile
  • Content search
  • Chat & comments
  • Reviews & ratings
  • Push notifications
  • Payment gateways
  • Settings
  • Screenshot ban
  • Localization
  • Geo-blocking
  • Download features
  • Admin panel
  • Analytics
  • Content & chat moderation

Note: The more functionality you add and the more complex it becomes, the more time and funds you need to allocate for video streaming website development.

Step 6: Create a customer-centric UX/UI design for a video streaming site

Video Streaming on Different Devices

The design process should focus on the following points:

  • User experience
  • Unique style
  • Responsive on all devices

Step 7: Behind the scenes: Tech stack to create a streaming website

In this part, you are going to learn how to make a video streaming website from a technical standpoint.

Technical Diagram of Content Distribution for Video on Demand Service

Though this part of the digital solution remains invisible to end-users, it drives all of the operations on the back-end and may consist of these parts.

1. Amazon media converter

2. Video streaming protocols

Logos of Video Streaming Protocols

HLS protocol cuts the content into small parts — each 10 seconds long with a .ts file extension (MPEG2 Transport Stream) — and delivers them to end-users.

Many companies have started to use this technology, as its benefits are outstanding.

There are some other video streaming protocols that may be used in particular cases. Check out the information in the table below.

3. Stable storage - Amazon S3 Cloud

4. High load of the server - AWS Lambda

5. Good network connectivity -

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

AWS S3 Cloudfront is a CDN by Amazon

6. High bandwidth

You should not forget about high bandwidth. You need a minimum download speed of 3 megabits per second to watch a single video stream in a clear, standard definition.

For different stream resolutions, it is necessary to consider a different bit rate, as follows:

The Netflix streaming service recommends the following internet speeds:

  • 1 Mbps for viewing on a laptop computer
  • 2 Mbps for SD video on a TV
  • 4 Mbps for 720p HD video
  • 5 Mbps for “the best video and audio experience”

7. Security

Security concerns many aspects of video streaming website creation, namely:

  • Network security
  • Domain restrictions
  • Referrer restrictions
  • “Paywall” payment security
  • Geographic restrictions
  • Password protection
  • Copyright control
  • Dynamic token security system
  • HTTPS video delivery
  • AES video encryption

8. Architecture

Function-as-a-Service Architecture

The above technologies are used to create microservices that comprise different independent blocks that serve the same task. Utilizing microservices, it is possible to solve bottlenecks and possible problems with further website scaling.

Function as a Service (FaaS) is a more advanced way to create web products.

Below, you can see the overall presentation of all the technologies that can be used during the creation of video streaming solutions.

Step 8: Promote your video streaming website

Here is a quick overview of the possible promotion plan:

  • Launch marketing campaign
  • SEO
  • Influencer marketing
  • SMM
  • Events

Step 9: Test the video streaming website before the final launch

Testing is the answer to the question of how to release a streaming service successfully and without issues. There are a few possible ways to test:

  • Functional testing
  • Test automation
  • Usability testing
  • Configuration and compatibility testing
  • End-to-end testing
  • Load and stress testing
  • Integration testing
  • Localization and internationalization testing

Step 10: Get feedback from your video content consumers regularly

There are a few options you can utilize to collect customer feedback:

  • live chats
  • short surveys
  • social media reviews
  • in-person interviews
  • analysis of collected metrics (e.g. retention rate, daily/monthly active users, daily sessions, lifetime value, etc.)

Check out the image below summarizing 10 steps to create a video streaming service.

The process to Make a Video Streaming Website in 10 Steps

Note: This is a summary of a guide.

Check out more details and recommendations to build an eCommerce website inside the complete article on the MLSDev blog.

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