How to Create a Live-Streaming Mobile App?
The live streaming market is projected to reach $78 billion by 2021. Through live streaming, businesses can reach a broader market, engage live audiences, and build brand loyalty. It’s no wonder that live-streaming apps have flooded the market and overtaken social media and blogs in consumption market share.
And want to know the best part about live streaming apps? They can be developed brands and organizations from most domains, industries, scales, and sizes. As long as you have interesting content to serve and a ready-made audience, you can build a live-streaming mobile app and earn a fortune.
Sounds cool, right?
It is. So let’s learn about the process and tools required to build great live-streaming mobile apps. But first, let us take a look at the basic features every robust live-streaming app needs to possess.
What Are the Most Important Elements of a Live-Streaming App?
There are numerous live-streaming mobile apps out there, but not all of them are successful. The best apps need to have the following elements/features:
An intuitive interface that is easy to use.
Native integration with a robust video player so that viewers get uninterrupted video quality. According to research, 90% of Facebook Live viewers rate video quality as the most important factor governing their choice of apps.
Adaptive streaming (bitrate) so that your live streams can adjust to each user’s CPU capacity.
Scalable cloud hosting so that your app can accommodate mass user volumes with ease.
A flexible structure so that the app can handle video-on-demand (VoD) as well as live streaming.
Responsive design so that your live streams can be viewed on varied screen sizes and devices, from smartphones to home theatre systems.
Download feature so that viewers can watch your content offline as well.
Robust security so that your content is protected from hackers and malware.
Essential features, such as profile creation, follow users, and account registration.
Advanced search and filter options so that users can search for content by location, creator, etc.
Monetization features so that content creators can make money from their activities.
If your live-streaming app contains all of the above features and capabilities, it has a better chance of beating the competition and meeting user expectations. Now, let’s talk about how to build your first live-streaming mobile app.
How to Develop a Great Live-Streaming App
There are many platforms to create a live streaming mobile app for first-time creators. But creating an app is not exactly a DIY project. It requires a fair bit of coding and designing experience, which means you should hire professional mobile app development teams for the task.
The process to build a live-streaming mobile app covers these main steps:
1. Validate Your Plan
Before you embark on live streaming, think if you really need to develop a mobile app. Consider the benefits you can derive through an app, and weigh them against risks and investment. The pay-off should be justified.
If you’re unsure about your app’s fate, answer the following questions as objectively as possible:
Is your target audience looking for live content?: In general, live video consumption has increased exponentially in the last few years, especially in the 18-34 age bracket (millennials). So, if your buyer persona is aged as such, you are assured of demand.
Do you have products/processes that can benefit from live content?: Research shows that there is a huge demand for live explainer videos. For industries revolving around complex processes and products, live streaming apps are a great option.
Can your business profit from audience engagement?: Live streaming is a great marketing tool since it lets brands build a direct connection with their audience. A recent study proves that 83% of people would rather watch a video than read a blog post from brands while shopping. If you leverage influencers and bloggers to spread your messaging, live streaming apps can widen their reach.
Once you are convinced that live streaming apps are essential for you, it’s time to proceed with the next steps.
2. Determine the Kind of App Your Need
The kind of app you build determines the tech stack and platform you will use for app development. There are three main kinds of live-streaming apps. Let’s learn about them in detail.
Live Video Broadcasting Apps: YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Periscope are some of the most popular video broadcasting apps. Through them, users can watch live video content while they are being recorded.
Live Audio Streaming Apps: Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify are a few of the reputable live audio streaming apps. When users want to listen to live audio content or podcasts, they can use these kinds of apps.
Video-on-Demand Apps (VoD): Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix allow viewers to watch TV series and movies on demand via an internet connection.
3. Outline the Basic App Features
As explained before, your live streaming app needs to have some essential features, such as:
Sign In: Users should be able to register to your app and save their credentials in a safe location. To make onboarding easier, you can allow users to sign up through Facebook and other social networks.
Profile and Settings: After signing up, users should be able to check their profile and change the settings as needed.
Notifications: Content creators should be able to notify followers of new uploaded content and live streams. They should be able to organize their notifications.
Social Media Sharing: To reach more people, you need to incorporate social sharing handles/buttons in your app. Using those, your followers will be able to share your content or their feedback in their social feeds, which helps attract new followers.
In-App Storage: While “in-the-moment” content is the essence of live streaming, your app should offer storage space to content creators as well. This way, they can save pre-recorded content (like tutorials) which can be embedded in live streams later.
Auto Quality: For seamless streaming, it’s important to use the adaptive bitrate system that compresses bits according to device and internet bandwidth.
Interactive Elements: To make your live sessions interesting, you need to engage users with comments and interactivities.
4. Design the UI/UX
The user interface of an app should be pleasant and intuitive. Users judge apps based on the kind of interface and experience it provides. With UI/UX so critical to your app’s success. It’s important that you get it right in the first go. Here are the four principles you should follow while designing it:
Structure: Your app’s design elements should be placed in a clean and coherent architecture. You can take guidance from Information Architecture to design your app.
Simplicity: For new apps, it’s essential that the design is so simple that even first-time users can navigate it with ease.
Visibility: Your app might be having numerous wonderful elements but placing them all together in one screen can overwhelm new users. That’s why you should show only the important elements and leave the rest for later.
Reuse: By maintaining consistency in design for both internal and external app elements, users can reuse your app time and again without any hassle.
5. Identify the Right Tech Stack
Once your design is finalized, you need to decide on the framework to be used for app building. When it comes to frameworks, developers are spoilt for choice. But they must select their framework keeping their design, features, and users in mind.
Regardless of the framework you select, pay special attention to data security and scalability. Since live streaming apps expand their user base rather fast, it’s important that your app storage, streaming, and architecture accommodates the growing user base without a glitch.
6. Use Bonus Features
Since the competition in the app space is very stiff, your app needs standout features like AI integration and serverless architecture. By adding these capabilities to your app, you can make it more appealing to users and stride ahead of the competition. Also, keep an eye on changing trends in your domain and incorporate them in your app as quickly as possible.
Are You Ready to Create Your Live Streaming App?
The live streaming domain is here to stay. So, don’t hesitate before jumping into the fray with a powerful app. At the same time, plan and design your app with a lot of thought since there are too many competitors in the market.
To start with, you can use the above steps as a compass to guide your app development. We have tried to cover all the main processes and principles required to risk-proof your app.
Do you have any questions about the described process? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.
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