From idea to launch: Learn how to start a video streaming platform like Netflix!

February 27, 2023 •
ViewLift Team


Who hasn’t heard of Netflix? Indeed, Netflix has changed what we watch and the way we watch it! It has captured the global imagination of creative entrepreneurs who now want to make a Netflix clone. The question at the top of their mind is: How to start a streaming service and mint revenue and audience growth globally? Yes, just like Netflix.

Revenue in the OTT video segment is projected to grow from US$ 316 bn in 2023 to US$ 462 bn by 2027, registering a CAGR of 10.1%, as per Statista. Netflix is the market leader, with the lion’s share at 16%.

Establishing a profitable live streaming OTT platform is time- and cost-intensive, requiring in-house server systems, cloud-based solutions, video streaming live players, CMS, and a deep understanding of monetization models. This needs seasoned expertise, which independent content owners often can’t afford.

OTT solution providers simplify the launching and scaling of OTT channels while delivering a seamless video streaming experience.

But first, let’s understand the basics of how to start a streaming service like Netflix in 2023.

What is a video streaming service?

Before we get to how to start a streaming service, let’s find out what it is.

A video streaming service is a digital platform broadcasting video content on demand. With traditional satellite or linear TV and cable, users could not demand the show they wanted to watch. Downloading took time and computer memory and was often not even legitimate – piracy on Bit Torrent reigned supreme in many parts of the world. But all that changed with on-demand video streaming live service.

Video streaming allows users to watch shows in their browsers without downloading and saving them.

According to Nielsen, OTT streaming accounted for 34.8 % of total television consumption in the US in 2022, far ahead of cable and broadcast.

How to create a streaming service like Netflix in 2023

Be multi-device

As per midiaresearch, though TV sets are still the dominant device for watching OTT with 74% viewers, multi-screen viewing is catching up.

29% of viewers parallelly access OTT on desktops and laptops, 27% on mobile and many on gaming devices. With the diversity of digital devices for accessing content, OTT platforms need to stream content and ensure consistent and engaging viewer experience across multiple devices like mobile, web, OTT, smart TV, and gaming consoles.

Diversify pricing options

Different customers have different needs. Therefore, a good pricing model ensures all critical customer segment needs are catered to with tailored pricing models that address consumer needs across various price sensitivities.

For example, Netflix, a staunch SVOD believer, launched AVOD last year, recognizing that bringing new price-conscious customers onto the platform opened up avenues for new subscriptions. This is in addition to a steady revenue stream from advertising.

Some of the most common monetization models on video streaming service include:

  • AVOD : Advertising-based video on demand. It is free for consumers, with the revenue coming from advertising.
  • SVOD : Subscription video on demand. It has a flat subscription payment without limits on consumption.
  • TVOD : Transactional video on demand. It allows users to selectively access content with a permanent or limited-period viewing option.
  • PPV : Pay per view. This service typically allows viewers to pay and watch individual events.

A good strategy is to offer a hybrid mix of multiple models for greater flexibility and reach. In addition, numerous payment methods like integrated payment gateways, e-commerce, international currency payments, and cross-platform payments further add to the platform’s agility.

Go global

Audiences are hungry for quality content, and language is no longer a barrier. This is evident from a host of famous Netflix shows like the Spanish production Money Heist that have impressed non-Spanish audiences worldwide and have been running into multiple seasons.

Give your audience the option to select subtitles, captions, and audio language, and increase your reach without geographical and language limitations.

Build OTT apps quickly as new devices emerge

Different OTT markets may have different device affinities among consumers. Therefore, a profitable OTT streaming service has OTT apps across these devices to increase reach.

Roku in the US, Amazon Fire Stick, and Vizio, among a host of diverse devices, have diverse app coding and maintenance requirements for different operating systems. Building an app for all of these devices is a challenging task. In addition to significant technical skills in the video streaming environment, OTT apps also need a content delivery network (CDN) of interconnected servers for quick content loading on data-heavy applications.

So how to build OTT apps? A SaaS-based platform and a tech partner with seasoned experts can help.

How ViewLift bridges the gap: Key features and benefits

ViewLift is a leading end-to-end, cloud-based video streaming OTT platform provider. Launched in 2008, it has a depth and breadth of industry expertise and has led the evolution of video streaming service over the last decade and a half.

ViewLift understands the unique requirements of OTT content owners – customer base, viewing habits, subscription mindsets, how to build OTT apps and more.

ViewLift is designed as a full tech stack to address both local and global nuances. The platform offers world-class functionality, complete scalability, and rich live video streaming and video-on-demand (VOD) experiences.

ViewLift’s OTT streaming solutions reduce the time-to-market across all major OTT devices, including mobile, smart TVs, and gaming consoles.

1.End-to-end video streaming tech provider

Viewlift offers an industry-leading and comprehensive Video Content Management
System that:

  • Publishes, manages, and distributes videos, as well as creates responsive solutions for websites and helps you build OTT apps
  • Supports 24×7 live streaming workflows and features
  • Ensures content security and prevents threats like piracy
  • Allows organization of VOD content library efficiently for seamless delivery to streaming apps using the cloud platform of your choice
  • Simplifies OTT content operations by allowing bulk upload of movies, series, and trailers from different sources like local files, MRSS feeds, FTP, or from an external URL
  • Effortlessly manages title, description, tags, categories, and keywords and applies business rules, geo-restrictions, and localized language options
  • Allows easy uploading and encoding using a drag and drop from PC to cloud for multiple video file formats like AVI, MOV, MP4, WMV, among others

2.Low-latency streaming

Latency is the delay between when the viewer presses play and when they see the content streaming on their screen.
A great viewing experience can hold the viewers’ interest and keep them engaged and coming back for more. However, a lag in a live stream or even on-demand content streaming at low internet bandwidths can mar the viewing experience.
ViewLift, with its low latency streaming capabilities, allows viewers to experience buffer-free live and on-demand streaming.

3.Flexible monetization options

Flexible consumption and payment plans are crucial for appealing to a diverse set of customers across geographies.

ViewLift offers a range of flexible options to enable maximum monetization through subscriptions, ads and more. It offers the choice of tailor-made pricing packages for AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, PPV along with hybrid models.
Multiple payment methods include:

  • Integrated payment gateways
  • E-commerce gateways
  • International currency
  • Cross-platform payments
  • Marketing tools like coupons and offers

ViewLift drives revenue by advanced programmatic ad deliveries from leading ad networks to power linear FAST or AVOD business models. It also supports video overlays, companion ads, and pre-, mid-, and post-roll ad placement for live events.

4.Multi-lingual support

ViewLift facilitates tapping into the power of localization by enabling the audience to access content from various languages. It also supports closed captioning in multiple languages.

5.Real-time data and analytics

ViewLift dashboards give a 360-degree view of the business with the elements like:

  • 360-degree visibility into traffic, user acquisition, engagement, revenue, subscription, and more. Viewer and viewing analytics are generated from every device to provide extensive insights into subscribers, payments, acquisitions, churn, and active users
  • Advertiser acquisition and retention with efficient marketing campaigns leveraging in-depth analytics, 130+ user data points, and data from walled gardens through integrations with Meta and Google
  • Quality of Service(QoS) reporting which includes advanced metrics to measure video stream quality in real-time like load times, buffering ratios, and streaming quality at the domain, content, and user level

With these insights into viewer preferences, you can have personalized recommendation engines and create content partnerships and advertising strategies. In addition, service quality metrics drive pinpointed actions to improve the viewing experience, retain existing viewers, acquire new ones and improve profitability.

6.Multi-device, multi-platform capability

ViewLift powers a multi-device, multi-platform strategy for all branded apps on mobile, web, OTT, smart TVs, and gaming consoles, with all content managed from a single centralized cloud-based platform. So you get to create a video streaming app, no matter where your audience is.

The integration of CDNs into the app for quick loading of data-heavy applications provides an excellent viewer experience.

7.Customized integration of marketing and engagement tools

To meet the dynamic needs of brands and viewers, ViewLift has a diverse integration strategy, including hundreds of third-party tools across email and social marketing, ticketing, and e-commerce.

Customer engagement platforms such as Airship, CleverTap, Mailchimp, and Mandrill deliver messages to users and engage them through push notifications, in-app messaging, SMS, email and more.

Integrated e-commerce tools allow sales of merchandise directly to fans on streaming apps.

Google and Meta integrations allow targeted ads for users most likely to engage and download your OTT apps.

8.Powerful app CMS

ViewLift supports app building for a diverse set of devices and operating systems, including Roku, Apple TV, and Vizio, to name a few. It currently supports 16 device platforms and has the expertise to add more as they emerge, giving content owners an edge over the competition.

ViewLift’s modular front-end app framework with fully customizable templates allows brands to spin up apps quickly while maintaining brand experience and consistency. All of it without an in-house development team.

What’s not to love?

Do you want to live stream or broadcast your video content to a wide audience? There are a few technical options for streaming protocols that you’ll want to consider to achieve a high-quality viewing experience for your viewers. Read this article we’ll explore six of the most preferred and widely used video streaming protocols for professional broadcasting and help you determine what is most suitable for your business and audience.

Steps to build a video streaming service

Content owners need a strategy that fits their aspirations of video streaming viewership and scale. The most crucial questions that need answers before you start a video streaming service include:

1.What’s my content niche?

The first step is to decide what content you want to stream. You have many options: Entertainment or music, news or political events, cultural content or sports, among many others.

However, with these areas dominated by the big players, selecting a niche can be more profitable.

Examples could be a local city news channel, a state-level college sports channel, a local language entertainment channel, a fitness channel, an education channel among others.

2.Who is my audience?

With the video streaming service market getting increasingly competitive, it pays to narrow your focus to a specific, well-defined target audience and concentrate all efforts on it.

Explore the market, conduct user research, find your customers’ pain points and expectations from content consumption, and work to fill the gaps.

3.Where do I find my content?

When it comes to video streaming, content is the most critical factor in pulling in audiences. You can do everything right – from branding to experience. But if your content doesn’t engage and cater to your audience’s tastes, your video streaming service will fall flat.

There are several ways to go about content creation or curation. You can license it from copyright owners. Own content production is also a highly profitable option if the content clicks with your target audience.

Use analytics to identify the audience’s viewing preferences and work backwards.

4.What kind of tech infrastructure do I need?

Platform providers must ensure the right infrastructure that meets the diverse strategic, operational and viewer experience needs.

  • Cloud hosting and computing architecture for seamless content storage and delivery:

    To deal with the vast amounts of content, OTT platform owners need cloud hosting. For example, ViewLift offers its services both on AWS and Google Cloud Platform and is the only multi-cloud OTT services provider.

  • Streaming across diverse internet bandwidths and traffic:

    To scale up the platform for increased traffic, a content delivery network (CDN) comprises a server network that will have to seamlessly stream videos to subscribers, irrespective of the traffic. Your tech stack partner should also ensure low-latency streaming in poor network areas.

  • Content security to protect your content partners’ interests:

    Your tech stack provider should deliver 24×7 monitoring and content availability in the case of server failure. In addition, it should prohibit unauthorized access to third party videos while restricting other users from copying the embedded link in the source code to other platforms or websites.

  • Diverse payment options:

    Different payment methods dominate local preferences. Therefore, a robust OTT platform should offer diverse payment modes for a global viewership. Besides customizable payment gateways for your platform like Stripe, payments via Visa, Discover, MasterCard, JCB, PayPal, or other credit and debit cards should also be supported.

5.What’s going to be my monetization model?

No content owner is looking to launch a video streaming service without monetization in mind.

Picking the suitable model is a complex process with variables like consumer preferences, advertiser preferences, types of ads, shoppability and much more. We get into these details in just a bit.

In conclusion, content owners need to get the right service providers who can provide the technical infrastructure and meet niche-specific audience requirements.

How to choose the right video monetization model to generate revenue?

Consider the price sensitivity and cultural nuances of a region. In the US, OTT dominates, with SVOD leading over AVOD. However, linear TV still rules in markets like India, though OTT is growing fast.

Scaling in emerging economies can mean more price-sensitive customers. Even otherwise, with economic headwinds and unpredictable fluctuations, your monetization model can make or break your video streaming service.

Be sure to provide options like AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, and PPV to cater to all audience segments. In addition, you can address a more significant audience segment with hybrid monetization, just like Netflix offering both AVOD and SVOD.

That’s how you start a video streaming service like Netflix in 2023!

Chorki: 4x growth of a video streaming service with ViewLift

Chorki launched the first-ever Bangladesh based DTC VOD platform streaming Bangla language content to the world in June 2021.

The company had one goal: eliminating language barriers for Bangla-speaking audiences.

ViewLift, with its best-in-class distribution and monetization solutions and expertise as a global OTT service provider, was Chorki’s chosen tech stack partner on this journey. The company’s experience working with successful international and regional language video streaming companies, pricing, and scalability fit Chorki’s global ambitions.

ViewLift x Chorki: The story of doing everything right

Empirical content strategy:

Chorki started its DTC services with a media inventory of over 200 titles of films, TV series, documentaries, TV dramas, and more.

Multi-device presence:

Chorki was launched on the ViewLift platform. It had branded native apps on Android, iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Samsung Smart TV. These new apps were launched in a short timeframe with the help of ViewLift’s fully customizable, ready-to-deploy app templates.

Diverse payment options:

ViewLift Chorki equipped Chorki with global and local payment platforms to capture international audiences. Seamless payment flow and auto-renewals allow Chorki to ensure recurring SVOD revenue.

Language support:

Chorki feels like home to the Bengali community worldwide. It supports Bangla for the UI across all its applications.


Chorki’s massive content inventory combined with ViewLift’s ability to deliver a seamless, global, and personalized viewing experience and 360-degree analytics have produced phenomenal results and have been instrumental in the company’s success.

  • 4x growth in SVOD viewers in a single year
  • Subscribers from 80+ countries
  • Significant savings on the cost of ownership of the OTT platform
  • Multiple awards and recognition, including the Best Digital Diversification Project award at the Bangladesh Media Innovation Awards 2022

Start a video streaming service like Netflix in weeks with ViewLift

How to start a streaming service in 2023? With ViewLift, of course.
Talk to ViewLift solutions experts to learn more about ViewLift’s OTT solutions for Live and VOD streaming.
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