How Much Does It Cost to Create a Live Streaming App Like Periscope?

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05 Oct 2016
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12 min
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Vitaly K.
Copywriter

What can be better than sharing your cat's new picture with friends? Right you are! The opportunity to discuss it! Nowadays, every app is more or less aimed at socialization. For example, live feed apps are becoming extremely popular in modern society. 

The rhythm of our life has become as fast as never before. As a result, society faced an obvious problem - a lack of time. With the IT industry development, some aspects of our routine were simplified. For example, you do not have to go shopping to malls anymore. You can just order any goods you like with home delivery. It became possible due to the rise of online shopping and e-commerce website development.

The same thing happened to communication. Sometimes it is hard even to find time for healthy breakfast needless to say about meeting with old friends. IT companies understood that and decided to provide users with new ways of communication. Accordingly, the old applications have obtained new features and communication we know today was about to begin. New social networks and messengers were gradually filling the market.

In 2015 Periscope was released and gained popularity among users.

How Much Does It Cost to Create an App Like Periscope?

What is Periscope?

The idea of Periscope came to the minds of two young fellows while traveling in Istanbul. One of them was on Taksim Square when the protests began. Seeking details he turned to Twitter. However, he could not both read and watch the events. Thus, the idea of Periscope as a free video streaming app was born. Shortly after the company was launched, Twitter showed interest in this start-up and bought it in late 2015.

There are versions for iOS, Android, and tvOS.

Live streaming app: main page

Periscope main page

Let us talk about the main function. With the help of Periscope, you can conduct streams in such a way that the user sees everything via your phone's camera.

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The war between operating systems or What Is the Best Platform For the First Launch?

Hence, the main idea of Periscope is observing events which are happening around the world with the help of another user. This idea is quite simple, isn't it? Nevertheless, this app has become a breath of fresh air among monotonous replicas of popular social networks and hundreds of thousands of messengers which are trying to reach the success of their popular adversaries.

Money talks: Approximate cost of video streaming apps creation

In this part, we will raise a question which is might be of some interest to you. How much does the development of a free live streaming app really cost? Of course, the price depends on the project's complexity and many other peculiarities, so our calculation will be approximate.

From the graphic below we can see that this marker is developing extremely fast.

Live Streaming App: Downloads graph

The amount of app downloads (Source: Statista)

Step 1: Wireframing and Design

Before designers start working it is necessary to make a sketch. In this very first step, the visual architecture is being formed. According to the consumer's vision of his final product, all possible methods of interaction with the application will be considered. To make this process clear, just imagine a car body. It is just a simple frame and you cannot even take a seat there.

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How does the initial stage of development does look like? Wireframes, Mockups, Prototypes and How They Serve For Perfect Design?

So, we have learned that wireframing is not a complete design but sketch.

Estimated time: 18 hours

Estimated cost: $900 (at a $50/hour rate)

Design

If wireframing is a car body, design is the fully assembled and equipped car but without an engine. Yes, it is definitely eye-catching but there is no reason to buy a car that can't move, there?

So, what do you need to know in order to make a Periscope design?

The design is a very important stage in software development. Let's try to imagine how long you would use an app with an inconvenient design. I bet no longer than a week. Then, you'd try to find a similar one which would better meet your needs. Consequently, IT companies are interested in a perfect design in order to attract users to the software they produce.

There are two types of design: user interface design (UI) and user experience design (UX). UI is how an app looks. Colors, shapes, and other decorative elements are related to this type of design. UX is about your feelings while using certain software. In other words, this type is in charge of the application usability and the pleasure provided during interaction with it.

Live Streaming App: UI/UX

UI/UX design example (Source: <a href="https://dribbble.com/cleveroad?__hstc=170294911.73502b2b30a92f3c75c72eb17f2e6c14.1485167017523.1485167017524.1485172748264.3&__hssc=170294911.18.1485172748264&__hsfp=1602352737" target="_blank">Dribbble</a>)

UI design should always be clear, simple and beautiful at the same time. In a streaming app like Periscope these factors are very important. The app should not be overloaded with information, or color schemes, but rather have a convenient feed for users.

A striking example of UI is the new Instagram design. Designers made it as simple as possible. They have simplified the color scheme of the app. Such changes were made not only because of aesthetic purposes but also for maximizing the user's attention to the content inside. This way, users are not distracted by the application design itself.

Concerning UX, such types of social networks as live streaming apps should be tight-knit. The user should have an opportunity to start the broadcasting immediately in case something interesting is about to happen.With that being said, the basic functions of the application should be in a prominent place and rapidly available.

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The final stage of this step is the detailed prototype of your project.

Let's count now. We will take an average number of hours that a similar mobile application design usually requires.

Estimated time: 48 hours

Estimated cost: $2500 (at a $50/hour rate)

Step 2: Development of the features for video streaming app

We have already discussed the main function of Periscope. Now, we will dive deeper into other components of this app and the mobile development itself.

Streaming video

Twitch is a popular website for streaming video. It gives an opportunity to users to be able to stream games so that other people can watch it live. Recently, YouTube has released analogous services also. We can see that products like this are gaining popularity and the release of Periscope only proves that.

In order to obtain such features as live streaming video, developers have used communication protocols. These protocols set the rules governing how data is communicated. We can refer to them as: RTSP, UDP, TCP and other incomprehensible acronyms. The point is, that all these technologies were created for one single purpose - to transfer information. It is one thing when you're just trying to transfer something onto other devices, but it's completely different when your goal is live video streaming. Connecting other users to your stream makes this process more complicated.

So, in order to implement the code for such functions, you need a whole team of professionals who are able to combine all these protocols and also create a separate function for the mobile app.

Live Streaming App: promotion

Streaming from Periscope (Source: <a href="https://www.periscope.tv/" target="_blank">periscope.tv</a>)

Although, this is not the end of the functionality in this video streaming app. After you have finished your stream, you have an opportunity to download this video on your smartphone. Moreover, you can leave the recording of your stream in Periscope and chose the time during which it will be available for other users.

I think each of us has dealt with a video or film clip that we wanted to skip. Periscope took care of that too. You can rewind the stream recording to any part you like. This function is quite creatively made. So, it's a good idea to have a look at it on the picture below.

Estimated time: 60 and more hours (it depends on desired video quality)

Estimated cost: $3000 (at a $50/hour rate)

Live Streaming App: rewinding feature

Rewinding feature

Geolocation

Geolocation is used in order to determine your location. A couple years ago, apps that were using GPS had certain popularity. In a few years, it ceased to be something out of the ordinary and became a "must have" for every app.

There are hundreds of popular apps using GPS: Foursquare, Uber, various messengers and so on. Periscope is not an exception. This live streaming video app obtained a very convenient feature connected with the map. The fact is that users can see circles on a global map. Each circle shows the status of someone's stream. If it is over - the circle is blue, if it is live - red. This way, users have an opportunity to keep track of the country they are interested in or just to explore new interesting places.

There are two ways of finding your location. The first one is with the help of cell towers. This method is appropriate when a GPS signal is unavailable because it is not quite exact enough. The second method allows obtaining information about your position with the help of a built-in GPS chip inside your smartphone. This chip uses satellite data to calculate your exact position.

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Development process in our company or How We Create Software at Cleveroad

As usual integration and settings of geolocation into your app for live streaming demands certain time and efforts, you should also remember that iOS and Android differ in coding. Google and Apple use their own services: Google Map and MapKit correspondingly. So, you need two separate teams in order to release your app on both platforms.

Estimated time: 32 hours

Estimated cost: $1600 (at a $50/hour rate)

Live Streaming App: global map

Periscope global map

Registration

Nowadays, it is hard to find an app without a registration function. There are several types of registration: via e-mail, phone number or social network.

The first one is a so called full registration. You need to submit your e-mail and create a password.

Phone number registration is usually used by messengers. This is a very convenient method. You cannot forget the password or login because your account is connected to your phone number and in case of an emergency, you will get SMS message with an account recovery code.

Registration through social networks has become very popular in recent years. You do not need to create another password or receive annoying e-mail letters from time to time.

Streaming apps usually have a variety of registration methods. If we are talking exactly about Periscope - it has 2 models of registration: via phone number and Twitter.

Estimated time: 48 hours

Estimated cost: $2400 (at a $50/hour rate)

Live Streaming App: registration

Periscope registration

If you want to add in-app purchase functionality to your app, consider 70-100 hours of development over the main time.

Push notifications

Push notifications became an integrative part of our interaction with any app. They are especially useful in socially aimed ones. Nobody wants to miss the new message or the new translation.

In some apps, the notification will come to you when it is time to pay for the subscription. Such practices are widespread among different services based on the subscribing models. For example, different music streaming apps.

As it was mentioned before there is a difference in coding for this function for Android and iOS. Android is using Google Cloud Messaging Service (GCM), while iOS is using Apple Push Notification Service (APN).

Estimated time: 40 hours

Estimated cost: $2000 (at a $50/hour rate)

Live Streaming App: notifications

Push notifications

Other social components

Except for the main idea of this app, there are many other minor socially aimed components.

Firstly, we are going to speak about comments. In Periscope, users have an opportunity to leave comments in real-time on someone's stream. So, chat during live streaming video is the first component.

Of course, it is inconceivable to imagine modern social networking without such models of evaluation as like or dislike. With 'hearts' it's the same situation as with comments. Users can like the video directly and the translation and streamer will see it.

The last component is subscription. This feature is implemented in a similar way to the other extremely popular social network Instagram. After the user has subscribed to someone's channel, he would get notifications at the beginning of translation and the record of it would appear in his feed.

Now, our car is equipped with an engine and can move.

Estimated time: 24 hours (it depends on quantity of social functions)

Estimated cost: $1200 (at a $50/hour rate)

Live Streaming App: social components

Social features in Periscope

Testing and Quality Assurance

Although the car is attractive and supplied with an engine, there is one more important step left - QA and testing. We could say that the car should go to a vehicle service station in order to make sure that everything is fine.

The same thing is true with mobile app development. Developers should find every small bug and correct it. Every detail plays an important part. Especially if we are talking about a live broadcast app creation.

Estimated time: 60 hours

Estimated cost: $3000 (at a $50/hour rate)

What is the final price of streaming app?

In total, we have an approximate amount of $16,500 (330 working hours) for the app for one operating system. The construction of a minimum valuable product (MVP) will take about 110 hours. Such products will be able to function but without some main features.

Quite impressive, isn't it? But as you know, a good car is expensive. Twitter bought Periscope for about $100 million, but there is no need to overpay. Our professional team is ready to implement your ideas, so feel free to contact our specialists.

According to the success of online music and video streaming services we can draw a conclusion about the impetuous development of technologies mentioned in this article.

By the way, our team has the experience with streaming app creations. You can see the result of our work in our company's portfolio and watch our video related to this topic. 

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