How to Make a Live Streaming Website: Features, Tech Stack, and Estimate
People are becoming more tech-savvy. Live streaming goes mainstream. Users want to be more open and share their experiences with people from all over the world.
Live streaming is expected to be aworth industry by 2021. So, the question arises — how to make your own live streaming website and not to fail?
Table of contents
In this guide, we’ll discuss the must-have features, tech stack, and cost to build a live streaming website.
Types of Streaming Websites
There are various types of streaming websites. It’s common to classify them according to their purpose. We describe types of streaming services for you to understand the terms.
We can single out three main groups:
- On-demand streaming services
- Live TV streaming services
- Live streaming services
Main types of streaming platforms
What’s the difference between them? Let’s find it out.
On-Demand Streaming Websites
According to the name, we can say that such platforms offer content on users’ demand. In other words, it’s your demand when you click on a YouTube video or new series on Netflix.
The most widespread types of content are video or audio.
Speaking about video-on-demand services, they offer to watch TV shows, movies, and more without downloading them. All the information is stored on the server.
In most cases, users need to pay for a subscription to get access to the content. Still, such services as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others offer a free trial period.
Popular services: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube
What to develop an app like Netflix? Discover essential features, tech stack, and final cost.
As for audio on-demand streaming services, they work using the same principle. Users can listen to music without downloading. Such services also offer a trial period, so customers could decide whether they like the service or not.
Popular services: Apple Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, Google Play Music
Popular on-demand streaming services
Live TV Streaming Services
Such services are perfect for users who love watching TV but are fed up with high TV bills. The platforms offer to watch TV shows that are airing at the moment.
Popular services: YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV
Popular live TV streaming services
Live Streaming Websites
This type of streaming service provides video content in real-time mode. Users record and broadcast videos simultaneously. Streamers can talk about various topics, answer questions, or just communicate with viewers.
Such platforms gain their popularity since viewers trust them seeing streamers without filters.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to build a live streaming website.
Popular services: YouTube Live, Livestream, Twitch
Popular live streaming services
How to Build a Live Streaming Website: Essential Features and Their Cost
How to develop a live streaming website and not to fail? The service needs to have a lot of features to make users satisfied. Of course, website functionality affects the final cost.
Must-Have Features for a Live Streaming Website
There are two types of features — essential and advanced. Essential or MVP features stand for functionality needed to satisfy the users’ expectations from the product. It’s common to release an MVP and get the customers’ feedback. After that, you can upgrade your live streaming website and add some advanced features.
This process allows saving money during development. Additionally, with an MVP, you have more chances to get investments since stakeholders trust a working product more.
Let’s single out eight MVP features.
- Signup. It’s required to let users choose among the registration options. For example, you can offer such options as email and password, phone number and password, and signup via social networks like Facebook. Additionally, there should be such a function as ‘Forget password’ to make your live streaming website more user-friendly.
- Add personal data. Users need to share their personal information, tell about their interests and hobbies. Also, they can add links to various social networks.
- Start/finish broadcast. How to make a live streaming website successful? You need to develop a user-friendly opportunity to start and finish streaming. It’s needed to add opportunities to share the streamers’ location, select category, and comment on the broadcast.
- Real-time chat. While watching the live stream, users need to have a chat to share their thoughts with each other and streamers.
- Search. Users can search for videos by various categories, streamers, and more. Also, you can add the list of recommendations.
- Follow users. Users need to have an opportunity to follow streamers to get notification about upcoming events and live streams. Also, they should see the list of profiles they follow.
- Settings. To make the website more user-friendly, you need to integrate the ability to change settings for users. For example, they can set private or public status, block users, turn message alerts on and off.
|Features||Backed development||Frontend development|
Sign in/Log in
Add personal data
MVP features to make a live streaming website
Except for features, a streaming website requires an admin panel and intuitive live streaming website design. These two factors also affect the final price.
A live streaming service requires an admin panel to manage users effectively. To create a basic admin panel for a live streaming website, developers need at least 230 hours.
Study the challenges of software development: design, testing, and developers' location.
Users are quite demanding these days. They expect to interact with an intuitive and user-friendly design. To create an attractive design for a live streaming website, designers need at least 120 hours. If you want to integrate responsive web design, it’s required 40 hours.
Streaming service design (Source: Dribbble)
As for advanced features, here are some ideas:
- Nearby broadcasters
- Ability to start a chat
- Push notifications
- Share on social media
- Top trending broadcasters
Cost to Make a Live Streaming Website
Considering all the factors we’ve already mentioned, let’s single out the final time and price of creating a live streaming website.
All the estimations below are based on the average rate in our region (Eastern Europe, Ukraine) — $50 per hour.
|Type of work||Required time|
Frameworks and libraries integration
How to calculate the final cost? You need to multiply the number of hours by the hourly rate. We’ve counted the final price for different regions.
- Eastern Europe. $74,800 (based on $50/h)
- North America. $149,600 (based on $100/h)
- Western Europe. $134,6400 (based on $90/h)
- Australia. $149,600 (based on $100/h)
Tech Stack to Create Your Own Live Streaming Website
How to build a live streaming website? You need to cooperate with an experienced web development company. We’ve listed the demanded team members below.
- Business Analyst
- Project Manager
- UI/UX designer
- Back-end developers
- Front-end developers
- QA engineer
There are various tools and technologies on the modern IT market. It’s possible to use different programming languages during web development.
To give you a hint, we listed the tech stack our developers would use to build a live streaming website with the features outlined in the article.
Note: Choosing the tech stack to build a streaming website, you need to consult with professionals. The final toolset always depends on your technical needs and project requirements.
- Programming languages: HTML5/CSS3
- Frameworks: Node.js, React
- Databases: MySQL
- Cloud platforms: Amazon EC2, Amazon S3.
- Analytics: Google Mobile App Analytics, Flurry Analytics, Hadoop, Hive, MixPanel, Localytics, Mode, Parquet, Pig, Presto, Spark.
- CDN services: Amazon CloudFront
- Streaming protocols: RTMP, Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming, Apple HTTP Live Streaming, M2TS, MPEG-DASH, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, WebRTC, RTSP/RTP.
- Media formats: MKV, MP4, AVCHD, AVI, DMW, MOV, FLV, WMV, SWF.
- Codecs: H.264/AVC, FFmpeg, XviD.
- Media containers: MP4, FLV.
- Geolocation: Google Maps API, MapKit/Core Location frameworks (for iOS).
- Chat: Twilio
Required tech stack to make a live streaming website
How to Monetize a Live Streaming Website
How to make a live streaming website profitable?
In addition to good content, you need to consider the business models of your streaming platform and how to monetize it successfully.
There are four primary monetization strategies that you can integrate while creating a website for live streaming:
- Premium features
- Partner programs
Let’s single out the details of each option.
A lot of streaming platforms like YouTube or Twitch use this model to get revenue.
The more ads you place, the higher revenue you get. However, you need to remember that nobody likes ads. So, it’s better to put one or two advertisements during the stream.
For example, a basic Twitch membership is free. Users can watch all content and chat during streams. However, ads appear several times while using the service.
Ads can appear when users visit a streamer’s channel and several times during the stream as a sidebar.
Twitch offers several options for advertising. The service provides standard IAB display, video media, and native ads.
Creating a live streaming website, it’s possible to add an opportunity for monthly subscriptions. Such an option allows companies to get money on a regular basis, and bring various bonuses to users.
Twitch provides users with Twitch Turbo. It cuts down the advertisements, increases the video storage, offers to choose from two sets of emotes, and other exciting opportunities. Twitch Turbo costs $8.99 per month.
It’s possible to develop additional features and offer users to purchase them. For example, you can provide advanced analytics for streamers. They might want to know more about their viewers — location, age, sex, and more.
Twitch Prime offers various opportunities like supporting favorite streamers. Also, users get unlimited streaming in HD quality. Twitch offers exclusive chat colors and emotes for premium users. Twitch Prime costs from $2.99 to $5.99 per month, depending on the chosen set of features.
How to create a website for live streaming and get additional revenue?
This monetization model is perfect for popular and regular streamers. Broadcasters have an opportunity to partner with live streaming websites. As a result, the website gets quality content, while the streamer gets additional revenue.
Twitch also has a Partner Program. To become a partner with a service, users need to have a paid subscription and offer quality content at least three times per week.
The streamers get additional revenue from the ads shown on their channel. Also, Partner Programs allow users to support streamers with extra money.
Twitch Partner Program
How We Can Help You
We’ve been developing software solutions for the Streaming industry for over five years now. Our team is experienced in developing scalable websites and apps that meet tech and business requirements.
We’re recently helped our client to improve their project — Blockbuster.
The main project idea was to develop a streaming service for Nordic viewers. Blockbuster allows watching TV shows and movies via native apps for iOS, Android, Android TV, and tvOS. Additionally, the service has a web version.
Our team has added several exciting features like parental control and a list of favorite shows.
During the development, we used the following technologies:
Blockbuster's tech stack
Discover how we created a service for recording video reviews using AWS Video Transcoder.