How to Make a Live Streaming Website: Features, Tech Stack, and Estimate

Updated 27 Nov 2022

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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 a $70.5 billion worth industry by 2022. So, the question arises — how to make your own live streaming website and not to fail?

In this guide, we’ll discuss the must-have features, tech stack, and cost to build a live streaming website.

To give you a hint, here’s a quick overview of how to create your own live streaming website:

  • Step 1. Come up with a unique idea and validate it
  • Step 2. Define the project’s requirements
  • Step 3. Choose a business model
  • Step 4. Think of appealing UI/UX design
  • Step 5. Find an experienced IT vendor
  • Step 6. Build MVP live streaming website
  • Step 7. Test the site and launch it to the first users
  • Step 8. Monitor key metrics and promote the platform

What Is a Live Streaming Website and How Does It Work?

Before diving into how to build a live streaming website, let’s start by determining what live streaming is. A live stream refers to the process of transmitting an event as it’s running in real-time to any compatible smartphone, tablet, TV, or computer over the Internet.

Live streaming website is a site that places those live streams. Broadcasters embed their video players to make the media content available to viewers. Users must have good network connectivity to get access to online streaming. Any website can be transformed into a live streaming platform with a professional video player and access to a website's HTML.

How does live streaming perform?

The act of streaming begins with raw information — the visual data captured by a device’s camera.

Next, the digital data is compressed and encoded. Data compression implies deleting redundant visual details. "Encoding" entails the process of modifying data to be interpreted by different devices.

Video contains a lot of digital data. Therefore, the streaming video is split into segments (a few seconds in length) to make it faster to download the video files.

Once the live stream has passed all previous manipulations, it needs to be supplied to multiple viewers. This is where the CDN (content delivery network) comes into play. CDN platform enables high-quality content delivery to large audiences anytime without stream interruptions.

The CDN broadcasts the live streaming video to all viewers who are watching the stream. Next, each user's device obtains, decodes, and decompresses the segmented video details.

Finally, a media player on the viewer's device (whether it's a dedicated app or video player within the web browser) translates the information as visual data, and the video plays.

Before You Create Your Own Live Streaming Website: Potential of Your Idea

We wouldn't be talking about how to create a website for live streaming if the live streaming industry wasn't flourishing and promising, right? So we’ve gathered some promising statistics to strengthen your decision to enter this niche:

  • The live streaming market is forecasted to reach $534.37 billion by 2030.
  • A combined total of 8.2 billion hours were watched on leading live streaming platforms in Q3 2021
  • The number of users for live video content is predicted to increase to 164.6 million viewers by 2024.
  • Over 85% of marketers use video content to drive more traffic to their site
  • Live content holds viewers’ attention 8x longerthan on-demand video content

The main factors that have contributed to the rise of the live streaming market across the globe are:

  • The increasing customer preference for live streaming over conventional television channels.
  • An opportunity to promote the product/service over interactive advertising from anywhere using a streaming platform.
  • Increasing adoption of smartphones along with faster internet
  • Ability to reach the largest audience possible.
  • Wide AI and blockchain implementation.
Video streaming market share

Video streaming market share, by industry

As you can see, the potential to create a streaming website is enormous. Despite the competitive intensity, you have the opportunity to enter the market with minimum effort and generate income in a short period. In addition, the increasing adoption of online learning, remote patient monitoring, e-commerce, and work from home has raised the demand for streaming services.

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
How to create a live streaming website: Types of 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

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

Want to develop an app like Netflix? Discover essential features, tech stack, and final cost.

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

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.

Popular services: YouTube Live, Livestream, Twitch

How to Build a Live Streaming Website in 7 Steps

Now, let’s consider how to build a streaming website and make it engaging and exciting.

Step 1. Define Your Compelling USP

Do your best to create a fabulous streaming project idea. Beforehand, decide what group of streamers you want to reach and engage. This will be your start point for further development. For example, Twitch provides top-notch web sources for gamers. Don't hurry; consider your project carefully — modifying it drastically afterward will be challenging.

Step 2. Set the Project’s Requirements

Making and launching a streaming platform is one thing, but how to build a streaming website that succeeds requires a lot of scrutiny and preparation. So before embarking on project development, you need to think of the following questions:

  • What type of content will you be streaming? For instance, the process of streaming Q&As with domain experts will differ from streaming college basketball games.
  • Do you know your end users? Setting up live streams will vary according to the target audience’s size, language(s), and locations. You should be able to reach your viewers where they are at.
  • How critical is the streaming quality? Some livestream platforms require better video quality than others. For instance, HD quality for product demos is essential, while SD one is preferable for streaming live lectures.
  • Who’ll have access to the stream? The procedure of live stream setting will be different if, for instance, you want to give paying users exclusive access to your live events or make streams free for everyone.
  • What are your objectives? In most cases, entrepreneurs want to make a streaming website to acquire more leads.

Once you work out these questions, you start to prepare a list of desired functionality for your future streaming platform. We'll discuss the features required in the section below: keep reading.

Find out how to avoid failure when launching a product with Project Discovery Phase

Step 3. Choose Business Model

If you’re going to capitalize on your streaming platform, there are multiple ways to do so: ads, subscriptions, etc. (monetization models will be described in detail below). Each of the business models has its own pros and cons. Still, the best way is to combine the few ones. For instance, you can start offering free use of the service, but premium features are paid.

Step 4. Look for a Reliable IT Vendor

Once you’ve done with planning, you can start looking for an experienced IT partner that will create a live stream website for you. Livestream website creation is a tricky process that should be taken professionally. So you need to hire dedicated developers with proven expertise in the media industry. There are many professional communities, like Clutch, that provide you with detailed information about the company services, expertise, project budget, and real clients’ feedback.

It’s more beneficial to look for a tech partner abroad rather than in the city (or even country) of residence. Outsourcing web development brings a lot of gains in terms of price, quality, broad skill set, and unique expertise. In addition, outsourcing agencies already have all the required specialists to create a website for live streaming under approved demands.

Step 5. Come Up with MVP Product

MVP development services will allow you to roll out the streaming website with enough functionality for users. It's a great way to validate the business idea and short time to market without investing a pretty penny in building a full-fledged platform. After testing your product on a real audience, you can reinvest in adding more sophisticated functionality.

When you make a live streaming website MVP, pay close attention to the UI/UX design. Consumers want live streaming services that are user-friendly and intuitive. Don’t overload their attention with a bunch of interactive elements and bright colors. They must focus on making key actions, not striving to comprehend how to navigate and use your platform. In addition, the design is connected with website usability, so consider an excellent UI to deliver a smooth user experience.

Step 6. Test and Launch Your Site

At this stage, your vendor acts to guarantee that your streaming platform works flawlessly without interruptions. QA engineers conduct manual and automated tests to validate functional requirements and mitigate the functioning flaw. Before the final client review, the testing team checks all the functionality (including integrations, usability, and security) to ensure the streaming service performs as expected and meets project demands.

Step 7. Improve Your Streaming Website

After you release your streaming platform, the process never stops. Next, you need to understand how to make it better to grow and reach your goals. One way to enhance your website involves collecting user feedback. This can be done by tracking real-time comments or passing surveys afterward for feedback.

Another way to ensure your platform works well is to investigate the analytics. Built-in analytics features make it possible to scrutinize the stream in real-time. For example, you'll be able to review the live viewer count, what devices they’re applying, users’ locations, and much more. The received insights will allow you to streamline your next live streaming session for better results.

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How to Create Live Streaming Website: Essential Features and Their Cost

How to start a 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.

How to create a live streaming website: MVP features

MVP features to make a live streaming website

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.

Time to develop MVP Features

FeaturesBacked developmentFrontend development

Sign in/Log in

17 hours

26 hours

Add personal data

4 hours

2 hours

Start/Finish broadcast

83 hours

52 hours

Real-time chat

56 hours

48 hours

Search

33 hours

28 hours

Follow users

9 hours

9 hours

Settings

22 hours

19 hours

Total time

224 hours

186 hours

Except for features, a streaming website requires an admin panel and intuitive live streaming website design. These two factors also affect the final price:

  • Admin panel. 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.
  • Design. 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 20 hours. If you want to integrate responsive web design, it’s required 40 hours.

As for advanced features, here are some ideas:

  • Nearby broadcasters
  • Ability to start a chat
  • Push notifications
  • Share on social media
  • Top trending broadcasters

Let's make live streaming website!

We are ready to help! Our team can solve any tech issue and answer your questions!

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 Central Europe — $50 per hour.

Final cost to create a live streaming website

Type of workRequired time

Backend development

224 hours

Frontend development

186 hours

Admin panel

230 hours

Design

160 hours

Frameworks and libraries integration

52 hours

Quality assurance

368 hours

Project management

276 hours

Total time

1496 hours

Total price

$74,800

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.

  • Central 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. Please note, that when 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
How to create a live streaming website: Tools and technologies

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:

  • Advertisement
  • Premium features
  • Subscriptions
  • Partner programs

Let’s single out the details of each option.

Advertisements

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.

Subscriptions

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.

Premium Features

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.

Partner Programs

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.

How to get revenue from a live streaming website

Monetization models

Develop Live Streaming Website with Cleveroad

Cleveroad is a certified software development company with headquarters in Estonia (Central/Northern Europe). Our in-depth experience includes ensuring startups and businesses of all sizes with a wide range of IT-related services since 2011. Our team builds audio and video streaming (OTT, VOD), entertainment, and similar solutions for mobile devices, desktops, and TVs.

By working with us, you’ll be ensured of the following benefits:

  • Practical in-depth experience in media software creation across numerous industries
  • Hands-on experience working with advanced streaming tools: Wowza, Twilio, Agora.
  • Full-cycle development: UI/UX design, app modernization, API integration, cloud-based solutions, and other IT-related services.
  • A team of certified experts that constantly develop their competencies in advanced technology, such as IoT, AR, AI, blockchain, etc.
  • Adaptable models: fixed price, dedicated teams, time & materials
  • We are sure that transparency with customers, partners, and teammates is a key to creating flawless software products
  • A cutting-edge tech stack and innovative creation methods

We’ve been developing software solutions for the Streaming industry for over ten years. Our team is experienced in developing scalable websites and apps that meet tech and business requirements.

To prove our expertise, let us show our latest case — Video-on-demand platform (Blockbuster).

Create a streaming website

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 was challenged to redesign the UI, create an iOS app from scratch, reengineer Android and Android TV apps, and partially migrate to GraphQL. As a result, we have created an interface as easy to use as possible, with no unnecessary elements. It encourages users to take purposeful actions. Our team has also created a sophisticated filtering system and added parental control and a list of favorite shows features.

Make the most out of a streaming platform by benefiting from our hands-on experience. You’ll get a sought-after live streaming service, allowing you to increase your business performance by reaching a broader online audience and fostering an on-brand experience.

Start your live streaming project

Book a call with Business Delivery Manager to discuss the details on your streaming site development

Frequently Asked Questions

There are four main revenue models that you can integrate while creating a website for live streaming:

  • Advertisement. The more ads you place, the higher revenue you get.
  • Premium features. You implement extra features and offer users to buy them.
  • Subscriptions. User should pay a subscription if they want to get access to wider functionality.
  • Partner programs. Broadcasters have an opportunity to partner with live streaming websites. As a result, the website gets quality content, while the streamer gets additional revenue.

The price depends on the region. There is the final cost for different regions for an MVP version of a live streaming website.

  • 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)

There are five main steps on how to develop a live streaming website:

  • Step 1. Set the requirements and create a list of essential features.
  • Step 2. Hire a team of experienced developers.
  • Step 3. Develop an MVP version of your live streaming website.
  • Step 4. Get users’ feedback and add advanced features.
  • Step 5. Upgrade the live streaming website regularly.**

There are five main steps on how to develop a live streaming website:

  • Step 1. Set the requirements and create a list of essential features.
  • Step 2. Hire a team of experienced developers.
  • Step 3. Develop an MVP version of your live streaming website.
  • Step 4. Get users’ feedback and add advanced features.
  • Step 5. Upgrade the live streaming website regularly.

Tech stack o to build a live streaming website.

  • Programming languages: HTML5/CSS3
  • Frameworks: Node.js, React
  • Databases: MySQL
  • Cloud platforms: Amazon EC2, Amazon S3.
  • Analytics and insights: Google Mobile App Analytics, Flurry Analytics
  • CDN services: Amazon CloudFront
  • Streaming protocols: RTMP, Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming
  • Media formats: MKV, MP4,
  • Codecs: H.264/AVC,
  • Media containers: MP4, FLV.
  • Geolocation: Google Maps API
  • Messaging: Twilio

There are four primary monetization strategies that you can integrate while creating a website for live streaming:

  • Advertisement
  • Premium features
  • Subscriptions
  • Partner programs
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