How to Create a Video Editing App: Must-Have Features and Development Cost

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12 Aug 2020
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12 min
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Anton D.
Technical writer
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Evgeny M.
Business analyst

It’s hard to deny that video content takes a huge part in our life. In its fresh forecast, Cisco estimates that by the end of 2020, the share of video traffic will be 79% of the global internet traffic. Video editing apps play a huge role in the creation and popularization of video content.

Share of Video Traffic

In five years, the share of video traffic has grown by 16%.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to make a video editing app, how much it may cost, and what pitfalls you may face during app development. Let’s get started.

Table of contents

Types of Video Apps

The app market is full of various video editing apps helping to solve multiple problems: quick editing, adding simple effects or doing more serious corrections. To fully grasp all the ins and outs of this market, you should learn more about different categories of video apps.

There are five types of video apps:

  • Video recording apps
  • Video editing apps
  • Apps that combine both recording and editing
  • Screen recording apps
  • Apps that include both screen recording and editing

Popular Video Editing Apps to Look Out For

Market analysis is an essential step in video editing app development. Before you determine how your app will look like and what features it’ll have, you should get acquainted with well-established players on this market. This’ll help you to understand your competitors, see what problems they solve, and what features they offer to users.

Let’s take a look at the four most popular video editing apps on the market.

Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere Rush is a video editing app from Adobe that’s available on iOS, Android, and desktops. It’s designed for the people that are not entirely into video editing. This app lets users capture videos using built-in recording functionality. Once the video is captured, users can start editing it immediately.

The app greatly simplifies the video editing process with a drag-and-drop system. Users can easily customize video speed, overlay photos on videos, add music, various effects, and control this content using multiple timelines.

Besides, users can easily take images from Adobe Stock to add them to their videos and after that save their creations in Adobe Cloud with 100 GB of free space. And the cherry on top is a simple social media integration to let users share their videos to Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms.

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Adobe distributes its app by a subscription-based model asking users to pay $9.99 per month to unlock all in-app features.

Adobe Premiere Rush editing interface.

Adobe Premiere Rush editing interface.

Quik

This app was made by the GoPro team. Its primary goal is to promote GoPro’s brand among non-customers and bring more value to customers. Quik brings customers who bought GoPro cameras a set of convenient tools for editing their videos in no time. Quik in bundle with GoPro cameras creates a powerful ecosystem where users can export their videos to the app directly from GoPro cameras. That unique strategy motivates customers to buy GoPro products.

But what about unique features? This app is able to automatically analyze videos to find the best moments like panoramic views, jumps, smiles, high-speed moments, and so on to highlight them. After that users can edit videos with 28 adjustable templates and apply them to their videos. Besides, they can add customizable titles, filters, trims, and photos. This free app is available on Android and iOS.

Quik timming option and adjustable templates.

Quik trimming option and adjustable templates.

Splice

This iOS app is a real gem among other video editing apps. It’s an all-purpose app where users can add text with various fonts, tweak transitions, arrange video clips, apply different effects, and add music tracks.

On top of that, users can sync Splice with their iTunes library and add music to their videos from it. All these features are packed into a simple interface and available for a $9.99 monthly subscription.

Adding music and adjustable timeline in Splice.

Adding music and adjustable timeline in Splice.

iMovie

This free app is pretty similar to Splice but has its own unique features. iMovie lets users create Hollywood-style trailers using 14 available templates and eight themes to apply to your video. Users can add fancy-looking credit rolls, studio logos, customizable backgrounds, and various special effects to make their videos unique. Furthermore, this app supports 4K resolution and can fix shaky videos.

Since iMovie was made by Apple, it’s available on iOS and macOS. Users can easily transfer their projects among all Apple devices via iCloud or Airdrop.

iMovie transitions and filter options.

iMovie transitions and filter options.

Diving Into Analysis

Video editing app development is a long and complicated process that requires taking a lot of decisions. To minimize risks and deliver a truly great product, it’s vital to polish your idea properly.

You need to define your target audience, analyze your competitors, and determine their strengths and weaknesses.

Streamline Your Idea

Your idea must bring unique solutions to users’ problems. Nobody wants another Quik or Splice. At the same time, your app must be relevant to users’ needs to find its market fit. Begin thorough competitor research to discover what they offer to users, what features they lack, and what their weak sides are.

Define Your Target Audience

It’s vital to understand who’ll be using your app and for whom you build it. You should define the average users’ interests and problems that they want to solve.

Since we’re talking about video editing app development, your target audience will more likely be into sports, travels, active hobbies, video blogging, and so on. Relying on that, you can assume that your video editing app will come in handy for people who want to capture moments and share thoughts with their loved ones and on social networks.

Divide your target audience using the following criteria:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Income level

This method will help you make your analysis more precise and get a better vision of your target audience. Besides, you can use various question-answer websites like Quora to ask real people about the experience of using video editing apps and discover their opinion about things that can make their user experience better.

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Decided to make a question-answer site like Quora? Learn about ways to attract users, monetization models, and much more.

Or make it simple. Your friends and family may use various video editing apps. In that case, you can ask them why they use video editing apps, what problems they solve with these apps, what features they like, and what features they want to see there.

Make a List of Features

You can’t create a video editing app without defining its features. Before applying your idea, you should write out a list of features. All features can be divided into MVP and Additional features.

Minimal Viable Product or MVP is an app with vital features that ensure the execution of basic tasks. For example, the well-known Uber and its first version would not have been able to carry out passenger transportation without the vital MVP features, such as connecting customers with drivers, GPS location tracking, and accepting payments.

MVP is very useful when there’s a need for a quick release. This version gives you such important data as market response and customer feedback. Besides, investors are more likely to invest money into a working product rather than a bare idea or concept.

Additional features it’s all features that are not on the MVP list. Let’s get back to the Uber example. Since the first launch, Uber developers made a lot of complex features after the release of the MVP version: picking a cab class, scheduled rides, split fares, and so on.

Additional features can bring more complex and unique functionality. These features can be implemented in further updates after the MVP release.

To make a video editing app MVP, your must-have features may be:

  • Trimming and adding frames
  • Merging separate files into one (photos and videos)
  • Adding music or sound effects
  • Color correction and transition settings
  • Sharing to social networks (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube)
  • Save/load video

When you launch MVP and make sure it’s popular and fit the market, it’s time to develop additional features. The approximate video editing app additional features may be:

  • Syncing with various music services
  • Cloud storage
  • Speed up/slow down settings
  • Reverse video option
  • Picture-in-picture option
  • AI editing assistance

Choose Your Monetization Model

Defining your monetization model is your next step. It’s better to choose a monetization model in the early stages to avoid rebuilding a certain part of the app’s logic. Yet, you can A/B test different strategies if you’re not sure which one suits better.

There are four monetization models that are frequently used in popular video editing apps:

  • In-app advertising. This method speaks for itself. Your app is free, but users see ads. VivaVideo is an excellent example of a free video editing app with ads.
  • Freemium model. This method is slightly different. The app is free to download, but some features require in-app purchases. For example, inShot removes ads and watermarks from the video for a $2.99 one-time purchase.
  • Subscription model. This monetization model is widespread among video editing apps. You made your app free, but with an option to buy a subscription. Kinemaster adds watermarks to all videos, so users should buy a subscription for $4.99 to remove them.
  • Paymium. It’s a pretty rare monetization model but sometimes may be found among the video editing apps. Apps are paid to download and have in-app purchases at the same time. The most famous app with this monetization model is LumaFusion for iOS.
Famous video editing apps and their monetization models.

Famous video editing apps and their monetization models.

Tech Challenges of Developing a Video Editing App

Video editing app development is not an easy process. Not talking about platform differences. iOS app development varies from Android app development drastically. Developers must solve a lot of tech challenges that you should be aware of as a product owner.

We’ll split this section into Android and iOS tech challenges and discover the most significant of them in detail.

Android Development Pitfalls

The most significant Android development difficulties related to the video render speed and creating features that are missing in pre-made solutions.

Video rendering performance

It’s the main headache in video editing app development for Android. At the moment, there are two special tools for processing videos on Android: FFmpeg and Transcoder. FFmpeg has a huge number of possibilities, but a low processing speed. At the same time, the Transcoder has a very good processing speed, but the functionality is not so great. In addition, it’s a pretty complex tool to work with. If you need to add some features that are absent from Transcoder (watermarks), the development time increases significantly.

Management of Undo/Redo actions

In the development of such functionality, it’s critical to understand which actions can be canceled. The main task is to collect all functions into a single mechanism that will combine all user actions and apply them to the video.

Filters (sepia, negative and so on)

Ready-made solutions are the best choice to implement different filters in the video editing app. But there is a chance of encountering a problem when the necessary filters aren’t in the library or OpenGL is used. The latter is a powerful tool that lets developers do almost anything, but takes a lot of time.

iOS Development Pitfalls

If Android development suffers from missing features and constant work with render performance, iOS development requires precise development of the editing process.

Image and video orientation

It can be difficult to manage the orientation of videos and photos. They can turn over, especially if the development goes simultaneously with an Android version.

Precise video merging with pictures

When merging video with pictures or watermarks, in order to observe the correct aspect ratios, developers have to work with pixels very accurately. Otherwise, when editing a video, pictures or watermarks won’t be superimposed as it should be and it will look odd.

Watermark location

Kinemaster adds watermarks to the videos. Developers must adjust the watermark location on the screen.

Correct adding of audio tracks

Adding audio to the video can be tricky. Managing scalable audio volume levels is the main headache in iOS video editing app development.

Time and Cost

“How to make a video editing app?” and “How much does it cost?” are two inseparable questions. Video editing app development can take a while. In fact, the more features you want to implement, the longer the development process will take.

Our Business Analysts have estimated the approximate time and cost of developing a video editing app.

!

This estimate is approximate and based on the MVP features that were mentioned before.

Approximate estimate of video editing app development.
Feature Approximate time (hours) Approximate cost ($)

Register screen

6

300

Login screen

19

950

My videos screen

50

2500

Adding photos/videos from gallery

3

150

Trimming

40

2000

Adding frames

14

700

Merging separate files into one (for photos)

28

1400

Merging separate files into one (for videos)

22

1100

Adding music and audio effects

28

1400

Color correction

320

16000

Transition settings

106

5300

Social networks sharing

16

800

Save video

2

100

Load video

16

800

Total

670

33500

Tech Stack for iOS and Android

The tech stack of video editing apps for Android and iOS is pretty vast. Here’s the list of technologies that can be used for iOS and Android app development.

Important features and technologies for their proper implementation.
Feature Technology

Login

Firebase Dynamic Links

Trimming

FFmpeg (Android, iOS), Transcoder (Android)

Color correction

GPUVideo (Android), MetalAPI (iOS)

Adding music and audio effects

MPMediaPickerController

Social nerwork sharing

Facebook SDK, TikTok SDK, TwitterKit SDK

Cleveroad Experience

Recently, we've developed Ayoo app. A social platform that unites dancers all over the world and has a strong emphasis on working with videos. This app is available on iOS for free.

Ayoo Duet interface.

Ayoo Duet interface.

The in-app feature called Duet lets users put together two videos to make left-right dance comparison to compete with each other. Moreover, users can add music tracks to the videos and trim the music's duration to fit the video length.

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Want to learn more about our projects? Check out our case study and discover how we developed Votello app.

You can check out our portfolio to see our latest iOS and Android projects.

Want to make a video editing app?
Contact us, tell us your idea, and our analysts will grant you an estimate for free.

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Comments
KA
Kuzey Akar
24.08.2020 at 03:21
I run into the problem of choosing the right monetization model for my video editing app. It's surprising that subscription model is so popular among the other apps. I guess I'll stick to this model.
EK
Elif Koyuncu
01.09.2020 at 19:58
Thanks for the precise time and cost estimate. Now things became clearer to me.
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