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How to Develop a Live Streaming App

How to Develop a Live Streaming App


We are all familiar with video communication provided to us by Facetime, Skype and tons of messengers nowadays. The next step is taking it to another level by making it possible to communicate with a bigger audience in real time. So let’s talk live streaming applications.

It’s not like there’s still a need to explain what streaming apps are, so let’s skip this part and get some more wholesome information.

There are two kinds of streaming apps:

  • Common video streaming. User uploads a video on a server and it is available for a chosen audience to watch and rewatch anytime as it is stored on a server for an unlimited period of time.
  • Live broadcasting. That’s the one where user streams video content in real time. The video can be stored on a server for a limited amount of time or it can not be stored at all.

Our today’s topic is live broadcasting applications and what you need to know to develop a successful one. Without further ado, let us teach you all we know.

How to Develop a Live Streaming App
How Does Live Broadcasting Work

The main idea is your application being able to broadcast video content on any screen worldwide. The basic process consists of transmitting video to a server where the video is transcoded and then sent to a media server where the stream is being displayed. To send video in multiple directions, however, you need to use specialized software servers.

Now let’s get to other specifications.

Live Broadcasting Application Types

You might have seen there are tons of live streaming apps in application stores already, but they all can be grouped into three types:

  • Dedicated live streaming apps. The first and primary kind is true streaming apps created especially for that purpose, e.g. Twitch for gaming or G9 Live for themed streaming. We will get into more detail later on, so keep tuned.
  • Integrated feature. As streaming has gained a huge demand lately, well-known platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even YouTube implemented streaming feature into their mobile applications. It’s a good move to keep a user loyal to your product - if it’s got the option that is hyped about at the moment, they might as well just use it there instead of downloading a separate app.
  • Connected application. If you think streaming feature doesn’t belong inside your already existing app, you can follow a different path. Let’s take Live.ly app created under Musical.ly or Periscope owned by Twitter.

Choosing a Platform

Nothing new here, you can either make native or hybrid app. Start creating a development plan by picking if you prefer starting with a native app for one platform or whether you are willing to take a leap by developing an app for several platforms.

Key Features and Functions

  • Providing quality video and audio streaming.
  • Personal user profile and reqistration.
  • Adding comments.
  • Intuitive design.

Improving Additions

  • Different registration options. Allow your user to register within the app itself or sign in via other social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram.
  • Themed sections. Divide broadcast by the niches. For example, extreme, arts, DIY, events etc.
  • Subscription. Allow your users to subscribe to their favourite broadcasters or to the themed streaming sections.
  • Notifications. Continuing the previous point, implement push (or any other) notifications into your app so the users know when their favourite broadcasters are on air.
  • Private chat. Make it even more interactive and let registered users communicate in a private video or text chat.
  • Search specifications. Adding search filters is also a great idea. It can be language of the broadcast, streamer’s age, niche, location etc.
  • Geolocation. To upgrade location search you can add geolocation feature. It will allow users to see all of the current streaming broadcasts on the world map.
  • Show the screen. If your application is used for business purposes it would be very handy to give it a ‘show me your screen feature’. It will show what you are doing on your screen instead of your face.
  • Privacy. Let users choose who can see their broadcast. It can be either one person or a group of their friends. Also consider ‘mute’ and ‘block’ features.
  • Saving videos. Nothing complicated here as well - users can save their broadcast on their device or on a profile, or decide to get rid of it forever.
  • Donation system. It might be quite risky, but that’s an option too. It will allow viewers donate money to the streamers if they choose to do so.

Don’t overload your app with add-ons though. You can start with an MVP and upgrade it gradually as you go.

How to Develop a Live Streaming App

How to Profit

We are coming to the part that concerns everyone when thinking about app development - how am I going to earn from it?

In our case there are all the classic ways: paid app, additional paid content and ads. I bet you have already heard all about that, and if you haven't, check our articles in the How To section, I guarantee you will find a lot of interesting stuff.

If you have any additional questions or you are interested in developing an app, make sure to contact us. Thunderrise Development Team will help you with any concern ;)