Things to Consider When Building a Live-Streaming App

Have you ever been on a long train ride and wanted to watch a movie, TV show, sports game, or content creator? With a live streaming app, people can watch content on their mobile phones wherever they are. 

The emergence of live streaming apps has allowed many to have the benefits of television, only without the shackles of schedule nor the confinement of our living rooms.

This article will cover everything you could want to know about building live streaming apps. From what they are and how they work to what to remember if you’re going to build a live-streaming app.

What is a live-streaming app?

A live streaming app is any app that allows people to access a database of videos, via the internet, on a device. 

Although that definition might seem a bit convoluted, you probably use these apps daily. For example, if you’ve ever watched YouTube on your phone, you’ve probably used the YouTube app, an example of a live-streaming app.

There are plenty of live-streaming apps on the market. Some allow their users to upload content (such as TikTok). Some display full-length TV shows/movies (such as Netflix). Others have live sports (such as FoxSports).

Brief Market overview

Ever since the pandemic, more Americans have been using streaming services to watch their favorite TV shows or movies. 30% more Americans than before Covid-19 now use at least one streaming service (Source: Topflight).

By 2027, the global market for streaming services is expected to double or even triple its current value, making it worth $843 billion (Source: Topflight). 

And there’s a good reason for that. 70% of people would rather gain new information via a video than through other methods- such as books or articles (Source: Topflight).

If you want to build a live streaming app, you could do a new streaming service, but this is incredibly difficult. Instead, we recommend you make a live-streaming app for your favorite service that doesn’t have one.

Things to consider

If you decide to build a live-streaming app, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The following advice will be helpful when selecting your service and turning it into an app.

Because creating a new streaming app is surprisingly complex, it’s essential to know precisely what you’re doing.

What type of live-streaming app to use?

There are the following types of apps:

  • Video-on-demand
  • Sports streaming
  • Audio Streaming
  • Allow streamers to get followers

Video on demand

A simple “video-on-demand app” is usually the first we think of. 

The most obvious example would be Netflix, which has thousands of movies and TV shows. But, you can also get more niche versions, such as Curiosity Stream, which specializes in documentaries.

Sports Streaming

Across the world, many people enjoy watching baseball, basketball, soccer, rugby, or even some of the more obscure sports.

Apps such as Fox Sports, or ESPN allow people to watch the big game on their phones.

Audio Streaming

Audio streaming is how most people listen to music and podcasts these days—for example, Spotify or Apple Music.

Allow streamers to get followers

Some live streaming apps allow their users to upload content and allow other users to follow them. Apps such as YouTube, TikTok, or Twitch intersect social media and live streaming apps.

What is video streaming API?

API stands for “Application programming interface.” And although this may sound like you need a degree to understand, in layman’s terms, API is just a simple coding language.

API is what allows developers to interact with the app’s software; they can change aspects such as display, color, and position of the buttons. Essentially, the API is a set of instructions from the developers that enable the streaming app to become something users love.

If it weren’t for the API, it would be far more difficult for mobile apps to utilize the internet. There are two main types of API.

The first is video API, which is for backend broadcasting; essentially, the storage and broadcasting of all the videos on your app.

The player API enables the video player to work and integrate with any phone system. Both types are vital for any live-streaming app and use the same coding language.

What is live streaming SDK?

SDK stands for “software development kit.”

Essentially, all the tools, documents, code samples, processes, and guides allow developers to create the software required to enable your video streaming app to function on a specific platform (such as Android or iOS devices).

SDK allows developers to build a live streaming app so that your app is an app, not just a bunch of coding.

The primary function of an SDK is to allow developers to build, test, and release the video app. But they also allow monetization, analytics, and security. All of which the best apps will provide to their owners.

The API provides instructions, but without the SDK, those instructions are merely words on a screen. 

What is an HTML 5 video player?

In the past, almost all online video streaming had to be done via Adobe Flash player. However, since the rise of the smartphone, Adobe Flash has been of less and less use.

Because Adobe Flash player is not compatible with mobile devices, Apple created its software called HLS.

HLS allows mobile phone users to watch HTML content on their phones. Although Apple may have created it, almost all phones use it.

HTML 5 is video-playing code that works across all devices, so it doesn’t matter if you’re on a laptop, phone, or smart TV. If it’s on HTML 5, you can watch it.

Today, almost all video streaming apps use HTML5 since people watch their content on various devices.


If you want to create a new live-streaming service, we wish you the best of luck! However, turning it into an app could be highly beneficial if you already know the one you love. 

People can watch their videos on the train, in the office, at the park, or wherever they like! In the technology-filled age, the chains of geography have been broken, and we think people should embrace that. 

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