When was the list time you downloaded a movie? Or watched a video without streaming it from a cloud server somewhere? Streaming has become an inseparable part of our digital life, especially since YouTube, Netflix, and similar services (or platforms) are now more accessible than ever. More players are entering the market too, mainly due to the growing number of audiences seeking good streaming services.
You too can develop your own video streaming website for different purposes. You can start one for sharing your own content, broadcasting live TV to users that don’t have access to digital broadcast, and even for exchanging content within a community. Regardless of your purpose of starting a new video streaming website, here are the must-have resources to start with.
A Capable Server
Cloud computing certainly makes securing a server capable of handling multiple video streams easy. You no longer have to invest in a dedicated box or multiple servers just to get started. More importantly, you don’t have to make a big initial investment.
Instead, you can buy into cloud clusters and pay only for the resources you really need. This approach allows you to start small, and then scale the cloud environment up as the number of users grows. You can also keep the running cost of your streaming website in check with this approach.
As for the scale of the cloud environment at the beginning, the answer depends on the kind of streaming platform you want to use. That brings us to our next must-have resource, which is….
There are multiple ways you can set up a new streaming service, the first one being using an existing script or platform to get your new website started. There are clones of popular services like YouTube and Netflix that you can use out of the box; all you need to do is install the script, and you are all set.
Another way to develop the site is by starting from scratch. This means using PHP and HTML5 to create a way to stream content from the video pool. This too is an alternative worth considering, especially when you consider how easy it is to get started.
There are libraries and frameworks to jumpstart your web streaming development project too. Using suitable libraries like GetStream, you have complete control over how you want to set up your streaming website.
A Video Format
You need to determine the video format to use before moving forward. Choosing a standardized video format for streaming matters, because the format you use will affect your server usage and how to best develop the frontend of your site.
MPEG and QuickTime are the two most popular formats for streaming. You can use H.264 or H.265 as your compression method. These two compression technologies provide maximum compatibility with multiple scripts and client devices.
The video format you use will also determine how your cloud environment is set up. QuickTime files, for example, can be stored in Amazon S3 buckets, and then streamed directly to frontend media players. Again, you have complete control over how the platform is set up.
As mentioned before, the streaming landscape is full of new and existing players, so you have to set your service apart. You can either target a specific niche in the market or offer specific features that attract a wide audience.
Adding live TV to the streaming service is a valuable feature to add to the streaming website. A lot of users still seek ways to watch live TV shows over the internet because they don’t have access to them, like when users are at the office and they want to follow live sporting events.
You need additional hardware to add this feature, particularly a capture card and a capable HDTV antenna. The latter is easier to find, and you can learn more information here about a capable option – the TennaZ Ultra-Thin HDTV Antenna – to get started.
A Good UI
The next element to figure out is the user interface for your new streaming website. This too is an element that you need to get right from the start, because the user experience will affect the success of your site greatly.
For starters, UX is one of the metrics tracked by search engines when ranking your site. Delivering good UX through the use of a good user interface is how you boost your site’s SEO performance. You also benefit from users spending more time on the site.
UI also affects your branding; this too is important in a crowded market. You want users to feel at home and completely comfortable when enjoying your streaming service. Don’t forget to take the target audience into account as well.
Putting It Together
The last thing you need is a domain name – and the brand that follows it. Choose a catchy domain name and begin building a brand around it. Integrate the resources we’ve discussed in this article into a capable streaming website. That’s it!
With the must-have resources in place, the next big hurdle is marketing the site. You can do a lot with digital marketing today, but it comes down to getting the site – and the content that users can stream – right from the beginning.
After all, it is a crowded landscape. You can’t afford to make mistakes with so many options attracting users and competing with your service. Get it right, however, and you gain a long list of advantages, starting with a large amount of traffic coming to your site.
The high traffic leads to higher potential for ad revenue and more users using your service. There are multiple monetization options too, including paid content and premium subscriptions. The rest is easy from this point.
So, should you start a new web streaming service? Definitely. It is an easy online venture to get into, it has plenty of potential, and you know exactly what you need to get started based on the list we covered in this article. If you need help with the design and development, we at PHP Elephant are here to help.