Viral Dave
Written By Viral Dave Sr. BDE

How much does it cost to build an app like Netflix?

post date
May 10, 2023
How much does it cost to build an app like Netflix?
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Live streaming applications such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube are attracting online viewers by the millions through their services. And the numbers show that this will continue to be the trend, with the global video streaming market expected to reach nearly 330.51 billion US dollars by 2031.

As an entrepreneur, such numbers offer an excellent opportunity to create your very own streaming app. It’s natural to want an on-demand video streaming app like Netflix, as it’s the most dominant online streaming service. But what will it cost to build an app like Netflix? Well, let’s figure it out, shall we?

Quick Recap: All You Need To Know About Netflix

The best way to learn about the overall cost of your Netflix app development is by understanding the original app first. Netflix started way back in 1997 as a company that rented out DVDs by mail for a fixed monthly fee. This company has been in the game for quite a while.

So, ensure you set realistic expectations if you want to enter this field. Remember that your online streaming app might take some time before it blows up to compete with the likes of Netflix and YouTube. It wasn’t until 2007 that Netflix let its subscribers watch their favorite shows directly from their PCs.

And by 2012, Netflix had become an active distributor, later topping the list of movie streaming apps for Android and iOS. This company has a vast catalog of movies and shows in different languages, keeping its viewers glued to the platform.

The dominance of this app in the streaming world is quite noticeable. However, through Netflix, we now have a niche once viewed as an impossible industry that could never make it to the big leagues. That said, there’s still a lot of opportunity in this field.

Netflix is Responsible for 15% of Global Internet Traffic

Top Competitors of Netflix Video Streaming Application

Amazon Prime Video: Backed by the e-commerce giant Amazon, Prime Video offers an extensive library of movies, TV shows, and original content. With its seamless integration with Amazon Prime membership, it has gained a substantial user base worldwide.

Disney+: The powerhouse of entertainment, Disney+ has become a force to be reckoned with. It brings together beloved franchises like Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and classic Disney movies, along with original content, making it a go-to platform for family-friendly entertainment.

Hulu: Known for its vast library of TV shows, Hulu offers both current and past seasons of popular series. It also features a growing collection of original programming and provides options for live TV streaming, giving viewers a comprehensive streaming experience.

HBO Max: With a rich assortment of acclaimed HBO series, blockbuster movies, and exclusive content, HBO Max has carved its niche as a premium streaming service. It offers a diverse range of genres and has gained popularity for its high-quality content and immersive storytelling.

Apple TV+: Apple’s foray into the streaming space, Apple TV+, showcases a curated selection of original series and films. Known for its focus on quality over quantity, it has quickly gained recognition for its compelling storytelling and partnerships with renowned directors, producers, and actors.

YouTube Premium: While primarily known for its vast collection of user-generated content, YouTube Premium offers an ad-free experience, access to exclusive content, and original series. It appeals to a wide range of viewers, from music enthusiasts to avid gamers.

Peacock: Owned by NBCUniversal, Peacock offers a mix of on-demand content and live TV, including popular NBC shows, movies, and original programming. It provides users with different subscription tiers, allowing them to choose their preferred viewing experience.

Number of Netflix paying streaming subscribers worldwide as of 1st quarter 2023, by region

How do you Develop an app like Netflix?

Developing an app like Netflix requires careful planning and execution. Here are the key steps involved in the development process:

Market Research: Begin by conducting thorough market research to understand the streaming industry landscape, user preferences, and emerging trends. Analyze competitors to identify unique features and opportunities for differentiation.

Define Your Goals: Clearly define your app’s goals, target audience, and monetization strategy. Determine whether you’ll offer a subscription-based model, in-app purchases, or a combination of revenue streams.

Conceptualize the App: Create a comprehensive app concept, including the overall user experience, desired features, and functionality. Consider features like personalized recommendations, user profiles, search functionality, social sharing, offline viewing, and seamless cross-device compatibility.

Design the User Interface: Work with a skilled UI/UX designer to create an intuitive and visually appealing user interface. Focus on providing easy navigation, clear content categorization, and an engaging visual experience.

Backend Development: Develop a robust backend infrastructure to handle user management, content management, video encoding, and streaming. Implement a scalable and secure architecture to support high-quality video delivery and accommodate increasing user demand.

Content Licensing: Acquire proper licensing agreements with content providers to ensure a diverse and compelling content library. This involves negotiating contracts and securing distribution rights for movies, TV shows, documentaries, and other desired content.

Mobile App Development: Utilize experienced mobile app developers to build a feature-rich and platform-specific app. Implement native or cross-platform development frameworks based on your target audience and budget.

Video Hosting and Delivery: Set up a reliable and scalable video hosting and delivery infrastructure. Consider using content delivery networks (CDNs) to ensure seamless video playback across different devices and geographical locations.

Testing and Quality Assurance: Conduct thorough testing at each stage of the development process. Test for compatibility, performance, security, and user experience to identify and fix any issues before launching the app.

Launch and Marketing: Once development and testing are complete, launch your app on app stores, ensuring compliance with platform guidelines. Develop a marketing strategy to promote your app and attract users through targeted advertising, social media, content marketing, and collaborations.

Ongoing Maintenance and Updates: Regularly monitor and maintain your app to ensure optimal performance, security, and user satisfaction. Continuously gather user feedback and make updates to enhance the app’s features and address any issues.

So, what is the cost of building a streaming app like Netflix?

While it is challenging to provide an exact cost for developing an app like Netflix without specific project details, it’s helpful to understand the general cost range associated with such a project. The development cost for a streaming app like Netflix can vary from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more, depending on the factors mentioned earlier. Here’s a breakdown of potential cost considerations:

Platform Development: Developing an app for multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, web, smart TVs, and streaming devices will increase the development cost. The cost for each platform can range from $20,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the complexity and features required.

Backend Development and Infrastructure: Building a scalable and robust backend infrastructure to handle user management, content delivery, recommendations, and analytics will require significant investment. Backend development costs can range from $50,000 to $200,000 or more, depending on the complexity and scalability requirements.

User Interface and Experience: Designing an intuitive and visually appealing user interface is crucial for a streaming app. The cost for UI/UX design can vary from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the level of customization and complexity required.

Video Streaming and Encoding: Implementing high-quality video streaming capabilities, adaptive streaming, and efficient encoding algorithms can add to the development cost. Costs for video streaming infrastructure and encoding can range from $30,000 to $100,000 or more.

Content Licensing: Acquiring content licenses for movies, TV shows, and other media involves negotiation and licensing fees. Content licensing costs can vary significantly based on the content library size and exclusivity sought, ranging from tens of thousands to millions of dollars annually.

Third-Party Integrations: Integrating third-party services like payment gateways, analytics platforms, DRM systems, or social media can incur additional costs, including licensing fees and development efforts. Costs for third-party integrations can range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the complexity and number of integrations.

Testing and Quality Assurance: Testing the app across different devices, platforms, and network conditions is crucial. Allocating budget for testing and quality assurance can range from $10,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the extent of testing required.

It’s important to note that these figures are approximate estimates and can vary significantly based on the project’s specific requirements, desired features, and quality expectations. Engaging with experienced app development agencies or professionals will provide a more accurate cost estimate based on your unique project needs.


Ultimately, the cost of building an app like Netflix will likely vary depending on several factors and the resources at your disposal.
The video industry has a rich history and a vast library of content, and with the emergence of new apps, the industry continues to thrive. If you have an innovative idea for building a unique on-demand video streaming app, like Netflix, we can help turn your vision into reality. Our mobile app development company has extensive experience in developing mobile and web applications across multiple platforms. Rest assured, we can create an awesome app tailored to your preferences.

Viral Dave
Written By Viral Dave Sr. BDE

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