App Development

How much does it cost to develop an OTT platform?

OTT platform facilitates the users to watch their favorite content online and offline. One of the interesting points about these platforms is – these apps are counted as a top-notch entertainment medium.

An OTT development team will face many challenges while building an OTT app as it requires lots of effort, time, and money. Hence, the main question arises how much does it cost to develop an OTT platform? There are several aspects related to answering this question. This article focuses on covering all the points associated with the cost of OTT platform development

The apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, and more have become popular in the past few years. Netflix and Amazon Prime have for a long time dominated the OTT industry. But more recently, Disney, AT&T, and Comcast have been catching up with ambitious plans for their own streaming services.

It is becoming more important to deliver video content in an innovative way. In-order to provide your users with the best viewing experience, you need to know what it takes to develop an OTT platform and understand how much time and money it takes to build one from scratch or even to extend it with new features or functionality. Let’s find out together!

What is An OTT Platform?

OTT platform (over-the-top) is nothing but an app that allows users to access video content directly via the Internet, bypassing the traditional cable and satellite providers who used to be the only way to watch TV online. There are many reasons you might want to develop an OTT platform: say, if you’re launching your own video streaming service or working on an existing network and want to offer an alternative way of accessing your content.

You may have heard of or seen various terms regarding streaming over time. The term that’s become most widely adopted is Over-the-Top or OTT for short. Everything from SVOD (subscription video on demand) to AVOD (ad-supported video on demand) and TV Everywhere. The more you look into how these various types of platforms differ, however, you’ll see that what separates one from another boils down largely to its business model and intended content usage scenario. 

Read also: How Does ICO Development Benefit Your Business?

Key Stats About OTT Platforms

OTT is a relatively new and evolving form of communication. Technology has shifted from traditional TV to online streaming services in recent years. These platforms are not only allowing users to watch their favorite programming and movies at any time, but they also often offer a more interactive experience than that of traditional TV.

Here are some key statistics about OTT platforms that will provide excellent insight into rapid progress. 

  • The OTT video segment is projected to reach $281.70 billion in 2022.
  • By 2026, the revenue will be $423 billion; that is a big figure. 
  • There are 3.08 billion OTT users exist on OTT platforms.
  • VoD(video-on-demand platforms) like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are key players. 
  • Netflix has more than 200 million subscribers globally. 
  • TVOD (TV Video-On-Demand) market’s value will reach 13 billion by 2028. 

The above statistics represent the progressing phase of on-demand video apps or platforms.  

How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App Like Netflix?

Netflix is a popular example of a company that has developed an app to compete in a marketplace. It has created an app that is not just easy to use but also contains a wide variety of TV shows and movies that are popular with the user base. The cost of developing an app like Netflix depends on what you want from the app and how much you’re willing to spend.

The two most important factors that contribute to your overall app development costs are human resources and time. Depending on what you need, your project scope will be different and have varying development time requirements and human resource costs. 

OTT Mobile apps that require advanced backend integrations or serverside coding tend to be more expensive since they require in-depth knowledge of multiple technologies and use cases. On top of that, each mobile app development company has its unique hourly rate, leading to significant differences between estimates depending on which company you choose. It is why we recommend reaching out to several companies before selecting one.

Building an app like Netflix will cost around $50,000 with basic features. It is an approximation based on the one-time app development costs. It would not be easy to give a more accurate price since it varies according to the platform, features, and other variables.

What are the Factors That Affect The Cost of OTT Platform Development?

The high app development cost is not worth it for most startups because they can’t afford it. The best thing is to focus on getting your MVP out first, and then you can worry about everything else later once your customer base has grown.

There are a lot of factors that affect the price like:

  • How many features will be included?

The success of any OTT platform or app depends on its features. OTT platforms like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, etc., all possess some unique features. So, if you are going to include some unique features, it will be fantastic. But, it would be best if you also remembered that more features mean more cost. 

  • How much will the features cost to develop?

This question is an extension of the above question. The OTT platform contains several features such as signing up, searching, push notifications, payment gateway, and others. You will be surprised to know that each feature comes with its own cost. So, the cost is associated with each feature implementation.  

  • What is the complexity level?

It is the same as the concept of feature development. In simpler terms, you can understand it as Suppose you want to make an advanced with the help of an OTT app development company; then you should know that it will require more cost because advanced features remain complex compared to the basic features.  

  • How many developers are needed to complete the project?

A traditional mobile app development company typically incurs many expenses related to infrastructure, labor and software tools. In contrast, when a company develops for an OTT platform, some of these costs become unnecessary (though additional costs are associated with scaling your app for live TV or video-on-demand). The quality of streaming is critical; hence top-notch technology is needed. The content has to be managed, and fast stream delivery on multiple devices becomes necessary. That can happen via hiring a team of experts only. So, the cost will be accordingly. 

The OTT Platform Monetization Models That You Can Follow 

There are three different models for monetization of a streaming platform: the subscription-based, advertising-based, and transactional-based models. You can consider these for earning great revenue. 

  • Subscription Model- Under it, users themselves get to choose what content they want to view. And then, some platforms make the selection process based on user interests and preferences while charging each time the user selects a certain show. These platforms usually offer a free trial or membership-based pricing model.
  • Advertising Supported Model- The second model is advertising-supported, where commercials play before every video. With these videos, the users have to watch the commercial before watching their video. There is also an in-stream advertising model, which has advertisements playing as a video plays online and/or during breaks in programming instead of only at the beginning before you can watch your video.
  • Transactional Model- Do you remember we used to rent the video cassette from a video library when any OTT was not there? Yes, it is the same as that. Under this model, a user uses to pay for rent a video or a movie online. It is also a fine model that you can consider for monetization.

The Conclusion

OTT platforms took over the current industry a few years ago, and it is heavy on the competition. The rapid growth of OTT platforms is due to the accessibility and availability of content anywhere at any time. Some platforms provide their own original content, while others are commissioning external content producers.

 If you want to build an OTT platform then it would be best to hire dedicated developers. You can expect them to have the expertise required for OTT app development, be up-to-date with current OTT trends and technologies, and provide quick turnaround times .

The cost of building such a platform can be huge, so if you want to cut down on some costs, hire a team of dedicated developers for the job who have in-depth experience in developing OTT apps. They will not only develop the app, but also they will help you on each front, from requirement analysis to the launching of the app. 

Naveen Khanna

Naveen Khanna is the CEO of eBizneeds. He has a background in commercial operations and systems analysis and design. With extensive experience across projects in the Custom Software, eCommerce and B2B systems his focus is on developing long term client relationships through a deep understanding of business needs, providing value added support and strategic solutions development

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