Everything You Need to Know About OTT App Development – Cost, Features, and More!

Everything You Need to Know About OTT App Development – Cost, Features, and More!

What was the last series you binge-watched on Netlfix or Prime Video? 

Never mind! But if you have a subscription to one of these two platforms, you definitely know what an OTT application/platform is! 

Now that you’re here, it’s clear that you want to know more about OTT apps, OTT software development and even build an OTT application for your own business! 

So, in this read, we’ve come up with everything you could possibly look for! 

We would have continued saying what the read is about but thought it would be better if you find it yourselves

Sit back tight! Because this gets interesting better than a Netflix series – well, we hope that it does!

What are OTT Applications?

OTT applications (Over-the-top) are sophisticated video streaming platform that lets you view shows to your choice. 

OTT applications, in general, have content like movies, TV series, live events and more. And users can view these on both their desktops and handsets. Oops! We did miss out on Smart TVs. Add that to the list, will you? 

All one needs to have is a stable internet connection and subscription plan. Speaking of subscriptions, OTT platforms allow users to opt for monthly or quarterly or annual subscriptions. 

The OTT subscription trend is on the rise because of the extreme comfort – people can watch videos from the comfort of their homes. Also, since the videos are readily available to play, people are switching from the traditional cable connections to OTT platforms! 

Some of the most popular OTT applications today are, 

  • Netflix
  • Prime Video
  • Disney+ Hotstar
  • Hulu
  • Shudder and more. 

We’re done here! Now that you know what an OTT application is, let’s head to the next part! 

OTT Platform Market Share & Statistics

The OTT platform market has witnessed exponential growth, especially since the beginning of 2020. Popular OTT video platforms have witnessed significant increase in both revenue and usage. Here are some of the statistics we’ve pulled out for you! 

  • The OTT market was valued at an approximate $120 billion and is estimated to reach $1,039 billion by the year 2027.
  • Reports state that over 230 million people in the USA have at least one video streaming application. This is somewhat close to 70% of the population. 
  • Another study revealed that as of now, Netflix is the biggest OTT services provider in the world. The Netflix OTT application has more than 150 million paid subscribers now. 
  • As of March 2021, Prime Video has more than 150 million subscribers. This is an approximate 50% increase from 2017. 
  • As of July 2021, Disney+ Hotstar has more than 300 million users and 38 million paid subscribers. 

If that’s not enough for you, here’s something more! 

Shudder was started in the year 2015 by AMC Networks. The platform focuses mainly on horror content. Shudder recently announced that it has more than one million members on the platform. That’s pretty huge growth in a short period! 

All these stats only prove how beneficial starting an OTT platform business is now! Now that we’re done with the statistics part, let’s move on to the next part of the read! 

What Type of OTT Applications Can You Build?

A pretty straightforward answer! With the current day needs, you can and must build different kinds of OTT applications. This is because the more accessible your OTT video platform and content is to users, the better will the be the engagement rate and new user count onboard. 

The most common types of OTT applications are being listed below, 

Mobile OTT Apps: Probably the most important one if you want your OTT platform business to thrive. Almost all OTT services today have a mobile application. You get readily built OTT mobile apps, which makes the task easy for you! 

Here’s Netflix from both the Playstore and App Store. 

netflix android

netflix iOS

We did want to take screenshots of other apps as well but thought we’d stop with this! 

Web OTT Apps: Next to Mobile OTT apps, you should have a web presence. Usually, your website is going to act as your web application. You can simply log in, stream what you want online – as simple as said! 

Desktop OTT Apps: Some people hate opening their browser every time they want to watch something. A desktop OTT app should get the job done! Netflix, Prime Video and popular OTT services have this feature! 

Apart from this, you can also come up with Smart TV apps. Since Smart TVs work on the Android model, you don’t have to worry too much! 

What Features Your OTT Applications Should Have?

OTT software development can be quite a tricky thing. You have to make sure that your OTT application has the necessary features to meet the industry standards! 

Below, we’ve mentioned some of the primary features your OTT application should have! 

  1. Social Login Feature

The login/registration gateway is the first thing your platform users should have. Allowing a social login feature saves time and allows users to log in to the platform with one single click. 

  1. Push Notifications

Push Notifications are one thing that’s going to make users come back for more. You should be able to let your users know about the latest releases, upcoming movies and more. 

  1. Wishlist

Users would hate to search for the same thing repeatedly, which is why a wishlist is mandatory for your OTT application. A wishlist would help your users stay more engaged on the platform. 

  1. Search Options 

Platform users should be able to find what they are looking for. Make sure your OTT application has the search feature quite sophisticated. Results should be relevant and should appear in the blink of an eye.

  1. Subscription Model

This is one of the monetization features your OTT application should be having. Your users should be able to subscribe to available subscription plans. This helps you to earn revenue and increase your subscriber base. 

  1. Pay-Per-View Model

This is another super useful monetization feature. Not all your platform users would want to opt-in for a subscription model. Some don’t use OTT services very often. Such users would not hesitate to pay and watch the latest releases. Since it’s a one-time payment and there aren’t any subscriptions, people don’t mind paying the one-time bucks. 

This helps you bring in more revenue! 

  1. Banner Videos

Banner videos are known to gather a lot of attention when a user comes to visit your OTT platform. Prime Video is a perfect example of this. They display the latest releases using a carousel format banner. 

This can also be an ideal monetization opportunity for you! 

The above-mentioned features are the mandatory ones your platform should have at the beginning. Later, you can even add a couple of nice to have features onboard depending on how your OTT platform is performing.  

Now that we know the basic features your OTT application should have, let’s look at the OTT platform monetization features. 

Different Types of OTT Application Monetization Models

Any business, be it offline or online, it all comes down to the monetization models! Well, that’s natural! 

An OTT streaming service is one of the profitable businesses out there, thanks to its multiple monetization methods! 

We already saw this in the above section but here, we’re going a bit in-depth. 

1. Subscription Payment Model

Your users should opt for a monthly subscription plan to access, view and download content on their devices. 

The subscription process can be auto-renewed or set to manual payment by the user. It’s better if you come up with multiple subscription plans on your platform. This gives the users multiple options to choose from and they end up going with one from the lot for sure. 

The below screenshot shows the subscription plans of Netflix in the US region, 

netflix subscription plans

Netflix has got three subscription plans for the US region. Whereas when it comes to India, Netflix has four subscription plans – a dedicated mobile-only view plan!

Cleverly played! 

2. Pay-Per-View Model

Like we already mentioned, the pay-per-view model is where your platform users pay to view a specific title on your platform. 

This goes well for users who do not want to opt-in for a subscription plan or who do not often watch movies. 

Flexibility is the key to grow any business and having a pay-per-view model gives you the edge in attracting the audience to your OTT platform. 

3. The Hybrid Model

Yes! It’s exactly what you think! 

The hybrid model is a combination of both the subscription and the pay-per-view model. Having a combination of both on the same platform allows you to attract both kinds of audiences. 

Also, you can use the pay-per-view model to display exclusive live stream shows/latest releases on the platform. 

Even the users who have a subscription plan should pay to view the exclusive content – additional revenue! 

Apart from this, you can also display ads on banners or in between video content. 

Those are the popular OTT platform monetization strategies you should consider having on your OTT application at the beginning. 

So, let’s get to the OTT software development part!

How to Build an OTT Application?

Like we already mentioned, OTT software development can be tricky but it all depends on the approach you to choose to go with! 

We’ve come up with the two most common ways to build an OTT application here! 

1. Hire Developers to Built Your OTT Application

This has been the go-to method for building OTT applications to date. But it does come with its own complications! 

To build an OTT application from scratch using developers takes a lot of time and money. And by building from scratch, we mean the entire process!

Developers have to build features like, 

  • Built-in Video Player
  • Payment Gateways
  • Search & Filter Options 
  • Registration Gateway
  • Monetization Models
  • User Profile
  • Analytics Dashboard
  • Watchlist & User Recommendations
  • Banner Videos
  • Push Notifications and more. 

All the above-mentioned features should be built from scratch and this takes a minimum of 3 – 6 months if you have in-house developers. If you’re planning to outsource the project, it could take even more time. 

Now, for the other method. Trust us, you’re going to love this!

2. Using Custom Solution to Build an OTT Application

When compared with the previous solution, this method helps you save huge time and money. 

Today, hundreds of custom OTT application scripts let you build OTT streaming services like Netflix and Prime video with ease. 

Since these solutions are already packed with features you need to run an OTT platform, you should simply install the script on your server and get on with it. 

The advantage of using OTT application scripts is that you don’t have to hire developers or outsource your project. Once the basics are set and your OTT platform is live, you simply have to upload videos regularly and manage your platform users. 

Speaking of OTT scripts, here’s one such solution!


StreamView is a white-label OTT streaming solution that lets you create an OTT platform with ease. 

You can create websites like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ Hostar with ease. The platform comes with all the above-mentioned features and allows high room for customization. 

Since you get lifetime access to the source code, you can further customize the platform to add additional features or tweak the platform to suit your needs.

The steps to launching your OTT platform are pretty simple with StreamView. 

Step 1: The first step to launch your OTT platform is to buy a domain. 

Step 2: Once you’ve bought a domain, choose a hosting provider that you find appropriate. 

Step 3: When purchased a domain and a hosting provider, buy the StreamView OTT application script and install it on the server. 

Step 4: Customize the script to suit your needs. Add additional features if you want or tweak the platform to make it look better. 

Step 5: When all the customization is done, it’s time you start uploading videos, create subscription plans, set payment gateways and launch your OTT platform. 

So, that’s how you create an OTT application for your business with ease.

Now, to the final part of the read – OTT video app development cost!

Cost to Develop Your OTT Video Application

Since we saw two methods in this read, it’s only fair to let you know the development costs of both the approaches. 

The first method where you hire developers to build your OTT application costs you approximately $30,000 to $50,000. It might even cost more depending on the features and the people you hire, especially if you’re hiring developers from North America. The time taken to build one such OTT application is 3 – 6 months. 

As for the second approach where you use OTT application script, it’s going to cost you an approximate $2000 – $3000. 

The time taken to build an OTT video platform using an OTT script is 3 – 4 weeks. 

So, yes! That’s pretty much about OTT software development! We’ll wrap this read with a positive note! 

Final Few Words

Running an OTT video platform is one of the best ways to earn money today. With the OTT market size expected to grow multiple folds in the coming years, there’s no better time to start an OTT streaming business! 

You’ve got everything you need to start a OTT streaming platform as well! We see no reason why you should wait anymore! 

Start Your OTT Video Streaming Platform Now!

Frequently Answered Questions

  1. How to Build an OTT Video Platform?

An OTT video platform can be built using two methods, 

  • Build it from scratch
  • Using custom OTT application scripts. 
  1. How Does OTT Platform Work? 

An OTT platform streams popular content like movies, web series, documentaries and more. On ther other hand, users can opt-in for a subscription plan and consume content they wish to. 

  1. How Do OTT Platforms Make Money?

OTT platforms make money using the monetization models like, 

  • Subscription Model
  • Pay-per-view Model
  • Hybrid Mode
  1. Where Do Ads Come Up in OTT Platforms?

Generally, ads are displayed in banners or in between the video content. Ads are also an effective way to earn money when you run an OTT platform business.

What Is An OTT Platform? How to Launch An OTT Platform in 2021?

What Is An OTT Platform? How to Launch An OTT Platform in 2021?

Let’s start this OTT video platform read with a fun activity! 

What’s your most favorite OTT streaming platform? Here are the options!  

  1. Netflix
  2. Prime Video
  3. Disney+ 
  4. Other OTT Video Platforms

You can let us know in the comments section! So, heading back to the read!

OTT video platforms have become so popular today and the history goes back a long time! It all started when Netflix went OTT for the first time in 2007. And since then, there has been immense growth and there has been equal competition. 

But guess what? There’s still some room for fresh competition! And isn’t that the reason you’re here? You want to build your own OTT video platform and be a part of the competition!

Well, you’ve got it!

This read is all about what you’re looking for! You’ll learn 

  • What an OTT Platform is
  • The reasons why you should start an OTT platform
  • The steps to launch your own OTT platform and
  • The components required to build your own OTT platform

Also, we’ll be covering the advantages of OTT platforms! So, sit back and relax while we take you through the OTT video platform ride!

What Is An OTT Platform?

OTT means “Over The Top”! An OTT platform is where media is streamed on a platform with the help of the internet. Users can pay to watch videos they like on a monthly subscription model or pay to view per content.

Some of the most popular OTT platforms are,

  • Netflix 
  • Prime Video
  • Disney+
  • Hulu
  • Sling TV and more

Quick Fact: The name Over The Top means delivering something over the top of a platform. 

Not that you know what an OTT video platform is, but it’s always good to brush up on the basics! Now that you’re clear, let’s look at the reasons why you should build your own OTT video platform. 

Why Start an OTT Platform in 2021?

Remember what we said at the beginning of the read? There’s room for more competition! 

The OTT video platform trend is just on the rise and there are many new platforms that are thriving in the competitive market.

So, let’s look at the reasons why you should start an OTT video platform now! 

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Believe it or not, an OTT video platform can market itself!

How? Here’s a quick example!

When a person watches a video, he/she will take a look at the platform’s name. And when thousands of people watch the same video, the name goes around.  Eventually, more people end up landing on your OTT video platform. 

What happens here is,

  1. You get more traffic on your OTT video platform which means more opportunities for subscriptions. 
  2. Existing subscribers increase brand awareness via word-of-mouth marketing! 

This is like a chain reaction and keeps repeating itself – you’ll have a loyal customer base and your brand name might shoot to fame sooner than you think! 

2. OTT Video Platforms are Easy to Scale

Only when a business scalable, there’s hope in the long run. When the number of subscribers increase on your OTT video platform, the scalability issue comes in. 

But with the right CDN system onboard, scalability is not going to be an issue! You can handle a huge number of consumer demands with ease! 

3. OTT Video Platforms Offer Multiple Monetization Methods

Revenue is key for any business to thrive. And when it comes to running an OTT video platform, monetization is not going to be an issue! 

There are multiple OTT platform monetization methods to make money today. Some of the most common OTT platform monetization methods are, 

  • User subscriptions
  • Pay-per-view content
  • Ad banners

The above monetization methods play a great role in helping OTT video platforms make money provided they crack it right!

4. Larger Audience Base

As of 2021, Disney+ has more than 100 million users and Netflix has more than 208 million users. 

A recent survey stated that an approximate 60% of Americans use a streaming service and 50% of the lot use Netflix. 

So, it’s not the audience you should be worried about. The entire world is ready to subscribe to an OTT video platform if it is worth the time and money! 

All you have to worry about is, building your own OTT video platform and trying to bring it to the limelight! 

5. The Convenience Factor

With an OTT video platform subscription, people can watch content anytime they want to! And they just love this fact! There’s going to be no waiting period or long ads in between – just the user and the OTT video platform. 

This extreme convenience is what has made OTT platforms so preferable the past few years! And the trend just seems to grow!

The above mentioned are the advantages of OTT platforms and the reasons why you should start building your own OTT video platform today!

With high hopes that you’re convinced, let’s move to the next part of the read! 

What Features Should Your OTT Streaming Platform Have?

This is one of the most important parts of the read!

If you want your OTT video platform business to be a success, you have to make sure that the platform gives the best possible experience! And you need to have certain features to give that kind of an experience! 

Below mentioned are the features your OTT video platform must have! 

  1. Registration Gateway: Make sure the registration process is a walk in the park. Allowing users to log in with their social media handles is even better!
  1. Multiple User Profiles: People love when they are given their private space. Make sure your OTT streaming platform has the option where users can create multiple profiles – just like Netflix.
  1. UI/UX Design: An OTT video platform that looks pleasing and offers a great user experience can go a long way in terms of growth and revenue. Also, make sure the “Night Mode” feature is present.
  1. Video Player: This comes without saying! But still, make sure your video player has all the basic functions – start, stop etc!
  1. Watchlist: The user should not have to go through the hardship of finding his/her favorite video every single time. A “My List” feature can help fix this.
  1. Notifications: As an admin, you should be able to send your platform users custom notifications or new video arrivals. Make sure your OTT streaming platform has this feature as well.
  1. Android & iOS Applications: The Android and iOS community when combined have more than 4 billion users. Make sure you give them a mobile application to stream videos on!
  1. Flag/Report Abuse: Users should be able to raise their concerns over content that is present on the platform. And the flag/report abuse is kind of a mandatory feature to do this!
  1. Built-in Payment Gateways: The transaction process should be a breeze! Make sure there are built-in payment gateways to get this done.
  1. Multi-Currency & Multi-Language Support: Though the U.S. Dollar and English are accepted worldwide, it’s great if you can leave it to the choice of people!

Honestly, the features list could go on forever! But with the above-mentioned, your OTT streaming platform can put up one hell of a fight! 

Quick Recap: As of now, we’ve covered what an OTT video platform is, the reasons why you should start one and the features your OTT streaming platform should have! 

We’re pretty much done with the basics. So, let’s look at the steps to build your own OTT video platform now!

How to Launch Your Own OTT Video Platform?

To be frank, launching your own OTT video platform can either be a piece of cake or a nightmare. It totally depends on the path you choose to build your OTT video streaming platform. 

So, here we go – the steps to create your own OTT video platform! 

Step 1: Find A Specific Niche for Your OTT Video Platform

If you are thinking to stream all kinds of movies and TV series like Netflix or Prime Video, you should seriously reconsider!

Not that it’s a bad move but you’re about to directly compete with the OTT giants! And chances are your OTT video platform might go unnoticed, forever! 

As a new OTT video platform, it’s best if you choose a particular niche before you start. You might have the question of whether the platform will take off in the long run. 

Here’s an example that might inspire you! 

Shudder, an OTT platform chose horror as its niche. They only display exclusive horror content and the platform was started only in the year 2015. By late 2020, the total number of subscribers on Shudder crossed 1 million! 

And by now, the numbers would have surely gone up by a million at least!

Though that’s a small number when compared with the OTT giants, think of the subscribers – everyone who is on your platform loves the niche and is going to remain loyal for a very long time. That’s what you really need as a new OTT video platform!

So, choose a niche you think would be ideal for your OTT video platform. Also, make sure that there is a good demand for the same – sports, pets, anything!   

We’ll also give you a few profitable streaming ideas for your OTT streaming platform in the later section of this read. But if you already have one on your mind, well and good! 

Step 2: Choose a Business Model for Your OTT Video Platform

Now that you’ve chosen a niche for your OTT video streaming platform, it’s time you choose a business model! This is how your OTT platform business is going to make money!

The most common OTT platform monetization models are, 

  • Transactional Model
  • Subscription Model
  • Advertisement Business Model

Here’s a quick overview of the different OTT platform business models. 

Transactional Model

Here, your OTT video platform users get to watch most of the videos for free. You, on the other hand, can set certain videos as premium and ask the user to pay for that particular video. 

When the user pays, they can view content online or download it to watch in offline mode.

This model is highly effective when you are just starting your OTT video platform – helps you draw more users to the platform at the early stages.

Subscription Model

If you’re a Netflix or a Prime Video subscriber, you know how this works!

Your OTT platform users should pay a monthly or an annual subscription fee to view the content you offer! 

netflix subscription

Image Source: Netflix

Above is Netflix’s subscription plans for the U.S. region. Similarly, you can come up with a sophisticated subscription plan or simply start with a free plan and one subscription plan!

Imagine having 1000 subscribers on your platform. And each of them pays $5.99. That’s $5,990 per month. 

This model is best when your OTT video platform has a significant number of users. Click here to know about techniques to grow your OTT subscription business.

Advertisement Business Model

This needs no introduction, does it?

Platforms like YouTube have been using ads in between videos and guess what? They made $6.9 billion in revenue using ads alone! 

Similarly, you can use banner video ads on your OTT video platform and make some extra revenue. 

This OTT monetization method is best suited if your platform has abundant traffic! 

So, which monetization method should you be going for? 

Well, here’s your answer – The Hybrid Model! 

Here’s what it is!

The Hybrid Model

This is the combination of all the above three OTT monetization models!

Don’t ask yourself whether it’s going to work because it sure will! 

Making revenue with just one monetization model is not a very good idea. When you combine all three models together, your OTT video platform will start to make a consistent revenue even if your platform hasn’t made it to the limelight, yet! 

Clear with the OTT monetization models? Okay, let’s move to the next step of building your own OTT video platform.

Step 3: Create Your Own Video Streaming Website

There are two ways to do this! 

Building your OTT streaming platform from scratch

Using OTT video platform scripts

Building From Scratch

We’re not going to talk about the first methods because of these reasons, 

  • You have to create all the above-mentioned features from scratch
  • This takes around 1-2 months and costs an approximate $70,000
  • You’re going to spend an awful lot of time reading this part

So, we’ll move to the next method!

Creating Video Streaming Website Using Video Streaming Scripts

Video streaming scripts or OTT scripts are nothing but readymade video streaming solutions. 

With a video streaming script on board, you can create an OTT video platform at a reduced cost & time. Also, you need not have any development or coding knowledge. The OTT scripts follow the plug and play method and the installation process is no biggie!

So, these are the steps to create your OTT video platform using a video streaming script! 

Step 1: Buy a domain name for your streaming website from a popular domain vendor. 

Step 2: Choose a hosting platform to run your video streaming website. 

Step 3: Purchase a video streaming script (we’ll tell you which one you should be going for) and install it on the server. 

Step 4: Customize the website to make it look the way you want it to. 

Step 5: Set payment gateways, upload videos and your OTT video platform is all set to go live! 

That was quick, wasn’t it? 

As for the timeline and the cost, it’ll take a week or two and cost you around $800. 

Also, here’s the video streaming script you should be going for – StreamView

StreamView OTT Script 

StreamView, also known as Netflix Clone Script, allows you to build your own OTT video platform in no time. StreamTunes has all the above-mentioned features and a few more under the hood. The script is self-hosted and allows a high level of customization. 

Also, the script is white-label and there is no forced branding or whatsoever! 

You can check the live demo to know how StreamTunes works! 

Step 4: Set-Up Mobile Applications for Your OTT Video Platform

Like we already discussed, it is important that you have mobile applications for your video streaming website.  The best part about StreamTunes OTT scripts is that you get native Android and iOS applications as well! 

The applications are feature-rich and ready to use. The support team takes care of the customizations you need! 

So, that’s pretty much the step to build your own OTT video platform. 

Wait! Don’t switch tabs! 

There are a few other things you need to take care of to make your video streaming website function seamlessly! 

5 Essential Components Needed to Launch Your OTT Video Platform

1. Hosting

A good hosting provider can create a big difference for your OTT video platform. You can host videos on the cloud or on your server – it’s totally up to you! 

But remember, when you choose to go with a cloud white label hosting platform, you get benefits like unlimited storage.

2. Content Delivery Network System

Down the lane, your OTT video platform is going to have users from all over the globe. And to meet their requests, you need to have a reliable CDN system. 

It’s best if you choose a CDN provider who has multiple CDNs. Because only when your users get a seamless streaming service, there’s going to be retention and subscription.

3. Streaming Protocol

Every time a user tries to view a video, a streaming protocol is used to deliver data. And a good streaming protocol facilitates quick video delivery! The best-known streaming protocols are HTTP and RTMP.

4. Transcoder

A transcoder is used to convert videos on your platform into multiple video formats. This helps users view videos on multiple devices like the Web, Mobile and TV.

5. Cross-Platform Support

Since the StreamTune video streaming script comes with Android and iOS applications, users can view it on any device they want! In order for your video streaming website to function efficiently, you need to make sure that everything mentioned above is present.

That said, we’re moving to the final part of the read! 

Profitable Niche Ideas for Your OTT Video Platform

It doesn’t matter what you’re going to stream! There’s always a group of people to view your content! But still, if you want a couple of streaming niches that are going to be a sure shot, you’ve got it here! 

  • Fitness Streaming
  • Sports Streaming
  • Music Streaming
  • Community Related Streaming
  • Animals Related Streaming

You can know more about each streaming niche here!

That was a long ride, wasn’t it? But in the end, you got to know how to launch an OTT platform at a reduced cost and time! 

That’s all that matters! 

The Bottom Line

The world is slowly ditching cable connections and moving to OTT streaming subscriptions. And 7 out of 10 people say they prefer streaming via an OTT video platform rather than sticking to a television. 

With the transformation only beginning, there could be no better time for you to start an OTT video platform! 

Now that you have everything you need, I see no reason why you should still wait! Take the first step, right now! 

Start Building Your Own OTT Video Platform Today!