Best Practices for Building a Live Streaming App

Best Practices for Building a Live Streaming App
Best Practices for Building a Live Streaming App
People want high-quality content, and they want it here and now. This simple fact defines the development of digital era making all the branches of media sphere cave and adapt. Out of all the communication-oriented technologies, live streaming tops the innovation market with its limitless versatility and unforgettable insightful user experience. The growing interest of public transformed streaming from an add-on entertaining feature into a powerful marketing channel appreciated by such brands as Buzzfeed, Target, Starbucks, Shopify, Adidas, and many more.

Companies, that recognized the potential of streaming and invested in it, grew into the market giants whose names you've surely heard — Twitch, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, etc. Wanna join this list and get your market share in the billion-worth streaming industry? Then keep on reading.
Read Also: Top 15 Apps for Live Streaming
Live Streaming Industry in Numbers
By 2021
live streaming industry will reach the 70-billion value
Live videos
will occupy 82% of the global internet traffic in 2020
80% of users
prefer live video over any other type of content
45% of users
are ready to pay for an exclusive live stream
67% of users
admit that quality is the most important for live videos
Most popular platforms
with streaming functionality in the US
Most popular platforms  with streaming functionality in the US
Reasons Behind the Rise of Live Streaming
There are a few facts that drive the growth of live streaming: video being the most engaging kind of content, 68% of human population having at least one mobile device, and more than 4 billion of people being active internet users. Do the math, and you'll realize that the vast majority of humanity is now fully equipped for a real-time exchange of information that combines both audio and visual elements. And it's not just with people; as mentioned above, the number of brands who choose to communicate with their audience via streams is continuously growing. The thing is that there is nothing more transparent, than a real-time talk with no possibility to edit the content, as opposed to pre-recorded videos that have been the thing just a few years ago. Today, the customers don't have to gain trust with the company, through live communication the company demonstrates that the trust is already there, which eventually leads to higher customer loyalty and increased brand awareness.

Another factor that adds to live video popularity is, beyond question, its ease of use. Creators no longer need editing skills or pricy hardware, as far as you have a camera and stable internet connection — you're all set.
Keeping in mind that the number of camera phones reached 4.4 billion in long-gone 2012 and has been increasing since then, no wonder most popular companies rushed to expand their feature set and introduced streaming functionality to cover the arising need of users to go live. Vivid examples of such companies are Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and YouTube Live, and we fully get them: a half of the Earth population sounds like a promising customer base, doesn't it?

What also increases the creator's experience in live streaming, it has to be the versatility of videos. The content created can be later used as a raw material for a pre-recorded videos or textual posts, and such a re-purpose might save you a coin, as well as precious time spent on inventing new ideas. During a stream, both parties (the speaker and the audience) hold an ongoing conversation, which means any question is answered immediately and all the sincere emotions leave uncut.

However, to launch a successful app a simple set of stream-related features is not enough. User experience does not consist only of watching live videos or hosting them, there are tons of details that define whether the app attracts or distracts people. So, what does building a live streaming app actually take? We gathered the essential practices to follow if wanted to launch the live streaming app that would rock the market.
Must-follow Steps on Your Way
to Good Streaming App
Evaluate the app's value
The fundamental economic law of demand and supply is not new to anyone — if consumers have a problem, the market will find a solution to solve it. What problem is your future app going to solve? This question requires clear and simple answer, so that after the money is invested and the app is done you would not have to explain users why they need to download it. Appealing design and entertaining features are great to have, but they should not be viewed as the very core of the application.
Plan the project as thoroughly
as you can
The absence of a strict and defined business plan is a recipe for disaster. Creating an app is nowhere easier than, let's say, opening a restaurant or managing a warehouse. Instead of rushing to the design or development process, take a deep breath and ask yourself: what exactly do you want to create, why, and for whom. After formulating a clear idea in your mind, get to the project scope, financial matters, timelines for development, marketing assets, etc. Just remember that there's no unimportant details when it comes to app planning.
Decide on operating system
Depending on your target audience, or target region, you have to choose between iOS and Android. Android is leading globally, but iOS takes the 64% share in the US. If you can take it, go for multiple versions of the same app for different platforms, which will assure the highest audience coverage.
Native vs. cross-platform development
In a nutshell, native is a kind of program that is perfectly optimized for the needs of a particular operating system, e.g., if talking about native iOS application, it would perform seamlessly on iPhones and iPads, but that's it with the device range. As opposed to the cross-platform version, that can work on iOS as well as Android and even web. Sound too good to be true? Yeah, it does. In reality, cross-platform apps sacrifice the stable performance to deliver the versatility. If in the eyes of investors this looks as an advantage, think about the user's perspective. The thing is users don't care how many platforms can an app cover — every single person uses it on his or her gadget and wants it to work well there and only there. If you want your app to be the business itself, go for native development to decrease the risks.
Offer unique feature set
Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO of a successful US-based digital agency VaynerMedia) once said "If you want to be an anomaly, you have to act like one." And we couldn't agree more! If you want your app to explode the IT market, then you need at least one unique feature introduced. Examine your competitors and explore what they are offering to the user. After the data is gathered, sit and brainstorm new features that will make your app stand out. Now, any company that is building a live streaming app equips it with basic function set including chat room, personal profile, membership plans, push notifications, etc. However, not all of them offer schedules of upcoming streams of featured creators, ability to anonymously send messages in chat during a stream, and save live videos to watch them later offline. There are a lot of blank space to cover, just think about it.
Involve the developers in the discussions early
If you think you have it all planned, think again. One person is not enough to manage the whole project, regardless of all the years of experience and impressive skills. Instead of overestimating yourself and stressing out about it, involve your team, programmers in particular, in the discussions, and the earlier the better. Do not try to predict the actions of someone else — if you are not going to code yourself, then do not bother planning app architecture or choose the technology stack on your own.
Find a dedicated team
If a phrase "If you want something done right, do it yourself" appeals to you, it's high time to change your beliefs, or at least shift them a bit when it comes to app development. The technical processes should be delegated to the experts in the field, so that the investments would not wasted when the app the ready for release. Thanks to the growth of IT outsourcing, entrepreneurs no longer have to spend a fortune on software development. In case you are considering to outsource app development, read this article to find out the most popular outsourcing destinations.
Just like any other business project, live streaming app development has its pitfalls and risks. Yet still, the shocking rise of media streaming makes such apps a promising field of investment that attracts more and more entrepreneurs as the time goes by. If you combine responsible project planning with a high-quality development by true IT professionals, then prospects will leave the potential risks behind leading to a successful launch. Looking for a highly-skilled team to collaborate on a live streaming app? Contact us to get the work started.
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