Category Application Development
netflix app development cost Creating a streaming service isn’t enough, it should match the quality of leading platforms like Netflix to catapult you on the top. To do so, having an idea about the cost to develop an app like Netflix is a must.

OTT services are the new cable tv of the world. Post the availability of high-speed internet, many possibilities became reality. Serving ultra-high definition 4K videos with HDR quality became possible. 

To sum it up, there is one OTT service that took the plunge of seriously doing it i.e. Netflix. Netflix leads its niche with its incredible content, marketing strategies, and technical understanding of how to make their service better.

It is an amalgamation of so many things inculcated together that people don’t even understand “What Netflix has really done?”. Adding to this, the path paved by Netflix is being followed by many services such as Prime Videos, Hulu, Crunchyroll, etc. And, there are many new players to come. 

If you intend to be one such player, and are looking forward to creating another Netflix or something better, then the first question to ask would be “What is the cost of developing an app like Netflix?”. 

To give you a reasonable idea…here is our article for you!

Market of OTT Platforms

To turn an aspiration into reality, the first step is to understand whether the space exists or not. 

Here are some stats from Statista to strengthen your decision:

  • In the US alone, the total revenue of OTT platforms are estimated to be $174.1 billion. It is estimated that the OTT market will reach $242.9 billion by 2028.
  • Starting from 2010, the OTT market has grown 22 times by 2021 with the evaluation of $135.1 billion. In 2010, it was $6.1 billion.
  • Netflix has a customer base of 220 million paid subscribers worldwide.

There can be multiple other reasons to understand the cost to make an app like Netflix but that would mean another article. 

How to make an App like Netflix - Features & Cost to Develop an App like Netflix

To understand average cost to create an app like Netflix, one must learn about all the compelling features the application possesses on-board.

The quality of content the application serves, and variety of offers is one facet. However, the capability to recommend content and continuously pull visitors to checkout the platform is a tactic one must learn.

Therefore, here are some the compelling features that would help you understand the cost to create an app just like Netflix

1. Option to Share Videos: The Must-Have Feature


netflix mobile app development cost 

The capability to share your favorite TV series, movies, documentaries, anime, etc, makes for a wholesome experience. With the option to share, people can connect with their friends & family over similar content. Also, it is double beneficial considering the tactic is equivalent to word of mouth. 

The user him/herself is compelling his near ones to watch existing or live content on your platform. Netflix knows this and therefore has integrated to create better presence and brand dominance in the market. Sharing options can include apps like Whatsapp, and capability to mail the link to anyone in the group.

2. Social Networking Coordination: Integrating With The Power Of Media

Almost everybody today has social networking profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. OTT platform allows sharing your favorite content to social media, in a click of a button. Imagine this, movies of today run massive social media campaigns to have an internet presence. Why? Because the people of today reside there. With the capability to market content directly to social media, we are giving the power of marketing in the hands of the customer. 

3. Stream Live Video: Keeping Up With The Trend

cost to make app like netflix

Netflix hasn’t done this, however, there are plenty of other popular OTT platforms that do the same. A great example of this would be Hotstar. With the capability to watch your favorite sport online, the OTT platform has literally transformed themselves. Earlier, the only reason for people to go back to cable TV was to watch their favorite sport. However, now you can enjoy live video streaming immensely and it is possible through your application.  Thus, you need to implement this component in your application. 

To build a live streaming app, here are some things one might need:

  • Video Streaming API: There are primarily two types of APIs (application programming interface) used for streaming app development i.e. video API and player API. Video API allows for fetching content from the CMS (content management system). On the other hand, player API helps in customizing the video content as per the application for viewing.
  • SDK (Software Development Kit): An application runs on instructions. These instructions work on the app layer to perform different operations integrating with the API. To create the integration and write those instructions, SDKs are used.
  • HTML5 Video Player: An app in essence is a browser embedded within an encryption of an OS based platform i.e. iOS and Android. It it because at internal level, all the basic languages such as HTML, CSS,  javascript, etc, are interacting together. An HTML5 video player will enable viewing streaming content on the app.

4. Monetizing The App: Going Mainstream

Figuring out the revenue model is an essential task for any app to sustain itself. It may sound a little capitalistic hearing this but no app can remain operational without revenue backing it. In fact, the purpose of creating an app such as Netflix is to capture a portion of the market. There are various approaches to acquire cash through mobile applications. It is up to you how you use your app. Whether you are offering it for free of cost to build an app or chargeable, that decides your fortune.
You will find numerous ways that will assist you in making a profit from your application.  Few such ways are:

  • In-App Notices
  • Email Showcasing
  • In-app ads
  • Partner Advertising
  • Memberships
  • Sponsorships
  • In-App Buys
  • Charging incentives from Content Suppliers to showcase their content 

Many OTT platforms of today simply allow users to watch some content for free on their platforms. However in return, the user has to watch the advertisements just like YouTube. Otherwise, the user can simply pay the premium of the app and get an ad-free subscription. How do you want to set the revenue model that is up to you. Is it essential to have it in place before app development? 100%.

5. Message Pop-Ups & Notifications: To Make The User Aware 

Message pop-ups are quite popular with most entrepreneurs having an OTT application. If you can use pop-up messages correctly, it can do wonders. It will be an extraordinary method to gain traction and more viewership. You can form an association with your audience and also proselyte them into making the move that you are searching for. In fact, these notifications & pop-ups can be used for informing the customer about new content. Content they wanted to watch or content that they might like.

Once you are utilizing it correctly, the message pop-up & notifications assists you in:

  • Reminding the customer for renewing the services.
  • Offering them better and more premium services.
  • Giving them updates about the latest offer.
  • Making them aware of new content.
  • Creating a need to watch more content.
  • Marketing other aspects related to your service.

6. Storage Capacity: The Basic Necessity

how to make an app like netflix

As of today, it seems a lot more irrelevant, however, having one more good thing in the bag doesn’t hurt. With access to high-speed internet, people are accustomed to watching things online. Yet, there are times when the customer would be willing to watch your content by pre-recording or downloading it. 

It is because though the internet connectivity doesn’t stall at major places, there are still remote places that struggle with it. A client with an active wifi might download something, and later on decide to watch it on the go. Offering your clients the option of saving content in phone memory is a crucial step. It would be wise to hire dedicated developers to assist you in implementing such a strategy. However just like Netflix, one can have their own encryption or format of content that a normal video player app can’t open.

7. Client Profiles with Recommendation Engine: For Effective Content

Today’s world runs on AI applications. Netflix has created a recommendation engine that recommends its user the content they prefer. As of October 2022, Netflix had 17,000 titles available globally and it is growing. It is a significant number to keep a user engaged till eternity. 

However with many other streaming services in place, the palette of users first broadened and then later went for more niche content. The problem started here, when two users didn’t like similar content. To fix this, Netflix creates client profiles and carefully assesses their viewing habits and preferred content. Based on this analysis, Netflix recommends content to its users.

8. Evaluations: For R&D

cost to make app like netflix

A simple YAY or NAY can make all the difference. Enabling the clients to rate content or whether they liked it or not is a great way to reinforce AI algorithms. It also helps in determining better recommendations for similar client profiles. Another benefit is that it provides insight on what kind of content is being liked by the customers.

9. Dashboard: The Application Proprietor

A user dashboard is essential because this is where the user interacts with the content on the platform. It should have all the options that are relevant to the user along with enticing movie titles. A great dashboard helps in segregating and sorting content, and enables users to choose as per the likeness.

Currently, all the most famous OTT platforms such as Netflix, Prime, Hulu, etc, have this feature. Get in touch with the top app developers to find out more.

10. Dolby Digital: The Real Cinematic Experience

video streaming app development cost

Netflix’s content supports dolby digital sound quality. This feature makes the content viewing much more immersive and gives a theater-like experience to its users. Having the capability to play dolby supported content should be on the checklist. It ensures that the quality of content provided by the OTT platform is not subpar and competitive to other platforms.

11. Voice Command: For Ease of Access

Smart TVs of today come with smart remotes. These remotes have an in-built microphone that allows its users to enable voice commands. However to successfully run this the app needs to be compatible too. It is a must-have feature for an app similar to Netflix.

12. Genres - based Content: Ease of Selection

average cost to develop an app

Everyone prefers watching different genres of content. There are multiple genres such as horror, drama, action, sci-fi, etc.  Netflix has very smartly divided the content into multiple genres for individual type of content i.e. TV series, movies, anime, and documentaries. Make sure the app has the capability to pull off a similar feat.

It doesn’t matter what sort of content you will be publishing, it can be old or new, animated or live-action, what matters is whether they are segregated effectively to show the best in the beginning, and the less viewed at the last. Also, this should constantly evolve based on data collected from the user.

13. Multiple Profiles: Sharing is Caring!

Enabling multiple profiles on a single subscription allows members of a group or family or friends to share a single account. One can instantly open someone else’s account and watch content, or a single account can be used as completely different client profiles. This is an essential feature and make sure if you are creating an OTT platform, integrate this.

Netflix App Development Cost

There is no official figure provided from Netflix. However, there are various stats that involve different costs associated with content accumulation, research, etc, with Netflix that cross billions of dollars. However, it is only when the app has grown to such substantial numbers. The average cost to develop an app can start from $18,000 for decent quality. Adding to it, the cost of developing an on-demand app such as Netflix can start from $50,000 to $500,000 depending upon the several factors:

  • Number of platforms i.e. Android, iOS, Web, etc.
  • Scale
  • Geography
  • Number of feature Integration
  • App design
  • Team size

It is important to note that the netflix mobile app development cost mentioned above is for the USA. On the other hand, if you decide to get it done offshore for instance India then the app development can vary from $25,000 to $80,000 depending  upon the OTT app development companies.

Cost to develop a streaming app like Netflix…

Average cost of hiring an app developer in the USA: $45/per hour
Average cost of hiring an app developer in India: $25/per hour

Let’s assume, total hours of work done on app= 1000 hrs (it includes all the feature integration from start to finish)

Total cost of development in the USA = 45 * 1000 = $45,000
Total cost of development in India = 25 * 1000 = $25,000

However, the most essential feature of an app like Netflix is its recommendation engine. Below are the pricing of recommendation AI by Google:

Recommendation AI Prediction request per month Cost per 1000 Prediction
<= 20,000,000 $0.27
>20,000,000<=280,000,000 $0.18
>300,000,000 $0.10
Feature Price
Training of Engine $2.50 per node per hour

Why is it important? Because it gives the power of recommending great content to the viewer. Netflix has been working on viewer analytics since the time it was a franchise for renting movies. However in today’s world, it is generating substantial revenue and viewership from it. An old 2016 news article by Business Insider states that Netflix generated over $1 billion every year using its recommendation engine. It helps the customer find new content when the user is unable to find what they seek.

Variables That Influence The Expense 

Video streaming applications resembling Netflix will need an overwhelming backend framework with support. It is necessary for persistent information streaming, without any disturbance, for a better client encounter. 
It can have an enormous impact on the expense of building up the application and make you find answers to questions like how much to build an app or how much does it cost to create an app.

streaming app development

Here are a few other factors affecting the expense of creating a video streaming application.

1. Application Highlights

It is a straightforward factor. The higher the number of highlights you include, the higher the expense would be. Consider a few aspects while designing the first variant of your application. The smart idea would be to incorporate just the main highlights. You can always include the other features in the later forms of the application. All the top app developers suggest this.

2. Application Plan

An application that is intricate in the configuration would not spur numerous individuals to utilize it. Your motive should be alluring more individuals to continue using your app. Hence, intelligent thought is keeping the outline straightforward and natural. It will guarantee that your clients can directly access all the areas of your application.

3. Application Platform

We know that video streaming applications are built on iOS and Android platforms. There is a massive contrast between the approaches of development in these stages. 

Accordingly, the expenses differ as well. The procedure of android application advancement is much more costly than iOS. The reason being it requires the more noteworthy scope of equipment, goals, and setups. All of this plays a major role in finding out how much does an app cost. In case, if you decide on going for a hybrid app, the experience is not going to be that fast performance-wise.

4. Area of Application Engineers

The development fees of application designer's change as per their area. Here are a few examples. Are the applications designers you are procuring in the US? If so, your expenses can range from $40-$120/per hour. If you employ someone from India, your costs will range from $18-$80. The distinction in time zones and the absence of access may also prompt a few hiccups.

Final Word

By trying to understand the cost to make an app like Netflix, one is asking “How to create movie streaming app?” which can only be estimated. It is because no official figures have been released regarding Netflix app development cost. However, with the parameters mentioned above, we have tried to give a rough estimation to help you build an understanding of calculating the average cost to develop an app like Netflix.

The expense varies according to your choice of technique for mobile application development. Custom application development of a video streaming application may cost you a considerable amount of money. However, if you are smart enough with hiring a development team, loads of money can be saved in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to make an app like Netflix?

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    Making an app like Netflix is similar to any other app development. It starts from strategies and ends at the final launch. The only difference is the recommendation engine that develops over time. In case you wish to learn the app development part, refer to this article.

  • How to create a streaming app like Netflix?

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  • How to start a streaming service like Netflix?

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Sakshi Kaushik

By Sakshi Kaushik LinkedIn Icon

A passionate writer and tech lover, she strives to share her expertise with mobile app developers and fellow tech enthusiasts. During her moments away from the keyboard, she relishes delving into thriller narratives, immersing herself in diverse realms.

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