Streaming websites can be a lucrative opportunity for business owners. The video streaming market was valued at $42.6 billion in 2019, and innovations in technology will continue to increase its worth.
A streaming website allows people to watch videos whenever and wherever they want. They can also vary in form and function. The most popular ones are dedicated to movies and TV series like Netflix and live streaming like Twitch. You can also find sites like Spotify where you can stream music.
Are you interested in creating your own? Then, there are a few things you must know about starting a streaming website. Let’s go through them!
Buy a Domain and Find a Hosting Provider
The first thing you must do is buy a domain. You should choose a domain name that’s simple, easy to remember, and relevant to your site’s overall topic.
While you can get a domain name from your hosting provider, make sure you have ownership of it when you buy it.
Moreover, you must find yourself a reliable hosting provider. Offshore hosting comes highly recommended for streaming websites. Why?
Well, streaming sites require high bandwidth to provide the best viewing experience possible. Any latency issues that make the stream always buffer will negatively affect user satisfaction.
In addition to a boost in speed, offshore hosts offer superior security and privacy compared to domestic ones. After all, you must guarantee users’ private information remains secure.
There are many offshore providers you can choose from, but it can take a while to pick the best one for yourself. Just take the time to find out what suits you best.
Next, you must think about your website’s design. You have two choices — build it from scratch or use a preexisting theme.
It will take a considerable amount of time and money to build a streaming website. Depending on the features you want, it can cost between a couple of thousand to tens of thousands of Cedis to complete.
While that is an excellent choice if you can afford it, there are low-budget options that are also viable.
By using premade or preexisting themes, you can get the most basic features for a much lower cost. You can use WordPress to create a video streaming website entirely by yourself, even if you’re a beginner. Of course, you won’t need to have any coding knowledge to do it.
Additionally, you can check out some online communities like WordPress’ forums or Stackoverflow if you run into any issues.
If you’re more experienced and comfortable with coding, then video streaming scripts are also an excellent choice. Naturally, you can try to use a script even if you don’t know how to code. But still, you should prepare for a slightly steeper learning curve with less community support.
Find Your Niche
Another crucial aspect is to determine what type of content your streaming website will provide. Will there be movies, TV series, or both? You might also be interested in live or music streaming.
Each type will have its own peculiarities. You must find out what they are if you really wish to succeed.
Then you must delve deeper and find a specific niche. Is your streaming website going to be about travel, a collection of movies, or maybe even a place for local filmmakers to share their latest creations?
The most important question you should ask yourself is, “Why should people come to my website?” The answer will determine your niche.
Afterward, imagine your ideal user and think of the features they would want and expect. Your users are your most valuable asset. You must cater to their needs for them to return and share your site with their friends and family.
Your content will make people want to spend more time on your site. Therefore, you must make an important decision — create the content yourself or license the rights.
Creating content yourself is relatively straightforward, and the expense will depend solely on your production cost.
However, licensing content can get a bit tricky and also extremely expensive. To give an example, Netflix paid $100 million for the license of Friends to WarnerMedia in 2019.
The licensing fees for other popular content also follow a similar price. That is an enormous expense for most new streaming websites. You can get licensing rights directly from a distributor or contact the creator directly.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should get discouraged. An excellent approach would be to allow users to upload their own content. Similarly to YouTube, you provide the platform while the users make the content.
An alternative would be to get directly in touch with independent content creators and pull them to your streaming site. If you succeed, they are likely to come with their entire user base, considerably boosting your website’s popularity.
A clear revenue model will let users know what exactly they are paying for.
You can opt to use a subscription model where users periodically pay a set sum. Still, the price should justify the offering.
On the one hand, if people can find the content you offer for free somewhere else, there’s no reason for them to pay you to get it.
On the other hand, if you can provide unique content that’s impossible to find elsewhere, then people will be willing to pay you to get access to it.
Another possibility is to use the pay-per-view model. With it, people will pay to watch a specific stream instead of having access to your entire library.
Both models are viable, but depending on the niche, one might be more appropriate than the other. It all depends on your users’ preferences.
Having a mobile version of your streaming website is crucial to your success. More and more people use their handheld devices to stream movies and TV series on the go.
Therefore, you will need to have a mobile app, or at least a mobile version of the site. While it’s undoubtedly better to develop an app, it’s also more expensive and time-consuming.
An app will generally provide a smoother user experience, but in the early stages, a mobile version of the website should be enough. Still, don’t forget to make one when your user base becomes big enough.
As mentioned before, security is vital. Not only do you have to keep your users’ information secure but also protect your content from being stolen.
A content delivery network (CDN) will take care of that for you. It will make sure no one can get your content illegally by locking it to your domain. As an added benefit, it will also improve your site’s speed, especially for users that are far away.
A CDN will also assist you in scaling your service to meet the increasing demand. The more users you have, the more the burden on your server. The content delivery network will make sure to distribute the increased load so that your website doesn’t crash.