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How to create a website like Netflix?

Web development

How to start a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or TikTok?

According to the studies of Sandvine Incorporated, video transmission takes 60% of all Internet traffic, most of which is online streaming news, television shows, sports, TV shows, movies, and video games on Netflix, YouTube, Twitch, and other sites.

In this article, we tell you how to start a streaming service like Netflix. We will notify you about the business model, the media system, and the Netflix clone’s main features. Also, we calculate streaming website development costs.

The business model of streaming website

Netflix provides its customers with legitimate access to the vast database of movies and TV shows that users can watch without annoying advertising. This platform asks $9, $14, or $18 per month, depending on the type of subscription. 

In 2020, Netflix began to test the free access option with advertising and with some viewing limitations.

By creating a Netflix clone, you can use the same model of monetization. If you have no unique content, this business model will not bring profit. The unique content is quite expensive. Moreover, even if you have money, it is not a fact that you can get the right to show new blockbusters on your service since now their production is paid by HBO, Disney, and the same Netflix to demonstrate them only on their sites.

Monetization feature


It is providing unlimited access to content in exchange for a monthly or annual subscription. Suitable for sites with unique content. Examples: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO MAX.


If you have a large and active audience, companies will pay you to advertise their products and services. This method of monetization can bring in many times more money than a subscription. In this case, access to the video must be made free, but users will have to watch the ad before and while watching the content. Of modern video hosting sites, Youtube works according to the following scheme.


In this monetization model, you can offer individual movies and serials for rent or in exchange for a one-time payment (used to be shops where you could also buy a film or take it for rent for a week). Examples: iTunes, YouTube.

Hybrid model

Finally, you can integrate several models to increase the project profitability. All significant services come to this sooner or later—for example, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video.

Content types for video streaming services

Live webcasts from TV broadcasts

Not everyone has a TV at home. Another thing is tablets, smartphones, and laptops - today, everyone uses these. Therefore, many TV providers are trying to attract more users from smart devices. Sling TV and Hulu are some of the most famous apps that work with this scheme.

Time-shift broadcast

Users can watch TV programs using the “Pause” and “Rewind” functions. It is a more flexible model for streaming TV content.


With VOD, users can select movies, TV shows, cartoons, and other video content using a search engine from the catalog. Modern streaming services often use recommendation systems that automatically suggest content to users based on their personal preferences. Netflix is one of the most popular VOD streaming services.

The main features of streaming services like Netflix

Streaming development platform cost depends on the number of features. We recommend that you run only the main components in the MVP version. It will help reduce the cost of the video streaming platform and speed up the development process. Then you can add additional features based on the needs of your users.

Website design

The interface of the streaming platform should be simple and convenient. People want to watch videos, not deal with intricate designs.

Target platforms

Most viewers consume content on TV using dedicated streaming players, smart TVs, and game consoles. Computers and smartphones are also popular.


You must provide convenient payment on the site. For streaming sites, Google Pay and Apple Pay are must-haves. Users have to subscribe in a couple of clicks. You may need Amazon Payments Braintree, PayPal, and Stripe.

Registration and login

Registering on a streaming platform should be simple. E-mail, phone, or Facebook account is enough. It is worth adding a password recovery/profile access option.

User profile

In a personal profile, viewers should choose their preferences: favorite genres, actors, directors, studios, countries, their favorite films, and series. The user profile must have access to tools for customizing the account, setting privacy, entering personal data, integrating with social networks, and paying for subscriptions and premium features.

Content search system

A standard search bar for keywords and the ability to use filters (genre, actor, country, IMDb rating).

Video library

It is a catalog of movies, TV series, and TV shows, where the user can mark his favorite and favorite videos. You can add Recommendations based on likes and past views.

Video player

A video player is the backbone of any streaming service. It is essential to implement this feature conveniently. A good video player should have a toolbar with forwarding/backward video scrolling, with settings for the player's appearance, video quality, and speed, displaying content listing (streams). You can add additional options based on your content and audience needs.

Subscription and interaction

Subscriptions are at the core of monetizing a streaming platform like Netflix. You must offer users multiple subscription options.

Also, add the ability to track new publications of your favorite channels, streamers, categories and interact with the content using chat, comments, ratings, reviews, reposts, likes, and dislikes.

Video loading

It is a fundamental feature for video providers. The streaming service assumes the ability to download videos from other resources and devices to your site with subsequent processing of the content and tools for capturing video from a webcam and screen or integration with video streaming programs.

Lock screenshots, video recording

It is a must-have for streaming services that produce their content. Such a block’s presence is a mandatory requirement of many distributors and creators of media content.

Video management

If you are not the creator and sole owner of the video, then managing your media library is a must-have for a creator cabinet. Video management should include the ability to sort videos, add and edit video accompanying information, create playlists, set up permissions and copyright.


You need a simple dashboard that will help you track vital statistics such as audience activity, number of likes and dislikes, comments, user ratings.

Components for creating a streaming service


Choosing a hosting service for a streaming service usually comes between two options: your server or cloud storage. Each option has pros and cons. However, the cloud service is scalable.

Multiple CDN

CDNs provide high-quality streaming all over the world. The Content Delivery Network optimizes the load and allows you to broadcast video to users worldwide with minimal loss of speed.

Streaming protocol

The protocol enables multichannel broadcasting. There are several streaming protocols. For example, HLS streams from a regular web server without any particular configuration. The cross-platform RTMP protocol prioritizes persistent connections. An OTT platform that combines HTTP and RTMP streaming protocols will create the viewer’s most comfortable conditions.


The transcoder converts OTT video to multiple formats. It allows multi-bitrate streams to be adapted for automatic quality adjustment. A platform that supports various file formats and adaptive bitrate delivery provide the best streaming quality.

Cross-platform support

Cross-platform support allows users to watch videos from any device: TV, laptop, tablet, phone, etc. The absence of this option drastically limits the target audience and makes the streaming service virtually uncompetitive.

Frameworks for building streaming website like Netflix


The cheapest and easiest way to create a streaming service like Netflix, Nulu, Twitch is to use a ready-made WordPress template. You can buy WPVS by Netflix Theme ($ 90) or VideoFlix by CactusThemes ($ 30).

Using a template like this, you can launch a streaming service in a day. However, such a streaming service would not be reliable, secure, or scalable. It means that you will have to redo everything again at the time of the project’s development.

You can use a WordPress template for concept testing and feature killer. However, you will have to build a full-fledged streaming platform that can handle large volumes of streaming video traffic and protect users' data.

Custom development

Custom development is the only option when creating a streaming site with a large audience and volume of content. A custom platform can have the necessary technologies such as 3D, VR, AR, MR, voice control, neural networks, blockchain. You will also be able to integrate social networks, payment gateways, business integrations, SmartTV services depending on the needs of the audience and niche.

Streaming website development team:

  • 1 project manager

  • 1-2 UX designers

  • 2 back-end developers

  • 1-2 Android Application Developers

  • 1-2 iOS App Developers

  • 1 QA tester

  • 1 business analyst

How much does a streaming service development like Netflix, Amazon Prime cost?

Each streaming project has its characteristics. Therefore, the development time and price will be different. It all depends on features, content, niche, and platforms.

Once you've decided on the technical requirements, you should find developers.

As a rule, developers and IT specialists are paid hourly. The cost of an hour for a developer in the United States and Ukraine is very different. Therefore, even giants like Amazon and Netflix outsource in Ukraine, Belarus, and India.

You can leave a request on our website, and we will calculate the streaming service development cost according to your technical requirements for free.


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