How to Build a Video Streaming Service Like Netflix in 5 Steps

Codica Team
Codica Journal
Published in
6 min readFeb 23, 2021


This article was originally published on Codica Blog.

In 2021, video streaming services are booming. Moreover, the global streaming market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 21.0% from 2021 to 2028.

To ride that wave, entrepreneurs need to know how to create a video streaming service like Netflix that people will love to use. These services represent SaaS solutions that are very popular nowadays.

In this article, we’ll discuss the main steps and tools needed to build a Netflix clone.

Step 1. Define your niche

When thinking through this topic, do not aim at every man, but find your specific target audience. The thing is, you need to offer the content that viewers will be binge-watching.

Let’s go through the video streaming market niches you can occupy.


Examples. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO.

Content. Entertaining feature films and series.


Examples. Discovery+, Magic Stream, CuriosityStream.

Content. Skill-sharing videos, documentaries.

Health & fitness

Examples. Obe, NEOU, AKT.

Content. Fitness and dance workouts.

Sports & cybersport

Examples. Twitch, fuboTV, Dazn, ESPN+.

Content. Sports events.

To sum up this section, we must admit that the competition between video streaming services is quite tough. That is where some novelty could help. You can concentrate not only on the movies and series. You might look towards education, cybersport, or fitness themes. Also, these are combinable.

Step 2. Set your content strategy

How can you find the content for your streaming platform? You can choose one of the three ways:

  • Rent movies from the authorized distributor;
  • Purchase permission from the copyright holder;
  • Create your own video streaming content.

Mind that some films or shows can be subject to exclusive distribution rights, meaning you cannot buy a lifetime license for that content. Besides that, owners may state geolocation restrictions and sell the licenses for certain markets.

Such an option minimizes the risks and expenses for both owners and customers. And here is why. The content owners will not need to care about the technical side of the distribution, and customers will get skinny bundles.

These bundles provide more diverse and cheap viewing options, that is why customers find them cost-efficient.

The third option is not for beginners but rather for established video streaming platforms. In 2013, Netflix released its first in-house produced series House of Cards. Since then, many companies like Amazon have started creating original content.

Source: Sites at Penn State

Step 3. Choose your monetization model

Speaking of monetization, how are you going to capitalize your platform? You can begin with creating subscription plans for users. For example, the Hulu platform offers the following plans:

Let’s discuss the most common revenue generation models.

  • SVoD (subscription video on demand). This option is highly popular in video streaming as it’s well-suited for this domain. Viewers can stream video content without limitations by purchasing monthly or yearly subscriptions.
  • AVoD (advertising-based video on demand). It implies that you generate profit by embedding advertisements into the video content, and users won’t need to pay anything. With the growth of the audience, such an option gets especially beneficial.
  • Hybrid. Within this model, viewers can use a streaming service before paying and get some advanced features on a subscription basis. This model is becoming more common among streaming platforms. And rightly so, as combining more than one revenue-generating model, you are more likely to boost your ROI, or return on investment.

Step 4. Decide on the feature set

The functionality sets commonly used for building a website like Netflix don’t differ drastically. However, the implementation of specific features can vary on different platforms. When defining the functionality for your service, give primary consideration to the pain points of your audience.

What features to implement on your video streaming website in the first place?

  • User registration and profiles;
  • Search;
  • Admin panel;
  • Reviews/rating;
  • Push notifications;
  • Subscription and payout;
  • Playback settings.

The list above contains a must-have functionality for a video-sharing service. We suggest that you implement these features in your MVP, or minimum viable product. You can discover more in our thorough article about the MVP approach and reasons to opt for it.

Step 5. Find the right tech stack

What are the programming languages and tools that will fuel your video streaming service? Why cannot you use any specific programming language or tool to handle the tech stack issue?

Note that you’ll save a lot if you consider technologies that are well-suited for your domain and project. So, let’s talk about the main parts of the technology stack that will help you create a website like Netflix that your users will love to use.


Let’s begin with the back-end for a streaming website that builds the core functionality. Back-end part takes small chunks of video content and converts them into a suitable casting format.

You will need a powerful framework to fuel your platform. Consider Ruby on Rails, Node.js, C++, or Python.

For example, Hulu and Twitch are built with the use of Ruby on Rails. It proves the effectiveness of this framework in video streaming platform development.


Front-end is in charge of the delivery of streaming content from the server to the user’s device.

React and Vue.js frameworks will work fine when you need to build a client-side part of a website like Netflix.

Summing up

We hope that our guide helps you discover the video streaming basics. If you want to know how much a video-sharing website will cost you, read our thorough article about the creation of a video streaming service: How Much Does it Cost to Make a Video Streaming Website Like Netflix.

Are you ready to flex your fingers for your first crack at launching your streaming platform? Then, searching for a reliable custom software development partner is your challenge. Our dedicated team would love to help you in your undertaking. You can look through our portfolio or contact us to get a free quote.



Codica Team
Codica Journal

Software development consultancy. We are passionate about innovations and create great online marketplaces with Ruby on Rails, React, Vue and Angular.