Entertainment can go hand in hand with education and value proposition to the real-life scenarios
We were introduced to the concept of NFaStudios as something that can fill the void between entertainment and education. According to Angelo, the founder of NFAStudios, a lot of entertainment is just about passing some time, there is nothing like a learning curve in them. He had something unique in his mind. He was looking for a solution not just enough to serve the purpose, but also to propose a value in the regular life of his viewers.
Angelo found the Netflix business model, quite competent to serve what he has been aiming for. His focus was on creating and as we quote, “an on-demand commercial-free viewing rather than live, ad-supported programming.”
The rapid change in the internet and on-demand video scenarios has propelled a need to disseminate content full of entertainment and knowledge. The traditional video channels and platforms find it difficult to accommodate the required genre of content. In particular, many big platforms have their own guidelines and policies, which refrain from contents of a certain kind and with some unique propositions.
For example, people see politics as taboo and political leaders as just some vague speakers. It is because common people do not understand politics and its importance in society. The NEWS channels present political speeches with spices and many adulterations. The common audience hardly gets the gist of what those speeches mean to them. There could be many reasons why the common audience must gain raw access to these educational speeches.
Political videos are just the highlight of what more Angelo wanted to display to his audience. He understood the advantages and power of good video content that can educate and entertain at the same time. The result was strong opinions formulating the path to do what other popular platforms are afraid of doing.
The Content Objective
It was well important to have an idea of the kind of kind content Angelo wanted to have on the platform. Knowing this was important as it helped us preparing the first draft of the prototype. Considering the business plan, we could conclude that Angelo wanted to launch a video-on-demand service that would-
- Let creators do what others are afraid to do.
- Give small and talented creators a platform.
- Give a platform to the influential content in its raw form without any adulteration.
- Extend the array to include ‘Originals’ in the latter part of the business development.
- Stream educational content rather than streaming unorganized live content or sports event.
- Let viewers experience the spiritual and motivational speeches from real influencers.
The business part and content curation were quite challenging for the client. However, for us, the only preliminary challenge was to fit our turnkey solution “Netflix Clone” into his business model. Luckily, the client wanted a similar platform like Netflix with the subscription model of revenue generation.
We had developed the Netflix clone -“StreamView” in response to various past queries for a Netflix-like VOD solution. No doubt, people wanted so, as Netflix is the first globally recognized VOD service with more than 103.95 million subscribers worldwide. We found our Netflix clone script best suited for the requirements. However, we were also required to do some modifications-
- A fit Originals-The client wanted the ability to scale up the solution to fit “Originals” and many other types of content in the latter parts of the business development. In short, he wanted a solution fit enough to scale up the content and subscribers to count as the business grows.
- Global Standards– The expected challenge was tailoring our existing script to let content creators have a platform for displaying video content and making it available for seamless, secure, anywhere-in-the-world access by the NfaStudios subscribers and content partners.
- Registration Flow-The base script supported both subscription and pay-per-view model. Hence, the script did not come with the “Registration Flow’ of access to the videos. The client just wanted the subscription model and intended to allow access only after subscribing to the plans, just like Netflix.
- Subscription Plans-Though the StreamView script already had the option to support multiple subscription plans, the challenge was to limit them to two plans with the client’s preferred plans. It just required some easy modifications in the existing codes.
- Auto Renewal-Next challenge was to implement a Netflix like free trial and Auto-renewal logic. The aim was to let users subscribe to the free trial with a selected plan, and then auto-renew the next month’s subscription with the same plan. Like Netflix, we were also supposed to let the subscribers cancel the subscriptions anytime.
- Categories on Homepage-The StreamView script, by default, supported the display of categories on the homepage. However, the displayed categories were not in harmony with the categories listed on the menu, they also had some additional categories. We had to synchronize the menu categories with the ones shown on the homepage, that too in identical order after listing the default categories above them.
Requirements: Automatically fulfilled by the default Script
In addition to the modifications and tailoring required to the existing Netflix clone script, the client also served us with many other requirements. Luckily, our existing script had most of them already. Here are a few of the fulfilled requirements for reference-
The central part of the initial multimedia strategy involved streaming video-on-demand. Coupled with Streamhash’s Netflix clone, the first strategy to scale up the platform and let subscribers across the planet access them was automatically fulfilled by the default script.
As the IT team initiated to gather business requirements, the project broadened beyond the initial impressions where we aimed to cover the entire spectrum of a VOD business with a more sophisticated user experience. The client’s intention to scale up the content in later parts and redesigning the interface to match the brand’s identity was our first priority-
- Bootstrap as Frontend Framework.
- Nginx Server For Streaming Video
- API Documentation.
- DigitalOcean Server for Hosting.
- Google Cloud Messaging.
- YouTube Player.
- Angular JS for Frontend UI.
- REDIS Server and Queue Concept for Compressing and Converting Video Resolution.
- PayPal Payment Gateway Integrated.
- BitBucket for Version Control.
- Facebook API Integrated.
- JW Player.
- Laravel 5.2 as Backend
- MYSQL to Save Data.
- SMTP to Emails.
- Google API.
Process and Approach
Angelo needed a powerful design and development for a streamlined user experience. Our aim with designing principles focused on –
- Building and managing a huge database of subscriber profiles and video content.
- Ensuring seamless interaction between subscribers, high-quality videos, and corresponding membership plans
- Ensuring safer online transactions with a secure payment gateway.
- Streamlining the website flow according to the Registration flow model.
Keeping the fundamentals in our sense, we advanced with the initial designing phase. The style and design preference focused on keeping the brand identity proficient, refined and trustworthy. Hence, with mutual consent, we settled on the color pallet, which was a mix of black, light blue, and white. Blue is the color of the sky. It is frequently associated with depth and stability. The color also displays the NFAStudio’s unique proposition and creative content base. Thus, after numerous trials, we finalized the pallet and implemented a clean and balanced UI matching the brand identity and contemporary design requirements.
We started with HTML as the base code and came up with a blueprint of the website. This helped us to clear the doubts, as we came across some further requirements after discussing the prototype. Finally, we ended up with our final website design after understanding the precise needs.
It is important to comprehend the ever-changing needs of a VOD platform. Hence, we assigned the project to a dedicated 8-member team-
- One Project Manager
- One Technical Architect
- One quality Analyst
- Two website developers
- One website designer
- One Android developer
- One iOS developer
Each member was precisely briefed about the project. We focussed on stressing the fact that the client needs a flexible and scalable platform for onboarding users from across the USA and other parts of the world in the latter parts. Moreover, we also customized the registration flow to work only according to the subscription-based model (no access to the website without a subscription). Without any scope for compromise in the user experience and scalability, the development team finally came up with the actual script.
Post-development phase, the eight-membered team started testing the whole project, while they were managing the workflow through the Trello board. After each phase of the Manual, Functional, and automated testing, the project manager and Technical architect would check for the quality and enhancement possibilities. Taking the feedbacks, the development team would again work on the rectifications and transfer the task to the testing team.
After some repeated cycles on the grounds like Stream quality, integration and user experience trials, etc. we came up with the beta phase of the project.
The Beta Phase
We piloted a marketing cum live testing campaign through Native Advertising. The campaign targeted around 4500 users. The live user analytics and feedback helped us to test our project in a crucial real-life environment, different from what we tested on our systems.
We also organized a tech talk where we explained and tested the project with 40 men and women from our workspace. Based on the feedback and analytics, we further fine-tuned the functionalities and optimized the user experience.
Based on the development done on the web version of the platform, we came up with the mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices. We synchronized both the mobile apps to the web version in terms of–
- Content synchronization
- User Synchronization
Special care: While developing this multi-device VOD platform, we took special care to make sure that the following requirements are rigorously fulfilled:
- A user can gain access corresponding to the subscribed plan.
- The total number of simultaneous logins is limited as per the subscription plans.
- This is similar to Netflix’s maximum number of allowed simultaneous logins.
- It means that if a user subscribes to a plan that offers only one login at a time, he or she cannot log in on the laptop if already logged on to the mobile app.
As of today, the stable versions of the website and both the mobile apps are live. They are performing well and attracting many users. The service is currently offering the base subscription for $9.99/MONTH with a cancel anytime facility.
The Live Android and iOS Apps in Official App stores
The subscribers can access the content from anywhere: Mobile, tablet, or desktop.
The business is steadily growing its roots. With certain unique propositions like the only subscription-based video streaming platform to offer access to historical lectures by The Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan. It is also offering some Premium Original Content related to politics. The most recent breakthrough shows such as 40 Miles, How to eat to live, and Food Nation are responsible for attracting an array of new users to the platform.
As of now, the NFA Studios has acquired more than 4000 subscribers in about three months. It offers both monthly and yearly plans, with an additional free trial period. The trial subscribers can choose to-
- Continue with the selected plan after the free trial.
- Change the plan while renewing the subscription.
- Cancel the subscription any time, without any commitment.
As of Feb 2021, NFA Studios now has over 20k paying subscribers which roughly translates into a revenue of around $400k – $500k.
The client speaks and as we quote
When asked the Founder of NFAStudios on his experience with StreamView and StreamHash, here is what he says:
Question 1: What made you start NFAStudios?
We started NFAStudios because we felt it was a void in what we call “Edu-tainment”, or being educated and entertained at the same time. A lot of entertainment is just that, entertainment. People are being entertained but walking away with nothing that enhances them as a person. We want to entertain but also teach and help people learn, enhance themselves, their lives, those around them, and walk away better people.
Question 2: What makes NFAStudios stand out from the crowd?
NFA Studios stands out because we are doing what others are afraid of or unable to do. And that provides entertainment that not only entertains but raises the quality of life of the viewer.
Question 3: Who are NFAStudios customers?
NFA customers are people of all ages, races, and religious backgrounds, who want a different alternative from the entertainment currently provided by mass media.
Question 4: How did you find StreamHash?
We found StreamHash by googling “Netflix style website themes”. It took us several weeks of searching to find the best match for us but the best ended up being StreamHash
Question 5: What challenges were you experiencing prior to purchasing our product or service?
We experienced many challenges prior to purchasing StreamHash. Other developers we contacting said they could do the job but in reality, when we hired them, they fell short of what they promised. Or if they could develop the site we wanted there styling and design were not up to par. We experienced this with several different software development companies.
Question 6: How were the initial conversations with the StreamHash Sales team? Can you specify how easy it was to gather requirements and kick off the project?
StreamHash has an exceptional sales team! We got on the phone with them and within a day or so we were up and rolling. There sales team is very friendly and easy to work with and answered all our questions which made it very easy for us to move forward.
Question 7: How was your experience with StreamHash during the development process?
For the past few months since the soft-launch of our site, we have been working closely with the StreamHash tech team on the development of our site. The StreamHash team makes the development process very enjoyable. They are great at communication, usually responded immediately to any questions or concerns. And when matters are pressing they do not hesitate to get on a Skype call to solve the issue. Working with the StreamHash tech team on the development of our site has been AMAZING, to say the least! This is just the beginning of a great partnership; we hope to continue to work with StreamHash on this project and future projects.