Video streaming over the internet allows users to view and download video content from anywhere on the globe. Utilizing this technology, Netflix launched its videos streaming service in 2009 with video streaming for Hollywood movies and TV series. With aspects like HD video streaming, buffer-less streaming, affordable pricing, multi-user, and multi-platform support, Netflix revolutionized the way video content is consumed by the users; first in America and then everywhere on the planet.

If we consider today’s scenario of video content consumption, the audience is massive. In fact, it is large enough to accommodate Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime altogether. People love watching videos. When one-third of the internet traffic is videos only, there is massive scope for new entrants in the market to claim their share of revenue from this $20,501 million industry.

Considering this trend, a large number of entrepreneurs, who see VOD as a billion dollar industry, are entering in the market with their video streaming services. Netflix being a global example of a well-planned and efficient video streaming service, entice almost every VOD entrepreneur. Our collaboration with the founder of “Netv.net”, Simone, was a result of one such enticement with the Netflix business model and its portal’s architecture.   

Background

Simone wanted to launch a video streaming service in America. On our first conversation itself, we were made clear that he wished to start a Netflix-like video streaming service. Though he did not intend to upload as many videos at the beginning, his requirements were not any less than Netflix-like scalability.

Video-Content Objective

You can make a website like Netflix. In fact, it’s not tough to design an identical clone of Netflix. What that makes your video streaming service different from Netflix are your own business model and Content quality. Simone was certain about adopting an identical business model like Netflix. However, he had some unique content ideas for his own version of the same-

  • Original content from independent creators
  • Prize-winning movies from film festivals
  • Popular web series content

The primary focus retained the intentions to fit original films from film festivals. Numerous film festivals occur everywhere on the planet. Many of them win some prestigious awards. However, such high valued content gets lost in the crowd of massive commercial films released every week. What a waste of some high-value and revolutionary content! The founder of NeTV wanted to give a commercial platform to such content. A win-win relationship where these awesome content creators get a platform and the platform gets some high valued, unique and exclusive content for its audience.

The Challenge

As we started evaluating the requirements, we found the following main challenges that needed our prominent attention-

  • Film festival content– The platform was supposed to fit originals, which is an inherited feature from the Netflix. However, the challenge was to design a home-page and category architecture that show-cases this content as a USP to the new users landing on the website.
  • Global Standards– Though the client primarily aimed at acquiring the audience from America, he was also open for worldwide consumers. Hence, the challenge was to design an internationally acceptable UI and architecture.
  • Registration Flow– The first thing that comes in mind with a Netflix-like business is its ground-breaking registration flow architecture. With this flow, a user can access the content only after registering a user account. The user registration flow actively involves the steps in a particular order-
  1. Select a plan
  2. Provide details(Name, Email, Contact Number)
  3. Register account
  4. Verify details (Email or Contact Number)
  5. Make Payment
  6. Continue browsing as per base plan

The challenge was to tweak the Registration flow with a custom requirement, which demanded the following flow:

Provide details

Register user account

Select a plan

Payment

Continue browsing

  • Free Trial– In this whole customized Registration Flow, the challenge was fitting a “One-month free trial”. That too with a selected subscription plan. After selecting a plan, the user is supposed to continue with a free one month trial.
  • Cancel Anytime– Like Netflix, the user must be allowed to cancel the subscriptions anytime.
  • Subscription Plans– The platform was supposed to offer three plans: One-month free trial, Plan-1, and Plan-2.
  • Auto Renewal– As soon as the trial is finished, the user subscription would be automatically renewed as per the selected plan
  • Categories on Homepage– We were supposed to implement the categories-architectures to segregate Originals, Film-festival content, and Web-series separately.
  • Cross-platform support-Last but one of the biggest challenge was making the platform compatible on almost every device. NeTV users were supposed to stream the video content anywhere from the following platforms-
    • WebRTC
    • Android App
    • iOS App
  • Coupon Management System- Like every smart online business, NeTV too wanted to offer various discounts to the users. For this, the platform was supposed to offer a coupon management system where the admin can create, deploy, and track discount coupons.
  • Content Moderation Dashboard- The Platform was supposed to offer a separate dashboard for content creators. Using this front-end dashboard, the content creators can upload their content, which will then be inspected by the Admin or Moderators before publishing them to the public.
  • Commission management system- The content creators would be paying commissions to the Admin. We were supposed to integrate both – a percentage-based commission system and an absolute amount-based commission system.

The Turnkey Solution

Netflix has done an exceptional job of anticipating the consumer needs and preparing its platform accordingly. After analyzing the requirements and post multiple communications with the client, the most suitable solution we settled on was a Netflix clone script. We selected our StreamView Netflix clone to do the job as a base script for the project.

The main reason for selecting the StreamView script was its similarity with Netflix’s architecture. Moreover, as per the client’s requirements, this script also offered the exact UI that he wished for. Just a few tweaks and UI-design would have been ready.

Requirements that were fulfilled by the base clone Script

Luckily, a majority of the requirements were seemingly being fulfilled with clone script alone. Here is a list of requirements and how Netflix Clone was able to offer the same with minimal or negligible modifications-

Sl. NoRequirementDid Netflix Clone have it already?Remark
1Web RTC for computer and mobile web browsersThe WebRTC is responsive to multiple screen sizes
2App support Android phonesThe script comes with a Native Android mobile app
3App support for Apple phones Native iOS mobile app is available
4Subscription-based business modelBase script supports both subscription-based and pay-per-view models
5Browsing behavior tracking and suggestion of recommended content to usersAll platforms support the feature by default
6on-site transactions safetyIntegrated PayPal payment gateway
7Analytics to track video performanceIntegrated Google Analytics
8Coupon Management SystemPresent by default
9Commissions Management System Present by default. Admin can update direct commission charges or percentage cuts.
10Social login Facebook and Google Plus API

Business Requirements & SRS Documentation-

Based on the requirements analysis and solutions we proposed, an SRS document was prepared and shared with the client. After three iterations involving the client’s approval and modifications, we finalized the final document and started with the Implementation phase. With most of the requirements being already fulfilled with the base Netflix clone script, we moved to the customizations phase.

The customizations

As the majority of requirements were fulfilled by the based script, we had to perform minimalistic customization on the following features-

  • Registration Flow: We tweaked the registration flow to re-arrange the process as per the requirements (as stated in the ‘Challenges’).
  • Subscription plans– The default script offered four plans. Using the integrated plan management controls, we allowed the client to set new plans as per his choice. Default plans were one-month free trial plan, and three other plans like Netflix. The new customized plans were one-month free trial, and two other paid plans.
  • User support– Default script allowed a maximum number of simultaneous logins similar to Netflix. However, we had to tweak a little to allow admin to change the logins as follows: Plan 1 with SD video support and 1-login allowed at a time. Plan 2 with HD videos support and 2-Logins allowed at a time.

Technologies utilized in the project –

The Readymade Netflix clone script was built on the following technologies.

  • Bootstrap – Frontend Framework
  • Angular JS – Frontend UI
  • Laravel 5.2 – Backend
  • MYSQL – Database
  • Nginx Server – Streaming engine
  • DigitalOcean – Server Hosting
  • Firebase Cloud Messaging- Push notifications
  • REDIS Server and Queue Concept – Dynamic video compression and Resolution conversion.
  • PayPal Payment Gateway –on-site transactions
  • BitBucket- Version Control System.
  • Facebook and Google Plus API- Social login
  • JW Player-video player
  • SMTP- Email delivery
  • GreenDao- Android ORM
  • AFNetworking- Library for Apple devices

Process and Approach

A team consisting of the following members was assigned to the project-

  • One project Manager
  • One SEO expert
  • One graphic designer
  • One web designer
  • Two coders
  • One tester

We followed the agile model to develop the final script. Post each phase, the project was sent for review to the client as we kept posting of the progress through Trello Project Management System.  The process continued in the following sequence-

  1. Design- Finalized the design of the website.
  2. Prototype- Prepared a prototype design using HTML and sent for review to the client.
  3. Development – After multiple iterations, we finalized the design and continued with the development phase.
  4. Testing- Post development, we conducted multiple testing sessions with different approaches and analyzed the software with functionality, regression, and strain testing.
  5. Beta Phase- Post multiple iterations of testing and error handling, we exposed the beta version to a group of hundred users.
  6. Re-development– We went through multiple iterations again to fix the issues detected in the beta phase. The project was again exposed to final testing before delivering the final version.

Applications

As per the customer requirements, the following applications were delivered to the client. All of the applications are synchronized with the WebRTC version of the project through a web service script.

  • Android Mobile App
  • iOS Mobile App

Outcome

The stable versions of the website and all the applications are now live. In a very short span of launching the service, the platform was able to get some decent number of customers. The business is performing extremely well with is unique value proposition of exclusive content, affordable plans, and multi-platform support.

The service currently offers three subscription plans-

  • One month free trial- with no commitment required
  • Popular plan- with $6.99/month and maximum one user allowed
  • Premium Plan-with $9.99/MONTH with maximum 2 users allowed

The client speaks and as we quote-

When asked the Founder about experiences with StreamView clone and StreamHash’s team, here is what he says:

Q1 – What made you start NeTV?

I have been working in the industry as marketer analyzer for many years, and since the beginning in early 2012 I have noticed that filmmakers work hard but not always received the recognition they deserve. NeTV is behind the filmmakers allowing them to easily distribute and profit their movies soon after attending the Film Festival. Many films get lost nowhere unless continuing financing the film in the hope to find distribution without losing any rights or loyalties. With NeTV it is possible.

Q2 – What makes NeTV stand out from the crowd?

NeTV is an independent network. Our platform will broadcast only originals independent films from festivals.

Q3 – Who are NeTV customers?

All major film festivals organizations around the world will join NeTV with their movie programs, from feature movies to short movies of any genre.

Q4 – How did you find StreamHash?

We have found StreamHash through the internet as it is the best-voted company outside the US to develop such a platform like NeTV.

Q5 – What challenges were you experiencing prior to purchasing our product or service?

None that I remember.

Q6 – How were the initial conversations with StreamHash Sales team? Can you specify how easy it was to gather requirements and kick off the project?

It was very simple to request the services through their website and soon after one of their personnel connected with us via Skype.

Q7 – How was your experience with StreamHash during the development process?

Excellent, they are working hard around the clock, always available.

 

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