How to Start a Streaming Service Like Netflix

Why would you want to create a streaming service? It gives you full control over exclusive content. You don’t have to worry about your competitors’ ads being placed in front of your video or the content being removed because a digital lynch mob convinced a Big Tech company to take it down. You can also set up a streaming service to share content that isn’t readily available elsewhere and make money in the process.

Here are a few tips for starting a streaming service.

Watch video streaming

Find a niche

What type of content will you stream? If you host a podcast or online video channel, you can make longer or unedited versions of your videos available to subscribers. You can also add raw sessions and additional editorial content to the subscription service that major video platforms don’t allow.

You could give amateur video makers and niche content creators a platform. Or you can work with a team to create content, whether it’s animated shorts or horror films. Just find something that people can’t easily get elsewhere.

The alternative is to try to negotiate the ‘broadcast rights’ of content. This means you may be able to set up a streaming service that makes foreign language content available to a domestic audience, but always work with a good attorney to work out royalties or lump sum payments before making any content available.

Determine your monetization method

You can limit access to people who pay for a subscription; let them pay per video; ask them to make donations in exchange for using your service; integrate advertisements into the video stream. You can also charge video content creators.

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That’s a popular method for sites that host webinars that require someone to pay to access them. You get paid upfront by the webinar creator, while he/she takes the risk of not making enough money to pay for web hosting and content creation costs.

Woman watches TV streaming on her smartphone

Decide how you give people access

You can set up a video streaming service that outputs video in a browser window. You can reach more people if you have an app, but you have to pay for the development of such an app. On the other hand, once people install your app, Big Tech can’t shut them down unless the big companies also control your web hosting and/or video hosting.

Find the right service providers

You need data storage, bandwidth, and 99.9999% uptime if you want to have a successful streaming service. We recommend finding a good cloud service that supports streaming services, as they have more options to quickly expand the amount of bandwidth you have when a particular video takes off.

You’ll also need to find a service provider who won’t drop you if they decide their definition of fairness doesn’t include your content, or shut down your service because someone organized a digital lynch mob. The major cloud service providers give you near-infinite scalability and lower overall costs, but they are the most likely to give in to cancellation demands.

You can set up your own servers. That is time-consuming, but you have full control over the infrastructure. And you can’t lose your video files because Big Tech decided to shut down your channel, wiping out both your archives and your source of income.

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