How to Start a Streaming Service Like Netflix

Why would you want to create a streaming service? It gives you complete control over exclusive content. You don’t have to worry about ads for your competitors put in front of your video or having the content taken down because a digital lynch mob convinced a Big Tech firm to take it down. You can also set up a streaming service to share content that’s not readily available elsewhere and earn money in the process.

Here are a few tips on how to start a streaming service.

Watching video streaming

Find a Niche

What sort of content are you going to stream? If you host a podcast or online video channel, you could make longer or unedited versions of your videos available to subscribers. You could also add raw sessions and extra editorial content to the subscription service that major video platforms wouldn’t allow.

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

The alternative is trying to negotiate the “broadcast” rights of content. This means you might be able to establish 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 you make content available.

Determine Your Monetization Method

You could limit access to people who pay for a subscription; make them pay on a per video basis; ask them to make donations in return for using your service;  integrate ads into the video stream. You could also charge the video content creators.

That’s a popular method for sites that host webinars that someone has to pay to access. You’re paid by the webinar creator up front while they take the risk that they don’t earn enough money to pay for their web hosting and content creation costs.

Woman watching TV streaming on her smartphone

Determine How You’ll Give People Access

You can set up a video streaming service that runs video in a browser window. You can reach more people if you have an app, but that requires paying for the development of such an app. On the other hand, once people have your app installed, Big Tech can’t cut them off unless the big corporations also control your web hosting and/or video hosting.

Find the Right Service Providers

You’re going to need data storage, bandwidth and 99.9999% uptime if you’re going to have a successful streaming service. We would recommend finding a good cloud service that supports streaming services, since they will have more options for rapidly expanding the amount of bandwidth you have if a given video takes off.

You’ll also need to find a service provider that won’t drop you if they decide their definition of justice doesn’t include your content or kill your service because someone organized a digital lynch mob. The big cloud service providers give you nearly infinite scalability and lower overall costs, but they’re most prone to giving in to demands to cancel someone.

You can set up your own servers. That is time consuming, but you have complete control over the infrastructure. And you can’t lose your video files because Big Tech decided to kill your channel, wiping out your archives as well as your revenue source.