10 Key Features to Include in Your Streaming App
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The way we consume media like TV shows, movies, and even music, has changed drastically over the last several years.

Video rental stores like Blockbuster have gone the way of the dinosaur, and streaming media has risen to take their place. As a matter of fact, an incredible 85% of US households have at least one video streaming service. Furthermore, the streaming industry is expected to be worth $330 billion by 2030. With the growing popularity of Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming media services, it’s no surprise the streaming app market is highly competitive. But with so much competition, how do you make your streaming service stand out?

Start with the right features.

Must Have Streaming App Features

Eye Catching/User-Friendly Interface Design

Creating a unique interface design works in your favor because it will help grab your users’ attention. Furthermore, it helps your streaming app stand out in a somewhat crowded and established market.

But more than simply creating a unique design, your interface needs to be user-friendly as well. In today’s saturated streaming media app market, users don’t want to spend time learning an overly complicated interface. Users want easy access to their favorite content. Making them navigate through confusing buttons, tabs, and screens will only drive them to your competitors.

Original Content

When you think about the big streaming apps, like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+, what is it about them that keeps bringing viewers back?

The short answer is: original content.

In fact, according to Cloudwards, 32% of streaming app users say they would subscribe to a new service for original shows or movies produced by the streaming service. That means quality content, coupled with strong marketing and promotion will bring in a significant number of new subscribers.

Global Content

With access to a huge variety of media, global content is gaining popularity among streaming app users. This sort of media is an easy way for people to explore new cultures and languages, and experience people, traditions, and points of view from around the world.

That means including TV shows and movies from a wide library of global genres can be a powerful draw for viewers.

Customization Options

In today’s world of personalization and customization, giving your users more control over the platform is a must.

Some of the most popular customization options user look for include:

  • General account settings, like privacy, ad options, theme, layout, etc;
  • Playback speed;
  • Control over language dubbing and subtitles;
  • Changing resolution;
  • Personalized playlists;
  • Smart recommendations.

Recommendation Algorithm

Did you know that 80% of Netflix viewer activity is driven by the streaming service’s recommendation engine? That translates into real world savings for the media giant. In fact, it’s estimated that the Netflix Recommendation Engine (NRE) saves the company over $1 billion every year.

Netflix uses user viewing behavior to make these recommendations, which means it engages with users in a personalized way. Therefore, adding one to your own streaming app should be a no brainer, and could be a game changer for your budding service.

Parental Controls

Chances are a significant portion of your actual viewers will be children. And unless your aim is to create a streaming app specifically for children’s content, you’re likely to have media that is not appropriate for all ages. For this reason, parental controls are a must. With this basic feature, parents can control the content their children see.

Social Media Shareability

With social media now one of the principal ways people interact with one another online, your streaming app should offer some sort of shareable content. Even if all that is being shared is that users are watching a certain TV show or movie, it will still help generate buzz; for both your platform and the actual content. That makes social media shareability an excellent way to reach new audiences.

Offline Mode/Local Storage

One feature that allows your users more flexibility is an offline mode. With streaming media, success is often dependent on network access and quality. But when people are traveling, or know they will be in an area without a good network, they may still want to access your content.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to give your users the ability to store videos locally on their device. That way the user can download their favorite media and watch it whenever they want, regardless of network access or quality.


Now, access to content of all kinds is easy and nearly unlimited. But hand-in-hand with this incredible level of access is a heightened threat of external security breaches.

To safeguard your users’ privacy and data, you’ll need to invest in high-level security measures. This begins with your server of choice. You’ll want one that is safe, stable, and scalable. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure you have strong encryption standards, certificates, and security protocols. All of this is of critical importance to secure your users’ data against unforeseen cyber attacks or data breaches.

Systematic Updates

To offer the very best user experience, you can’t simply build your streaming app and then sit back and relax. Instead, you’ve got to keep up with trends and adjust your app to user and technology changes.

One way to achieve this is to keep a keen eye on your competition. What are they offering that you don’t? Is there something you can offer that they can’t?

You might also consider directly asking your users for their opinions, ask for beta testers of new features, create user-friendly forms for suggestions, and keep an eye on users’ viewing behavior.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to building a streaming app, offering the right mix of features is a must. It’s features like these that ensure your service looks professional, is user-oriented, and proves that you care about the user experience. In the end, there is no rule guaranteeing success in the highly competitive OTT and streaming media market. The only guiding principle is to make your platform as user-centric as possible. That means you need to make sure your strategy aligns strongly with your audience’s demands and expectations.

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