The live streaming landscape is comparatively new but it has a lot of potential. Here are a few stats that say so.
- According to a survey, the live streaming industry is going to be worth $70.5 billion.
- More than 45% of consumers are willing to pay for streaming content from their favorites, a part of which goes to the live streaming platform.
- A study found out that consumers watch live stream 10-20 times more than on-demand content.
These stats clearly establish that the streaming industry is booming but what’s driving it? Quite a few industries, in fact. Businesses are increasingly using video streaming to engage with their customers in a better way.
Some of the popular industries that are using live streaming platforms are gaming, entertainment, news, and many more! We will talk about these industries in detail later in this article. If you are interested, here is a similar article for you – How to build an OTT platform?
Twitch.tv is the world’s most popular streaming platform. So, we will be taking it as an example in this guide on how to make a live streaming platform.
But before we get into the technicalities of how to create a live streaming service like Twitch, let’s look at how live streaming platforms like Twitch work.
How Does a Live Streaming Platform Like Twitch Work?
Twitch is a streaming platform where users can host and broadcast pre-recorded or live videos. Over the course of its journey, Twitch was rebranded as a streaming platform for gamers.
The parent company of Twitch – Justin.tv, in fact, encouraged users to broadcast all forms of content. In fact, right at the beginning, Justin.tv was just a channel where its founder Justin Kan just broadcasted his life 24/7.
Twitch, currently, is owned by Amazon and is known for live-game streaming. Having said that, Twitch is more than just a video game streaming platform. It hosts online tournaments and demos of upcoming games.
Many cases have also been seen where the programmers in the Twitch community stream, working on their projects and talk throughout, which makes it a learning environment for software developers.
If you are wondering how a streaming platform like Twitch makes money, here it is. Twitch has three different revenue sources – Subscriptions, Ads, and Partnerships with favorite streamers.
If you are thinking of how to make a live streaming platform like Twitch, you must also be wondering if it suits your business. The good thing is that we now have precedents of successful live streaming platforms and users’ willingness to spend money on them from many industries.
In this guide on how to create a live streaming service like Twitch, here are a few spheres where such a platform could work.
- The Gaming industry, obviously. We have the most obvious precedent of Twitch.tv for this industry but which brings us to the challenge – competition.
- A live streaming platform like Twitch can definitely work for the fitness industry. Fitness coaches and dieticians can come together to live stream different exercise forms and diets.
- The Healthcare industry can benefit from a live streaming platform like Twitch as well. The streaming platform can be used for training, diagnosis of mental health issues, and much more!
- A live streaming platform like Twitch can be used to organize conferences, especially during times like the ongoing pandemic.
We have explored how a streaming platform like Twitch works and the industries that can benefit from such a platform. Now it’s time to get into the technicalities of how to make a live streaming platform like Twitch.
Tech Behind A Streaming App Like Twitch
Imagine delivering quality live stream video to over 15 million users daily from all across the world along with over 10 billion texts over chats in real-time per day. To this, add handling over 50 thousand requests per second through your web APIs.
Sounds like a tough nut to crack, doesn’t it? Well, Twitch is doing it already.
When thinking of how to make a live streaming platform like Twitch, you have to pay attention, especially to its tech stack. After all, you are planning to offer convenience to your users through technology and it must be perfect to attract users as well as content creators.
In this section of how to make a live streaming platform like Twitch, let’s look at different segments of Twitch and technologies supporting them.
The Video System
The video system of a streaming platform like Twitch will be responsible for delivering the video from broadcasters to viewers with minimum or no loss of quality.
Before I mention the technologies, here is how the video system of a live streaming platform like Twitch works. The video from the broadcaster is compressed and divided into packages. These packets, whose sizes are determined by the bandwidth of the communication channel, are then delivered to the viewers.
Here’s how Twitch’s video system works.
- Twitch takes RTMP – Real-Time Messaging Protocol video as an input and transports it to the Transcode System. RTMP is basically a TCP-based protocol for smooth live video streaming across persistent and low-latency connections.
- The Transcode System takes the input video stream and transcodes it into multiple HLS streams!
Transcoding is a process that encodes an incoming video stream into a range of data rates and resolutions for distribution across a variety of platforms & connections. The Transcode System is implemented by Go and C/C++ by Twitch.
- The HLS streams generated in the above step are distributed across multiple Point-of-Presence (POPs) that basically are access points to deliver a top-notch streaming experience.
- The last step is to encode and archive all the incoming video systems. This is done for the Video-On-Demand viewers.
The next important aspect in defining the tech stack of how to make a live streaming video like Twitch is – Web & Client Applications.
Web & Client Applications
It doesn’t matter how powerful your services are, you have to have great client applications to deliver a smooth user experience.
For instance, Twitch is accessible to its users on a variety of client applications – Native Apps (Android as well as iOS), desktop web app, and a variety of console apps – Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, etc.
Data Science Infrastructure
Data collection systems and analysis tools are other important aspects to look into when thinking of how to make a live streaming app like Twitch.
For an impactful and useful data infrastructure, Twitch handles billions of data events in its data warehouse. These collected data events are then converted into insightful metrics for streamers and broadcasters in real-time!
Having said that the tech stack of a live streaming platform like Twitch is incomplete without the tools & technologies it uses. In this guide on how to make a live streaming platform like Netflix, let’s look at all the tools and technologies that Twitch uses.
Tools & Technologies That Twitch Uses
For Application & Data, Twitch uses the following –
- Amazon EC2
DevOps tools and technologies that Twitch uses are –
- Puppet Labs
Now that we are familiar with the tech behind how to make a live streaming platform like Twitch, let’s now look at a few features that such a platform demands.
Features Of A Live Streaming Platform Like Twitch
What makes a live streaming platform like Twitch so popular is its individual features that have been put together after months of thorough research. You’ll need these features when getting into the UI/UX part of how to make a live streaming platform like Twitch.
Here are a few primary features that you will need in your live streaming platform.
Here’s how the Sign-Up form of Twitch looks like. As you can see, it’s very minimalistic and yet, has all the necessary fields.
User Registration in a live streaming platform like Twitch will help your users to subscribe to favorite broadcasters, manage their interests, etc. You can provide other methods of social login when building a live streaming platform like Twitch.
The profile of a user on a live streaming platform like Twitch contains their interests, watching history, subscribed channels, likes/dislikes, membership details, etc.
This is how Twitch User Profiles look like. Notice other options the platform offers.
One of the most exciting features of a live streaming platform like Twitch is its Live Chat feature. Viewers from all over the globe interacting with the broadcasters is something you would want when thinking of how to make a live streaming platform like Twitch.
The Live Chat feature of Twitch is displayed towards the right side of the screen in the desktop view.
If you are planning to run live streaming of mostly paid content on your live streaming platform, you will have to pay extra attention to the security of your platform.
Besides, you will also need a secure payment gateway in your live streaming platform. The most common security features that go well with live streaming platforms are DRM and AES encryption.
Analytics is a must-have feature you should definitely think of when wondering how to create a live streaming platform like Twitch. Analytics helps your broadcasters to create content that their users like and create a better user experience. Happy broadcasters, happy users. Win, Win!
Final Words – How To Make A Live Streaming Like Twitch?
These are just a few of the features that you should keep in mind when thinking of how to make a live streaming platform like Twitch. Other features that are not necessarily core to a live streaming platform but are essential for your users are – Personalized Content Recommendation, Auto Video Categorization, Live Stream Scheduling, etc.
As a leading app & web development company, RNF offers end-to-end custom live streaming development solutions as per your specific business needs. From live streaming platform development & design to migration, testing, and support, we do it all. Contact us today!