How to Build an Entertainment App Like Netflix

March 12, 2018 | Rob LaPointe

Netflix has become a giant in the world of entertainment. It’s what anyone building a streaming service strives to become. Most programs now have some sort of streaming app for set-top boxes as well as smartphone apps. Netflix has it all of course, but to get a better understanding of how they started out let’s go over a brief history.

A Brief History of Netflix

    1997 – 2 engineers (Reed Hastings, Marc Rudolph) founded the company. The service gave customers the ability to rent movies online then have them mailed to them.

    1999 – Keeping that same service they launched their monthly fee which gives their customers the ability to rent as many DVDs as they want.

    2003 – They reached 1 million subscribers.

    2007 – After 10 years of growth, they released their streaming service.

    2010 – They started streaming internationally.

    2012 – They aired their first original programming.

    2013 – House of Cards was released which led them to become the first online-based entertainment service to be nominated for an Emmy award.

    2016 – They launched their offline playback feature.

Over the years they have been growing at a substantial rate. Now they have well over 100 million users making over $10 billion in 2017. These numbers are continually growing. They are not going to be slowing down anytime soon. Their constant innovation and understanding of customer needs have helped lead them to the top.

Top Features

Netflix’s website, mobile, and streaming apps have pretty much become everyone’s normal. They all work together perfectly allowing you to resume any program from the same spot no matter what device you are on.

Their vast library of titles has been a major helping hand to this success story. There is no shortage of options to choose from and even though it can be overwhelming sometimes, it’s still something we love to use. They started their original work back in 2012 and have since then been increasing the number of those originals at a fast rate. With around 100 original titles there are still much more to come.

One of their more recent updates have been the ability to watch programs offline. You can watch your favorite titles without using data or wifi. For example, let’s say you have a flight coming up, you simply download the titles while you are on wifi prior to your travel. Now those titles are ready to view while you are up in there. In the menu of your Netflix app, they have a downloads section where you can access all of them.

The User Base

Your entertainment project may not include creating originals like Netflix and that is ok, it doesn’t have to be a part of your timeline. However, building a user-friendly entertainment app has to be done and done correctly. Understanding your audience and what they want is the most important aspect when you start to build an app or when trying to improve an already existing app.

Once you determine who your user base is it’s time to build a list of problems those users could be facing then come up with the solutions for them. For example, Netflix recently realized that parents wanted more things to watch with their kids but they didn’t have very many family-friendly options. Once they realized the problem they came up with a solution then implemented it thus gaining more subscribers. Once you know their needs, wants, and problems you can better define what functions and features need to be there.

The User Experience

Netflix has a pretty seamless experience that most find pretty easy to use. The design and placement of each function must be perfect. It has to make sense and done in a way that allows a user to do what they want in the shortest amount of steps possible.

UI/UX is very important for any app or website because it provides your users with an experience they will either love or be frustrated with. You can lose a lot of users if the UI/UX is not done correctly. Of course, if it is done right it can help build your user base. You can contact Sakshi at 408.621.8481 to learn more about this and building your project.

Building the Brand

Your brand is everything. It tells the users who you are and what you are about. Your marketing efforts and mission statement must reflect exactly that in a positive way. Focusing on your key features in a way that elicits emotions that solve the user’s problems they may be facing is key. The relationship with your customers is incredibly important, especially in the beginning. Those beginning customers can help you build positivity for your brand and spread the word. Making sure you connect with them and listening to them about issues can be invaluable.

Your brand recognition will not happen overnight, it takes some time. Netflix took 6 years to reach 1 million. They used a combination of the tools above and constantly evolved making their success story truly amazing. Your project can also be successful but you have to push yourself to get started and give yourself the time to perfect everything.

Whether you are starting from scratch or have a product already that you want to improve on you can do it with the right design, development, and marketing company like SDI behind you.

Get in touch with or call us on 408.805.0495 for a free consultation and quote.

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