How to create a video streaming website in 2020

Video streaming websites allow their visitors to watch content through their preferred browser. Gone are the days where you had to download a video to watch it! In the post-YouTube era, video streaming websites are fast, user-friendly, and have a huge earning potential. 

What do you mean by ‘earning potential?’ There are many ways to monetize a streaming site. From placing ads to selling subscriptions, developing a video platform is one of the best business models in 2020.

But why video streaming? 

Here are the facts: 

  • Americans watch up to six hours of video every day!
  • Projections say video content will account for 80% of global Internet traffic
  • Big platforms don’t treat their creators right. 96.5% of YouTubers are below the poverty line! Smaller platforms, on the other hand, are lucrative for both owners and content creators.

Thus, it’s clear that video is the future of Internet content. Furthermore, as creators become disheartened with big players, there will be space for new streaming services. So, whether you’re a creator who wants control over their ads and revenue or a savvy entrepreneur, read on.

Here is our step-by-step guide to starting a video streaming website in 2020.

Choose and buy a domain 

First, you want to come up with a catchy name. It is something all major platforms have in common. Not only is their brand memorable, but it’s immediately clear what the website is about. 

Of course, coming up with novel video-related names isn’t easy for everybody. Luckily, online business name generators that can help you out. Here is an extra tip: experiment with the domain extension, too. For example, ‘.live’ domains are great for live streaming video websites.

Once you choose the winning domain name, buy it. You don’t want anybody snatching your brand idea, right?

Host your video streaming website

Your hosting company provides the servers where files will be stored. Our recommendation is offshore hosting. 

But isn’t that the pricier option? Granted, it is more expensive. But for a good reason: 

  • Offshore hosting helps protect you from liabilities. For example, streaming movies and TV shows from a US server is just asking for trouble and DMCA claims. But do it from an offshore host, and you’re not subject to the same laws and regulations. 
  • Your privacy is a priority. There is a world of difference when it comes to how hosts handle your sensitive information. With offshore hosting, you are much safer. 
  • It ensures freedom of speech. Sure, you’ll still want to monitor the video content (to avoid any potentially dangerous material). However, your freedom of expression will be protected, and this will also appeal to other creators.

There are many offshore hosting providers out there but it’s best to do some research and check out offshore hosting reviews before making your decision.

What type of video website are you making?

Before you move on to building your site, answer that simple question. In general, there are three types of video streaming platforms: 

  • Video sharing sites (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, or Dailymotion)
  • Movie/series streaming platforms (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime)
  • Live-streaming websites (e.g., Twitch)

What is more, make sure you define your main niche. Granted, big fish like YouTube cater to all sorts of different niches. But, frankly, you can’t compete with YouTube, at least not from the get-go.

Target a specific group, however, and you can grow faster. Plus, it makes marketing much easier. Who is the target demographic for YouTube? It’s everyone. 

What about a beauty pageant streaming site, for example? Pageant participants and their teams would form the majority of the audience. Once you know your viewers, they are much simpler to target.

The best method to create your website

There are two major decisions you’ll have to make: 

  • Choose between WordPress and scripts. 
  • Decide on building from scratch vs. using ready-made themes. 

Build a video-sharing platform

If you’re building a website where users will upload their content, go for a script. Not only will this make the site simpler but it’s also going to speed it up.

And there is no need to write the script from scratch. You can use ready-made Youtube clone scripts instead! With clone scripts, you won’t need a content management system. In other words, you get both the back-end and front-end of your website. Less time spent on development means you’ll get to launch day much sooner!

Stream films and TV shows from your site

Here, both WordPress and scripts are a valid option. 

Again, clone scripts are a great time and money-saving strategy. Some of the best ones to use are Netflix clone scripts. With these clones, you get the same (or improved) functionality as the popular streaming service. 

However, WordPress themes are another solid option. There are countless movie stream themes for you to choose from. What is more, with, you’re taking advantage of robust software for completely free. All you need to do is pay for the theme (if you decide to go that route). 

Building sites from scratch

There is one obvious advantage to this strategy: you get full control over your creation. But, unless you have a dedicated team of experts, there’s no need to go that route. 

Ready-made themes are already highly customizable. Sure, you will get the ultimate personalization when building from scratch. However, you’d also be looking at a much bigger initial investment. Better spend that money on marketing and popularization instead!

Launching and marketing your video website

You’ve reached the final step on your video site journey — congratulations!

But your job is far from over. Think about how you want to promote your platform. Some ideas for advertising include: 

  • Engaging directly with the community. For example, if there is a subreddit for your niche, you can invite people from there. 
  • Social media marketing. Creating social media profiles for your business is indispensable. Again, stay in touch with your target audience and use different social media platforms to increase engagement.
  • Pulling creators. And no, you don’t necessarily need big names. Instead, target those who have an established community and viewership. Their fans will follow them to the new platform. 

Starting a video streaming website: in a nutshell 

To sum up, there are a few simple steps to your future business: 

  • Coming up with a catchy name and buying the domain. 
  • Choosing reliable hosting to keep your files safe. 
  • Finding your niche and fine-tuning the experience to the viewers.
  • Building the site by either using WordPress themes, scripts or doing it from scratch. 
  • Marketing the platform to draw in creators and viewers. 

And there you have it — everything you need to know about starting a video streaming website today. Good luck!

Damien Reed
Damien Reed
Damien Reed is an SEO expert who specializes in content marketing and outreach. He has covered SEO and inbound marketing topics for some of the most popular websites in the industry, such as Search Engine Land, HubSpot and Raven. He is currently working for Prospected.
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