OTT App Development: Types, Cost, and Features

ott app development

Welcome to the future of entertainment, where you’re the captain and the remote control is just a relic of the past. Here, the content plays by your rules, not the cable company’s. Introducing the world of Over-the-Top (OTT) apps, your gateway to a universe of movies, web shows, documentaries, and more, all streaming directly to your favorite devices.

The explosive growth of the OTT market is an undeniable force reshaping the entertainment landscape. With over 65% of US households glued to OTT content for an average of 100 minutes daily, it’s a goldmine waiting to be tapped for businesses of all sizes.

The world of entertainment is undergoing an earthshaking shift, and at the forefront stands the OTT revolution. Gone are the days of rigid cable packages and scheduled programming. Today, viewers crave flexibility, personalization, and instant access, a demand seamlessly met by OTT platforms.

This guide delves into the exciting world of OTT app development, exploring its types, costs, and essential features to empower you to navigate this digital wave.

What is an OTT Platform?

An OTT platform delivers multimedia content over the internet, bypassing traditional gatekeepers like cable or satellite TV. Think Netflix, Disney+, or Hotstar – they’re all shining examples of OTT platforms. Users can access their favorite movies, web shows, and live streams on-demand, whenever and wherever they desire, often through user-friendly applications.

Why Do Users Prefer OTT Apps Over Traditional Platforms?

  • Unmatched Freedom: No more rigid contracts or channel bundles. Users pay for services they actually enjoy, tailoring their entertainment experience.
  • Content Discovery: Advanced algorithms suggest personalized recommendations, leading viewers to hidden gems and forgotten favorites.
  • Untethered Access: Watch on any device, anywhere – smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, you name it. Entertainment truly goes mobile.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Often cheaper than traditional options, with flexible subscription plans to suit various budgets.
  • Original Content: OTT platforms are churning out high-quality originals, rivalling, and even surpassing, content from established studios.

OTT App Development Market For 2023-2024

The market is surging. Experts predict a global OTT revenue of over $215 billion by 2027, showcasing the immense potential for new entrants. With audiences embracing this digital shift, now is the perfect time to carve your niche in the ever-expanding OTT landscape.

  • OTT users are highly engaged, with an average viewing time of 4.5 hours per week in the US.
  • Mobile devices are the primary platform for OTT consumption, with 70% of viewers accessing content on smartphones and tablets.
  • OTT platforms boast high user retention rates, with 55% of users subscribing for more than a year.
  • The average revenue per user for OTT platforms is expected to reach $10.25 by 2024, highlighting the potential for significant revenue generation.

Key Benefits of Investing in OTT App Development

  • Reach a Global Audience: Expand your reach beyond geographical boundaries, tapping into a diverse, engaged user base.
  • Direct Customer Relationship: Build a direct connection with your audience, gather valuable data, and personalize their experience.
  • Brand Building and Monetization: Create a unique brand identity and diversify your revenue streams through subscriptions, advertising, and partnerships.
  • Content Ownership and Distribution: Control your content, build a loyal following, and generate recurring revenue.

What Are The Types of OTT App?

The OTT landscape is diverse, offering various app types to cater to specific needs:

Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD)

Users pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to content libraries (e.g., Netflix, Amazon Prime Video).

Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD)

Pay-per-view for individual movies or episodes (e.g., Google Play Movies & TV).

Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD)

Free content supported by targeted advertising (e.g., YouTube, Tubi).

Live Streaming

Real-time content delivery, including sports, news, and events (e.g., Twitch, DAZN).

How To Build an OTT App From Scratch?

Creating a successful OTT application like Netflix requires careful planning and execution:

Concept and Target Audience

Define your niche, target audience, and unique value proposition.

Content Acquisition and Strategy

Secure content rights, curate a compelling library, and plan for future content updates.

App Design and Development

Craft a user-friendly interface, prioritize intuitive navigation, and ensure seamless streaming across devices.

Monetization Strategy

Choose your revenue model (subscription, advertising, or hybrid) and integrate secure payment gateways.

Marketing and Promotion

Create a buzz around your app through targeted marketing campaigns and social media engagement.

Features to Include in the OTT Platform

  • Content library management: Organize and categorize your vast content library with ease.
  • Seamless playback and streaming: Ensure smooth video playback across all devices and internet speeds.
  • Offline viewing: Allow users to download content for offline enjoyment.
  • Personalized recommendations: Leverage AI to suggest content based on user preferences.
  • Watchlists and queues: Let users curate their own viewing experiences.
  • Multi-user profiles: Cater to families and shared accounts with personalized profiles.
  • Interactive features: Add quizzes, polls, and other interactive elements to engage viewers.
  • Social media integration: Encourage sharing and discussion of your content on social platforms.
  • Parental controls: Keep young viewers safe with content filtering and age-gating.
  • Push notifications and alerts: Inform users about new content and updates.
  • Advanced search and filtering: Help users find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
  • In-app purchase options: Offer additional features or merchandise directly within the app.
  • Analytics and reporting: Gain valuable insights into user behavior and optimize your content strategy.

OTT App Development Cost: How Much Does It Cost To Build an App Like Netflix?

The cost of developing an OTT app can vary greatly depending on several factors:

  • Features and Complexity: An MVP (minimum viable product) will be cheaper than a fully-featured app with advanced functionalities.
  • App Platform: Developing for both iOS and Android increases cost compared to just one platform.
  • Development Company Location: Rates vary by region, with North America typically being more expensive than Asia.

However, if I have to provide a rough estimate, a basic OTT app can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, while a comprehensive platform like Netflix would cost you $40,000 – $60,000 or more. Remember, investing in quality and scalability is crucial for long-term success.


The OTT app development market is booming, offering exciting opportunities for businesses and content creators. Building an OTT app is a complex undertaking, but the potential rewards are substantial. By understanding the types, costs, and features involved, you can take advantage of this trend and build your own successful OTT platform. So, are you ready to dive into the world of on-demand entertainment?