A brief guide on building audio and video live streaming platform

Live streaming is a profitable business. In this article, you’ll get to know how to build a secure, user-friendly, and functional website for live streams.
A brief guide on building audio and video live streaming platform

Live streaming is a profitable business and a popular form of entertainment. In this article, you’ll get to know how to build a secure, user-friendly, and functional website for live streams.

By 2021 live streaming is expected to become a $70.5 billion worth industry. The demand for live-streaming platforms will be steadily growing in the next few years. Viewers tend to trust live streams more than pre-recorded content because there are no filters and no pieces of the video can be cut during editing.

In this article, you’ll get to know about the basic tools, skills, and features that a development team needs to build a successful audio and video live streaming platform.

Which Professionals and Tools Do You Need to Build a Live Streaming Platform?

To build this type of platform, you’ll need a team that consists of the following specialists:

  • Business Analyst
  • Project Manager
  • Front-end developers
  • Back-end developers
  • UI/UX designer
  • QA engineer

To write the code of a live streaming site, it should be enough to know two programming languages: HTML5 and CSS3. The team should be able to work with MySQL databases as well as Node.js and React frameworks. The best cloud platforms that you can use for this purpose are Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3. Amazon CloudFront should become an optimal CDN service.

The selection of streaming protocols that you can rely on is rather broad. It might feature the following titles (in alphabetical order): Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming, Apple HTTP Live Streaming, M2TS, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, MPEG-DASH, RTMP, RTSP/RTP, and WebRTC.

The range of analytical tools might feature the following instruments: Flurry Analytics, Google Mobile App Analytics, Hadoop, Hive, Localytics, MixPanel, Mode, Parquet, Pig, Presto, and Spark.

To detect geolocation, you can use Google Maps API and MapKit/Core Location frameworks.

You’ll need two media containers, MP4 and FLV, and three codecs: XviD, FFmpeg, and H.264/AVC. Your site should be able to support the following media formats: AVCHD, AVI, DMW, FLV, MKV, MOV, MP4, SWF, WMV.

Which Features Should You Include in a Live Streaming Website?

When building an MVP, you should include the following seven features in it.

  • Signup. Users should be able to choose from multiple registration options: via social networks, or a combination of phone number and password, or email and password. Plus, they should be able to retrieve their passwords if they lose or forget them.
  • Add personal data. Users should be able to let others know about their demographics, hobbies, and interests as well as share links to their social networks.
  • Start/finish broadcast. It should take new users just a few seconds to figure out how to start and finish streaming, share their location, select category, and comment on the broadcast.
  • Search. Users should be able to search for videos by categories, streamers, and other parameters. A list of recommendations would come in handy too.
  • Real-time chat. It should be available both to streamers and their viewers.
  • Follow users. Users should be able to see the list of profiles they follow. After they add streamers to this list, they will get notifications about their upcoming events and live streams.
  • Settings. These include an opportunity to block users, set private or public status, turn message alerts on and off, and so on.

Also, you should create an intuitive and user-friendly design for your site and make a handy admin panel for it to manage users. The list of advanced features might include an opportunity to filter top trending or nearby broadcasters, send push notifications, and let users share links to streams on social media.

How Can the Monetization Strategy Affect the Functionality of the Site?

There are four main monetization strategies for audio and video live streaming formats:

  • Advertising
  • Premium features
  • Subscriptions
  • Partner programs

The choice of strategy can significantly affect the process of building the site. For instance, when working on the UI/UX, the developer should find optimal locations for the ads. One of the most popular premium features is access to detailed analytics — so the platform should be able to provide such insights.

Methods of Enhancing the Cybersecurity of Live Streams

The most obvious security measure that web application development services include is password protection. Only qualified or approved people will be able to access the content. Such an approach is beneficial for small businesses and those who need to pass around a video privately before publicly sharing.

Also, it is possible to set geographic and domain restrictions for streams. This method uses IP addresses to whitelist certain countries. Content creators will be able to type in the websites on which they allow their streams to play. If someone tries to embed this video on any other website, they will fail.

A more advanced approach to geographical restrictions involves tokenized video delivery. Every couple of minutes, the player will be calling the server for a new token. If the server sends no token, the video playback will immediately fail.

HTTPS video delivery implies using an encrypted web communication standard that prevents tampering in transit. When the encrypted data is being moved through the Internet, any attempt to change it will destroy it. Thanks to authentication provided by HTTPS, you can be sure that the data was indeed sent from a reliable source. In conjunction with HLS, HTTPS protects streams from eavesdropping.

HLS stands for HTTP live streaming. Most often, it relies on the AES-128 encryption method. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a block cypher that encrypts and decrypts data in 128-bit blocks.

If a broadcaster adds AES video encryption to their video, a special key will scramble its content. No one will be able to watch the video, except for viewers that have the correct access key. If someone tries to intercept the stream, they will get a mess of useless data.

Besides, it would be reasonable to conduct system monitoring, using both automated and human-managed security scans, tests, and checks.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this information came in handy, and now you better understand how to build an audio and video live streaming platform. As long as this sector keeps growing, developers should stay focused on it because it will enable them to earn good money and enhance their professionalism.

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