How To Create An App Like YouTube

The root of every global business began as a start-up. The good news is that the basic technology to lay the foundations of their digital offering is accessible in the public domain. So, it is a definite possibility that your app may just be the next success story.


Have you been thinking of developing a video sharing app like YouTube? No doubt, creating an app like youtube is a massive undertaking. But before plunging deep into the ‘how to’ of the process, let’s take a look at some vital data on YouTube.


YouTube – An Overview




Launched in 2005, YouTube is now the most popular online video sharing channel in the world today.


It encompasses every type of video and audio user-generated content including TV clips, music videos and other video clips, such as short original videos, video blogs, gaming videos, educational videos and instructional videos on everything from language learning to DIY.


Stats report that YouTube has over 2 billion logged users on a monthly basis making it the most sought after video-sharing channel.


With a more penetrated smartphone and internet connectivity has made YouTube into a global platform. In the last few years, YouTube has also become a channel where users can make money.


The majority of the content is available on a free to view basis. To date, it is one of the most popular applications that users download from the Android and iOS play stores.



A Guide to Create A YouTube Like App


There are several factors that need to be taken into consideration when you start your journey to create an app like youtube. These include app design, features and functionalities, servers, development teams, and overall app development cost.


Take a look at this step-by-step guide to create a YouTube clone app.


Read Also: 11 Easy Steps to Create a Mobile Application


Shortlist the Features For Your Video Sharing App


If you opt for an MVP application at the very onset, you can choose a basic list of must-have features for your video sharing application at the point of publishing it on the play stores. Here is a list for ready reference.


Search Videos: In a video sharing app like YouTube, the Search feature is of primary importance. The manner in how effectively and efficiently it functions can make or break the success of the application. Incorporate the search feature where users are able to look up videos by title, publisher or random keywords too. Keep adding filters to enhance the user experience of the search option.


Drag & Drop / Remote Video Upload: Having a Drag and Drop feature enables users to upload low to medium-sized videos from Google Drive, Dropbox, local disk or even more locations. Even video content from FTP or HTTP locations can be accessed automatically by incorporating remote video upload features.


Frames Preview: With a Frames Preview option, you can modify or alter video thumbnails as per your requisites. This allows the user to deliver the perfect preview frame on your YouTube-like video-sharing channel. Moreover, the functionality should be able to offer a choice in thumbnails in order to host videos from the cloud or local disk.


Live Streaming: Live Streaming for any video streaming app like YouTube is a vital feature. This allows your users to reach out directly to their followers or audience base and even go beyond their immediate customer target circle. You do not have to exactly follow what YouTube does its live streaming. Instead, work on your own set of innovative streaming experience that gives the user something extra to look forward to.


Playlist: When you create an app like youtube it is not just limited to sharing or streaming videos. It also needs to be a storehouse for a massive playlist of music and videos which the user should be able to personalize as per the likes.


Multi-channel Support: The Multi-channel Support feature enables the users to upload their audio and video content and share them as a playlist or also on a subscription format. This should be made manageable either from the profile directly or as a default mechanism of the channel via the channel management page.


Push-Notifications: With so much content accessible on the application, it is necessary for your userbase to be kept informed of any new addition that falls under the purview of their preferences. The Push Notifications feature can also be used to keep your customers updated on premium services and upcoming deals.


Social Media Sharing: Just like any other social or messaging app, a video sharing application like YouTube must also offer the users an opportunity to share the video or audio content that they upload or like on their personal social handles such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. This allows them to increase follower engagement whilst boosting new traffic to their channels.


Analytics: It is critical of an app like YouTube to have a robust Analytics tool embedded in order to have a comprehensive understanding of user demographics, current viewership status, and real-time performance statistics. The integration of Analytics also permits the app admin to generate periodic reports on various app segments to the minutest detail of a single video or audio content. Therefore, this functionality is essential for you to know what features and content are working for you and what’s not.


Multi-tiered Security: When you have the provision for users to upload audio–video content on the application, you need to ascertain that there are adequate security encryptions in place. Remember that you will need your users to create user accounts on your platform or login via social media profile or their Google ids. All of these data should be under layers of security protection to prevent unauthorized access to the system.


Responsive Design: Ensure when you build your application, that the user interface adheres to a responsive design benchmarking against domain leaders like YouTube. You can opt to use from a vast array of templates, designs, fonts, and more and also allow end-user feedback to tailor the design partly. Check on multiple devices like smartphones and tablets to ensure that responsive design works.


Admin Panel: As you design your front end features and functionalities, the backend must be sustained by an efficient Admin Panel that provides managerial support to the application. This will allow you to work your way through keeping a record of all essential data and insights along with successfully organizing and managing content on the app.


How to Monetize Your Video Sharing App?


It is not just enough to build your application; your video-sharing app must be able to generate revenue for you too. For this, you need to ensure that you monetize the videos in the following ways:


Subscription Model: Introduce a reasonable fee that your loyal users will not mind paying in order to view quality content. Enabling this model can ensure that you generate handsome revenue with an ever-increasing user base.


Advertisement: As your app gathers a significant user base, you can attract advertisers to market their products and services on your video streaming platform. YouTube has cleverly integrated the advertising option in-between content which has worked well in the larger scheme of things.


Pay Per View: The Pay Per View model works on the concept of allowing the user to only pay for the content that they wish to view. It also enables the Admin to understand which content is being viewed more frequently in comparison to all uploaded premium content.


Purchasable Asset: Promote your videos by enabling content to be downloaded for offline viewing. This can be a monetization strategy that brings in a steady income flow and helps in scaling your business too.


Read Also: Mobile App Business Model [A Comprehensive Guide]


How Much Does It Cost To Create An App Like YouTube


To create an app like youtube may seem like a relatively simple and not very expensive at first glance. It is anything but that.


A YouTube clone app that is highly functional, yet lightweight and simple needs a skilled development team working in the backend. Ideally, your development team should comprise of the following specialists

  • Project Manager
  • iOS developers
  • Android developers
  • UI and UX designers for Android and iOS platforms
  • Back-end coders
  • Software tester


The average time that will be required to create an app like youtube is anywhere between 160 to 240 working hours or 4 to 6 weeks. There are factors like interface complexity, the number of additional features, settings, and so on that will also end up determining the overall time required to develop the video-sharing app.


A key element that is also a deciding factor on arriving at a cost estimate to build this video streaming application is the hourly rates of your core development team. Take a look.


  • Android Developer – $15 to $40 per hour
  • iOS Developer – $15 to $45 per hour
  • UX/UI Designer – $10 to $35 per hour
  • Back-end developer – $10 to $45 per hour
  • Project manager – $15 to $45 per hour
  • QA Engineer – $10 to $30 per hour


Other than that, the experience of your development team will also help you determine your overall costing for the app.


For example, if you opt for a relatively simple version of the application which can be developed by a team of Junior Developers, the cost will hover around $ 12,000.


However, if you choose to go with a slightly more robust version of the app incorporating simple to medium complex features and functionalities, the cost will be somewhere close to $ 30,000.


This version of the app will include responsive design created for both the iOS and Android platforms by a team of experienced developers.


Lastly, if your app incorporates a number of complex and custom-designed features and functions with high-end design and user interface, it can cost you around $ 55,000.


The app will comprise responsive design and available on both iOS and Android platforms and developed by a team of sought-after developers.


It is best not be start developing on both the iOS and Android platforms simultaneously. Let your development concentrate on one platform first and then move on to the next. This process is more time-efficient, cost-effective, and simple.


In fact, an MVP app with a multi-platform development approach can be a complicated procedure. In most cases, the cost runs higher than anticipated and the process of development can encounter several challenges and roadblocks.


Adopting a hybrid development approach for the MVP app version may also prove to be more affordable in the long run. In comparison to native applications, hybrid apps are economical.


For Android app development, this is one of the safest methods for creating the application. Hybrid development can work offline offering superior visuals compared to web apps.


Read Also: App Development Cost-Design, Development, Deployment


Final Thoughts



To Create an app like youtube may be a herculean task but it is not an impossible one. The core aspects that you need to control are being organized and mobilizing the available and financial and human resources to its maximum potential.


Have your blueprint of the application design, feature specifications, and your development team already and geared before you begin the actual process.


So, without much ado, start the process.