If you’ve already done some research and know roughly how to create a live streaming website like Twitch, this article will help fill the gaps.
In a nutshell, Twitch is a live streaming website that allows users to be broadcasters, viewers, and participants in online gaming communities. Users can live stream their gameplay, watch e-sports tournaments, and cheer on their favorite competitive players. Today, Twitch has been working to recruit more non-gamers and new streamers to its community. Twitch launches Twitch Studio app, which helps novice streamers set up their streams.
Twitch viewers live streamed more than 2.72 billion hours in Q2 2019, or more than 72% of all live hours watched, beating YouTube Live, Facebook Gaming, and Mixer, according to a recently published report.
If you want to create a live-streaming website like Twitch, first consider its main features.
Every stream includes a video, a webcam with a view of the streamer, and online chat. Each streamer has a channel page, which can be customized with information about the streamer and rules of the channel. This information also contains links to the streamer’s social media accounts and sponsors.
Users can view broadcasts without registering. Registration allows users to live stream, subscribe to gamers, and chat with other users.
Users can add personal data, preferences, and social media links to a personal profile. Your website should include two types of user profiles: watchers and gamers.
A video player allows users to watch live streaming videos from any device. They can also customize the player theme and control video replays, resolution, and notifications.
To provide users with high-quality video streaming, use the real-time messaging protocol (RTMP), which maintains low-latency connections.
To run live streams of paid content, consider advanced security features like AES encryption, DRM, and IP-based access control.
A real-time chat feature enables users to communicate with others during live streams and to ask the streamer questions. To implement this feature, integrate a third-party solution or develop a custom chat app.
Analytics allow users to check which of their streaming categories are performing best by tracking user engagement and viewership and comparing traffic for different video events.
Use artificial intelligence to analyze video content and machine learning to prevent copyright infringement on your platform.
To engage viewers from different time zones, streamers should be able to schedule their next sessions and send push notifications to their followers.
This feature allows users to donate to their favorite players or pay a subscription fee. Note that your payment processor should accept credit and debit cards, PayPal, and other payment methods.
Twitch Studio is an all-in-one streaming app for novices that allows seamless stream setup and makes it easier to engage with the community.
|System||Core components||Description||Further information|
|Video||Video ingest||RTMP video is transported to the transcode system.||The video system is responsible for getting video from the broadcaster to the viewers.|
|Transcode system||The incoming RTMP video is streamed from the broadcaster and transcoded into multiple HLS streams. This is implemented in a combination of C/C++ and Go.|
|Distribution and Edge||The HLS streams are distributed to geographically disparate POPs. Mostly written in Go.|
|Video on demand (VOD)||VOD allows archiving all incoming video systems.|
|Chat||Edge||Edge enables the receiving and distribution of messages between clients and backend services. Edge speaks the IRC protocol over raw TCP and WebSockets.||Chat is a highly scalable real-time distributed system written in Go.|
|Pubsub||Pubsub and Edge nodes form a hierarchical message distribution system that executes massive fanout.|
|Clue||Clue allows the analysis of user actions and sends them through the business logic pipeline. Clue aggregates data across many sources, including databases, internal APIs, and cache.|
|Room||Room is responsible for the viewer list. It aggregates, stores, and queries membership data across all edges to retrieve viewer lists for each channel’s chat room.|
|Web APIs and Data||Web APIs||Web APIs allow the managing and customizing of user profiles and subscriptions.||This system is built using a mix of Rails, Go, and open-source applications used for routing, caching, and data storage. Twitch also performs vertical and horizontal partitioning of its data and data APIs to make these systems scale better.|
|Search and Discovery||This allows users to find the streams that they want.|
|Revenue systems||Revenue systems help manage advertising and subscriptions and ensure partners receive their income.|
|Administrative tools||These tools help support staff in resolving users’ problems.|
These services are useless without client applications that make it easy to access Twitch.
Data collection systems include:
To reduce the amount of operational overhead, Slack has been moving several services to Amazon Web Services.
Twitch makes money from the following sources:
Twitch offers dynamic options like IAB display, video media, native opportunities, and entirely custom executions. It allows different gaming companies, portals, and developers to obtain a highly targeted audience base that is addicted to video games. Twitch’s CPM prices are very seasonal, which is why they change frequently from USD$2 to USD$10 for every 1,000 views.
Twitch offers a Turbo membership for USD$8.99 per month, which allows ad-free viewing of Twitch content.
Twitch Partner Program is an exclusive plan for those who are committed to streaming and are ready to level up from Affiliate. This option attracts many talented gamers to its platform. It ultimately results in increased revenue for Twitch.
For example, if Twitch partners with a T-shirt company, this enables the most popular gamers to create their own T-shirt designs, advertise them during streams, and receive a share of the revenue.
Here is a diagrammatic representation for better understanding:
We scoped out a Twitch MVP to see how much it would cost to outsource its development. The total project timeline for front-end and back-end, depending on the scope of requirements, can vary from 6,000 to 8,000 hours. So, a Twitch clone can cost from $50k for a basic application with limited features to $250k–350k for a multi-platform app with all the free and premium features.
Of course, this is an approximate estimation, and the final app development cost will depend on the scale and specifics of the project.
We hope this has been an interesting overview of the Twitch app under the hood. If you are interested in creating a fast, intuitive streaming solution for your business or enterprise, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.