As it goes there are many products and services to cover a specific task and live-streaming is no exception. Some of the solutions are self-hosted, meaning you have to deploy them to your own servers or in a cloud (AWS, Google Cloud) and other solutions are hosted by the provider (SaaS).
Now you start slightly understand why it’s an exciting challenge if you are interested in how to create a streaming app.
If you’re interested in comparison of live-streaming solutions, definitely checkout our other article where we compare most used ones.
What costs are involved when building and running a live-streaming application? Tips for Managing Expenses When Learning How to Create a Streaming App
As mentioned above live streaming solutions can be categorized by where they’re hosted - self-hosted and SaaS (Software as a service). Giving definitive answers on which solution will cost you more is not possible as it mostly depends on usage and type of streamed media. However, let's take a look at what you should consider.
As the name suggests you’re hosting the streaming solution on your own servers. Be it a physical or virtual server you’ll always pay for data traffic coming in or out of the server and uptime of the server (tenancy in data center or provision of virtual server).
Moreover, the creator of the solution takes some fee for running their product on your server. The problem here is that the fee is usually calculated by time the server instance is running and in the worst case by time and number of CPU cores. Therefore, the general rule here is that a self-hosted solution will pay off when your application is highly used with streams occurring 24h a day leveraging the server uptime.
Tips for saving some money on live streaming app development
Based on our experience with building live-streaming applications we’ve put together a few tips on how to save some bucks. Some of them are obvious while others we’ve learned the hard way. You may find it helpful before you start to google how to make a streaming app.
Try before you fly
It's good practice to do a few testing sessions in your application to monitor what’s happening on the server and how much data is transferred during that session. You won’t be surprised after a couple of sessions that the costs for data transfer or usage grew rapidly.
Optimize UI of the application
Whether you or your live streaming app development company is using a self-hosted or SaaS solution, lowering the amount of transferred data is always a good consideration. Best way to achieve that is to show as few video streams as possible and group the remaining under some “..and X others” element. It’s also a big plus when your chosen streaming solution has features to support lower data transfer such as dynamic broadcasting or simulcasting.