Besides the deep penetration of smartphones as personal content consumption devices, audiences prefer the big screen of a TV for the wholesome experiences when it comes to video OTT content. In recent statistics released by Statista, revenue generated through OTT videos is set to overtake the revenue generated through conventional TV shows by 2027, and that too by large numbers.
This clearly shows how lucrative the Android TV market is, especially when it comes to having an Android TV application interface for your global OTT platform. But developing an Android TV app sometimes becomes tricky due to a completely unique set of must-have features, challenges with backend integration, and demand for enhanced control. Also, developing an Android TV app from scratch is a very time-taking process, and often requires multiple technical infrastructures like CDN, DRM, and more!
In this blog, we are going to discuss the steps by which you can easily create your own Android TV app, without writing a single line of code! But before that, let’s have a quick discussion of the challenges of developing an Android TV App.
Challenges In Developing Android TV App
Developing an Android TV app brings a lot of challenges. Especially because Android TV apps are relatively new forms of applications, building them from scratch demands deep research and thorough planning. Here we have listed some of the most prominent challenges that one can face while developing an Android TV app.
Lack of Skilled Resources
Google launched Android TVs in 2014, and Android TV Apps came much later. Thus, as the technology itself is relatively new, there’s an obvious lack of experienced and skilled Android TV developers. And due to the lack of skilled developers, many times you might face unintentional bugs in your Android TV app. Also, repeated correction makes the apps glitchy and increases the app development time period.
Expensive to Hire or Outsource to Freelancers
If you don’t want to hire a full-time developer, you can go for a freelancer too! But make sure that the guy you are hiring is experienced enough.
Though this process looks a bit lucrative and has a lot of flexibility, at times, it might be slightly above your budget. In fact, if you are looking for a well-experienced developer, then you will have to spare a good number of bucks for the same. According to recent trends in freelance markets, the average rate of a basic freelance android developer is around $15 per hour, and it grows with experience and more diverse skill sets. An android developer with experience of around 5 years and additional skillsets like UI and UX designing will charge around $45 to 50 per hour, or sometimes even more!
Moreover, a lone freelance developer will take a lot of time to develop the app, sometimes even up to 6 months, depending on the complexity of app features. So, it will push back the date of release of your app, and prevent you from capitalizing on market trends.
Development Companies Charge Loads of Bucks, Trouble With Source Code
Collaborating with development companies should appear to be a reasonable option at first. But, in some time you will realize that this option has a lot of loopholes. The services-providing companies will do everything in their hand to provide you with a fully customized application, but you will have to pay a heavy price for it.
Also, many times it has been observed that software development companies demand additional payments for giving you the rights to YOUR source code. And until and unless you purchase the rights to source code, you don’t know whether your source code is being reused or not. Also, you can’t do any modifications to it if required, every time, you need to go back to the same development company. It’s like surrendering all rights for your own platform to a third-party entity.
In the past, there have been cases where the development companies kept reusing the source code of those customers who did not pay them the price for purchasing the code. This led to serious copyright issues for the customers.
Fragmentation Makes App Maintainance On Multiple Devices Difficult
While developing an Android TV app, or any app for that matter, you must be careful about fragmentation. So, what exactly is Android TV App Fragmentation? In simple words, it is the difference in the Android OS of different devices that arises due to upgrades.
When a new device is brought by the user, it has the pre-loaded version of the Android OS. But with time, the device keeps getting software updates. While some users do the updates on time, others tend to avoid them due to waste of time. As a result, after some time, even the same types of android devices run on different versions of the OS. This might lead to unnecessary issues with the App.
In order to crackle this situation, you should keep maintaining the apps for at least some of the previous OS versions. It will help you support those users who have not yet updated their devices. But, with time, this cumulative maintenance and support cost may go up rapidly. Thus, rushing to outsourced developers and development agencies every time will not help.
Use No Code Platforms like Muvi
So, what’s the solution to all the challenges discussed above? – Using a NO CODE Platform like MUVI!
There are many white-labeled OTT platform providers in the market, but Muvi is definitely one of the best. That is why we are now the highest-rated OTT platform in G2!
At Muvi, you can create and launch your own white-label Android TV App without writing a single line of code, and without the need to hire any app development expert! And you get a complete and well-structured android TV app with a bucket full of features.
Some of the core features that Muvi will provide you in your Android TV App are:
- DRM: We are committed to keeping your app content secured with Digital Rights Management (DRM). That is why we have a Global Content Delivery Network with DRM and Screen Recording Protection.
- Monetization: As stated earlier, we provide multiple monetization models, starting from subscriptions to advertisements, pay-per-view, and even coupons.
- Auto-Play Next: Your viewers don’t need to click the play button frequently, as all the videos in the series will be auto-played one after the other.
- Restrict Devices: You can decide how many devices your viewers can use to access their accounts at the same time.
- Watchlists and Favourites: Your viewers can create watchlists and mark videos as favorites.
- Kids Mode: Your viewers can enable the kid’s mode in the Android TV app.
How to Build Your Android TV App Using Muvi
The process of developing your Android TV app with MUVI is quite simple. You just need to follow the steps given below.
Step 1 – Signup to MUVI and Set Up Your Backend
In the first step, you will have to sign-up for MUVI. If you are already registered with MUVI, you can ignore this step. Post signing up, you need to log in to your MUVI CMS, and set up your backend. The entire process can be done using the steps given below.
- Sign up for MUVI, by clicking on the “Free Trial” button available in the top right corner of the website. You can also sign up by clicking here.
- Once your MUVI account gets activated, you need to enable your Android TV app.
- You can enable your Android TV app in two ways. First, on the sign-up page itself, there is an option to choose the apps. But if you fail to do so, you can enable your Android TV app later from the CMS.
- For enabling your Android TV app from the CMS, go to “Billing” and click on “Muvi Subscription”.
- On the subscription, go to “Applications”, where you will find the entire list of applications that MUVI has o offer. There, you will have to select the Android TV App.
- After updating the Applications page, you need to enter the “Settings” menu to enable your app.
- After entering “Settings”, click on “Advanced”, and then tick the checkbox in front of the Android TV app to update your platform. Your Android TV app will now be fully enabled.
Step 2 – Configure The App Template
For Android TV App, we have our default App Templates. Usually, our developers will use the default app template to develop your app.
But if you want to customize your app, you can definitely do so from our CMS. You will have to add a support ticket for this purpose, by following the steps given below:
- In your MUVI CMS, go to “Support”, and click on “All Tickets”.
- On this screen, under support, there will be a “Add Ticket” button. Click on it to add a new ticket.
- On the Add Ticket page, add the title of your ticket. In this case, you can write Android TV App Template Customization Request.
- Under the description, give a detailed description of the customization that you need on your template. You can also upload sample templates if you want.
- After adding the description, choose the priority of your ticket.
- Then, select the type of app you want to customize. In this case, it will be Android TV app.
- If you want to assign this task to a specific team member of our team, you can put their email address in the CC field.
- Finally, click on the submit button to submit the ticket.
In this way, you can send your customization request to our developers. Our developers will consider your recommended template while developing the app.
Step 3 – Upload / Add Content To Your Platform
It’s now time to upload some content to your platform. For doing so, you need to go to the “Manage Content” section of CMS, by following the steps given below:
- If you want to upload video content, go to the “Video Library” section under “Manage Content”.
- Click on “Upload Video” to upload your video file. You can upload literally any video format, as our in-built encoder will automatically convert it into MP4. Also, our in-built transcoder will auto-compress your video without affecting the quality of the video.
Step 4 – Setup Monetization and Payment Gateways
At MUVI, you can integrate multiple monetization models into your Android TV App. Integrating multiple monetization models gives your customers the flexibility to choose their preferred model. You can set up the monetization models very easily by following the steps given below.
- To set up the monetization models, go to the “Monetization” menu on the CMS, and click on “Settings”
- The complete list of supported monetization models will appear on your screen.
- There, you need to check the boxes in front of the monetization models that you want to enable on your app and platform.
- Once you check all the boxes, you can also decide the priority of the monetization models. Priority means, when multiple monetization models will be available for a single content, the models that are higher up on priority will be displayed first.
- To set up the priority, go to the “Monetization Priority” section at the bottom of this page. There will be drag and drop list. You will have to drag and drop the monetization models in the specific order of priority.
- Once you are done setting up the monetization models, you need to set up the payment gateways next. For doing so, go to the “Payment Gateway” page under the “Monetization” menu.
- A number of payment gateways will appear on your screen. You just need to select the gateway that you want to integrate, type the Secret Key and Public Key in the popup form, and click on “Integrate Payment Gateway”. You can integrate multiple payment gateways for a single platform.
At MUVI, you will get to choose from SVOD, AVOD, PPV, PPV Bundles, Coupons, and Vouchers.
Step 5 – Setup the App Configurations
This is the most important step which you need to do very carefully. It will decide almost every aspect of your android TV app.
In this step, you need to configure your Android TV app from the CMS. To do so, go to the “Mobile and TV Apps” menu in the CMS, and select the “Android TV” app. After that, click on “Publish on App Store”. A form will appear on your screen, which you need to fill out accurately. Follow the instructions given below to fill up the app configuration form.
- First, fill in the name of your app in the “App Name” field
- Then, in the “Short Description” field, describe your App briefly. You can also add some catchy taglines for your app.
- After a short description, you need to fill in a detailed description. Describe your App in detail in the “Description” field.
- Click on “Upload App Launch Icon” to upload an icon for your Android TV App.
- You can also upload Splash Screen to your app. So do you know how a Splash Screen works? When you click on an App, Splash Screen is the image that appears before you see the main screen of the App. In short, you can compare it with the screensaver of your laptop or smartphone. To upload a Splash Screen to your app, click on “Upload Splash Screen”. You can upload .jpeg, .gif, .png and .svg images. However, please note that if you are uploading .svg images then you will not be able to crop the image and a few old browsers do not support this image format.
- After uploading the splash screen, you need to upload a “Banner Screen”. The banner screen is your App Icon with a background screen. The image format for the banner screen will be PNG only, with dimensions of 1280×720.
- After banners, you need to upload an App Icon. Try to upload a transparent icon, which means an icon that does not have any background color. The format should be PNG and the dimensions should be 512×512.
- Select “Distribution Demography” from the list. It is the list of places in which your Android TV app will be available for download. If you want, you can select more than one demography by pressing your CTRL key.
- Then, select “Language” for your Android TV app, from the drop-down list. It is the language in which your app will be published.
- Then select the “Ratings” for the App from the drop-down list.
- Next, enter the name of your website in the “Website” field.
- Then enter your “Email Address” in the relevant field.
- Enter your “Phone” number in the given field.
- Select the App “Category” from the drop-down list. This is the category under which your App will be displayed in the Google Play store.
Whatever information you will provide us in this stage will be stored in our database. We will use this information to develop your Android TV App. So please fill out this form very carefully, as you might not be able to edit it later.
Step 6 – Enable In-app Purchase and Payments
In the final step, you need to enable the in-app purchases for your Android TV App. You can also integrate different payment gateways through which your users will transact while purchasing something from your app.
In order to integrate payment gateways into your platform, you need to follow the steps given below:
- Go to “Monetization” and click on “Payment Gateway”.
- The complete list of available payment gateways will appear on your screen.
- Select the payment gateway that you would like to integrate into your platform.
- Finally, click on “Integrate Payment Gateway” to complete the setup.
Sit Back and Relax While Muvi Does All The Work
Once you have completed all the steps discussed above, you just need to sit back and relax, as we work on your Android TV app.
Usually, our developers develop the app within two days of getting requests from your side. But, if you request for customized app template, then it may take a bit longer to develop the app.
Once we complete developing the app, we will invite you to test the application. Once you approve the app after the test run, we will publish the app in the Play Store.
Why Should You Choose MUVI for Your Android TV App?
Now you might be wondering why you should choose MUVI for developing your Android TV App. Well, there are multiple reasons that will make MUVI your favorite OTT app provider.
No Code Platform
Firstly, MUVI is a completely no-code platform. Hence, you don’t need to write a single line of code. You just need to sign up, decide the layout, add content, and let us develop the app for you.
Deploy across Website and 16+ App ecosystem
Along with the wide range of android TV features, Muvi also provides you with a bunch of platforms to stream your content across multiple devices.
With MUVI, you don’t need to stop only with an Android TV app. Expand your business horizons by developing your own Apple TV Remote App, Mobile App, Xbox App, and more! All these come in addition to a fully functional OTT website.
Video/Audio as well as On-Demand and Live Streaming – all formats supported
MUVI is a unique platform that supports all forms of media content. It means, you can use the same platform to develop a NetFlix-like VOD platform, an audio-streaming platform like Spotify, and a live streaming platform to broadcast live news, sports, and events! That is why we say, MUVI gives you multiple benefits on a single platform!
Regular Updates, New Features Added Monthly, and Maintenance Included
Tackle the menace of fragmentation with regular app updates! Also, our development team keeps on adding new features every month, which helps you to keep up with the changing trends in the industry.
And the best part is, you don’t need to worry about the maintenance of your application. That will be taken care of by MUVI! Isn’t it a great time saver?
If you decide to develop your own android TV app from scratch, then you will also have to arrange for your own CDN, Payment Gateways, Ad Servers, and many more infrastructure components. It will not only be costly but frustrating too!
But with MUVI, you just need to sit back and relax! We will arrange the entire infrastructure for you, including CDN, Payment Gateways, Ad Servers, templates, DRM, and more!
24x7x365 Support Team Available
Our support team is online 24x7x365 to answer all your queries and help you out whenever you get stuck. You can connect with our support team by clicking on this link. In addition to the support team, you can also reach out to us through a contact form anytime you want.
No Revenue Sharing, Direct Transfer of profits to your Bank Account
At MUVI, we believe that all your profits are only yours! That is why we do not have any mechanism for revenue sharing. Whatever your earned revenue, we transfer the entire amount directly to your bank account.
OWN your own Brand, Content, Users, Revenue, and IP
At MUVI, we provide 100% white-label solutions to our customers. It means that you will be the 100% complete owner of your brand, content, users, revenue, IP, and all the other platform-related aspect. We will never interfere in the operation of your platform or try to have ownership of your content.
Top Features That The Best Android TV Apps Have
So what makes an Android TV App a Good App? It is the ease of using it and the quality and accessibility of content. If you want to make your Android TV App popular amongst the crowd, you must add the following features to it.
Easy Sign-In and Navigation
The password-based conventional sign-in process becomes a bit tricky when it comes to android TV apps. It is because more often than not, we set the password on the mobile version of the application, and to protect it from hacking, we add special characters, numbers, and symbols to it. But when it comes to typing the same password on the TV app, it becomes a headache.
Using the TV remote, we stumble while putting the right symbols in the place, and struggle to delete the letters if any mistake is there in the password. Why give so much stress to your viewers right at the start?
Try innovative sign-in processes like code-based sign-in. Many OTT Platforms including Muvi allow your viewers to sign in through a small code appearing on their TV screens. They need to enter the same code on their mobile apps to log in to the Android TV app.
Similarly, navigation should also be eased out for TV app users. We must remember that on mobile phones, we simply scroll through our touch screens to navigate, which is not possible in TV apps. That is why the best android TV apps have a dedicated navigation mechanism in place, which can be easily done through remote control.
Your video and audio content must be accessible to people with disabilities. That is why your TV app content must have subtitles, captions, and audio descriptions. Also, the contrast of the colors used in the app must be good enough, so that it doesn’t give stress to the eyes. The best android TV streaming apps usually have light fonts over dark backgrounds.
The UI of your app must be user-friendly. Technically it means, that whenever a new user comes to your app for the first time, he should be able to perform all the actions on his own with ease. Hence, you can add instructions and help articles to help your new users. Your main motive should be to design a UI that can be easily understood and used by all your users.
Android has recommended certain UI rules to help you out in this process:
- The primary layout of your TV application must always be in landscape mode.
- Your home screen must contain content recommendations, a search bar, and access to other functionalities of the app, including settings.
- There must be an onscreen navigation control on either the left or right side of the screen. It will save the vertical space for content display.
- While designing the UI, you should prefer using Grid View instead of List View. It will help you make better use of the horizontal space of the app.
- You should ensure that all your view widgets are large enough to be visible from a distance of 10 feet from the screen.
Why Android TV App: Stats and Numbers
According to recently released statistics, around 9% of global smart TV users have Android TV in their homes. Most of the leading smart TV manufacturers including Sony, Phillips, Sharp, and Hisense use Android as the standard OS in their TVs.
Not only this, Android TV users are known for spending handsome amounts on Google Play Store purchases! In fact, in the 3rd Quarter of 2021, this section of audiences spent a whopping $12.1 billion only on app store purchases.
So, if you do not build an Android TV app, you will lose out on a large section of valued consumers. What are you waiting for? Sign-up with MUVI today!
Q. Can I create an Android TV app by myself?
Ans. Yes, you can create your own Android TV app by yourself (means without any team or help from professional developers). You just need to sign up with MUVI and buy the Android TV app. After that, you just need to fill out some forms and give us some vital information. And we will build your app and deliver it within just one day!
Q. How do you deploy apps on Android TV?
Ans. We first develop the app using our templates and send it to you for testing. Once you test and approve the app, we publish it on the Play Store.
For publishing any app on Play Store, you need to first have a developer account. Then, you need to make sure that the app meets all the guidelines of Android TV. Finally, you go to Google Developer Console and publish your app.
Q. What are the basic differences between an Android mobile app and an Android TV app?
Ans. Though the basic structure remains the same, still there are some differences between an android mobile app and an android TV app:
- Navigation: If you want to convert a mobile app into a TV app, you will have to change the navigation features. Change the navigation style, remove the top menu bar of the mobile app and adjust it somewhere in the side panel. Also, keep in mind that in mobile apps, people use the sliding action to navigate, while in TV apps, they use remote keys.
- Sign In: Mobile apps mostly use either password-based sign-in or social sign-in, but TV apps use different types of sign in including social sign-in and code-based sign-in.
Q. How much time will MUVI take to develop my Android App?
Ans. By using the pre-designed template, our engineers can complete designing the app within just 1 day. However, if you want customized features, then the time taken might be a little longer, depending on which type of features you want in your app.
Q. Will MUVI keep a section of my profit from the Android TV?
Ans. NO. MUVI does not follow profit sharing. We only charge the subscription amount. Once that is paid, we don’t demand any share from your profit. Hence, your profit is completely yours.
Q. Which Payment Methods do MUVI support?
Ans. Muvi One supports multiple payment methods, including all credit and debit cards. If you don’t want to pay via credit and debit cards, you can let us know. We will arrange payments via PayPal or Wire Transfer.