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How to Create Live Streaming App for iOS

How to Create Live Streaming App for iOS

Given the rapid growth of the live-streaming market, many companies have launched their own live-stream SDK. How to choose a professional live-streaming SDK for iOS?

Here will introduce ZEGOCLOUD, especially developing live streaming SDK for iOS, Android, Flutter, and React Native, which offers an easy-to-integrate SDK for live streaming apps.

What is a Live Streaming SDK?

The Live Streaming App is complex, especially if each function is self-developed. It requires a vast technical team and consumes many human and financial resources.

Many companies encapsulate the standard functions of Live Streaming apps into SDK; thus, developing a Live Streaming app or live video broadcasting app only needs to focus on business interaction development.

Among these functions:

  • Express SDK – Audio and video transmission service SDK encapsulate audio and video capture, preprocessing, encoding, transmission, decoding, rendering, etc.
  • ZIM SDK – Message communication SDK, which encapsulates the transmission, and broadcasting of text messages, picture messages, video messages, and other messages, ability to notify.
  • SuperBoard SDK – Encapsulates interactive whiteboard, file management, rendering, and other capabilities.
  • RoomKit SDK – Encapsulates a complete educational scene, including audio and video calls, barrage messages, shared whiteboards, shared files, equipment management, student management, and other teaching scene logic.

Why is Live Streaming for iOS Important?

Mobile streaming is important because it offers accessibility, convenience, interactivity, and monetization opportunities, and it plays a significant role in entertainment, education, and information sharing. There are some reasons why mobile live streaming is important here:

  1. Accessibility: Mobile devices are ubiquitous and often the primary device people use to access the internet. Mobile streaming allows users to consume content wherever they are, whether they’re commuting, waiting in line, or relaxing at home.
  2. Convenience: Mobile live streaming provides instant access to vast content. Users can watch movies, listen to music, tune into live events, or catch up on news broadcasts at their convenience.
  3. Interactivity: Many mobile streaming platforms offer interactive features, such as live chats and reactions, which can enhance the user experience and foster a sense of community.
  4. Personalization: Mobile streaming apps can offer personalized recommendations based on a user’s viewing history, creating a tailored content experience.
  5. Monetization Opportunities: For content creators and businesses, mobile streaming opens up new avenues for monetization. This can include subscription fees, advertising revenue, and in-app purchases.
  6. Live Streaming: Mobile devices not only allow users to consume content but also to create it. With live streaming features, users can broadcast their own videos in real time, whether sharing personal moments, hosting webinars, or live-streaming events.
  7. Education and Information Sharing: Mobile streaming has become a vital tool for online learning and information dissemination, especially during situations like the COVID-19 pandemic when remote learning and work have become the norm.
  8. Growth of Mobile Gaming: Mobile gaming has seen exponential growth, and game streaming is a big part of that. Platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming allow gamers to stream their gameplay right from their mobile devices.

Types of Live Streaming Apps

Live streaming apps can be categorized based on their primary purpose or the type of content they focus on. Here are some of the main types of live-streaming apps:

Social Media Streaming Apps

These apps are primarily social media platforms but have a live streaming feature. Examples include Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitter’s Periscope. Users can broadcast live videos to their followers, who can interact with the stream in real-time.

Dedicated Live Streaming Platforms

Live streaming platforms often have more advanced features and are used for various purposes, from personal broadcasting to professional webinars. Examples include Twitch, Livestream, and Ustream.

Video Conferencing Apps

Video conferencing apps allow live, interactive video communication, often for business or educational purposes. They typically include features like screen sharing, recording, and chat. Examples include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

Gaming Streaming Apps

Apps intended to stream video gameplay have interactive features for viewers, including chat and donations. Twitch is the most popular, but other alternatives like YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming exist.

Music and Entertainment Streaming Apps

These apps are designed for streaming music, concerts, or other entertainment events. Examples include Spotify (for audio streaming), Vevo (for music videos), and apps like Netflix Party that allow for synchronized video viewing.

Educational and Webinar Apps

Online learning is the main purpose of these apps. They often include screen sharing, Q&A, and recording features. Examples are Zoom, Webex, and BigBlueButton.

Fitness and Wellness Apps

Fitness classes, yoga sessions, meditation, and other wellness content is broadcasted in these apps. Examples include Peloton and ClassPass.

News and Sports Streaming Apps

These apps are designed for live-streaming news broadcasts or sports events. Popular streaming news apps are ESPN, CBS Sports, and BBC iPlayer.

What Features Do You Need for Live Streaming

According to eMarketer forecasts, 2.72 billion people will watch videos on their mobile phones in 2023. In 2019 the number was 2.16 billion, increasing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%. With the continuous expansion of the live streaming industry, this industry specializes in several sub-industries: game live streaming, education live streaming, sales live streaming, and entertainment live streaming.


Different live-streaming industries require specific functions.

The essential functions are:

  • Room management
  • Audio and video chat push-pull stream management
  • Device management
  • Member management
  • Barrage

Among advanced functions, there are:

  • Screen sharing
  • shopping cart
  • Gift effects
  • Host PK
  • Make co-hosts

A comprehensive live-streaming application is a complex system. Most enterprises opt for a live stream SDK to quickly build a live broadcast platform and access the live streaming market.

How to Develop a Live Streaming App with ZEGOCLOUD

The development of the live streaming SDK is also evolving in a simple and convenient direction, from providing the underlying audio and video transmission capability for a complete live streaming solution to the current compact solution. Besides meeting customers’ requirements for rapid construction, it satisfies various personalized needs.

ZEGOCLOUD’s latest UIKits constitute a compact, independent component solution that provides rich UI custom interfaces. Developers can select components according to their own needs and customize the UI to build a live-streaming app.

ZEGOCLOUD Live Streaming Kit is a powerful tool for developers who want to integrate live streaming capabilities into their applications. With its user-friendly interface and extensive features, this kit is designed to make live streaming easy and accessible for everyone.

Here are the key features of Live Streaming Kit:

1. Seamless Integration

Integrating the ZEGOCLOUD Live Streaming Kit into any application requires minimal effort, thanks to the inclusion of an SDK that facilitates the quick and easy addition of live streaming capabilities to your app.

2. High-Quality Video Streaming

With ZEGOCLOUD Live Streaming Kit, you can provide high-quality video streaming to your users. The kit supports H.264 and H.265 video codecs, ensuring users receive a smooth, high-quality streaming experience.

3. Multi-Platform Support

With support for multiple platforms, such as iOS, Android, Web, Flutter, and React Native, the ZEGOCLOUD Live Streaming Kit enables you to seamlessly add live-streaming capabilities to your app, regardless of the target platform.

4. Real-Time Analytics

The kit provides real-time analytics, which can be used to track user engagement and measure the success of your live-streaming campaigns. This feature can help optimize your streaming strategy and improve your user experience.

5. Customizable User Interface

ZEGOCLOUD Live Streaming Kit allows you to customize the user interface to match the branding and design of your application. This ensures that the live streaming feature seamlessly integrates with your app and provides a consistent user experience.

6. Low Latency Streaming

The low latency streaming feature of ZEGOCLOUD Live Streaming Kit allows you to offer your users minimal delay between the live event and their view, resulting in a real-time experience that enhances their overall viewing experience.

7. Cloud-Based Infrastructure

The kit is built on a cloud-based infrastructure, ensuring your live streaming service is scalable and reliable. With this setup, your service can handle large traffic volumes and provide a seamless user experience, even during peak usage.

How to Build an iOS App with Live Streaming SDK

Next, I will use the ZEGOCLOUD UIKits – live video streaming kit SDK for iOS to quickly demonstrate how to build a live video streaming app.

1) Add ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreaming as a dependency

Integrate ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreaming SDK through the pod as follows, add pod ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreaming in Podfile file. Then execute the command pod install in Terminal. For detailed operation, please refer to Quick Access Documentation.

target 'ZegoCallDemo' do
  # Pods for ZegoCallDemo
  pod 'ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreaming'

2) Import ZegoUIKitSDK & ZegoUIKitPrebuiltCall to your project

In the file that needs to be called the SDK interface, import the SDK through import.

import ZegoUIKitSDK
import ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreaming
// YourViewController.swift
class MainViewController: UIViewController {
    //Other code...

3) Using the ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingVC in your project

  • Go to ZEGOCLOUD Admin Console, get the appID and appSign of your project.
  • Specify the userID and userName for connecting the Live Streaming Kit service.
  • liveID Represents the live streaming you want to start or watch (only supports single-host live streaming for now).
// YourViewController.swift
class MainViewController: UIViewController {
    // Other code...
    var userID: String = <#UserID#>
    var userName: String = <#UserName#>
    var liveID: String = <#liveID#>
func startLive() {
        let config: ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingConfig = ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingConfig(kPresetRoleHost)
        let liveVC: ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingVC = ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingVC(yourAppID, appSign: yourAppSign, userID: self.userID, userName: self.userName, liveID: self.liveID, config: config)
        liveVC.modalPresentationStyle = .fullScreen
        self.present(liveVC, animated: true, completion: nil)
func watchLive() {
      let config: ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingConfig = ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingConfig(kPresetRoleAudience)
      let liveVC: ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingVC = ZegoUIKitPrebuiltLiveStreamingVC(yourAppID, appSign: yourAppSign, userID: self.userID, userName: self.userName, liveID: self.liveID, config: config)
      liveVC.modalPresentationStyle = .fullScreen
      self.present(liveVC, animated: true, completion: nil)

Then, you can begin to live streaming by presenting the liveVC.

4) Configure your project

Open the Info.plistAdd the following code inside the dict part:

<string>We require camera access to connect to a call</string>
<string>We require microphone access to connect to a call</string>

Run the demo

ZEGOCLOUD’s UIKIts is easy to build a powerful live-streaming iOS app. With it, you can own the app you love easily and quickly. Get started now with 10000 monthly free minutes to make a live streaming app for iOS with ZEGOCLOUD SDK!

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