If there was one app that was dramatically high in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has to be Zoom meeting apps. The increased demand for the Zoom app clearly shows the need for developing a video conferencing app like Zoom. The global pandemic followed by strict lockdowns in highly-affected countries has compelled many companies, schools, and colleges to work from home, reducing the possibility of getting sick or infected on the job. Seeing the rising demand for video conferencing and online meetings during the pandemic, businesses and entrepreneurs are considering this as a golden opportunity and are interested in hiring mobile app developers to build video conferencing apps. One of the common questions that entrepreneurs ask a mobile app developer is, ‘What is the cost of building a video conferencing app like Zoom?’
So, let’s find out how much it costs to build a video-conferencing application.
A Little About Zoom Applications
Founded by former Cisco engineer Eric Yuan, Zoom is a cloud-based video conferring application that facilitates the hosting of virtual meetings in audio/video format. Zoom video conferencing application works on various platforms including Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.
The Revenue Model of Zoom App
Zoom has a full-proof money-generating revenue model. Take a look!
- Zoom Meeting
Zoom Meeting is the core feature of this video-conferencing application. It allows remote users to host online video calls.
If the calls or meetings conducted exceed 40 minutes, then the app users need to pay a fee of $14.99 per month or $12.49/ month if they choose the annual plan.
This type of revenue model is known as the Freemium model. So, if you want to develop a Zoom-like video calling application with a Freemium model, you can consider consulting with a professional mobile app development company.
- Zoom Rooms and Workspaces
Zoom also enables the creation of physical conference rooms and workspaces that allow companies to host video conferences in these spaces. This provides the users with hardware and physical rooms to organize a conference meeting without facing any difficulty in managing them.
Besides, the company also provides a highly professional service unit to facilitate the smooth functioning of these physical conference rooms.
Based on the selected plan, you will need to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee. The company has partnered with trusted hardware manufacturers who can provide dedicated hardware support for these physical conference room systems.
- Zoom Phone
The Zoom Phone feature is ideal for those customers who prefer to do voice calls over video calls. The main product already offers the required tools for using this Zoom Phone feature.
Zoom Phones offer a plethora of features such as:
- Automated, AI-driven voice or video call management and routing
- Call recording and voicemail options
- Highly secure high definition voice conversations
- Facilitates smooth processing with auto attendants and IVR tools
- This Zoom product comes with a monthly subscription model.
If you want to build a video calling application like the Zoom app, you may consider choosing any one of the aforementioned revenue models. Also, when it comes to choosing the right revenue model, you must consider controlling the hidden cost of video conferencing app development.
Major Reasons Behind the Popularity of Video Conferencing Apps
- In 2019, the value of the global video conferencing market size was about USD 4 billion.
- While the video group chatting platform Zoom witnessed around 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019, this number jumped to 190 million meeting participants every day in the initial four months of 2020.
- It is predicted that online video calls traffic will increase by 4 times from 2017 to 2022.
- The number of online users relying on telecommunication has increased by 115% in the past ten years and still continues to grow.
- Around 90% prefer to video call today as compared to the last couple of years.
- About 80% of corporate businesses use video conferencing applications for video calling to host team meetings.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Video Conferencing Apps
The overall cost of developing a video group chatting app largely depends on the following key factors:
- Features that you want to add to your app
- The design complexity of your app
- The cost per hour of the hired mobile app developers
- The country of the mobile app development team
- The technology stack
- The development timeline
Features of Video Conferencing Apps
An ideal video-conferencing application will incorporate all the features that cater to the needs of companies conducting online meetings, regardless of the company size and strength. Companies are experimenting with several features to make their video calling app stand out from the crowd. For instance, virtual background and sharing of the video conferencing feature are gaining popularity amongst companies that are working from home.
If you’re a startup or new entrepreneur, then you may start by adding MVP features and move to adding advanced features later.
MVP Features of Video Calling Apps
- Personal/Group Messaging
- Personal/Group Voice or Video Calls
- Search People, Groups, Messages
- Add Contacts
- Create Groups
- Screen Sharing
- Media Sharing
- Virtual Hand-raising
- Record Meetings
- Mute Meeting Participants
- Enter Meeting ID
- Schedule Meeting
- Create Subdomains
- Create Sub-admins
- Restricted Access Host Notification
- Turn On/Off Microphones
- Multiple Payment Integration
- Advanced Analytics and dashboard
- Multi-device compatibility
Advanced Features of Video Conferencing Apps
- Real-time In-meeting Chat
This feature allows meeting participants to chat with individuals within a meeting.
This feature allows users to record meetings manually or automatically with ease.
- Screen Sharing
It facilitates easy sharing of the screen with other individuals in the meeting.
The app should provide platforms for live event hosting and broadcasting.
- Auto Framing
This feature enables the camera to automatically adjust the view to fit all the attendees in one frame.
- High Resolution Camera
You can integrate 4K support with your product as many OEMs offer products that support HD-quality video call meetings.
- Optical Zoom
You can add the optical zoom feature to your video group calling app as it provides ultra-clear image and video quality.
- Virtual Background and Green Screen
This feature enables the host to have a captivating background image or green screen for a more engaging experience.
- Host Tracking
This feature in your video conferencing app ensures that the focus is always on the host which keeps the audience engaged.
- Remote Management
It is useful for large-scale organizations having several VC units. This feature allows the user to change the settings without walking physically from one room to another.
- Whiteboard Camera System
Using this feature, the host can show the whiteboard content over the video conference or browser for attendees. Users can also download the whiteboard content for future reference.
- Real-time Video Editing
The live video editing feature saves a lot of time, energy, and effort for the host in video after production. You can also offer unique camera effects and twists to help the host create interesting videos.
You can add a noise reduction feature to your app to block distracting noises. The noise-blocking technology can also identify whether a person is talking, if not, then it automatically mutes the person. You can also integrate the acoustic fence technology that creates a virtual fence surrounding the meeting zone using microphones.
What It Takes to Build a Video Calling Application?
There are a few crucial steps that you need to consider for video conferencing app development.
- App’s UI/UX Design
Make sure your app’s user interface is minimal, user-friendly, and easy to understand and navigate. It should have a captivating design to deliver an engaging app experience. Furthermore, your app’s UX should be intuitive to make users feel interested towards your video conferencing app.
- Back-end Development
When developing a video conferencing application, you need to create the server portion for the smooth functioning of the application. While some applications can use the available BaaS solutions, it is wise to create your own server from scratch as video calling apps involve complex technologies.
- iOS Apps
If you want to develop a video conferencing mobile app for the iOS platform, it would be better if you develop the app using Swift. Swift is comparatively simpler and popular than Objective-C. You can also build a video conferencing application easily and quickly using third-party services as they make the development process simpler.
- Android Apps
One of the main tools that web and Android mobile app developers use to provide people with real-time video communication is WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication). It is an open-source technology that facilitates real-time video communication with the help of simple APIs.
Video Conferencing App Development Tech Stack
The cost of building a video conferencing app also depends on the technology stack you use. You may require the following tech stack to build a video conferencing software like Zoom:
Google Sketch and Photoshop are the best tools to build a video-conferencing application.
You can use Swift, Objective-C, Java, and Kotlin for the native video conferencing app development while React Native and Flutter to build a hybrid app.
- Data Analytics
You can employ data analytics tools offered by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google to obtain valuable data insights.
- Push Notifications
You can add push notifications to your video calling app using services like Apple push notifications, Twillo, and firebase.
To provide real-time communication via web or mobile devices, you can use third-party APIs such as RTCPeer connection, RTCDatachannel, and Media stream.
- Development Frameworks
Symphony, Laravel, Angular, and Laminas are some of the best frameworks that you can use for video conferencing app development.
The Team You Need for Video Conferencing App Development
Developing a video conferencing software or a mobile app like Zoom requires a lot of research, time, effort, and strategies. A successful application or software can be built with strong teamwork. Hence, most of the companies prefer to hire mobile app developers from a professional app development company that is backed with rich in-house resources for video conference app development.
A development team usually consists of
- A Project Manager
- App Consultants
- Android or iOS mobile app developers
- UI/UX Designers
- Back-end developers
- Testing & QA Specialists
The Hourly Rate of App Developers
The hourly rate of app developers varies according to the geographical location of your hired developers. Here is a rough calculation of the average hourly rate in US dollars for some of the prominent countries.
- India – The hourly rate ranges from $20 to $150; the average cost is $30.
- South America – The hourly ranges from $25-$115; the average cost is $50.
- Eastern Europe – The hourly rate ranges from $30 to $100; the average cost is $60
- United Kingdom – The hourly rate ranges from $35- $170; the average costs is $85
- Australia – The hourly rate ranges from $35-$150; the average cost is $110.
- North America – The hourly rate ranges from $90-$230; the average cost is $180.
If you want to build a Zoom-like video conferencing application, then you may expect the cost estimate to be somewhere around $45,000 to $70,000 in a developing country like India. You can also significantly reduce the cost by opting for cross-platform app development instead of native app development.
Different Video Conference App Monetization Models
The ultimate goal of any app owner is to generate more profits through their dream app. Here are some of the effective ways you can make money from your video conference mobile app:
- Offer a Pro Plan
In video calling apps, the subscription option is useful for enterprises. So, until you have enterprises and corporates as your target audience, it would be better to offer a Pro plan. This model can work on various levels. For example, you may charge a fee for adding more than 50-100 people to a meeting. You may also offer them a wide array of virtual background options. Or, you can set a time limit on the call, which means, users will have to pay if they exceed the time limit for uninterrupted meetings.
- In-app Advertisement
Although it is not a good idea to use in-app advertising in video conferencing software, you can still utilize the white spaces to display banner advertisements.
Final Words on the Cost of Video Conferencing App Development
The overall video conference app development cost is a combination of features, tech stack, development team members, the hourly rate of developers, and the geographical location of the video communication app development company you hire.
You must also remember that no two projects are alike. And therefore, you need to consult with an experienced mobile app development company to discuss your project requirements, your preferred technology, your security concerns, budget, etc. to get a quote on your video conferencing app development cost. If the quote perfectly fits your project requirements, goals, and budget, you may then kick start your project development.
He is a senior Android mobile app developer at Orange Mantra, a leading digital transformation company in India. He likes to stay abreast with the latest happenings in the mobile app development world. He also loves sharing his decade’s experience and knowledge in mobile app development through his informative write-ups. During his leisure hours, Rakesh Tanwar loves listening to jazz music and reading Tech articles.