Finding a React Native OTT Dev Shop


Many brands search for ways to deliver live and on-demand video content directly to their customers.


Increasingly, these companies find developing an over the top, or OTT, application provides the kind of exposure they need. React Native OTT development has become a popular solution for content creators across the globe.

An OTT app is similar to a mobile app in that it delivers content, like streaming video or games, over the internet. The difference is, an OTT app delivers that content to your TV, as opposed to your mobile device. If you have a Roku device, AmazonFire Stick, Chrome Stick, or Apple TV, you’ve used OTT apps. Service providers like cable, broadcast, and satellite TV traditionally acted as gatekeepers to content delivery. OTT apps are a way to bypass that old guard.

React Native stands as one of the most popular OTT development frameworks for some good reasons. It’s fast, reliable, and flexible. It’s not the only choice, however. Understanding the tradeoffs of developing with React Native or some other framework helps give you a better idea of how to plan your own OTT app project.

React Native OTT: A Popular Choice For Developers

Custom software and web developers rarely choose a toolset without good reasons. Efficiency and reliability standout as leading considerations for dev shops looking at tools to create their work. React Native excels by those standards. Here’s why:

Works with multiple platforms: Building an OTT app in React Native allows you to use the same codebase across platforms like Android, iOS, Apple TV, Android TV/AFTV, and Windows. You can significantly reduce development costs using this flexible framework.

Developers can write cross-platform modules: If native code is the best choice for a portion of the project, your developers can write React Native modules to share between platforms. Additionally, you can create native code modules to get deeper integration with a specific OTT platform’s software development kit, or SDK. You can also supplement any unsupported device-specific features that React Native doesn’t support out of the box.

Provides essential app features: React Native comes pre-loaded with several key features every OTT app needs. It handles sign up, login, video streaming, and other core functions without requiring your developer to reinvent the wheel. React Native’s robust feature-set can dramatically reduce the time and cost of bringing your OTT app to market.

Continuous improvements and active community boost reliability: React Native is an open-source platform maintained by Facebook. Not only does it have the heft of several large corporate sponsors working to improve it, but a growing network of developers also continually add functionality to the source code. These facts mean two things: the platform keeps getting more reliable and more efficient.

React Native may not be right for you if…

As flexible as React Native is in building OTT apps, it isn’t the best solution for every situation. The core benefits of React Native OTT development are that it saves time and money. If your project won’t see these benefits, this framework may not be right for your project. What if, for instance, you already have an OTT app built natively, or built using another platform? In that case, it might make more sense to keep the work you’ve already done and add to it. Saving money and getting to market faster are crucial considerations when planning a development project.

When your OTT app needs functionality with deeper levels of device integrations, you should consider native development. If, for instance, your app needs to integrate with iOS’s or Android’s native 3D SDK, and each platform requires using a different 3D engine, it may not make sense to share the codebase. In this case, most of the code and project files would be much different. Sometimes, however, you can add modules to supplement most device integrations that are not supported by React Native out of the box.

You may also choose to build a native OTT app if your project focuses on a small feature specific to an OTT device that React Native doesn’t support. In this case, it could be more cost-effective to build natively, rather than building the react native application AND the necessary custom modules to support that one feature.

Finally, if you plan on releasing your app to Roku, you’ll have to write it using Roku’s proprietary scripting language, Brightscript. Roku is a closed system, and anything built for Roku must be written in its proprietary scripting language–at least until React Native or some other rapid development framework adds support for the Roku platform.

Partner with a Leading React Native OTT Developer

Choosing a partner for your OTT project is a big decision. Unless you’re already an expert web developer yourself, you’ll need to find a dev shop that can help guide you through the process and recommend the best technologies for your unique situation.

StudioLabs has set the bar for OTT apps–we’ve built dozens of them over the years. We’re experts in React Native, as well as today’s most common software and web development tools. We have the expertise to help you find the best solutions for your project. You need both a partner and a guide to help navigate this unfamiliar terrain. Since we’ve blazed many of these trails, we can provide the technical advice you need to make critical decisions. Feel free to check out our past work. We think it speaks for itself. If you’re looking for an award-winning dev shop to help with your OTT app project, we should talk.