90 / 100

Video streaming is a hot topic and trending concept in today’s modern-age world. As per Statista, Video streaming applications will account for approximately 90% of the traffic in 2023 and beyond, and smartphones are the major reason behind it.

Most of us prefer to serve video content on our smartphones, and the demand for video streaming app development has risen tremendously.

Besides enhancing video quality, another key development factor that forms the streaming foundation is – Video Streaming Protocols.

So, whether you are watching your favorite series on the Netflix video streaming app or any other app, it is all possible because of the video streaming protocols.

Well, there is much to discover about video streaming protocols for businesses. So, if you are eager to know more about it, continue reading the blog.

What Is A Video Streaming Protocol?

What Is A Video Streaming Protocol?

A video streaming protocol is a standard way to determine how data travels from one system or device to the other via the internet.

A video streaming protocol transfers “chunks” of content. Additionally, it describes how these pieces will be “reassembled” into playable content on the other end.

It emphasizes a crucial feature of streaming protocols: For them to function, both the output device and the viewer must support them.

The delivery of data via the internet occurs every time you watch a live stream or a video on demand. These may be found in the session, presentation, or application layers.

Both streaming protocols and HTTP-based protocols are used for online video transmission. In contrast to HTTP-based protocols, which rely on standard web servers to enhance the viewing experience and expand efficiently, streaming protocols like Real-time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) or video streaming messaging protocols carry video utilizing specialized streaming servers.

Which Are the Best Video Streaming Protocols in 2023?

There is a long list of the best video streaming protocols available today. Some are still operating, while others rapidly evolve, especially via the open-source framework.

While a lot of protocols are new, they still have the potential to alter how we consume video streaming material significantly. Additionally, not all protocols support the same codecs.

Here are a few of the most popular video streaming protocols of 2023.

1. Real-time Messaging Protocol (RTMP)

The RTMP protocol has been in use for a long decade. It was designed to transfer music and video data between a streaming server and the Adobe Flash Player. Macromedia, now more commonly known as Adobe, created it.

However, as Flash will cease to be supported in 2020, its use has shifted away from delivering material to viewers and toward ingesting live streams into platforms using RTMP-capable encoders.

The common HLS protocol transports the video feed from the encoder to the streaming platform before sending it to the user.

As per the research, it has been found that 76% of content distributors use real-time messaging protocols for their services, making it one of the most popular protocols.

Real-time Messaging Protocol (RTMP)

Specifications of RTMP

  • Video Codecs: 264, VP6, VP8, Screen Video v1 & v2, Sorenson Spark
  • Audio Codecs: MP3, HE-AAC+ v1 & v2, AAC, AAC-LC
  • Player Compatibility: Flash Player, RTMP-compatible players, Adobe AIR

Pros of RTMP

  • Low latency
  • Flexible
  • Easily integrate media

2. Real-time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)

The main purpose of the RTSP protocol is to establish and manage media sessions between endpoints, including TV and movie sessions.

Like HLS, RTSP servers must cooperate with RTP and other protocols to perform their streaming functions. This protocol is similar to HLS, i.e., it cannot send live streaming data alone.

Low-latency streaming is supported by the real-time streaming protocol, although it is incompatible with most hardware and browsers.

It has become a standard for CCTV and video surveillance systems as it offers low-latency streaming to a chosen audience from a dedicated server.

real-time streaming protocol (rtsp)

Specifications of RTSP

  • Video Codecs: 265 (preview), H.264, VP9, VP8
  • Audio Codecs: AAC, AAC-LC, HE-AAC+ v1 & v2, MP3, Speex, Opus, Vorbis
  • Player Compatibility: QuickTime Player and other RTSP/RTP-compliant players

Pros of RTSP

  • Wide range of device support
  • Commonly used protocol
  • Use SSL


3. HTTP Live Streaming Protocol (HLS)

Also known as Apple HLS, this protocol was developed in 2009 by Apple to support iOS devices. Today, it has become one of the most-used video streaming protocols.

HLS video streaming is now compatible with multiple devices and HTML5 players. It is one of the reasons why the HLS protocol is gaining immense popularity these days.

HLS is more secure & scalable and supports adaptive bitrate streaming as it optimizes stream automatically per the device’s network condition and resolution.

Unlike traditional video streaming protocols, HLS has a relatively high latency. Even on-demand app development company professionals get the request to incorporate this protocol during streaming.

HTTP Live Streaming Protocol (HLS)

Specifications of HLS

  • Video Codecs: 265, H.264
  • Audio Codecs: AAC-LC, xHE-AAC, FLAC, HE-AAC+ v1 & v2
  • Playback Compatibility: iOS and Android devices, Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari

Pros of HLS

  • Scalability
  • Better quality
  • Widely popular and supported
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming

4. Dynamic Adaptive Streaming Over HTTP (MPEG-DASH)

MPEG-DASH is one of the more recent streaming protocols frequently used as an alternative to HLS. The DASH, known as Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP protocol, was created by the MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group) to transport video and audio to devices over web servers.

It is a customizable open-source solution that supports any audio or video codec. MPEG-DASH video streaming protocol offers variable bitrate streaming; however, Apple software does not support it because the company wishes to prioritize its protocol.

Dynamic Adaptive Streaming Over HTTP (MPEG-DASH)

Specifications of MPEG-DASH

  • Video Codecs: Any
  • Audio Codecs: Any
  • Playback Compatibility: All Android devices, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Various players


  • Open-source protocol
  • Codec-agnostic
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming
  • Optimized for user experience

5. Secure Reliable Transport Protocol (SRT)

This open-source protocol is capable of offering high-quality video streaming independent of the network’s circumstances.

This video streaming protocol, developed by the SRT Alliance, which includes well-known video technology experts has been acknowledged as a competitive alternative to both the real-time messaging and real-time streaming protocol.

SRT provides dependable live video streaming with low latency over unreliable networks. This video streaming protocol is additionally codec-agnostic, which enables it to work with any current audio or video codec.

However, as it is a new technology, the protocol is still not widely accepted.

Secure Reliable Transport Protocol (SRT)

Specifications of SRT

  • Video Codecs: Any
  • Audio Codecs: Any
  • Playback Compatibility: VLC Media Player, Haivision Play Pro, Larix Player

Pros of SRT Protocol

  • High-quality video support
  • Low latency streaming
  • Good quality

6. Microsoft Smooth Streaming (MSS) Protocol

This MSS protocol was initially created for use with Silverlight applications, but it is now supported by a wider range of devices, including iOS. Like HTTP protocols, MSS offers flexible bitrate streaming and features for preventing piracy.

The popularity of this protocol has been lower than that of the other protocols, though. This protocol also plays a huge role in video streaming app development and helps businesses create unique streaming apps like Netflix.

Microsoft Smooth Streaming (MSS) Protocol

Specifications of MSS

  • Video Codecs: 264, VC-1
  • Audio Codecs: AAC, MP3, WMA
  • Playback Compatibility: Microsoft devices, Apple/iOS devices, Xbox, TVs/STBs

Pros of MSS

  • Adaptive bitrate streaming
  • DRM protection

7. HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) Protocol

The adaptive bitrate streaming protocol HDS, developed as a replacement for the RTMP protocol, was the response to Adobe. Adding adaptive bitrate streaming to Adobe’s succeeding protocol didn’t improve its low latency.

However, this protocol needs a Flash player, the same as RTMP. As Adobe has discontinued the Flash player, this protocol is also quickly approaching obsolescence.

So, businesses planning for live video streaming app development can consider this protocol to create a streaming app.

HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) Protocol

Specifications of HDS

  • Video Codecs: 264, VP6
  • Audio Codecs: AAC, MP3
  • Playback Compatibility: Flash Player, Adobe AIR

Pros of HDS

  • Adaptive bitrate streaming
  • Support for high-quality videos

These are the seven most popular video streaming protocols you will find handy to include during video streaming app development.

Now that you know about all the streaming protocols, pick any of them to create a video streaming app. Wait! Are you confused about choosing the best video streaming protocol? Don’t be. Refer to the succeeding section that will guide you in choosing the right protocol.

How to Choose the Right Video Streaming Protocol in 2023?

Choosing the right video streaming protocol isn’t a piece of cakewalk. The mobile app developers for hire suggest that you consider the following key factors.

While choosing streaming protocols, you must ensure that you reach the widest audience possible or minimize the latency. So, here are the key points to remember while choosing the right video streaming protocol for your application.

1. Privacy & Security

Every business owner wants to ensure that all of the streams of their application are safely reaching the end users. Right?

Well, in that case, you should go with a protocol that offers standard privacy and security features. So, if we talk about security, HLS and other video streaming protocols adhere to it, but none can beat SRT. It has the best-in-class security and privacy.

2. Compatibility

Suppose your chosen video streaming protocol is compatible with other devices. In that case, it means more and more viewers can access it and engage with the content displayed on your video streaming application.

So, to ensure business success, businesses need to ensure that their content reaches a wide audience. Hence, it can only be possible if the video streaming app is compatible with different platforms, browsers, and devices.

3. Latency

Among all video streaming protocols available, HLS is well-known for the widest streaming reach and creates high latency during streaming.

On the other hand, RTMP offers low latency streams as it is not compatible with HTML5 video players. Similarly, WebRTC offers high latency while SRT offers low latency. So, it is up to you which protocol you will choose for video streaming.

One option is to use HLS while implementing a media acceleration system that offers ultra-low latency streaming if you cannot compromise on reach or latency.

hire developers

4. Adaptive Bitrate

Adaptive Bitrate streaming makes it possible for the video to maintain the integrity of its stream regardless of the end user’s Internet connection or speed.

Apps that offer appointments users might be making on the move or stream live events viewers don’t want to miss. We advise using HLS or MPEG-DASH since both protocols offer ABR if you want to enhance your video.

So, when searching for the best video streaming protocol for your streaming app, make sure it supports ABR. Also, when you develop a Live Streaming App on iOS and Android, you should keep such factors into consideration.

5. Cost

Budget considerations frequently influence the real-time streaming protocol you choose. To ensure protocol is within your budget, estimate, and contrast the cost of any technique that works for the remainder of your business needs.

Infrastructure, transcoding, content delivery, and playback costs must be considered when developing an internal video streaming platform.

We recommend the HLS and MPEG-DASH protocols since they are more economical than conventional protocols because they use HTTP servers. You can also confirm the cost of video streaming protocols when you hire dedicated developers for your project.

You need to consider these five major factors while choosing video streaming protocols for your business project. Now that you know the things to keep in mind, we hope you will be able to make the right choice for sure.

Boost Your OTT Business with Exceptional Video Streaming App Development Services

Now that you have read the entire blog and have a better idea of everything about video streaming protocols in 2023, it is time to boost your OTT business.

Dev Technosys, a leading OTT app development company, can help businesses skyrocket their sales and accomplish business growth in no time. We offer a wide range of services and can develop unique video streaming app like HBO max, YouTube, and more.

Our exception OTT platform development services will help you determine which media protocol is adequate for your business app and help you offer great omnichannel viewing experiences to your users.

Share your business requirements with us today and let our experts assist you with the best business solutions.

FAQs on Video Streaming Protocols

Which Protocol is Used for Video Conferencing Applications?

Video conferencing software or applications typically uses TCP protocol. This protocol provides packet sequencing, provides retransmission, and prevents packet loss. So, if you are planning for video conferencing app development, you can go for video conferencing app development.

Which Video Streaming Technology is Best-suitable for Low-latency Streaming?

If we optimize it for the use case, then HTTP lives streaming protocol (HLS) is, without a doubt, the best low-latency protocol available in 2023 and beyond.

What is the Largest Video Streaming Platform?

YouTube is one of the largest and most popular video streaming platforms of today’s time and is used by many audiences.

Which Video Streaming Protocol is Used By Netflix?

Netflix uses MPEG-DASH protocol for video streaming and TCP as the transport layer protocol.

UDP or TCP? Which Is the Best Video Streaming Platform?

Compared to TCP, UDP is quicker and more effective. It enables data transfer to start faster and without delays or significant latency. Additionally, time can be saved by not sending and receiving acknowledgments or sequencing the packets. So, you can go for UDP video streaming protocol for creating a streaming app.

How Much Does Video Streaming Platform Development Cost?

The cost to build a video streaming platform or OTT platform varies depending on the type of platform developed, featured incorporated, and tech stack utilized. So, on average, the cost to develop a video streaming app ranges between $25,000 – $50,000 and more. Rest, you can consult our experts for the same.

Which Is One of the Best Protocols for Video Streaming?

HTTP live streaming protocol (HLS) is the best protocol for live streaming and is the most used one on the market. It is a great alternative to the outdated RTMP protocol used by the now-obsolete FLASH player.