How To Build A Video-On-Demand Web App With No-Code (Part 1)

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that Netflix has dominated a huge fraction of the web today. In fact, the streaming giant has helped shift the way we consume entertainment.

Considering how different our schedules are, the ability to enjoy a show or movie at times we can call has become an irreversible need in today’s economy.

That said, if you’re a tech-inclined entrepreneur looking to establish a Netflix alternative or are curious to find out if building your own video-on-demand (VOD) business is feasible, this article is for you!

With Bubble, any determined citizen developer can build apps they wish to actualize in weeks!

To create your VOD web app, let’s begin by optimizing the platform’s visual design top to map out your product’s UI. In this particular scenario, you’ll want the core pages to be the following— a home page for displaying categories and the content consisting of them, a portal for you to upload these videos, and a dynamic preview page for every media content you’re uploading.

One of the biggest features of Bubble is the capacity to send data to a page. This implies that developers will need only one generic page version that contains critical information about commands and users from your database.

In other words, you’ll only need to build a single page to display the preview content for all of the movies stored in your database. For us to display only the relevant content for every media piece, we can then write the appropriate logic to make it functional.

Establishing your database

When you’ve arranged your VOD product’s display, you can move forward to building the appropriate data fields to make your web app work.

Thankfully, Bubble has a convenient process that allows developers to seamlessly establish a database. Begin by voting down the most important data types, supplemented by necessary fields in every category.

When developing your Netflix-like app, you can pattern after the following fields and data types:

Data Type: Content


  • Title
  • Description
  • Thumbnail image
  • Content file
  • Categories
  • TV Show (yes/no)
  • Movie (yes/no)

Data Type: User

  • My list (list of existing data, type – content). Note: Creating a list based on an overall data type will allow you to seamlessly integrate all of its relevant data fields without having to create additional field values.


Uploading movies and shows

When you’ve successfully established your database, you can progress into developing your app’s workflows. The first component we’ll want to establish isn’t something your users will be able to view for themselves. We’ll begin by establishing a back-end tool that allows us to upload content and manage them across the entire platform.

When you build a central control panel where admins can upload content, you help simplify the process of mapping out the appropriate fields throughout your content library.

You’ll want to do this by mapping the appropriate input fields needed for every content bit on your upload page. This means that when an admin clicks on the upload button, it’ll immediately trigger a workflow that will include this particular piece of content into your app’s database.

When developing the workflow, we’ll start by choosing “create a new thing” then selecting the data type to be “content.”

Moving forward, you’ll want to match the data fields under your database’s “content” type to the relevant elements on your page. With a combination of image, text, files, and dropdown options, it’ll be easy to add the appropriate fields to relevantly structure every content bit.

Showcasing dynamic content

When you’ve finished uploading a host of content pieces, let’s start showcasing these movies and shows on a public element that users can view. Much like the trailers and video snippets you see on Netflix when you hover your mouse over a certain content bit.

Through Bubble’s repeating group element, you can showcase a whole lot of data now available in your library, based on how you configured your settings. 

Because we’re patterning after Netflix for our VOD product, we’ll have to use distinct repeating groups for every dynamic content variation we’ll need to display. In this scenario, we’ll have to develop a repeating group for every content category that will appear on your app’s homepage.

For your repeating group to start displaying data, you’ll have to initially link the data type in your database to the respective elements.

That’ll help your app determine which content bits to showcase.

The content we’re going to showcase will be the content field you set in your database.

Once that’s established, the repeating group will preview a content list that you’ve uploaded, and not necessarily only those that are relevant for every category.

To remedy this, we’ll have to add an additional constraint in the repeating group to ensure that only content that’s “popular” will be searchable.

When done, this will showcase only the appropriate content that’s included in each popular category. And because your VOD app will naturally have more multiple categories, you’ll have to repeat this process for every category type you want for your VOD app.

By supplementing an additional constraint, you can develop dedicated pages to the content users will search for.

When you’ve established your repeating group, you can move forward to supplementing dynamic content fields you want to showcase for every column. And similar to Netlflix’s interface, we’re going to display only a thumbnail picture for every content bit.

And just like that, you’re halfway through developing your very own version of a streaming giant! You’ll want to read the following blog to complete your tutorial, so look out for that.

Are you interested in developing a business app? Check our courses to learn more about building your app.

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