A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Video Editing App

Maryna Pasko
Market Researcher

In recent years,  video making has become a leading content-creation activity, as evidenced by the rise of platforms such as TikTok, and earlier, YouTube. Internet users generate huge amounts of video-based content and immediately share it with friends and followers via various social media channels. Businesses, on the other hand, view video content as an effective way of advertising and promoting products or services; nearly 86 per cent of companies nowadays use video as a marketing tool.

Accordingly, there is a need for video editing apps that are user-friendly, entertaining, and uncomplicated. Something developers worldwide have recognised and embraced. Now there are apps designed for both personal and business use that help users create high-quality video content and provide editing solutions.

That’s not to say that the video editing app market is saturated, far from it. There is still plenty of scope for editing apps to make an impact. To that end, here we explore the video editing app market, learn how to hire the best developers for building these applications, and provide a rough estimation of such a project’s costs. 

But let’s start with the basics first and discover what goes into making a good video editing app.

Three Key Considerations When Building a Video Editing App

When planning to build a mobile app, there are plenty of essential details to think about before reaching out to developers for a quote. A smart, in-depth approach to any  project’s implementation is the key to success, and video editing app development is no exception. 

Below are three things you need to think about when  building a successful mobile video editing app.

A clearly defined concept of app you want

Since the app market is full of various video editors designed for different purposes, it’s crucial to identify your app's unique niche. Think about what you can offer potential users that other video editing apps don't provide. What user problems does your app solve? Will it focus on quick editing with simple effects or more complex corrections? Answering these questions clearly and exhaustively is the first step towards building a successful application.

 In-depth knowledge of your target audience

When building any mobile application, learning about your potential audience is crucial. Exploring the age, location, interest, and income level of your target audience gives you a picture of your app’s average user. Based on this research, you can create user personas — fictional characters who represent the needs of a larger user group. These personas help you see your app through the eyes of the target audience and can offer important insights.

Is there anything special about the video editing app audience? Most probably, your target audience consists of young people who are into activities like travels, sports, video blogging, and so on. To make your app attractive, you need to dive deep into current trends and offer something extra so you can stand out from competitors.

A list of key features

Framing your idea into a set of particular features is an essential step. The number of features and their complexity may vary depending on your project’s goals and scope. For example, if you decide to build a minimum viable product (MVP), you have to approach feature selection meticulously. Prioritise the app’s features and choose the most significant for the initial MVP release. This allows you to try the business idea and receive user feedback before developing a full-featured application.

What are the must-have features in a video editing app? Again, it will vary according to your target audience, but your MVP may include the following:

  •  The ability to combine separate files into one (both photo and video)
  •  Video trimming and frames
  •  Music or sound effects
  •  Extended edits (colour correction, contrast, saturation, etc)
  •  A social media share function
  •  Multi-format video options

After your MVP gains popularity, you can start offering enhanced features to retain the interest of your existing audience and also attract new users. 

A few potential additional features for a video editing app are:

  • Cloud storage
  • Speed up/slow down settings
  • Reverse video option
  • AI editing assistance

Those are just a few examples to consider and there’s much more to offer for your potential user. If you immerse yourself in the topic, you may come up with even better and more innovative ideas!

The Major Players in The Video Editing App Market

Getting acquainted with the big players in the market is essential as there’s a lot you can learn from your rivals. You can download the most popular apps to explore their main features, designs, and also get a feel for their audiences. 

To get you started, we examined a few popular video editing applications. 

Magisto

  • Free
  • iOS, Android

Magisto is an AI-powered editor that is both fast and easy. The user just needs to upload videos and pictures to the app and Magisto’s AI analyses these on three levels: visual (camera motion, object detection, tracking), audio (detects speech, analysis of selected music track), and storytelling (constructing the script for the final video). Magisto adds a professional touch to videos, making it a good choice for business marketing.

The basic app is free, but access to advanced features comes at  a monthly fee of $4.99.

Adobe Premiere Rush

  • Free
  • iOS, Android

This free mobile and desktop video editor is great for people who occasionally dabble in video editing. Its simple functionality offers users customisable edits including the ability to adjust lighting, manipulate speed, and audio sync videos. To start editing, users drag and drop an existing video into the app or use the app to create a video. After edits are completed, users can share the video on social media directly or store it on Adobe cloud, which has 100 GB of free space.

Adobe Premiere Rush is another subscription-based video editing app where users can unlock additional features for $9.99 per month.

iMovie

  • Free
  • iOS

Apple’s iMovie app lets users create professional-looking videos by following an easy step-by-step process.  This iOS video editor has 14 filters to choose from and offers special effects such as customizable backgrounds, studio logos, sound effects, and more. Users can easily add photos and videos to projects, trim clips, add seamless transitions, and fade audio. Additionally, the application supports  4K and can fix shaky videos.

The iMovie app is free for existing Apple users.

Quik

  • Free
  • iOS, Android

This app was developed by the GoPro team for users to edit footage from their GoPro cameras. But apart from bringing value to existing customers, the app also promotes the GoPro brand among  potential buyers. Even though Quik offers broader editing functionalities when integrated with GoPro camera footage, users can edit content from any source. 

The application provides 26 adjustable templates and lots of customisable filters, titles, trims to create awesome videos in just a few taps. Quik automatically analyses videos to find and highlight the best moments like panoramic views, jumps, smiles, high-speed moments, and so on. After editing, users can easily share a video on social media platforms.

These are the most popular video editing apps, but there are many more hidden gems in this niche. As you can see, most video editing apps are free and available for both Android and iOS (with the exception of iMovie, of course). Now let’s look at platform-specific considerations in the video editing app development process. 

Choosing a Platform: Android and iOS Differences

Video editing app development is a complicated process, especially when platform differences are taken into consideration. When developing a single-platform app, you need to be mindful of the platform's drawbacks and challenges as Android app development varies considerably from iOS app development.

The AVFoundation – a native framework for iOS – combines technologies for working with time-based audiovisual media. This framework works with audiovisual assets, controls device cameras, processes audio, and configures a system audio interactions — all essentials when creating a video editing app. iMovie and Splice, another popular iOS editor, were built using AVFoundation tools.

Android doesn't provide native solutions for video editing, which could be challenging for developers. However, it’s still possible to build a video editing app using third-party alternatives; apps such as VivaVideo and KineMaster prove that. To create these apps, developers (apart from standard Google SDKs) engaged frameworks such as Facebook Mobile SDK, AppsFlyer, RxSwift, Cocoa, and so on.

When deciding on a platform, consider your potential audience’s location and platform market share in the selected region. For example, if you’re targeting users from Western Europe and North America, your choice may be iOS, but if you're focusing on the Pasific Asian or South American markets, Android is a better solution. 

Development Team Structure: Who Should You Hire?

After you decide on the platform, it’s time to start searching for a team of developers to implement your idea. Video editing app development requires comprehensive expertise and the coordinated work of a whole team of IT-professionals. Below you can see the team line-up for such a project.

Assembling such a team in-house often proves to be both difficult and expensive. As an alternative you can outsource to a professional development company. For a high-quality, well-performing product, you need professionals who approach the development process and its complexities with in-depth knowledge and skills acquired through experience. At MadAppGang, our team can lead your project from inception to launch. We offer all the essential development services from project planning to post-launch maintenance and support.

Video Editing App Development Cost Estimations

When estimating app development costs, there are a few factors that need to be considered. First is the number of features and their complexity. An MVP development with a few core features and minimal third-party integrations requires less time and resources, therefore expenses are cut significantly compared to the cost of developing a fully-featured application. 

The platform choice may also affect video editing app development costs, mostly due to platform-specific tech challenges, as previously mentioned. 

Last but not least is video app developers' rates. The global salaries and rates for app developers fluctuate widely, and charges in different parts of the world vary drastically. Building an app in the US might cost you several times more than developing the exact product in India, for example.

Without considering all these aspects, it’s hard to estimate the costs of building a video editing app. However, we can give you a reference point: the rough average of developing a working MVP falls between $15,000 and $75,000. But for a more precise quote, it is better to ask a development company. 

If you're interested in finding a team to develop your video editing app, our professional developers are ready to help you implement your ambitious project today. Just drop us a line with a brief description of your idea, and we’ll reach out shortly to discuss the details.

16 March 2021 video editing app development