Facing the challenges of live event streaming with AWS Marketplace
Streaming has completely changed how entertainment is consumed. Audiences have moved to view streaming digital content online rather than through traditional linear cable and broadcast providers. With most now watching shows on their own schedules, sporting events are one of the few that people continue to watch live. These events garner some of the largest audiences, with millions watching the action as it happens, and many rights owners are now streaming coverage in addition to traditional linear delivery. As reported by Statista, approximately 57.5 million American viewers watched digital live sports content at least once a month in 2021. The company projects that viewer demand will continue to increase to over 90 million by 2025.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace focused on this niche of the media and entertainment industry in a recent webinar presented with Sports Video Group (SVG). The session Video streaming trends and challenges addressed by AWS Marketplace included sports video industry thought leaders from Fox Corporation, Mux, and AWS Marketplace. Together, they explored how to address the critical challenges companies face when delivering high-quality live streaming sports content.
Meeting tough technological challenges
Consumers expect real-time access to content across multiple devices and channels. This presents media and entertainment companies with significant obstacles to flexibility, agility, and scale. When looking at live sports streaming, there are a number of technological factors that continue to challenge the industry.
Latency—the time that elapses between sending a signal and displaying the content on-screen—is one of the biggest. Audiences won’t tolerate rebuffering, errors, or slow start-up times; they expect streaming to work exactly the same way television does. Viewers also expect to access streaming sports in high-definition, meaning live video needs to be delivered in qualities up to 4K. Maturing tech stacks are helping to advance delivery infrastructure and capacity. But with this advance comes matching growth in usage and the need for companies to continue to evolve technologically. The industry is also experiencing a steady growth of the cloud and IP as production and delivery paths, and that brings its own challenges.
Media and entertainment solutions in AWS Marketplace enable companies to create and deliver quality streaming sports video anywhere, anytime, to any device. In this blog post, I will walk through a few of AWS Marketplace’s customer stories.
IMT and SoDA deliver orchestrated media as a service solution for the Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers relied heavily on video content captured from games, practices, and interviews. The team needed a new storage infrastructure to support both the performance and the petabyte-scale of this content. It also needed a cost-effective migration path off of its legacy system.
The Chargers turned to Integrated Media Technologies, Inc. (IMT) to tackle the problem. IMT, an AWS consulting partner and systems integrator, is focused on industry-leading media, computing, storage, security, cloud, and collaboration technologies. IMT recommended a migration solution centered around SoDA data management software. The solution analyzes and optimizes the placement of unstructured data, minimizing the cost and complexity of managing data at any scale.
IMT and SoDA helped the Chargers use a simple and cost-effective way to migrate off of its legacy on-premises storage system. “We were concerned about data migration from multiple legacy network-attached storage systems into a hybrid cloud model. SoDA made our migration refreshingly easy,” said Jason Lavine, Vice President, Content and Production of the Los Angeles Chargers. “SoDA also connected into our Media Asset Management environment to enable our long-term preservation and archive workflows.” With SoDA, the team seamlessly integrated and migrated content to a hybrid cloud model. This model offered an easier way to search for and find content and manage years of important content.
Global sports brand chooses M2A CONNECT to send live video content
A large global sports brand needed an event-based cloud-IP transport service to send live video content to multiple broadcasters. The company used M2A CONNECT, a feature-rich product for scalable video aggregation and distribution of live video streams. By using M2A CONNECT, the company set up new broadcast partners, automated the distribution of live videos, and provided 24/7 video feed monitoring. “The team at M2A Media understands the challenges we face as a global sports brand and has responded to these challenges with a next-generation media service that will help carry us into an IP over cloud-led future,” said a company representative.
Fox looks to Mux to help deliver the biggest livestreaming events on the planet
Preparation for the “Big Game” at Fox is an arduous, year-long process. During preparations to stream the annual football event, Fox realized the need for real-time visibility into stream performance and viewer quality of experience. Audience numbers had seen a huge jump year-over-year across all digital applications. It was also the first year the event was delivered in ultra-high definition (UHD). Fox needed a partner that could support a massive scale on top of real-time monitoring.
Fox chose Mux, an API-first video platform designed to make world-class video streaming and analytics possible. Mux, along with Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Kinesis, acted as core components for monitoring and analysis.
During the event, Mux sat in the Network Operations Center alongside the Fox team to address issues in real time. The solution isolated delivery errors at specific points in a stream and offered visibility into network-level metrics. Video performance could be compared and optimized across devices and geographies. “During marquee events, Mux helps catch issues in real time,” said Steven Thorpe, Senior Vice President, Video Platforms at Fox Corporation. “It gives our team actionable information to rapidly mitigate user impact.”
Media and entertainment solutions in AWS Marketplace
Solutions from AWS and independent software vendors in AWS Marketplace enable virtually any organization to deliver live streaming content. These solutions help companies accelerate their content development, streamline asset management and distribution, and modernize and migrate media workflows.
Watch the webinar Video streaming trends and challenges addressed by AWS Marketplace to learn how to meet the challenges of live event streaming and the solutions that help address these challenges.
About the author
Dave Polyard is the Global Industry Customer Lead, Media & Entertainment at AWS Marketplace. Dave’s expertise includes broadcast automation systems, news production systems, content storage management (CSM) systems, and workflows related to migration of content to the cloud. Dave has led successful workshops for AWS customers on topics including content preservation and media archiving. Prior to joining AWS, Dave was a senior executive for several broadcast technology firms as well as a former broadcast journalist.