AWS for M&E Blog

Amazon Web Services live streaming, real-time captions, augmented reality shine this oscars season

More than 29 million viewers tuned into the Academy Awards® telecast in February, and while the ceremony itself is a major draw, ancillary programming featuring live interviews and commentary throughout the event has become increasingly popular in recent years. Capitalizing on this trend, IMDb brought back its live Oscars®-themed viewing party this year, tapping Broadcast Management Group (BMG) for the third year to produce and stream the show to Twitter, Twitch,, and The five-hour live program featured celebrity interviews including Elton John, with encoding and captioning for each live stream powered by AWS Elemental Live. Programming included a pre-show event, second-screen show with winner updates, social highlights and more, as well as a post-show party.

BMG used AWS Elemental Live to encode 1080p streams of IMDb’s live Oscars viewing party to each viewing platform with real-time closed captioning. Using Quality-Defined Variable Bitrate (QVBR) encoding available via Elemental Live, BMG was able to ensure a consistent, high-quality experience for audiences across viewing platforms while minimizing bits used. IMDb covered the event live from the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, with actor/director Aisha Tyler and IMDb correspondent Dave Karger hosting. BMG also tapped AWS Elemental encoders this year to produce a two-hour live show covering the Vanity Fair Oscars party.

Commenting on the productions, BMG CEO Todd Mason said, “There’s no margin for error when producing live streams for Hollywood’s biggest night and with celebrities waiting in the wings for interviews. Delivering to multiple platforms can pose a number of encoding challenges, but with AWS Elemental Live we were able to rest easy knowing that we could depend on it to power a compelling experience for audiences across the globe while also streamlining our process.”

In addition to the IMDb and Vanity Fair party streams, AWS was also excited to see “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” win the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Congratulations to our friends at Sony Pictures Entertainment, whose Spider-Verse AR experience was built with Amazon Sumerian and continues to delight fans. To enjoy this experience, visit from your mobile device.