GoPro enhances subscription ecosystem with livestreaming powered by AWS
GoPro’s passion is to make it easy for the world to capture and share itself in immersive and exciting ways. Since its founding in 2002, the brand has produced the world’s most versatile cameras and software tools to help its customers get the most out of their content – whether it is managing their photos and videos or editing their content on-the-go. Beyond GoPro’s lineup of cameras, mounts, accessories, and lifestyle gear, the GoPro subscription ties together the entire GoPro ecosystem – from unlimited cloud storage to premium editing tools, camera damage replacement, and more. One of the most recent GoPro Subscriber benefits to launch is high-quality, simplified live streaming to their account at GoPro.com.
Since 2015, GoPro has built and managed its cloud ecosystem on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Over the years, the scale of that platform has grown from a single AWS Region to a multi-Region, global footprint. While leveraging AWS where needed, GoPro has also invested in home-grown, custom solutions – including their own dynamic transcoding solution, which helped to significantly reduce storage costs for long-tail user-generated content. When it came to powering an efficient, low-latency live streaming solution for its subscribers, GoPro decided to adopt Amazon Interactive Videos Service (Amazon IVS).
Utilizing Amazon IVS to encode the high-quality video from its HERO line of cameras, GoPro empowers its subscribers to livestream directly to their account at GoPro.com via the Quik App – without needing a third-party channel that may require additional steps for authentication or a requirement for a minimum follower threshold. It’s a simple solution for streamers looking to share special moments with family and friends outside of traditional social media networks.
“We are always looking to add features to the Quik App that will benefit GoPro subscribers and provide a really great experience on our platform. Through Amazon IVS, we saw an opportunity to provide a simplified live streaming experience to our customers with an easy-to-use workflow,” said Rahul Iyengar, Senior Director of Software Engineering at GoPro. “Amazon IVS provided APIs and access to analytics – helping us quickly build a high-quality experience that’s not only simple to use, but integrates with the other AWS tools we’re already using.”
Conceptualized in early 2020 and developed in just a few weeks, the launch of the livestream feature was done by the GoPro team in close collaboration with AWS, which helped get GoPro set up on Amazon IVS, a managed live streaming solution for delivering high quality, low latency video. The resulting clutter-free streaming experience enables subscribers to invite friends and family to view streams via a private link.
Using any browser, viewers can access the livestream with a single click – no downloads or channel warm-up time required. Livestreams through the Quik App can be recorded for viewing after the event has concluded on the same link, allowing invitees to view at their own pace. By building the service on AWS, the GoPro team was able to focus efforts on specialized areas, rather than investing in its own infrastructure. The pay-per-use model of Amazon IVS helps GoPro efficiently manage costs and as the live streaming feature matures, the GoPro team anticipates adding enhanced functionality backed by Amazon IVS.
“With Amazon IVS as our backbone, we have a service that can scale with our needs,” Iyengar noted. “Right now, we have a straightforward live streaming experience that’s easy for our subscribers to use. It’s great for sharing events from any Wi-Fi connected event, which keeps people connected when they can’t share in-person experiences.”
Integrating Amazon IVS extends GoPro’s longstanding relationship with AWS. As the GoPro App – now Quik – was taking off, GoPro adopted a Kubernetes-based approach to standardize infrastructure using Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), allowing it to maximize cloud-based server capacity and free its developers to focus on software and not on managing resources. Additionally, GoPro uses Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) to handle the process queue, and microservices to publish events using Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS). Amazon CloudWatch helps GoPro monitor services, allowing developers to ensure the stability of Quik as its subscriber base continues to grow.
As for how the company envisions what’s next for its GoPro subscriber live streaming service in the Quik App, Iyengar shared, “In the future, we’re looking at incorporating more interactivity to what is usually a lean-back experience. As more people have access to 5G networks and higher throughput, the service can be used to livestream even more activities that our customers want to capture using their GoPro. We’re excited to make that content even more of a lean-in, immersive experience for viewers.”