AWS for M&E Blog

SmileShark helps K-pop fans keep singing with live streaming on Amazon IVS

Live stream interface.

SmileShark, a Korean cloud consulting firm operating as a Managed Service Provider (MSP), specializes in the refinement of clients’ cloud strategies and technologies through the implementation of Amazon Web Services (AWS) products and services. SmileShark has completed more than 500 successful projects to date, including cloud migrations, architecture consulting, managed services, and cloud modernization, for customers across a multitude of industries, earning its status as an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner. One of its latest deployments required improving live stream capabilities for a specialized Korean popular music (K-pop) content platform, Kooky. By leveraging Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS), SmileShark was able to ensure high-quality, low-latency live stream delivery of concerts to a global audience.

“Kooky’s existing live streaming solution couldn’t handle sudden viewer increases during events and was prone to frequent interruptions. After switching to Amazon IVS, they’re now able to easily live stream to thousands of fans in more than 130 countries,” said Moowon Kim, SmileShark Partner Team Lead.

Building on the existing AWS infrastructure behind the K-Pop community app, SmileShark integrated the Amazon IVS SDK into Kooky’s mobile and web applications. To optimize stream latency for playing previously recorded live streams on-demand, the team used Amazon CloudFront edge servers to enable global delivery with low-latency and high-quality video; they also use Amazon Route 53 for routing and domain management. With these optimizations, the platform can deliver video with less than five seconds of latency, providing the audience with a near real-time experience. Live stream resolution is set for 1080p at 60 frames per second (FPS), but specifications automatically adjust based on the user’s internet connection speed or device limitations, maintaining low latency regardless of network strength. During live streams, Kooky offers interactive features that enhance the user experience and audience engagement, such as real-time chat using Amazon IVS Stream Chat, live voting, and an audience Q&A using the stream’s timed metadata API.

Workflow diagram

“With Amazon IVS in place and settings optimized, we’ve seen platform performance improve notably, alongside audience participation and user satisfaction, resulting in a 38% retention increase. Even with rapidly increasing viewer traffic, live streaming services run smoothly without interruption,” explained Kim. “Additionally, Kooky was able to reduce broadcasting costs by 30%, while also reducing latency in network-vulnerable areas such as South America and Southeast Asia by up to six seconds.”

With a rapidly growing global fan base, Kooky typically has hundreds of viewers tuning into live streams, but viewership can quickly spike for high-demand artists. Being built on AWS allows the platform to easily scale its services and reach audiences around the world.

“Amazon IVS makes it straightforward to get started with live streaming, and our customers appreciate how easy and intuitive it is to use. It’s cost-effective, and we can achieve high-quality video playback, with low latency, and reach large, geographically dispersed audiences,” concluded Kim. “In the startup world, which is where many of our customers are coming from, you have to get creative with your development resources, and by leveraging managed services for specialized workflow aspects, like live streaming with Amazon IVS, our customers can instead concentrate on business development and adding new features.”

Live stream engagement.

In addition to using Amazon IVS, Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon Route 53, Kooky leverages Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) to store Docker container images and deploy services using them, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) to increase infrastructure flexibility, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for database creation and management, Application Load Balancer for distributing peak traffic, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store and manage media assets, AWS CloudTrail for security monitoring and recording, and Amazon CloudWatch for metrics collection and reporting, with activity alerts pushed via Amazon SNS.

For more information about building with live interactive video, check out:

Josh Walters

Josh Walters

Josh Walters manages growth marketing programs for Amazon Interactive Video Service, focusing on building, scaling, and improving initiatives that increase awareness among developers creating interactive live streaming experiences.