AWS for M&E Blog

TVCoins makes ad-supported streaming more accessible to content owners with AWS

Free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) is taking off as consumers look to minimize content subscription fees. While Paramount, Roku, and Fox have already launched FAST offerings, getting one off the ground can be expensive and time-consuming, proving a barrier to entry for most content owners. Boston-based technology startup TVCoins is disrupting the market with its free-to-use white-label FAST service built on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS) solutions, broadening access to the direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming format. TVCoins customers can easily upload content to the TVCoins service using an intuitive, customizable interface and begin earning ad-supported revenue. The solution handles content ingest, viewer management, analytics, and monetization – which is supported by a curated network of digital supply- and demand- side ad partnerships – for a split of the revenue.

Customers in Latin America and abroad have already begun to take advantage of TVCoins’ managed service, including El Financiero, a daily newspaper based out of Mexico covering business and the financial markets in the region, and Brazilian public broadcaster TV Cultura. TVCoins’ FAST solution provides them with greater control over D2C app monetization and analytics, and the resources to maintain their live and video-on-demand (VOD) streaming apps, without the need for in-house code customization or R&D. The scalable infrastructure, cloud services, and partnership that AWS provide are key to TVCoins’ elastic business operations.

Gustavo Marra, President of TVCoins, shared, “Leveraging AWS services has allowed us to achieve our intended business model while simplifying our operations. We were able to rapidly launch a FAST streaming service that now serves millions of global viewers across customer apps like El Financiero Bloomberg+, and TV Cultura’s Cultura Play, with our unique ad revenue share model covering the operational cloud costs FAST apps require. Our work with AWS has been seamless, and we love the open line of communication with their team, plus their outstanding technical support.”

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The technology that makes TVCoins customer apps tick

TVCoins’ service is built on AWS for M&E solutions that give customers an optimal end-viewer experience. AWS Elemental Media Live provides real-time encoding for live channel and live events functionality in DASH and HLS, supporting distribution of linear and special event feeds through TVCoins customer apps. AWS Elemental MediaConvert processes video files, enabling the transcode and conversion of customer media catalogs in preparation for VOD viewing. The AWS Elemental MediaTailor linear channel assembly and personalized ad insertion service supports the service’s VOD2Live and FAST channel functionality. Additional AWS services employed include AWS Lambda for serverless computing, Amazon CloudFront for secure content delivery, Amazon AppSync for connecting apps to data and events with secure APIs, Amazon Cognito for scalable customer identity and access management, and more.

TVCoins also depends on Amazon Personalize to personalize viewer recommendations across customer FAST apps, with suggestions such as “more like this,” “because you watched,” or “trending.” Marra added, “With personalized streaming experiences now the expectation, our customers want their audiences to be able to discover content in a more tailored presentation like they see on social media. Amazon Personalize has enabled us to create state-of-the-art recommendation algorithms without costly proprietary technology.”

Packaging powerful video streaming and monetization technology into a free, easy-to-use service has enabled TVCoins to help launch and operate FAST apps across the globe, including El Financiero Bloomberg+ and TV Cultura’s Cultura Play.

El Financiero: Expanding reach by catering to a broader audience

Looking to fulfill growing audience demand for video news consumption, El Financiero launched its free  app last year in just under six weeks using TVCoins. Targeting business professionals and decision makers in Latin America and the United States, the D2C app delivers an extensive range of live and on-demand content designed to complement its print and online news publications. With TVCoins backing the app, viewers can catch up on premium news programming, market reports, business interviews, licensed Bloomberg content, and more, without a paid subscription.

“Cross-platform journalism is evolving fast, and modern audiences want more of a choice in how they consume their news; increasingly, live and on-demand video is the preference. We built the El Financiero app with this in mind, fusing the digital media content and journalistic expertise of the El Financiero newspaper and online site into a free D2C streaming app,” shared Ariel Barajas, Director of Television, El Financiero. “TVCoins was instrumental to its launch, providing the toolset needed to operate, store, deliver, and play back our content.”

TV Cultura: Creating a more autonomous viewer experience

Brazilian public TV network TV Cultura fortuitously found TVCoins as it began plans to launch a D2C streaming app to make more of its live and archived educational, cultural, and sports programming accessible to audiences on demand. In just two months working with TVCoins, the network delivered its Cultura Play app at no cost, other than their time. Available on Android and iOS devices, and Roku and other connected TV technology, the free live stream app lets TV Cultura fans catch up on missed broadcasts, or stream broadcast programming live.

“Once we found TVCoins, everything fell into place. We loved that the service covers both on-demand and live programming, and background radio functions. It’s allowed us to get a FAST app up and running for free in record time, and with great agility and efficiency,” explained Pedro Toledo, Digital Media Manager, TV Cultura. “TV Cultura audiences love it and have responded enthusiastically, because they have more control over their viewing experiences; they can watch programs when and where they want for free.”

Forging the path ahead

As TVCoins continues to evolve, the company is well-positioned to expand its customer base in North America and Europe, with access to global resources from AWS. It’s also focused on achieving AWS ISV Accelerate partner status, which will allow the TVCoins team to collaborate more closely with AWS on sales and marketing initiatives. Marra concluded, “The flexibility of AWS’ pay-as-you-go model and limitless scaling capabilities are crucial to our continued business growth. We’re also excited to integrate ourselves into AWS’ network of industry-leading partners and can’t wait to explore the new doors it will open.”

For more information about TVCoins, visit

Emily McKinzie

Emily McKinzie

Emily McKinzie is an Industry Marketing Manager at Amazon Web Services.