Customer Stories / Media & Entertainment / Japan

2023
Avex Group Logo

Live Streaming Da-iCE without Interruption Using AWS Elemental Media Services with Avex

Learn how Avex in the media industry created a public viewing environment for two live streams in just days using AWS Elemental Media Services.

Created

a public viewing environment in days

Improved

fan engagement

Sped up

time to market

Supports

high-level data load

Achieved

stable live streams with no interruption

Overview

In 2022, entertainment company Avex Inc. (Avex) needed to deliver a live streaming solution on a tight deadline. Fans of the dance and music group Da-iCE were anticipating a live concert and after talk show to be live streamed in theaters and on devices during the COVID-19 pandemic. With an enormous amount of expected traffic on its applications during the performance, Avex wanted a stable solution that could scale quickly.

The company chose to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to meet its speed and stability needs—and to make sure that everything would be ready by the concert deadline. By using AWS, Avex sped up its time to market, improved fan engagement, and created a public viewing environment in a matter of days.

crowd of people dancing at concert

Opportunity | Using Media Services on AWS to Implement Live Stream Viewing for Avex

Avex was founded in Japan in 1988 as a wholesale distributor of imported records and has since grown its business to include record labels, live music performance, animation, film making, and digital business. The company strives to provide innovative and unique entertainment experiences to fans.

In 2022, the company was working with dance and music group Da-iCE for a concert tour, which included live performances and backstage after talk shows where the band answered fan questions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Avex needed a way to provide this live experience for the many fans who could not attend in person.

Using AWS, Avex created a video distribution application, Da-iCE CUBE, to share Da-iCE’s performances with fans. The company already used distribution services from AWS across its business, as well as other AWS services, including Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), object storage built to retrieve any amount of data from anywhere.

The company initially considered using another provider or its own in-house streaming technologies for the solution. Avex ultimately decided on AWS, with a view to having everything finished by the deadline of the first concert in the tour. “Without using AWS, we would not have finished everything by the deadline, and that was one of the biggest benefits of choosing to use AWS services,” says Hiroyoshi Mikami, chief producer at Avex. Beside the speed of the solution, it was the stability of services in the face of immense traffic that drew Avex to AWS. Also, Avex’s previous solution would not have been ready in time for the performance.

For its live streaming solution, Avex used several Media Services on AWS to create digital content and build live and on-demand video workflows. These media services were used alongside Amazon CloudFront—a content delivery network service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience—to deliver a live stream of Da-iCE’s performance to users of its application and fans in theaters, all within a tight time frame. Avex chose to stream to theaters so that more fans could view the event during the COVID-19 pandemic.

kr_quotemark

The stability of our solution using AWS was a big benefit for us and for fans."

Hiroyoshi Mikami
Chief Producer, Avex

Solution | Creating a Public Viewing Environment in Days Using AWS

To live stream the performance to fans, Avex’s solution first ingested the live video feed of the concert and transcoded it using AWS Elemental MediaLive, a broadcast-grade live video processing service that creates high-quality streams for delivery to broadcast TVs and internet-connected devices. “Using MediaLive, we could get into the details of the encoding, which meant we could pursue the highest quality at the application level,” says Mikami.

Avex then used AWS Elemental MediaPackage, which prepares, protects, and distributes video content to a broad range of connected devices. This meant the company could package the original video for multiple streaming formats, which was vital when the concert needed to be live streamed both on the app and in theaters. Avex used Amazon CloudFront for global distribution of the different versions of the live stream and readied the video for playback across multiple devices.

The company carried out verification of its app and the live streaming capabilities over several months and knew it could easily construct the public viewing environment in days. Avex was bound to the concert schedule and achieved an accelerated time to market using AWS.

For Da-iCE’s live performance and backstage after talk show, Avex never faced an interruption of the live stream. “The stability of our solution using AWS was a big benefit for us and for fans,” says Mikami. Avex received such a positive reaction from Da-iCE and other artists regarding fan engagement that the company plans to create a new live streaming experience for its artists. Additionally, fan feedback provided to Avex indicates that many repeat customers have bought broadcast tickets for other concerts because of the high quality of the live stream.

With the large scope of the live streams, the Avex solution also needed the ability to scale. Because delivery of the stream was limited to members and ticket purchasers, authentication was required, and Avex could implement it smoothly. “Using AWS, we can support the high-level data load, which also works quite well with scalability, including authentication with other features,” says Mikami.

Avex is also optimizing costs. Because live streams do not happen every day, the company didn’t want to have a solution that it was paying for all the time. When Avex tested its solution, it ran services constantly. When deploying, the company used testing information to adjust its use schedule and now runs the solution less often, which saves costs for Avex. Using AWS, Avex pays for services only when it uses them. In addition, the company expects to see further cost reductions in the future using Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances, which provide a significant discount compared with Amazon EC2 On-Demand Pricing. “Concerts and live streams are not held every day, and we can use AWS services only when we need them,” says Mikami. “Because of this, we have optimized costs.”

Outcome | Continuing to Update Live Stream Features Using AWS

Although this solution involved the performance group Da-iCE specifically, the dynamic and close communication between the band and its fans has provided generalizable insights. Avex plans to use what it learned building this solution and apply that to other types of live streaming. In addition, the company intends to further improve and update live stream features using AWS. Avex wants to create a new experience for live streaming and is considering use of Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS)—a managed live streaming solution used to build interactive video experiences—on the stage and in a globally compatible app.

“This project had to proceed on a strict schedule, and AWS services and best practices were excellent for our solution,” says Mikami. “Our efficiency increased, we met our deadline, and video distribution, including subsequent operations, has been very stable.”

About Avex Inc.

Avex is a Japanese entertainment company founded in 1988. The business covers record labels, live music performances, animation, film making, and digital business, and it provides entertainment worldwide.

AWS Services Used

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront delivers secure web applications globally with high performance and scale. It features an extensive network of edge locations closer to end users, providing low latency experiences.

Learn more »

Media Services on AWS

AWS offers the most purpose-built media services, software, and appliances of any cloud to make creating, transforming, and delivering digital content fast and easy. With pay-as-you-go Media Services and advanced video processing appliances, you can produce high-impact creative projects and outstanding viewing experiences.

Learn more »

AWS Elemental MediaLive

AWS Elemental MediaLive is a broadcast-grade live video processing service that creates high-quality streams for delivery to broadcast TVs and internet-connected devices.

Learn more »

AWS Elemental MediaPackage

AWS Elemental MediaPackage prepares, protects, and distributes your video content to a broad range of connected devices. The service can take a single video input from an encoder such as AWS Elemental MediaLive, package it in multiple streaming formats, and automatically scale outputs in response to audience demand.

Learn more »

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