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ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE Delivers Interactive TV Experiences Using AWS Serverless Solutions

2022

Creating interactive viewing experiences during both live and prerecorded shows improves customer satisfaction. With millions of viewers casting their votes during popular singing contests or responding to opinion polls during talk shows, Seven.One Entertainment Group had to build an interactive television solution that could handle large, sudden spikes in traffic during the show. 

To handle the scale of event-based entertainment traffic, the company decided to build a serverless solution on Amazon Web Services (AWS). By migrating to a serverless solution, Seven.One Entertainment Group reduced its costs by 60 percent compared to its previous on-premises solution, increased scalability during peak times, and saved hours of preshow preparation time for upcoming large events by completely removing the need for tasks like prewarming instances.

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Using AWS, we can focus on what we do best, which is writing code. We don’t have to worry about patching up operating systems or scaling.”

Fabian Desoye
Head of Metadata Systems, Seven.One Entertainment Group

Moving to a Serverless Solution

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE is an innovative digital group and the home of popular entertainment and digital consumer brands. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Seven.One Entertainment Group, unites station brands and digital and marketing content under one roof, offering viewers content across multiple applications and media. The company bundles the TV stations, its sales company, and many other entertainment areas. 

Seven.One Entertainment Group’s previous viewer engagement solution was an on-premises solution that was difficult to scale and required hours of preshow preparation to support an interactive audience experience during large television events. Seven.One Entertainment Group transitioned to a serverless architecture using AWS services to handle the peaks of inconsistent traffic in the event-based industry. Using managed services like AWS AppSync—a fully managed service that makes it easy to develop GraphQL APIs by handling the heavy lifting of securely connecting to data sources—Seven.One Entertainment Group no longer needed the preshow preparation and operational war rooms. The serverless architecture scales to support viewer interaction, such as voting on singers and answering audience polls, during events and can deliver results in near real time to millions of fans using AWS AppSync real-time subscriptions. As a result of using AWS, the company can empower its employees to focus on tasks that use their specialized skills to create new features that excite viewers rather than spending time preparing and maintaining infrastructure during large television events.

Handling Peaks while Saving Money

To migrate its on-premises solution to a serverless approach, Seven.One Entertainment Group built an API-driven system using GraphQL because it provided the flexibility to adapt to changing data requirements. The migration to use AWS AppSync took 6 months with no downtime or scalability issues. To store data, the company now uses Amazon DynamoDB, a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database designed to run high-performance applications at virtually any scale. When additional business logic is needed for tasks like orchestrating services to communicate with connected parties, Seven.One Entertainment Group uses AWS Lambda, a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets developers run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers. The company’s serverless infrastructure works together seamlessly, using more complex services only when necessary. 

Scalability was a key requirement of the migration because the traffic peaks when a show airs. Seven.One Entertainment Group has found that viewers watch twice as many videos on average when they’re able to interact and cast votes, making it important that the interactive television solution is running smoothly during showtimes. During the finale of a popular singing contest, Seven.One Entertainment experienced some of the highest peaks in traffic that the company had ever seen. About 1 minute after the finale began airing, the systems needed to scale by a factor of 10 or more. Using an API for a system that manages video metadata based on AWS AppSync, Seven.One Entertainment Group could handle the finale well, seeing latency values decline to 13 ms during the peak of requests, which is about 35 percent less than typical latency. “We didn’t have to worry about scaling when we made our API available for end-user traffic,” says Fabian Desoye, head of metadata systems at Seven.One Entertainment Group. 

Seven.One Entertainment Group has also achieved significant cost savings by migrating to a serverless architecture. The company has not only reduced the monthly costs of its solution by 60 percent but also reduced the amount of time that employees needed to spend on maintaining and running a customized solution. “One benefit of our serverless infrastructure using AWS is that our bills are quite a bit lower than for teams running on containers or virtual machines,” says Desoye. Seven.One Entertainment Group can also now implement customer requests for distributing content in a matter of days rather than weeks or months. For the distribution process, the video engineering team relies heavily on Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience.

Investing in a Serverless Future

Now that the team is all in on a serverless infrastructure, Seven.One Entertainment Group plans to invest time in reporting so that it can proactively anticipate customer needs by analyzing data like the amount of content available for a particular genre. The team is quick to test and implement new features of AWS services and is a model for other teams interested in moving to a serverless approach. Because of Seven.One Entertainment Group’s success with migrating to AWS services, other teams at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE have an ongoing initiative to migrate other on-premises legacy systems as well. 

“Using AWS, we can focus on what we do best, which is writing code,” says Desoye. “We don’t have to worry about patching up operating systems or scaling.”


About ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE

ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE is a German digital and media company focused on entertainment, dating, commerce, and other ventures. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Seven.One Entertainment Group, offers viewers entertainment content across a variety of media technologies.

Benefits of AWS

  • Reduced monthly costs of its solution by 60%
  • Achieved 13 ms latency during peak hours
  • Decreased the time for distributing video content
  • Made an API available to end-user traffic because of increased scalability

AWS Services Used

AWS AppSync

AWS AppSync is a fully managed service that makes it easy to develop GraphQL APIs by handling the heavy lifting of securely connecting to data sources like AWS DynamoDB, Lambda, and more. 

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Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database designed to run high-performance applications at any scale.

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AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets you run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers.

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Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.

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