The customer is a leading media and entertainment company in Australia, committed to delivering news, current affairs, and entertainment to its viewers.
The customer faced a challenge in terms of its content delivery, specifically speed of delivery. Following a live-streamed event, an edited Video On-Demand capture (recording) of that live event on their streaming platform was delayed in being published. The viewing audience today has an expectation of immediate delivery of content, unable to meet these consumer expectations negatively impacted the consumer experience, as well as increased operational costs with the manual intervention required.
The source of the publishing delays stemmed from the customer’s use of an ageing content delivery system and manual process, unable to keep up with today's changing technology and consumer demands. The impact of this challenge on the customer was significant, with consumers expecting immediate access to the recording of a recently ended live stream available on-demand, there was potential loss of viewership and increased frustration by publication delays if the consumer had missed early parts of a live stream or missed it altogether.
The delay in our client supplying their consumers a close to real-time video-on-demand replay of the live event, directly impacted the quality of user experience. In addition, the requirement of manual intervention in editing, subtitling and reviewing each live event recording unnecessarily increased operational costs.
V2 Digital and the customer joined forces to develop and implement a solution that leveraged the power of the AWS Elemental services Media Live, Media Package, and Media Convert. Through this collaboration, V2 Digital provided the customer with a feature leveraging V2’s knowledge and experience with this platform, whilst leveraging event-based technologies such as AWS Lambda and EventBridge. This solution delivered the customer a seamless and automated transition from live stream to video on-demand while removing the need for manual intervention. The new feature offered improved time to market for new video content, along with improved scalability and cost efficiency. As a result, the customer was able to quickly launch video-on-demand content from their live streams, improving customer experience while reducing operational cost.
To demonstrate the solution, above is a high-level diagram explaining the pre-existing process of manually transitioning a recorded live stream from the “Live Stream Controller” application, to the content team to be uploaded to their streaming platform for Video On-Demand viewing. One of the major drawbacks of the manual process was the loss of accessibility to content while waiting for the live stream recording to become available as a Video On-Demand asset. If a URL was publically shared for a live stream, there would be a period of time that end users would receive a “HTTP 404 Not Found” response, until the recorded live stream asset had been processed and uploaded by the content team for Video On-Demand viewing via the same URL.
A simplified view of the solution implemented is shown below.
In the solution above to automate the Video On-Demand (VOD) upload process, we implemented AWS MediaConvert to clip and convert the completed live stream content from HLS to MP4 format for greater platform support. Once successfully clipped and converted, AWS EventBridge would notify a Lambda function to process and upload the MP4 to the client’s on-demand platform.
Even with the conversion and upload process automated, we still had to solve for a delay in availability while the ended live stream content was being clipped and converted by AWS MediaConvert. The MediaConvert process could take anywhere from 2 minutes to 30 minutes or more, depending on the duration of the live stream event.
To ensure the transition from “live stream end” to “video on-demand” was seamless, without any loss in availability for the consumer, the “Live Stream Controller” application would enable Time-Shifted viewing of the cached live stream for up to 14 days. This allowed more than enough time to create the VOD asset or give the engineering team time to resolve any issues in the clipping and conversion process, without the cost of reduced availability.
V2 Digital successfully enabled the leading media organisation to automate their video-on-demand content distribution of recorded live streams to their streaming platform using V2 Digital's consulting services.
The alignment of the customer’s vision with V2 Digital's experience and AWS Elemental media services, led to transformative results:
Significantly improved time-to-market for post-live video content: As a result of leveraging AWS Media Live, Media Convert, Lambda and EventBridge; the customer was able to significantly reduce time to market from hours or sometimes days, to immediate delivery.
Reduced operating costs: By automating the delivery of recorded live stream events as video-on-demand content to streaming services like the customer’s on demand platform, we have completely removed the requirement for manual intervention. By untethering Producers from the weeds of manual technology tasks, we significantly improved the production experience for employees, enabling greater focus on their areas of expertise.
Improved capacity for value creation: Removing the time intensive manual process of publishing a recorded live stream to video on-demand platforms, allows the production team to spend more time on value creation activities for the new video on-demand content such as short-form content clipping, subtitling for accessibility or improving content metadata for platform searchability.
By addressing the delay in content delivery with increased efficiency and decreased cost, the solution dramatically improved both the end-consumer and the employee experience. The customer is taking proactive steps to meet its strategic pillar of modernising the business and production systems integrated digital operations. With the help of V2 Digital and the AWS Elemental media services, the customer has taken steps towards this strategic objective by creating a foundation to further streamline and improve their content delivery capabilities, not only for live stream events, but potentially many other use cases as well.