Maintaining a not only stable, but reliable media service is becoming both easier and harder. Exciting new tools and the ease of access to great Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) means play failures and buffer time are being tackled in smart and innovative ways. But at the same time, the hugely competitive landscape of live-streaming has seen OTTs growing 30% year-on-year as many companies are becoming multi-faceted and capable of seamlessly distributing content on every screen.
As the line between good and bad content delivery shrinks in size, the public expects a better Quality of Experience (QOE), and with so many competitors offering a superb standard service, it won’t be long before they churn.
While you can sometimes rely on premium level content to make your platform stand out, during global events such as the World Cup, which produce unprecedented streaming records year after year, everyone is sharing the same content and the best way to make your platform stand out as the best-of-the-best, is to make sure you’re maintaining a premiere QOE.
During the World Cup, NPAW has recorded the most concurrent plays in our history. Also, both Spain and England have seen the highest number of viewers in the whole of 2018 during the FIFA World Cup, 14.67 million and 14.1 million respectively. These numbers represent over 75% of national viewership, more than the Royal Wedding in England’s case – a huge market and a great opportunity to market your service as a reliable and stable streaming platform.
With these concerns in mind, NPAW has decided 4 ways to maintain premiere QOE during the World Cup:
Depending on your content strategy, it’s important to look at the number of points of presence (POP) a CDN offers you. If you are looking to distribute your content internationally and across continents, then more than 20 POP is going to be the right match for you, depending on the size of the country. However, if you are only broadcasting nationally, this isn’t as much of an issue, so going for a cheaper option isn’t going to have a negative effect on your QOE.
Additionally, you must decide based on a matching IT infrastructure. If you’re looking to have 0% downtime on your platform (which you should be), then you’ll want something that is either cloud-based, on-site stored or a hybrid of these two. Storing content securely and in a reliable server is going to make sure it can handle high traffic without sacrificing QOE.
Something to consider to make your CDN strategy even more secure is to invest in a multi-CDN strategy. This way your content will always take the fastest and cleanest route from your servers to your end-users. A multi-CDN strategy acts as a GPS for your content, making sure the road from the server to the end-user is an effortless process, securing loyal customers and solidifying your reputation as a premium media service. If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.
You can prep as much as you’d like and install all the necessary foundations of a great platform, but traffic can’t always be predicted, so the best way to tackle this problem is by using a tool like YOUBORA that allows you to see all your desired metrics in real-time, and in second granularity. Not only is this going to give you access to a fountain of knowledge on how your users behave, but it’s also going to give you information on how to tailor your QOE to your user needs. If you notice a customer behaving strangely or receive a customer complaint, you’re able to jump into that view and follow the journey and see if those errors apply to a larger segment of users.
However, if you want to pre-empt these faults and streamline your operations team, maybe rectifying server issues using an intelligent system is going to transform your service…
When the stakes are high, it’s necessary that you are aware of any faults the second it affects even a single user. This way, you can tackle the problem immediately and maintain a personal dialogue with customers to make them aware you’re on the case. We recommend alerting your users when you notice an error as soon as possible in order to fan the flames before complaints begin to come in.
No matter what your KPIs are, observing platform performance in real-time allows you to provide a premium media service. But a way to make this process even easier is to preconfigure your analytics tool with alerts, relative to your own limits. For example, if you want to be alerted any time play failures goes over 10% in America, many tools will allow you to put this in place and save on time so your operations teams can focus on other tasks.
In addition, tools like YOUBORA include an intelligent alert system that will inform you of abnormal platform performance outside of your preconfigured limits in order to offer a holistic approach to monitoring platform performance.
For the first time ever, FIFA will be transmitting all games during the World Cup in Russia using 4K technology in super definition, as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) imagery. This video resolution not only looks four times clearer, but it also requires eight times as much bandwidth and the appropriate combination of content delivery technology, from CDNs to the screens themselves.
Before launching forth into the deep, it’s important to understand if you’re able to implement this technology in a stable and seamless fashion. Customers prioritize uninterrupted viewing over higher quality, however, if you can pull it off it’s only going to add to the reputation of your media service. Keep in mind that according to Tubular Insights, viewers spend eight times longer with live video than on-demand, averaging over 40-minutes of view time as opposed to just 5-minutes for on-demand content. This is why it’s important to have access to rendition information on your users, including how 4K affects buffer ratio and play failures. NPAW has discussed this subject in length so if you’d like to learn more, head to our blog on whether you’re ready to go 4K.
Whether you’re curious about how an industry-leading analytics tool can improve your content delivery for high traffic events or daily usage, NPAW’s team of video experts have created YOUBORA, a highly innovative and scalable business intelligence tool to offer full visibility of platform performance and optimize decision-making.
Research & Editorial Team on June 28th 2018
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