Singapore-based OTT service Spuul serves Indian content to viewers both in India and abroad across a range of platforms. The streaming service includes 150 linear TV channels that are also available in Australia and New Zealand.
“The consumer is always the focal point for us, so when we initially started to think about global expansion and the type of content the consumer wants, we knew it would need to extend beyond our collection of Bollywood movies,” says Spuul CEO, Subin Subaiah. “That’s when we started to pull in linear TV and synthesize it with our movie catalogue to develop a one-stop content platform.”
Spuul knew it would be a challenge to build its own OTT video infrastructure from scratch, so the company sought a technology partner. AWS, with its suite of cloud-based Media Services, offered a flexible, scalable solution.
AWS Elemental’s MediaLive video processing service allowed Spuul to give even customers with a low-end mobile phone and a weak connection an optimum viewing experience. South Asian audiences overwhelmingly consume media on mobile devices rather than TVs, so this type of encoding optimisation was essential.
“With linear TV, you also have to factor in an additional plot twist,” says Subaiah. “It’s not just about delivering content to the customer in the right rendition within the right bandwidth and to the right device, you also need to do so at the right time.
“An Indian broadcaster, for instance, is broadcasting content on Indian prime time, which may not be prime time in other regions where your customers are. AWS Elemental MediaPackage video origination and packaging service is a part of our OTT infrastructure, and has helped us map prime time in various locations and mimic the prime time in the location from which it was delivered. Matching those times has made a huge difference for customers.”
“Going with a cloud-based infrastructure is a no-brainer”
With 150 channels, Spuul is organising and analysing a huge volume of data on an hourly basis. The content also needs to be available to watch on catch-up. Amazon’s S3 cloud storage provides scalable storage for the continuous supply of content being served and can position content.
“Consumers today are also sensitive to the quality of content they’re consuming, making it imperative to reduce that fractional time it takes for someone to click on the button and begin to view the content. A global content delivery network service, Amazon CloudFront, takes our content and caches it on the network edges. This makes it more easily accessible to consumers around the world without skipping a beat.”
It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago, video content companies were very suspicious about the ability of cloud-based infrastructures to handle large volumes of live video, but it looks like we are entering a time where cloud systems are not only preferable, but necessary for optimal video delivery.
“Building an infrastructure on the ground requires capital investment. When technology becomes obsolete or goes out of fashion, replacement costs can run high. When you add up all these parts and weigh them against the benefits of a cloud-based architecture which allows you to scale quickly, going with a cloud-based infrastructure is a no-brainer.”