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Pulling the plug on ‘Roll Your Own’

Posted on Sep 7, 2023 by FEED Staff

IP technology has seen a steady growth in live content production. Is it time to make the big switch?

Live streaming has exploded in popularity to the extent that every company – from giant corporations to sports broadcasters – needs to reach audiences with video-rich communications and entertainment. Currently, the options for delivering those video experiences tend to fall into one of two categories.

At one end of the spectrum are livestreaming solutions that assume ‘source in, ladder out’ is what you are after. You send a source from the venue, and those products will encode the stream into various bit rates (the ‘encoding ladder’) and forward them to CDNs for publishing. There are normally some bells and whistles (on-demand assets, highlight clipping, overlays, etc) that vary from solution to solution, but the basic model is the same.

And what if these solutions do not have the functionality you need? You could task your in-house development team to tailor one of them (to whatever extent they can be tailored), or perhaps there’s a line-of-business tool that provides a closer match, but it’s still unlikely to do exactly what you require.

Which leads you to the other end of the spectrum – rolling your own solution, where you need to write and run hundreds of thousands of lines of code on top of an already complex ecosystem. Building from scratch isn’t for the faint of heart; it requires vast amounts of time and money to get right.

Of course, that diverts even more resources from your core business. So, when you’re done, congratulations! You used to be a sports broadcaster, fitness studio or stock exchange – and now you’re a media technology company.

As more organisations roll out video services, they find themselves between these two extremes. Norsk offers a middle way, giving you all the benefits of a ‘roll your own’ system but at a fraction of the cost and effort – and enabling far more functionality and customisability than traditional off-the-shelf tools.

Focus on what matters

The problem is that in a ‘roll your own’ world, for every line of code describing your wonderfully differentiated business process – your amazing viewer experience – you probably have hundreds or even thousands of lines of media technology code. And none of that media technology code matters to your customers; it enables you to add value elsewhere, but does not add value itself. Your customers don’t care one iota whether you use DASH or HLS. They care about the quality of the content they are viewing, what relevant metadata is available to them, and how their experience connects them with a wider community.

Scale is also part of what matters. Being able to flawlessly deliver a live experience thousands or hundreds of thousands of times a year makes different demands on your technology than, say, implementing by hand a few dozen times. The former can only be achieved if your underlying technology does the ‘right thing’ without the need for skilled human intervention when the unexpected happens. And the right thing for one business is not necessarily the right thing for another. 

No Limits with Norsk

For more than a dozen years, id3as has been building custom livestreaming workflows for the likes of Nasdaq, Arqiva, DAZN and Stats Perform. We are passionate about custom workflows, and with Norsk we are excited to be putting the power behind those solutions directly into the hands of customers.

We have poured tens of developer years into building Norsk, a low-code livestreaming SDK that allows you to describe, implement and update even the most complex livestreaming workflows – all in just a few lines of code, using the programming languages your teams are already familiar with.

Norsk frees you from the constraints of off-the-shelf tools and the tyranny of ‘roll your own’ complexity. Under the cover there is immense intricacy – but that’s our problem, not yours. It opens a world where you can build amazing livestreaming experiences and focus on what sets your business apart and brings value to your audience.

Norsk is the media technology expert – so you don’t have to be.
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Originally published in the Autumn 2023 issue of FEED.

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