This year’s Big Game will be one of TV’s most viewed programs. And it’s quickly becoming one of the most widely streamed media events. But what does it take to create a seamless streaming experience for an event like the Big Game? After all, such an event requires a company to manage a massive volume of data.
7 Keys to Delivering a Seamless Streaming Experience for This Year ’s Big Game
This year’s Big Game will be one of TV’s most viewed programs. And it’s quickly becoming one of the most widely streamed media events.
In 2021, the Big Game attracted 5.7 million livestream viewers. That’s the highest average minute audience for any National Football League (NFL) game ever. Last year’s game was also the first in NFL history with more than 1 billion streaming minutes.
But what does it take to create a seamless streaming experience for an event like the Big Game? After all, such an event requires a company to manage a massive volume of data.
And an event like this is just one example of a use case with a data-intensive workload that requires data infrastructure fit to handle complex, real-time data and analytics. Without such technology, streaming companies can expect livestream outages and poor user experiences.
First, let’s get our arms around the playing field we’re facing. Then, we’ll tackle the conversation about what streaming companies can do to pull off functions of this magnitude.
Streaming Is Where the Action Is
Cable TV used to be the center of the action. Now internet streaming is where it’s at.
Netflix became the reigning champion of streaming services as consumers shifted from cable TV to the internet. Amazon Prime has continued to expand its subscriber numbers and roster of live sports content. And Hulu is recognized for its huge variety of familiar shows from networks and growing catalog of its own critically acclaimed original series like The Handmaid’s Tale.
The success of these companies has led to an explosion of providers entering the streaming space with their own content libraries. Disney+ launched in November 2019, premiering the “Hamilton” movie the following year to reel in paying customers for the business – a winning strategy. Since then the world has also seen NBC release Peacock, HBO introduce HBO Max and Discovery Inc. (Discovery+) and other businesses jump into the ever more crowded streaming wars.
Clearly, streaming is where content is going, and the pandemic only accelerated that movement. Time spent streaming grew 44% between the fourth quarters of 2019 and 2020, according to Conviva. And a recent Nielsen article indicated that in the last week of December 2021, audiences streamed 183 billion minutes — eclipsing the amount of time they spent streaming at the weekly height of COVID-driven lockdowns in early 2020 (166 billion minutes).
Expectations and Requirements Have Changed
Streaming has led to new consumer expectations and technology trends. Consumers now expect personalized media. At the same time, there is a big consolidation of data infrastructure technologies because streaming media and some other workloads are data intensive, and real-time analytics are needed to enable streaming providers to act in the moments that matter.
As users around the world huddle to access and enjoy digital content — like the Big Game — simultaneously, it can put a lot of stress on the underlying infrastructure. During these times, the number of users on a streaming provider’s systems can grow exponentially. If the streaming company is unable to deliver the kinds of experiences that consumers and other stakeholders, like advertisers and sports leagues, expect, it can result in lost viewers and revenue.
To stream events to large numbers of simultaneous viewers, companies need fast and elastic data infrastructure that is capable of delivering quality content experiences in real time.
Effective Data Management Is of Paramount Importance
Seamlessly pulling off an event like the Big Game requires modern data management tools.
With the right data management, organizations can solve for data-intensive workloads by ensuring real-time (or close to it) data ingestion and low query latency, and the ability to handle complex queries and high concurrency. A modern database does that by unifying, simplifying and reducing the cost of data infrastructure — so providers can spend less and earn more.
This is the right approach for today and tomorrow. With the right data management, providers can maintain a robust and evolving understanding of audience preferences to create lucrative revenue streams from advertiser-supported streaming. This is particularly beneficial for an event like the Big Game. A modern database also enables streaming providers to prepare for the next wave of personalization – delivering streaming products directly to consumers.
We — and Our Customers — Know This From Experience
Our customers Comcast and Hulu provide great examples of the challenges that streaming providers face — and how they can address them and expand their opportunities in the process.
Comcast needed a data platform to proactively diagnose potential issues and deliver the best possible video experience for viewers. With SingleStore, Comcast now has the power to get both viewership and infrastructure monitoring metrics in real time. And Comcast’s streaming analytics drive proactive care and real-time recommendations for 300,000 events per second.
Before adopting SingleStore, Hulu struggled to maintain its massive data footprint. It was doing continuous manual maintenance, dedicating too much of its developers’ attention to maintenance and facing high costs. As a result, the user experience suffered. The issue reached epic proportions when Hulu faced massive outages during the 2018 and 2020 Super Bowls.
Hulu knew it needed to make a change. So it set out to simplify its operations, deliver high performance at scale and decrease its data footprint. And it called on SingleStore to enable that change. After implementing our modern database, Hulu reported a more than 50% reduction in its infrastructure, a massive performance boost and decreasing costs. SingleStore also provided Hulu with the ability to create a “system of insight” so the streaming giant can identify, predict and forecast problems and move quickly to address them. Hulu relies on quality of service metrics — collected from various user platforms like browsers, mobile apps and streaming devices like Fire Stick and Roku — to provide user experience information across platforms and service providers. Since switching to SingleStore, Hulu has been able to access this data in a timely manner, which has been critical to this industry leading company’s business success.
By using the right data management tools, your business can also benefit by:
- Decreasing your data footprint
- Delivering high performance at scale
- Employing analytics to drive proactive care and real-time recommendations at scale
- Identifying, predicting and addressing problems quickly as they arise
- Monitoring metrics in real time
- Providing user experience information across platforms and service providers, and
- Simplifying your operations
If you have questions about how SingleStore helps address data intensive application or streaming requirements, ask them on our Forum. Development experts and engineers from SingleStore, as well as members of our user community are always happy to help out.
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