At IBC, Delivering What the Modern Broadcaster Needs
Later this week, Fastly is headed to Amsterdam for the International Broadcasters Convention (IBC), one of the world's largest media technology events. We will be meeting with companies and journalists to talk about what online broadcasters need to be a global force in the marketplace.
The online broadcasting landscape is rapidly shifting. Modern content providers have to be able to serve larger audiences, distributed through more countries, and with low latencies. With streaming now the most common way for viewers to watch content, the modern broadcaster needs to focus on scalability, resiliency, and security. Here’s what we expect to be discussed at IBC:
1. Streaming at Scale
Consumers’ habits continue to shift to online content. For the first time ever, the total time spent watching streaming services surpassed that of cable, growing almost 23% in the past year, compared to a 9% decline for cable, according to Nielsen.
With this shift comes significant challenges. The best user experience requires low-latency delivery, reasonably high definition, and the ability to adapt to changing needs. In January 2021, for example, the Friends of Amstel concert adapted to the reality of the Coronavirus Pandemic and went fully digital, attracting a peak of 750,000 simultaneous streams and 1.7 million total viewers.
The ability to quickly scale relies heavily on the content delivery network (CDN), and with our vast experience—and awarded the Customers' Choice—Fastly can help your company keep up with your audience's demands.
2. Global Resiliency
Delivering the best user experience means reliable content delivery in the face of local bandwidth congestion, global infrastructure attacks, and unexpected consumer demand. Resiliency requires redundancy, and modern broadcasters are increasingly connecting to multiple CDNs to guarantee the most resilient and most price-competitive delivery. With more than a decade of delivering content for many of the world’s largest news and entertainment brands, Fastly deeply understands all aspects of MultiCDN and can talk about the necessary practices to improve availability, observability and resiliency.
A key part of handling the MultiCDN delivery architecture is to efficiently route content to the best CDN at the moment, a challenge considering that each modern broadcaster will likely have a different definition of "best." Some broadcasters may focus on low latency, others on high bandwidth, and others on cost effectiveness. Five years ago, Fastly introduced Media Shield to help content providers effectively and efficiently control their MultiCDN deployments, all while reducing total cost of ownership and regaining lost visibility into the Quality of Experience (QoE)
3. Content Streaming Security
In many ways, broadcasters are increasingly becoming technology companies, and they need to protect the assets that they're creating. Common threats do not just include content piracy, but security issues enabled by the streaming medium and gray markets. Nefarious automation, for example, includes service scraping by automated frameworks and bots that pose as real users.
There are defenses. Token authentication allows broadcasters to have confidence that there is a human behind a device, even after initial log-in and CAPTCHA checks. Next-generation forensic watermarking allows the quick creation of digitally protected content, allowing the computationally-intensive video processing to happen during post production and VPN detection can ensure your content is viewed only in regions where license rights exist.
Broadcasters need to learn where they should invest in their infrastructure and which partners can help them easily adopt security technologies. Fastly is here to help.
See you at IBC!
Fastly has helped some of the largest broadcasters deliver global, large-scale, live-streamed and on-demand events and entertainment. We run months of preparations with various teams across a tech stack to make these events successful for customers – and we've found that the crucial elements listed above make or break memorable and reliable viewer experiences.
We hope to meet you at IBC!