Cloud-Based OTT - What Is It And Why Is It Important?

Cloud-Based OTT – What Is It And Why Is It Important?

As video viewership has grown dramatically, today’s broadcasters face a significant challenge: scaling up their IT infrastructure to meet the viewership demand while ensuring high Quality of Experience at an affordable price. Here’s how OTT cloud streaming can be the solution.

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Why Brands Are Shifting to Cloud-Based OTT?

How OTT Streaming Works for Today’s Brands

As stated in previous blogs, OTT (over-the-top) streaming gives viewers access to the content they choose, whenever and wherever they want. Therefore, with the audience gaining more control over their viewing experience, OTT streaming continues its growth in popularity.

OTT streaming requires encoding or transcoding files, meaning video files must be formatted so that they can be delivered to nearly any device via the Internet. An OTT platform is a comprehensive set of tools made to serve that purpose. It helps broadcasters build advanced video streaming workflows covering:

  • Encoding and Transcoding
  • Content protection
  • Adaptive Video Playback for authenticated and authorized users
  • Live Stream Recording
  • Storage
  • and more

On-Premise Streaming Servers Pose Challenges For Scalability

However, complex workflows and the high requirement for infrastructure and personnel have become a challenge for OTT broadcasters on scalability as their audience sizes become bigger.

OTT streaming that leverages on-premise streaming requires a group of configured live encoding and streaming servers to deliver videos to viewers. These servers need to possess sufficient computing capacity in order to deliver content without interruptions. Technical staff also needs to maintain proprietary hardware, ensure its security, and continuously upgrade it as the audience grows. In short, achieving scalability and quality of experience without a cloud-based infrastructure is resource intensive.

As a result, several brands are making their shift to cloud-based streaming. In 2021, it is projected that cloud system infrastructure services spending will have a 26.9 percent increase to reach $65.3 billion.

photo of cloud servers

Cloud Streaming Is in Stark Contrast to On-Premise Streaming 

As mentioned, on-premise OTT platforms are resource-intensive with high upfront costs and complicated ongoing maintenance.

Cloud video streaming cuts off these drawbacks by leveraging a network of servers dedicated to delivering video files. With this way of cultivating on-demand cloud computing resources, cloud streaming brings out these benefits:

  • The geographically located infrastructure reduces the latency of video streams: As opposed to in-house data centers, cloud servers can be located around the world. Content can be delivered to viewers via the closest data center, thus reducing streaming latency.
  • In-the-cloud servers are better for ingesting and transcoding video files: Most streaming platforms can ingest a variety of video files and transcode them in the cloud. Cloud servers host these rendered files and make them ready for delivery.
  • Providers can scale services up or down as needed simply by adding more cloud resources, rather than purchasing more infrastructure.

For these reasons, cloud streaming has become a more trusted option for brands to scale as their audience grows quickly.

Definition: Cloud transcoding (or transcoding in the cloud) is the process of creating several “renditions” of the same video in the cloud. Each rendition is formatted to different sizes and qualities so that the most appropriate rendition can be delivered to viewers based on the strength of their network connections and their device capabilities.

Take One Step Further With Cloud-Native OTT

Cloud-native OTT takes one step further with containerized microservices.

Cloud-native OTT software is deployed in a container environment with separate microservices designated for each individual function within the platform. These distinct microservices help cloud-native platforms avoid bottlenecks by efficiently scaling up or down individual components of the application.

The elastic architecture of cloud-native OTT platforms optimizes computing resources to match current demand for uploading, transcoding, or other tasks, leading to considerable cost savings.

Why Business Should Consider Cloud OTT Platforms?

The global cloud computing market size is forecasted to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.5%, jumping from USD 371.4 billion in 2020 to USD 832.1 billion by 2025.

If a brand wants to establish professional streaming workflows without worrying about hardware, technical challenges, and on-premise infrastructure scaling, OTT cloud platforms are great options:

  • OTT cloud platforms strengthen end-to-end video streaming capabilities and enable streaming providers to refocus their efforts on core business objectives.
  • These platforms help reduce considerable operation costs and deliver a brand’s content directly to their audience at a friendlier price.

Firstlight Media’s Gen 5 architecture runs on any cloud. In Jan 2021, Firstlight Media announced partnerships with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud to support the rapid deployment and expansion of OTT video streaming services. Click here for more details.

Firstlight Media Announces Collaboration With The Television Industry’s Newest OTT Service, Struum

Due to dramatically growing video viewership demand, today’s streaming providers face enormous challenges in building scalable infrastructures. Thanks to OTT cloud video streaming solutions, streaming services can now achieve scalability, flexibility, and better QoE at a more affordable price.

Firstlight Media has its headquarters in Toronto and additional locations in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Chennai, India. For more information, visit firstlight.ai.

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