One of the most underappreciated parts of the streaming video ecosystem is the technology that powers the experience. Consumers may have a direct relationship with Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV or FuboTV, but tmay not realize how HD video is being delivered to their device.
The technology underpinning streaming video services takes on particular importance when the content delivered on those services is live, such as sporting events.
FuboTV, a streaming virtual multichannel video provider (typically called a “vMVPD”) that specializes in catering to sports fans, says it has turned to Google Cloud to deliver its service to consumers. This is the first time the companies have discussed their partnership.
“One of the biggest benefits of a cloud platform is the scalability that it provides, especially during peak events, like a sports game or concert, when traffic skyrockets. It’s often at these times you’re dealing with high volumes of concurrent viewers and requests from multiple regions — and the stakes are the highest,” Geir Magnusson, Jr., the CTO of FuboTV, tells Digital News Daily.
“We want to ensure that viewers are able to tune-in and have a good video experience without buffering or latency, both of which make for a bad user experience and make viewers reluctant to come back. The cloud enables streaming services like ours to quickly ramp up to meet user demand, and then ramp back down once peak demands subside.”
FuboTV is relatively small and lean compared to many of its competitors, yet the company was the first vMVPD to offer 4K ultra HD video content. The flexibility of Google Cloud played a significant part.
“Core to the value proposition of leveraging the cloud are scalability and flexibility,” says Anil Jain, managing director, telecommunications, media & entertainment at Google Cloud. “There are a variety of different services, from video processing to subscription management, to analytics and security available from the cloud. Our customers can select what makes the most sense for them, as we have a flexible, open ecosystem.”
Cloud-based platforms can also generate insights into viewing behaviors that are useful to streaming video providers. In the case of Google Cloud, the company’s BigQuery analytics product.
“Having access to insights like incoming traffic flows, content consumption behaviors and video stream playbacks has helped us determine where to best put our resources and how to further expand our platform,” Magnusson, Jr. says.
As more consumers cut or trim the cord and shift their TV viewing to streaming video services, the technology underpinning those services becomes more important. While some companies have tried to build out their own in-house solutions, FuboTV’s technical success suggests that cloud-based platforms may be just as efficient.