AWS Elemental: “live contribution to the cloud has come of age”

Following the recent launch of AWS Elemental MediaConnect, Simon Frost, head of marketing and business development EMEA, has told SVG Europe that he believes that the service is going to make life easier for sports broadcasters that use or intend to use cloud services for live contribution.

AWS Elemental’s Simon Frost

AWS Elemental MediaConnect is a service for ingesting, transmitting and replicating live video feeds. Frost said the launch gives sports broadcasters and rights holders the ability to more easily and securely contribute video from live venues into the AWS Cloud, to replicate video streams across resilient workflows in AWS, and then allow them to securely distribute live video feeds to affiliates with the reach of the global AWS network.

“MediaConnect has already impressed key broadcasters such as ITV, and service providers such as Arqiva; they both see significant potential to transform the distribution of live video globally,” he noted.

AWS Elemental MediaConnect lets broadcasters and content owners cost-effectively send high-value live content into the cloud, securely transmit it to partners for distribution, or replicating one source to multiple destinations.

As to whether the launch could also increase coverage of sports, Frost, said, “We think so!”. He went on: “One of the primary pain points our customers have told us about when we built this new service is the complexity and time it takes to set up contribution or distribution circuits. MediaConnect can provision new circuits, authenticate new affiliates within minutes, and as with all true cloud-native services; our customers only pay for the duration of the events.

“In turn, we expect MediaConnect, combined with the other AWS Elemental Media Services, to open up many new opportunities,” said Frost. He pointed to FuboTV in the US, an OTT subscription service built on AWS that streams premium sports and live channels and provides viewers with personalised ads. Another example is Odds Ballklubb, an association football club in Norway’s top professional league; they used AWS Media Services to create their own OTT service, built and enabled by Snowball Digital, and the Crystallize e-commerce platform.

Frost reckons sports viewers will benefit from the launch of the new AWS service as a wider range of sports can be shown, through more channels, in higher quality. “We built this service with the specific demands of live, premium sports in-mind; broadcast resilience, industry-approved security and transport protocols, and highly responsive, self-provisioning management to make it easy to use.

“Our expectation is that many more sports federations, clubs, and broadcasters can now more easily bring a wider range of sports content to a broader audience, more effectively. For viewers this could mean more sports to watch, accessed in new ways, and in higher quality as 4K UHD and HDR become adopted,” he added.

On whether the cloud has now finally come of age, Frost commented: “Almost every media organisation has a focus on cloud, but we see a broad spread of maturity across video workflows, and different countries. Our customers and partners have realised that working with AWS empowers them to build new solutions that can drive greater viewer engagement, and differentiation against peers.”

However, he added: “The real benefits of cloud are only realised when media organisations focus on delivering value to viewers, and less on the undifferentiated aspects of managing infrastructure. We are continually listening to our customers to build and enable services on AWS that deliver value and enable migration.”


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