There are unique requirements and special features for every live event that must be considered in the media deployment model. Virtual fairs and festivals, for example, require live streaming of presentations and a variety of on-demand assets, often with significant audience sizes. SaaS offers the ability to instantiate a workflow for a given need in a much shorter timeframe than an on-premise setup by providing robust cloud-based applications that can scale up and down as needed.
Disaster recovery is another important factor for SaaS adoption in the media sector. The concept is to set up a backup headend in the cloud that is only used in the rare event of a failure during the event. The traditional approach to disaster recovery has been to duplicate headends on-premises. However, this is extremely costly – not only in terms of CAPEX but also in terms of OPEX – as both (or all) headends must be maintained and monitored regardless of whether they are needed.
A SaaS model for disaster recovery in the public cloud ensures that live feeds stay on the air, no matter what happens to the primary headends. The SaaS solution provider can monitor the network and ensure that the backup headends in the cloud are up and running while the primary headends are being repaired. Since a backup headend in the cloud only needs to be brought up in rare events, CAPEX and OPEX costs are significantly reduced.
Greater efficiency and affordability
iSmile Technologies’ cloud-native portfolio and multiple industry partnerships provide all the tools needed for a turnkey solution for SaaS-based live events. Our CE1 and CE Mini encoders cover ingest to the cloud and connect seamlessly with our cloud-based and SaaS solutions, including Aquila Streaming. This capability enables a holistic media workflow, capturing live content and processing it with industry-leading encoding and packaging instances to deliver D2C streaming services.
Looking ahead, 5G connectivity will further enhance IP connectivity to the cloud and enable content to be streamed from even more challenging locations. This will add to the valuable events offered as streaming media services. With a full suite of features for the customer, the ability to monetize this content has never been better.
Live events as a service
The live events sector was particularly affected by the challenges of the pandemic last year. Several major sporting events, festivals, conferences, and shows were canceled or postponed. SaaS provides the flexibility not always available with on-site implementations, minimizing the need to pre-allocate resources and allowing event organizers to better predict costs. By having a SaaS provider oversee the entire workflow, event organizers can ensure that they continue to provide the highest quality of service to their audience.
Pop-up live events lend themselves well to SaaS models, especially live sports tournaments, which may only require services for a few hours per day over a few weeks due to the temporary nature of the event. Broadcasters and content owners have traditionally invested in on-site equipment, such as production, playout, and headend stations, which are expensive to purchase and maintain. By leveraging the dynamic nature of cloud delivery, they can now deploy SaaS solutions whenever needed, simply spin them up as they play, and only pay for usage during that period.
SaaS for D2C
SaaS also offers new benefits for content owners who want to deliver their content directly to consumers (D2C). Uses range from CMS to subscriber management systems to user experience.
Leveraging SaaS capabilities allowed them to scale up and down their services as needed and at the scale needed to accommodate growing audiences across greater geographic distances.
This was evident in a Film Festival deployment, which combined Microsoft, Evergent, VisualOn, and Slalom. A highly innovative and scalable media workflow was created that directly brought the interactive virtual event to independent film lovers worldwide – up to 30,000 in total.
Find out how iSmile Technologies can help you design and develop new solutions that leverage today’s most advanced cloud services.