Adobe And Microsoft Team Up To Stream Sochi From The Cloud

Posted: Feb 4 2014, 8:30am CST | by , in Technology News


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Adobe And Microsoft Team Up To Stream Sochi From The Cloud

Remember those heady days when many (myself included) doubted that high bandwidth workloads like video would live, and be streamed, from the cloud. Well, the naysayers were wrong and we’re seeing video head to the cloud just like everything else is. An indication of the acceleration of that trend is available by way of a joint Adobe/Microsoft announcement today that sees the two join up to deliver the entire NBC 2014 Winter Olympics coverage delivered from the cloud. NBC Sports is delivering 50 or so high0definition and on demand streams from the games, and Microsoft is using Windows Azure Media Services to publish and stream them. Across 98 events and 1000 hours of competing, every detail will be available for viewer (well, in the interests of clarity, viewers who have paid for the privilege) to enjoy.

A glimpse at viewing statistics is interesting, during the London Olympic games (only two years ago, after all) viewers with connected devices watch, on average, six hours of NBC Olympics’ coverage a day. An interesting video benchmark report put out by Adobe recently shows how this is increasing – more devices are being used to watch content (Gaming consoles saw 365% YoY growth while smartphone share increased from 28% to 31% between Q3 and Q4). Of that growth, sports is perhaps not surprisingly, a big driver – Adobe has seen a 640% YoY increase in sports video viewing and a 440% increase in streaming of content. Take last Olympics’ statistics and add it to general viewing numbers and you’ve got some heavy requirements for Azure. The company looks like it’s going to hit it hard – to ensure no bad PR caused by outages, Microsoft is apparently dedicating 10000 cores for the Olympics – heavy gun fire for a high profile opportunity,.

In terms of how the Adobe/Microsoft tie up works, Adobe will be providing its Primetime TV publishing and monetization platform including the SZDKs to deliver the content across devices. Microsoft obviously provides the transcoding and streaming services via Azure while I StreamPlanet will be using its live video workflow solution Aventus to power live video ingest and multiple bit rate encoding, including ad insertion for the streams.

There’s a few benefits to the various involved parties in this tie up:

  • NBC gets to offload the “plumbing” to third parties, but gets to eke every last penny out of viewed and advertisers. This includes dynamic advertising across devices
  • Microsoft gets a fantastic case study for Azure generally and Azure Media Services in particular
  • Adobe gets a chance for a shakedown test of its delivery solutions
  • End users get the entire Olympic experience available online, via all the different platforms. Adobe’s cross platform extends to auto-login across different viewing platforms while temporary passes give viewers 30 minutes of free viewing before the paywall kicks in

What’s interesting about this is seeing Adobe and Microsoft get together to bring their various core competencies to the party – Adobe Primetime brings the goods when it comes to delivering braodcast quality video to consumers, and wrapping it all up with functionality to run all the monetization aspects of the job. Microsoft on the other hand brings the scalability of Azure to back end the content into Adobe.

The combination of better internet connectivity and the increasing acceptance of the cloud as the most logical place to process and stream video is combining to change the game. This years Olympics mark the point from which the cloud will be seen as the most logical place to do this sort of work.

Source: Forbes

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