Gamification is a game-changer for live sports, and now is a good time for media companies and sports organizations to take notice. Gamification brings greater fan engagement and more large-scale monetization opportunities that industry players need to take notice.
Scale for live video means the number of streams for a given event. Until now, latency between where live sports are taking place and the device fans are watching the game on has averaged around 30-40 seconds.
As a result, live content arrives on the mainstream platform 30 to 40 seconds too late, severely undermining opportunities to create deep, meaningful, and lucrative fan engagement. The increased latency results from complex and expensive workflows that rely on the cloud to do the heavy lifting when processing live streams.
Edge computing for live video changes all that by removing latency challenges in live streaming by simplifying workflows and augmenting the cloud by adding powerful processing capabilities at the point of origin of the video.
The edge computing behind live video creates a unified experience for live sports fans and bettors, enabling broadcasters and sports leagues to consistently engage their audiences at scale. Live sports consumption is shifting from passive to active, allowing media and sports organizations to unlock more scalable monetization opportunities.
Why Ultra-Low Latency at Scale is Critical for Live Video Monetization and Viewer Engagement
Live video has exploded, with US streaming audiences expected to reach 158 million in 2022. One of the main industries driving this growth across multiple platforms is live sports. Broadcasters and sports organizations must take advantage of the exponential growth of live video to exploit monetization opportunities.
Today, we are already seeing live video platforms deliver active viewer engagement instead of the more traditional “passive” linear TV viewing experiences. Live social commentary, betting and performance tracking are examples of deeper fan engagement available at scale.
Live broadcast workflows need to change to deliver compelling live sports content. Current methods of sending a live video stream to the cloud for processing create workflow complexity that increases latency and cost and degrades video quality.
Ultra-Low Latency (ULL) is essential for sports gamification, as any delay will result in poorer delivery and limit the fan’s immersive experience. By overcoming the challenge of latency, media and sports organizations can engage fans and encourage monetization through large-scale sports gamification.
Edge Computing: Increasing Cloud Capabilities and Driving Monetization
Research has shown that in 2022 197 million American adults will watch content on a second device while watching digital video or traditional television. A second screen becomes an essential source of personalized content for audiences who can consume content on the platform of their choice, often in conjunction with a linear program. This creates a great opportunity to launch secondary, often under-produced content, including different camera feeds or commentary options usually accompanied by on-screen stats and graphics. These add-on options allow viewers to have a gamification experience, providing an additional layer of game information and data analysis.
But for that to happen, media companies need to ensure that live content reaches consumers with ultra-low latency. A video-edge computing platform can revolutionize live-streaming workflows, putting advanced computing capabilities and processing power on-premises, right at the source of the video, instead of relying on the cloud to do the heavy lifting.
Changing the way we package live video streams to bypass or augment cloud functions can enable direct output of HLS and DASH in a low latency format. Streams can then be pushed into the CDN and delivered to viewers around the world. These scalable workflows can be scaled to HTTP, SRT, or WebRTC simultaneously, providing the same ULL.
A video edge computing platform also addresses the OPEX challenge, shaking up cloud economics. By leveraging their reliance on the cloud, media companies can perform and complete critical on-premises processing tasks in a standards-based streaming environment.
Additionally, organizations can take advantage of the scalability of edge computing and build and deploy the functions they need, customizing their platform to meet their current and future business needs. Workflows are simplified as the steps of sending flows to and from the cloud are removed from the delivery chain.
Depending on the use case, this drastically reduces latency to less than 3 seconds or even less than seconds. Take the example of Web RTC. Bypassing the cloud directly to a PSTN web gateway can reduce latency to less than a second. Audiences get a higher quality experience, reduced latency, and a unified experience across various platforms at scale. In today’s ever-competitive marketplace, this can give video producers a much-needed edge, as it gives the fan the experience they want in a scalable and unique way.
Harnessing Gamification and Fan Engagement with Edge Computing for Live Video
Gamification is changing the way we consume live sports and opens up a host of monetization opportunities for media and sports organizations – provided they solve the critical challenge of latency and successfully deliver content in real time. .
A video edge computing platform revolutionizes live streaming workflows by creating powerful on-premises computing and processing capabilities at the source of live video. Therefore, an encoder no longer needs to send live streams to the cloud for processing before reaching a CDN. The live video streaming chain becomes shorter, simpler and more efficient. Media companies are optimizing costs and delivering content to the consumer with ULL creating consistent fan engagement – and scalable monetization doors are opening for live sports gamification.
We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what gamification and consistent fan engagement can bring to the media and broadcast industries. As the growth of live video explodes, a video edge computing platform that delivers at scale is changing the realm of possibility for media and sports organizations, providing new viewing and monetization opportunities at scale that we cannot afford to miss.