The Touchstream Blog


Survey: Live Streaming QoE is Good Enough for Explosive Growth; But to Compete and Win, You’ll Need More Data, Delivered Faster.

Brenton Ough on Streaming News • 11th October 2017

When streams don’t perform, people stop watching. But just how impatient are we? The answer is contained a new consumer survey on QoE (quality-of-experience) authored by Brian Ring of Ring Digital and sponsored by Touchstream.

To view the survey, simply visit RingDigital.tv/stream-quality to get access. And if you are attending Akamai Edge this week, please comment or email me to get a physical copy of the mini-book!

Today’s video market is intensely competitive. There are so many skinny bundles, niche TV apps, and social streams that it’s easy to forget that the largest sum of money is still being generated by legacy pay TV operators with proprietary set-tops that deliver the highest quality video signals.

In fact, while content is still a differentiator, many content catalogs are increasingly available on all of these platforms. That means viewers have reason to get even pickier about the quality of their streaming video providers.

Why should viewers tolerate stalls, buffers and playback failures when a different TV App is a thumb-tap away?

As a result, the industry has seen a massive uptick in demand and innovation in streaming technologies that measure and monitor stream quality.

New Tools & Delivery Architectures

These tools use various methods to measure the viewer experience and report events such as buffering, bitrates, and playback failures. In turn, this data can help drive decisions about which CDNs and origin servers are performing best.

Some use DNS techniques, which can be clunky. Others use telemetry from the subscriber’s video player, which means you won’t see problems until after the QoE damage is done. And one or two upstarts have begun to use a manifest-based approach, which introduces a single-point-of-failure and can be challenging to scale.

At Touchstream, we support, complement and improve upon all of these methods. How?

We use server-side, synthetic polling methods to measure everywhere. We ensure your content is ready and available – including every bitrate in your encoding ladder – even before the first user clicks play. And we monitor data from multiple CDNs, customer origin and applications, which means we provide useful data for making all kinds of real-time decisions in multi-CDN and hybrid CDN architectures.

It’s in that spirit — collect all the data, use every tool in the arsenal — that we decided to support Ring Digital’s QoE survey. So let’s dive in!

How do viewers compare their live television experiences with that of the quality and reliability of cable and satellite platforms?

Quality of Streaming vs. Set-top TV platforms.

Live streaming QoE still isn’t at parity with cable and satellite TV set-top box platforms. 59% of those surveyed reported no problems with pay TV, compared to 51% for live streaming. Looking deeper into the numbers, 16% of viewers reported significant quality issues while streaming compared to just 10% while watching on a pay TV set-top box.

Why It Matters: Four Key Business Dimensions

We can analyze the two platforms by breaking them into the following four areas to better understand how much work is left to be done in order to reach parity between live streaming and pay-TV.

1. Achieving TV Scale

While there is plenty of innovation in multi-CDN and hybrid CDN approaches, IP streaming still has not advanced enough to be able to handle the massive scale of viewership that popular live sporting events require.

In fact, a majority of respondents, 53% of those polled, reported that they mostly view live TV events on pay TV, not on the internet. 26% reported using equal amounts of streaming and cable / satellite TV, while just 21% reported using “mostly” internet streaming.

2. Fidelity (Look, Sound)

When respondents were asked to make a direct comparison between the picture quality and reliability of live video from an internet streaming app or website versus a set-top pay TV platform, 27% of viewers felt that streaming platforms were worse than set-top pay TV platforms; only 16% said they were better than legacy TV set-tops. And 38%reported that the platforms were roughly at parity. This puts live streaming far closer to parity with TV than you might have guessed.

3. Operations

Due to its novice status, live streaming services are still working out plenty of kinks in the operations process. Over the past five years, tremendous progress has been made. However, the complexity and difficulty of managing and operating hybrid CDN and multi CDN architectures has grown.

But one thing still missing is the speed at which problems are resolved. Above, we discussed that 51% of viewers exited the video after 2 – 3 problems. In fact, 9%stopped watching immediately and 19% stopped after just a single re-buffer.

If you want to learn more please visit Touchstream at Akamai Edge this week at our partner G&L’s booth in the partner pavilion. Drop by or book a time via:

https://touchstream.media/event/akamaiedge/

Touchstream Debuts Advanced Monitoring Platform at NAB

Brenton Ough on News, Streaming News • 24th April 2017

Demos Available in Telstra’s Partner Pavilion Booth SU6105

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – April 24, 2017 – Touchstream, which identifies video streaming glitches before they become issues for end consumers, will use NAB to debut its all new, cloud-based monitoring and management system for dynamic live video streams. This is an ideal monitoring system for all sports streaming and 24/7 linear streaming.

 

Video delivery of live events frequently fails to meet QoS/QoE standards. These failures can have a significant impact on the streaming service’s bottom line. Industry statistics show at least a third of live event consumers abandon attempts to watch because of poor viewing quality. Further, 50% of potential stream consumers will abandon the effort if it takes five seconds or more to start the stream. Both factors can lead to significant income loss if glitches cause fans to demand refunds for high-profile pay-per-view and subscription video-on-demand events such as premium sporting contests. Additionally, complaints to customer service clog phone lines and add unnecessarily to operating costs.

The Touchstream platform monitors for live stream availability and monitors its origin and CDN endpoints giving incredible insight into the health of live streams. This monitoring is done from strategic locations across the Internet and allows video streaming providers to quickly identify and resolve streaming issues that prevent viewers from accessing the stream; or which will cause viewers to receive only low bitrate streams.

“The platform gives VSPs a clear view of dynamic channels providing the same level of monitoring and reliability as channels which operate 24/7. With multiple streams, formats and bitrates delivered across multiple CDNs to zillions of endpoints, there are innumerable points where a stream can go wrong. Our platform actively scans for those error points and proactively alerts on the early warning signs so they can be quickly resolved before affecting viewers,” said Brenton Ough, co-founder and CEO of Touchstream.

Though the platform will have its market-wide debut at NAB, it is not untested. It has already been utilized by major sports networks to deliver high-value content in the U.S., Europe and South America. Major programmers which have utilized the platform include Comcast Wholesale, Discovery, Sky and Viaplay (Sweden).

Touchstream’s platform will be on display in the Telstra booth at NAB: SU6105.

About Touchstream International Pty Ltd

Touchstream’s 24×7 Proactive Live Stream Monitoring Platform is used by the world’s leading media companies and service providers to gain critical insights of their stream availability and stream performance to proactively identify and quickly resolve video streaming failures before they impact the viewer’s experience. Touchstream was recently recognized by CIO Review as one the 20 Most Promising Companies. Touchstream is Headquartered in Melbourne Australia, with offices in Barcelona Spain and New York. To learn more, visit www.touchstream.media

CONTACT:

Linda Haugsted

Bob Gold & Associates

+1 310 320-2010

linda@bobgoldpr.com

 

 

CIOReview Recognises Touchstream

Brenton Ough on News, Streaming News • 4th January 2017

CIOReview Announces Touchstream International Pty Ltd as “Company of the Month” and One among the “20 Most Promising Content Delivery Network Solution Providers 2016”

FREMONT, CA— Touchstream International Pty Ltd announced today that it has been recognized as one of the top 20 Content Delivery Network Solution Providers of 2016 and also featured as “Company of the Month” in the latest edition of CIOReview magazine.

“It’s a great honor to select Touchstream International Pty Ltd as one of the 20 Most Promising Content Delivery Network Solution Providers 2016,” said Jeevan George, Managing Editor of CIOReview. “Touchstream’s innovative technology is revolutionizing the way companies serve content to their viewers.”

CIOReview ranked Touchstream International Pty Ltd based on its specialties in providing 24/7 Active Stream Monitoring, Brand Protection, Revenue Security, and Growth Enablement. It monitors from various different locations, origins and CDNs to identify the root cause of issues quickly.

Touchstream’s 24/7, Active Monitoring service is a proactive Live and On Demand stream monitoring platform that alerts our customers to streaming issues, before they become viewer issues.

Full Article here

About Touchstream International Pty Ltd

Headquartered in Melbourne Australia, Touchstream’s founders collectively draw upon 50 years of experience in performance monitoring and management as well as related skills in technical consulting and business development. For more info, visit: touchstream.media

About CIOReview

Published from Fremont, California, CIOReview is a print magazine that explores and understands the plethora of ways adopted by firms to execute the smooth functioning of their businesses. A distinguished panel comprising of CEOs, CIOs, IT VPs including CIOReview editorial board finalized the “20 Most Promising Content Delivery Network Solution Providers 2016” and shortlisted the best vendors and consultants. For more info, visit: www.cioreview.com

Touchstream International signs YipTV to Keep Streaming Viewers in the Picture

Brenton Ough on News, Streaming News • 7th June 2016

Touchstream International signs YipTV to Keep Streaming Viewers in the Picture
Service Provides Monitoring of Delivery to Prevent Customer Problems

SINGAPORE (June 7, 2016) – Leading-edge video streaming monitoring group Touchstream International today announced an agreement with YipTV, the fast-growing US based Over the Top (OTT) mobile cable operator. YipTV is using Touchstream’s monitoring platform to deliver more than 100 domestic and international channels over mobile and broadband connections with a focus on the underserved, non-English speaking audiences in the United States.

The agreement with YipTV adds to Touchstream’s growing client base which includes Sky UK, Telstra, Viaplay, the largest pay provider in Scandinavia and Discovery Communications, the television company that owns a range of channels including Discovery Channel and Europe’s Premier sports network Eurosport.

Touchstream’s unique monitoring platform eliminates many of the common streaming media end user problems such as buffering and other delays, pixelation, and latency.

“Our cloud-based software is helping our customers identify problems before viewers complain about them. By using our technology YipTV is able to address the problems before they occur in the apps that their viewers are using and before their customers see them,” said Touchstream’s CEO Brenton Ough.

“Our system operates 24/7 using digital robots to monitor every endpoint, every minute of every day. Touchstream’s software also minimizes the mean time to repair, a key metric for streaming performance while reducing the abandonment rate by up to 25 percent.”

Unlike in-player monitoring tools, Touchstream’s active monitoring tests all of a service’s live streams, even when no one is watching. This active monitoring alerts operators to actionable issues that can be controlled and managed, not those which are out of their control, such as the vagaries of Internet Service Providers.

“Incorporating the Touchstream solution into our existing monitoring platform has significantly reduced the time and resources consumed by physically monitoring channel performance and quality,” said Tomasz Sarnowski , Chief Information Officer for YipTV.

About YipTV
YipTV, Inc., is a privately held company with offices in West Palm Beach, Fla., and New Brunswick, N.J., that provides low-cost, live television channels including domestic and international network content.

Founded in 2012, YipTV is an Over the Top (OTT) mobile cable operator that distributes over 100 channels and programs in multiple languages, letting subscribers watch YipTV on televisions, tablets, computers, smartphones and other Internet-enabled devices. YipTV sends video content via the public Internet to broadband users, bypassing legacy cable systems and head end technology, and then passes that savings directly to the consumer. For more information, please visit http://www.yiptv.com

About Touchstream
Founded in Melbourne in 2013, Touchstream has quickly gathered its impressive roster of international clients by offering a competitive advantage based solution that remains unmatched in the market.

Media Contacts
Touchstream – Amelia Ward, Communications
+61 450 131 231 amelia@touchstream.media

YipTV – Andy Abramson, Comunicano, Inc.
+1 858 777 9777 aabramson@comunicano.com

Welcome to the new site!

Harley on News, Streaming News • 10th April 2015

We’ve been busy working on a brand-new website for touchstream, and are proud to launch it today.

Stay tuned for blog updates, and follow @touchstreamedia on Twitter!