Case study: Lucky Number Seven — Ungated

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Lucky Number Seven

Seven West Media


  • Seven West Media is one of Australia’s leading integrated media companies across Broadcast Television, Magazine, News publishing and online Products.

  • Seven’s new Digital businesses underline a key strategy for today and into the future: the expansion of its leadership in the production of content across all screens.

  • Seven has successfully delivered many of Australia’s marquee sporting events, such as in 2018 the Australian Open, Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games, as well as leading dramas and News.

  • It’s total video OTT offering includes the 7 plus VOD platform and 50 live 24/7 channels that can reach over 300,000 concurrent viewers for large events.

  • Planning is underway for a record-breaking Tokyo 2020 Olympics, that will deliver unsurpassed technically advanced and comprehensive coverage.

Data is critical for us to optimise quality-of-service across the entire OTT workflow. We can capture and analyse an incredible level of detail, with clear dashboards that allow everyone in the team to efficiently troubleshoot issues. Touchstream’s StreamCAM solution provides us with key data we need about CDN performance, so that we get a complete end-to-end picture of our linear stream delivery.

Damian McNamara, Head of Cloud Video at Seven West Media

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The Seven West Media Total Video OTT offering is powered primarily by a cloud-based technology stack:


  • Amazon AWS for Platform-as-a-Service functionality

  • AWS Elemental for live encoding on premises

  • Akamai and Amazon Cloudfront for delivery

  • Brightcove for VOD asset management and playback

  • Google DFP and Yospace for live ad-insertion

  • Mux for client-side analytics

  • Touchstream for content availability monitoring and CDN insight

The Challenge

Hailing from the traditional broadcast world
where five 9s or 99.999% availability is expected, Seven understands what it means to provide a high-quality television experience. Its operations staff does so with a bevy of traditional industry processes that have been honed and improved upon for decades. However
when it comes to OTT, without the same tools and data, it’s nearly impossible to assure the same level of resiliency and quality-of-service that end-users demand.

Seven already employs a host of SaaS and internally developed tools to help monitor a variety of elements throughout the workflow including stream ingest, origin, encoders, and Product. But one area was lacking—Content Delivery Network (CDN) visibility. Seven had no way to know about the health of the CDN and its edge caches and challenges aggregating relevant logs to troubleshoot issues.

The Solution

Seven turned to Touchstream in 2016 to help solve the problem with CDN performance monitoring. The Touchstream VirtualNOC solution enabled the company to capture data that provided a minute-by-minute health check on their streaming services.

 

This significantly changed the way Seven approached debugging quality-of-service problems—it enabled the company to be proactive, even providing data back to its CDN providers about issues on a certain stream, at a certain time, and in a certain region.

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The Results

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Understanding the importance of the customer experience and reputational damage that can occur through social media and other channels, Seven West Media has successfully delivered major marquee events like the Melbourne Cup and 2018 Winter Olympics with no interruptions.

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As these events increase in popularity and size, across all screens, Touchstream’s VirtualNOC solution plays a key role in helping the operations team debug and troubleshoot quality-of- service related performance issues.

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This ensures a highly-resilient OTT platform that provides the experience Seven West Media’s viewers demand.

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