Japan-based messaging service and social network LINE offers users a wealth of fresh, professionally produced and user-generated live streaming content through its livecasting platform, LINE LIVE. With more than 170 million active LINE users every month—most of them in the Asia-Pacific region—LINE LIVE offers a powerful platform for brands, artists and influencers to reach a highly engaged, youth-oriented audience on their browsers and mobile devices.
Rock group Suchmos has captivated Japanese audiences with its distinctive fusion of rock, jazz and hip-hop, placing several songs on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 and garnering acclaim for its music and video performances.
Seeking opportunities to expand the reach of its successful first national concert tour TOUR MINT CONDITION, Suchmos held a special event, "Suchmos DRIVE-IN THEATER," in collaboration with Suchmostyle, a weekly program Suchmos hosts on the Space Shower TV music channel.
The event was streamed live via LINE LIVE and a dedicated app featuring Suchmos as well as films to be screened at the drive-in theater. Members of Suchmos traveled in two cars, introducing their music while driving to the event site. The live streaming event was produced and operated by live production house AT-LINKAGE.
The concept went beyond a traditional live performance by putting viewers inside the vehicles with the band while they drove to the concert venue. Two Hondas carried the six bandmates while a third camera car followed. Dashboard-mounted 4K Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) cameras and in-car microphones captured the band’s interactions, with mobile transmitters linked to public IP networks delivering raw feeds to an on-site studio provisioned for the event.
There, the production team composed and aggregated content for real-time delivery to viewers on LINE LIVE and to the crowds awaiting their arrival at the drive-in theater, moving viewers seamlessly from camera to camera and utilizing split screens for an immersive experience. When the band arrived, handheld and shoulder-mount cameras were ready to capture their entrance and the performance that followed.
The LINE LIVE video player features a fixed vertical layout for mobile device viewing, devoting the top third of the screen to streaming video in a 720 x 1280 viewport and the rest to text and interaction. While the player does not support 4K resolution, AT-Linkage recognized that delivering the highest quality live stream would require the highest quality inputs and designed the production workflow with 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) cameras anchoring the action. The live workflow composed and produced real-time content in UHD to be fed to an AWS Elemental Live encoder; taking advantage of the encoder’s flexible signal processing, the AWS Elemental Live solution preprocessed the UHD source to furnish a cropped 720p high-definition output for delivery at the defined viewport size to multiscreen devices through the LINE LIVE app.
The live event was broadcast December 10, 2016 to LINE LIVE audiences across the world and later offered on-demand as part of the Suchmostyle content library. As Ryo Fukutani, representative director of AT-Linkage observed, “This was a complex live workflow anchored by nine cameras feeding live content, using moving vehicles as part of an unscripted, authentic artistic event. We wanted the viewing experience to be flawless. We relied on AWS Elemental Live for its outstanding encoding performance and resiliency and its proven ability to deliver multiple adaptive bitrate outputs for live streaming content.”
You can watch Suchmos DRIVE-IN THEATER here.
How do you attract more viewers to what is already the most-watched live event in the world?
For BT, the answer was: keep innovating and expanding access. The UK broadcaster holds the prized rights to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Europa League and Champions League tournaments, global spectacles that garner substantial viewership; last year’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid garnered more than six million viewers in the UK, part of an estimated 180 million viewers who watched the match worldwide.
Recognizing the vast online audience for its properties—at 62 million followers, the Facebook page for the Champions League is the most popular league or association page on the social network—BT brought the Europa League and Champions League finals online for the first time in 2016 for live viewing on YouTube.
For this year’s tournament finals, BT added another layer of excitement to the live viewing experience, offering 360-degree virtual reality (VR) viewing and 4K UHD live streaming for capable devices. With 12 360-degree cameras stationed on and around the pitch for each final match, VR-ready viewers can immerse themselves in every moment of the championship action, from any angle.
“Major sporting events are a unique opportunity to showcase the powerful combination of TV, digital and social media to bring audiences together through highly differentiated and interactive live viewing experiences,” said Chris Bramley, Chief Technology Officer, BT TV. “We’re excited to bring these premier live events to audiences in the UK and on a broad range of platforms and devices.”
AWS Elemental Live video encoders are integral to both workflows, processing the VR and 4K UHD content for live streaming at 60 frames per second and to the exacting specifications of BT and the YouTube Live platform, with minimized latency while assuring the highest quality adaptive bitrate outputs for viewers on browsers, Android and iOS devices, Chromecast and selected gaming consoles.
The UEFA Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax took place May 24 at Friends Arena in Stockholm. Juventus and Real Madrid met for the Champions League title on June 3 in Cardiff, Wales at National Stadium of Wales. The VR and 4K UHD live events streamed on the BT Sport Application and the BT Sport YouTube channel.
Mexican terrestrial broadcast network Multimedios Televisión serves Northern Mexico with locally produced news, sports and entertainment. In addition to eight affiliate stations in Mexico, including its flagship in Monterrey, Multimedios is seen throughout the country on paid satellite and cable services and has affiliates in the U.S. and Canada.
The network hosts three live streams associated with different regional affiliates on its web site, in addition to publishing a significant portion of programming online as video-on-demand (VOD) assets. With 20 hours a day of broadcast content – and 58 hours a week of news alone – the network offers a wealth of options for online viewing.
In 2015, Multimedios deployed AWS Elemental Live encoding solutions to enhance its growing online video processing workflow. While the AWS Elemental software exceeded its requirements for converting broadcast signals to adaptive bitrate live streams for multiscreen viewing, Multimedios’ other legacy components in the workflow fell short as Multimedios brought more and more content online; in particular, Multimedios’ delivery platform and content delivery network (CDN) struggled to keep pace with the network’s needs.
“Our previous solutions couldn’t deliver the functionality or the performance to get our video clips and VOD assets prepared and published at the speed or quality we wanted,” said Rommel Valencia, digital media operations manager for Multimedios. “Take news as an example; we produce a lot of breaking stories that viewers go searching for online. In some cases, viewers were posting clips of our broadcasts to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube well before we could get them published, which is simply unacceptable.”
Multimedios looked to AWS to elevate its processing workflow with an end-to-end approach. Given the option to host processing, delivery and distribution in the cloud, the network saw the advantages of centralizing its workflow, including encoding, packaging and delivery, file-based storage and CDN with AWS.
“With AWS, we get consistent high-quality live streams and VOD assets; we get on-demand, elastic cloud storage; and we get flexible, reliable content distribution, all seamlessly integrated,” added Valencia. “That’s good news for our viewers. And now, we can push breaking news and other live-to-VOD assets to social media and the web in virtually real time, so we can engage those viewers as events unfold.”