Live streaming is a phenomenal thing. When someone films a soccer game in England, it’s instantly viewable in the US and Europe. No matter how large the audience might be, the stream is delivered to everyone, immediately. Simply put, live feeds can originate from just about anywhere in the world, and they have to be delivered to the end user regardless of where they’re located.
The worst thing that could happen, in the instance of live streaming, would be a black screen because the feed went down. With the average viewership of an NFL game standing at 17.9 million, you can imagine the social media fiasco that would ensue, should the feed cut out at the one-yard line with five seconds on the clock.
So, what can we do to make sure that live streaming is continually held to a high level? Build infrastructure that is capable of sustaining, and scaling with growing viewership.
The Challenge of Live Streaming
It’s not just football and sports that take advantage of live streaming. Casinos often use live streaming for online roulette and poker, in an attempt to bring people into the moment. Casinos are continually trying to adopt new streaming technology to keep up with current demand, which is growing by the year.
Although this is on a much smaller scale than nationwide NFL games, the frustration felt by fans when the dreaded black screen hits is the same. Lifelong fans of a platform can easily be lost, seeking out other providers if they miss just a few crucial seconds of a game, whether it be live poker, a sneak-preview game stream, or the Super Bowl.
When addressing the challenges posed by live streaming, such as reaching people in remote locations, and those who don’t have ultra-fast broadband speeds, infrastructure is key.
Unfortunately, though, not all infrastructure is equal. Online streaming is unpredictable, as viewing numbers often are. Infrastructure has to be flexible, and it needs to scale up or down, according to demand. It also has to be accessible, and immediate, even to those who are in.
Adopting a Hybrid Infrastructure
When live events take place, social media viewer numbers can reach thousands in a matter of seconds. Streaming businesses have to prepare for sudden spikes in traffic. Hyperscale cloud services rocketed in popularity in 2020, but as technology grows, things become more expensive, and relying solely on hyperscaling cloud providers is not a sustainable business plan.
One thing businesses can do is invest in live streaming infrastructure, with a hybrid model. Using bare-metal servers when streaming concurrent usage can be paired with cloud technology, to handle large spikes in users, on-demand. The scalability of this model works too, whether it’s worldwide streaming providers or local people who want to stream their local games.
Ultimately, more infrastructure is needed to support the growing demand for live streaming. In combination with this, more options are required to support those who wish to enter the world of streaming for themselves. If these two challenges can be solved, live streaming would be flawless and unstoppable.