Video Streaming Solution

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The Business Need

Arré is an original content destination which creates multi-media,multi-genre content in the form of web series, videos, audio, text pieces and doodles. It offers a whole new digital experience which can be accessed from all kinds of devices anywhere, anytime. Arréhas an innovative and creative team for content creation, however,they sought external assistance with respect to the building and management of the platform backend and related technology and implementation. Making an entry into the video-on-demand market crowded with bigger players and competitors was not an easy task. They had a challenge providing the best, advanced technology to their end users and giving a great user experience simultaneously.Being a startup, Arré wanted to ensure that all investment into the backend development was optimally planned and utilized. A search for the right solution took them to Monocept (http://www.monocept.com/) ™, a silver-level partner of Microsoft, who introduced them to Azure Media Services (https://azure.microsoft.com/enin/services/media-services/).

A new age entertainment and infotainment medium, Arré, brings engaging videos, web series (fiction and non-fiction), investigative documentaries, audio, reads, doodles, and more, to the ‘attitudinally millennial’ audience. To make a mark in a market that has multiple players offering video on demand content was not an easy task. When the founders conceptualized Arré, they realized that to give their consumers the best user experience possible, they needed the aid of the most advanced technologies in the industry. “As a startup, we had multiple options to consider. The biggest challenge that we identified was to have the ability to stream our videos across multiple browsers and smart phones seamlessly,” says Ajay Chacko, CEO, Arré.

The company required a lot of hosting space and bandwidth to ensure that their content stays accessible to millions of users from across the globe. They also had to make sure that the content and other resources can be managed from anywhere. Due to the varying nature of web traffic to the site, Arré also wanted to have the option to scale as per their need. Additionally, they needed a robust Disaster Recovery and Geo Redundancy capabilities. Basically, what
Arré needed was a scalable design architecture and modern media player that enables them to stream videos from various devices with different form factors and resolutions.

With these criteria, the company approached Monocept to figure out the right solutions for their needs. Monocept worked closely with the Arré team to understand their business and needs. Monocept conducted a detailed analysis of Arré’s challenges. “Our analysis made us conclude that these could be easily be resolved with the help of Microsoft Azure (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/) and Azure Media Services,” says Manav Gaur, CEO, Monocept.

The Solution

Monocept, being a silver-level partner of Microsoft for application development and cloud platform, had a lot of experience with Azure services. They knew that Azure’s Platform-as-a-Service could provide ease of development and smooth integration for Arré with various tools. Moreover, the integration and maintenance of Azure services would enable them to manage all the resources from a single location. Arré could go platform agnostic with Azure since an entire spectrum of technologies like video publishing, CMS, and responsive web and mobile apps, could be leveraged with Microsoft Azure.

Once Arré was ready to go with Microsoft Azure, Monocept designed an architecture with the help of Azure Platform-as-a-Service components. The architecture comprised of WordPress as a web app, Varnish as a cache on VM and MySQL as a storage account. Various third party services such as Cloudinary for image
management, Elastic.co for search and JW player for video were integrated into the platform.

Arré could now stream its videos across platforms, be it web or mobile devices. They launched in the market within 6 months from the product ideation. The first web series A.I.SHA My Virtual Girlfriend was aired to over 10 million views. However, as the platform grew, Arré wished to further optimise its video viewing experience to its customers. Monocept introduced to them to Video365 (http://www.video365.com/) ®, a customizable digital video platform they had built with Azure capabilities. Video365 had integrated solutions from Azure for hosting, transcoding, advertising, CMS, analytics, DRM and streaming. Arré started using the platform in June 2017 by uploading all episodes of their latest show “The Real High”, which has garnered a significant number of views already. Monocept took care of the end-to-end solution implementation of Video365.

Post moving to Video365, Arré has been pleased with the quality of video streaming, and has received no complaints from it’s user base with respect to quality of playback. As Arré continues to migrate more content to Video365, Monocept is constantly working to improve the platform in response to their feedback.

Benefits

Scalability: Arré can easily scale up when there are new episodes of their web series to be launched and scale down during normal hours when other forms of content like articles and doodles are accessed more.

Platform agnostic: Powered by Azure media services, Video365 ensures that content on Arré can be seamlessly streamed across a plethora of web and mobile devices that are spread across geographies where network connectivity is choppy, and bandwidth is limited.

“ As a start-up, we had multiple options to consider. The biggest challenge that we identified was to have the ability to stream our videos across multiple browsers and smart phones seamlessly. ” —Ajay Chacko: CEO Arré

“ Our analysis made us conclude that these could be easily be resolved with the help of Microsoft Azure and Azure Media Services.”—Manav Gaur: CEO Monocept

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