Video-on-Demand (VOD) and Live Streaming solutions have become increasingly popular in recent years. An increasing number of content creators are relying on these technologies to connect with their audiences and expand their reach. The surge in demand for live streaming and VOD platforms is being observed not only in the media and entertainment industry but also in the corporate sector. Businesses across industries are actively on the lookout for live-streaming or video-on-demand solutions that allow them to securely and effectively interact and share information with employees and/or stakeholders.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has established itself as one of the leading providers of cloud-based services used to build and deploy VOD and live streaming solutions. AWS offers a range of available media services designed to assist content creators, media companies, and businesses in streamlining and accelerating the process of distributing content. 

This article outlines the benefits of using AWS to implement live streaming or VOD solutions and a sample solution for each use case along with links to in-depth tutorials.

Benefits of Implementing Live Streaming or VOD Solutions on AWS vs. Traditional Video Hosting Services

When leveraging traditional video hosting services, content creators are often bound by the limited features and customization capabilities offered by legacy providers. Implementing custom live streaming or VOD solutions on AWS provides users with complete control over the way their video content is displayed and distributed. In addition to gaining total control over every aspect of their live streaming or VOD solutions, users also benefit from the inherent scalability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness offered by AWS services.

Building a Live Streaming Platform on AWS

Architecture diagram of the live streaming pipeline.

Live Streaming Platform Architecture

Live Streaming solutions are becoming increasingly popular not only among content creators but also among enterprises looking to deliver live experiences such as events, training courses, or presentations to employees and clients.

TrackIt has developed and published a whitepaper titled ‘The Increasing Need for Live Streaming Platforms’ that walks readers through the initial process of implementing a live streaming pipeline. The live streaming pipeline described in this whitepaper leverages the following AWS services:

  • Amazon DynamoDB: Fully-managed proprietary NoSQL database service used to store key-value and document data.
  • AWS Lambda: Serverless compute service for the creation, start, stop, and deletion of live streams or to set CloudFront distributions.
  • Amazon API Gateway: Fully managed service providing an API to handle live streams and trigger Lambda functions.
  • AWS Elemental MediaLive: Broadcast-grade live video processing service used to create high-quality video streams.
  • AWS Elemental MediaPackage: Just-in-time video packaging and origination service for delivering highly secure, scalable, and reliable video streams to a wide variety of playback devices and content delivery networks (CDNs).
  • Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service): Storage service that stores live stream records in MPEG-TS format.
  • Amazon CloudFront: Amazon’s content delivery network (CDN) used to deliver live streams on a custom domain name.
  • AWS Route 53: Highly-available Domain Name System (DNS) service that helps deliver live streams on a specific address.

The steps detailed in this whitepaper outline the exact framework followed by TrackIt when building a live streaming platform that is later customized to meet additional customer requirements. Access the entire whitepaper by visiting: The Increasing Need for Live Streaming Platforms – Whitepaper

Setting Up a VOD Workflow on AWS

VOD workflow architecture diagram

VOD Workflow Architecture

The process of building VOD workflows on AWS poses multiple challenges to content creators:

  • Limited control: Content creators often choose to store their videos in traditional AWS S3 buckets. Unfortunately, this provides them with very little control over their video content. For instance, a content creator is unable to add metadata to video content stored in S3.
  • Security risks: Content creators may expose themselves to possible security breaches arising from the implementation of public S3 buckets or incorrect S3 bucket policies.
  • Issues with video quality and resolution: In the absence of a purpose-built VOD solution, content creators may only be able to provide audiences with videos of a single resolution quality. This could become problematic when viewers with low bandwidth experience buffering issues or when viewers with high bandwidth have no access to higher-quality videos. 

To assist content creators in addressing these issues, TrackIt published a whitepaper titled ‘Building a Simple VOD Solution on AWS’ that provides a step-by-step tutorial to implement a simple yet robust VOD workflow on AWS. The solution described in the whitepaper leverages the following AWS services: 

The solution described in the whitepaper provides content creators with additional control over their videos, enhanced security, and enables multiple video resolutions. Access the entire whitepaper by visiting: Building a Simple VOD Solution on AWS – Whitepaper

Summary and Conclusion

With an extensive array of solutions that cater to the needs of the average content creator, AWS has become the go-to provider of cloud-based media services for companies looking to implement live streaming and video-on-demand pipelines. This article has outlined the benefits of leveraging AWS media services for live streaming or VOD and has provided links to detailed tutorials that will assist in building and deploying robust, cost-effective, and custom-built solutions.

About TrackIt

TrackIt is an Amazon Web Services Advanced Tier Services Partner specializing in cloud management, consulting, and software development solutions based in Marina del Rey, CA. 

TrackIt specializes in Modern Software Development, DevOps, Infrastructure-As-Code, Serverless, CI/CD, and Containerization with specialized expertise in Media & Entertainment workflows, High-Performance Computing environments, and data storage.

In addition to providing cloud management, consulting, and modern software development services, TrackIt also provides an open-source AWS cost management tool that allows users to optimize their costs and resources on AWS.