SME 2018: GigCasters' Casey Charvet Talks Large-Scale Live Event Streaming
Learn more about large-scale live event streaming at Streaming Media West.
Read the complete transcript of this interview:
Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media East 2018, I'm Tim Siglin, I'm here with Casey. Casey, introduce yourself and tell us both about the two companies that we know you as part of, TourGigs and Gigcasters, and how that's fitting together these days.
Casey Charvet: I’m glad to be at Streaming Media again, My name's Casey Charvet, I'm the CEO and founder of GigCasters, we are a live events streaming services company, and within that we provide the tools, both software and hardware, for professional content producers to create a higher level of livestreaming events, usually around a more professional production style where there's multi-camera productions, and a higher end concept for livestreaming. More akin to a broadcast-style workflow.
Tim Siglin: Okay, got it.
Casey Charvet: We really focus on live events and helping people with events-based services. Maybe a customer does 50 live events a year or 100 live events a year. We do have some customers that are live once a week, or up to five times a week, and they're regular users of our platform. And then we have people that do something maybe just a couple of times a year. We're happy to help anywhere in between. Within that range of live events we do stuff from motorsports to concerts to house of worship, and really anything in between. We really got our start providing services for TourGigs, which is an Austin-based company as well, and we share some of the same backers and co-founders with that.
Tim Siglin: The first time we were on a panel together, you were doing the TourGigs piece but you were looking to expand into the hardware and software solutions. So now you've essentially reversed roles, where you're focused primarily on the services side as opposed to just specifically for TourGigs.
Casey Charvet: That's right. So what we found, I used to go out in the field quite a lot and I was backstage at a whole bunch of shows to do live streaming, and we found that the tools at the time were not really up to the task of doing these live streams that required a very high success rate, especially within the pay-per-view realm, because people really tend to get upset when a paid stream doesn't function like a broadcast stream would. It's expecting a 100% success rate. And we realized that we really needed to build a platform where we had insight into every piece of the pipeline, and that even extended into the coding side, and so that's when we began, we took upon ourselves the insane project of building a software and coding, I guess we can call it an appliance. We sell it in a turnkey package with the hardware, and this offers a broadcast feature set at a much more compelling price rate that fits within the budgets of live streams.
Tim Siglin: Is it sort of like you're selling them a flypack and then they connect up to your service for the delivery side?
Casey Charvet: We can do that, and we encourage people to use our services for delivery. We are all standards based though, so the encoder that we make will send out an RTMP stream, a Zixi stream, or even MPEG-TS if you want it, to any destination. Our platform, Facebook, YouTube, et cetera. But we found that a lot of our clients, since they're content producers, they want to focus on the creative process and telling their story. They don't want to get sidetracked with the engineering details. So if they bring us in, we encourage them to let us take care of all of the technical aspects, and we will handle all of the engineering for the livestream for them. We can put somebody in the field, and we also have a lot of remote management capabilities for the encoders that we deploy, so we can have somebody sitting in our office that has remote insight into the encoder and is monitoring it and getting health reports-
Tim Siglin: If you're doing this with a repeat customer, after 15 times of you doing it for them do they say, "Hey, we think we got it down, we can go do it ourselves," or are they just so happy not to ever have to deal with the technical aspects that you're ... They're evergreen clients for you?
Casey Charvet: Right. I'll use Lucas Oil Racing Studios as an example. We started with them, they just renewed for their third year with us. Now, this is a group that produces events for CBS and other sports networks, as well as their own MAVTV channel, and their connected TV channel Lucas Oil Racing TV. They roll out a 53-foot OB truck. They have smart production people and engineers. If they wanted to, I'm sure they could go at it on their own. But I think they're so happy that we came in and we made the live streaming work for them so seamlessly that there's really not a point in trying to upset that and go at it on their own. And so they've been really good repeat clients for us. So they do about 50-something races a year, a lot of that is IP contributions, so it's a straight IP workflow once it leaves their truck all the way through delivery. They're really taking a modern approach to high quality production for live streaming.
Tim Siglin: It makes me laugh to think about the fact that, I remember going onto trucks at NAB six, seven years ago, and you'd see a tiny little corner with a TriCaster, because the rest of the truck was for very traditional sat up, and the IP was shoved to the side. I'm happy to hear you say that IP contribution is the way that everything's happening. So, you have both your streams going out as well as the traditional IPTV delivery, as well?
Casey Charvet: That's right.
Tim Siglin: Very good. Casey, thank you very much for your time.
Casey Charvet: Yeah, it's my pleasure.
Tim Siglin: Glad to catch up with you, and we'll be right back.
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