Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

eCDNs and Optimizing Hybrid Event QoS and QoE

What are some of the best ways enterprise streamers can produce and deliver high-engagement and high-reliability hybrid events that serve their streaming audiences as effectively as their on-site participants? The answer combines art and science, strategy, and tech. Andy Howard, Founder & Managing Director, Howard & Associates, discusses this topic with Mike Newman, CEO, MediaPlatform, and Dan Swiney, Head of Media Engineering, LinkedIn.

Andy Howard asks Mike Newman, “What are your customers asking you guys to innovate in the next few years?”

Newman focuses on how hybrid experiences should be optimized for both virtual and in-person audiences. “You’re trying to deal with fluidity,” he says, pointing out that audiences now comprise a wide range of settings, such as someone in a car, at a conference audience, or in a corporate meeting. What matters most, he believes, is optimizing engagement, especially for live audiences at hybrid events. “Can they participate in the Q&A, the polling?” he says. “Can they vote their sentiments? Do they feel like they're getting the same experience as some of the online people participating? The real trick to it is having the right amount of engagement for wherever that person is residing or watching and also not compromising the other aspects of online presentations that you may have really grown accustomed to having. For instance, tracking, monitoring, analytics, quality of service monitoring, security authentication.”

Newman notes that one element which is rapidly changing is the acquisitions of Enterprise Content Delivery Network (eCDN) companies. “You had Peer5 acquired by Microsoft,” he says. “They're embedding the distribution technology and teams. This is an area of innovation where you'll be able to aggregate some really critical quality of service, metrics, and some real-time monitoring that's kind of holistic across CDNs. You'll be able to do some really interesting things with silent testing, very interesting things with failover.” He jokes that those things may be as “glamorous as getting your chimney swept,” but even so, they are essential. “For day-to-day successfully delivering content to tens of thousands of people, it's mission-critical,” he says. “And it's an area where under the umbrella of hybrid, we're spending a lot of time and really investing in our partnerships with companies like Microsoft.”

Dan Swiney of LinkedIn emphasizes that eCDNs are still crucial, even without a full return of participants to on-site content delivery infrastructures. “The question does come up with our eCDN, ‘Do we need it?’” he says. “It turns out it has lots of other valuable features, like [Newman] talked about, analytics and failover and other features that we actually do need.” Swiney says that even though LinkedIn is not using their onsite campus as often, “It's something you have to get out in front of because you don’t want your IT folks knocking on the door after you onboard a platform that doesn't have an eCDN feature or some solution like that.”

Howard readily agrees with all of these points. “I've heard a couple different people say, ‘I don't need an eCDN anymore. And I'm like, well, eventually people are going to start coming back to the office. And when they are in the office, not only are they doing webcasts and webinars, but they're also doing video conferencing,” he says. “So there's a tremendous amount of increased video on the network, and you really need to get ahead of that to make sure that your events don't fail. We don’t want to go back to the early 2000s when you have a big webcast, and it went down because you decided to decommission your eCDN.”

Learn more about eCDNs at Streaming Media East 2023.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

What Is Hybrid Event Streaming in 2023?

As streaming has moved through the pandemic years into a new normal that isn't exactly what anyone expected, the meaning of hybrid event streaming production and delivery that has emerged over the last few years continues to evolve. So what does it mean in 2023, for producers, organizations, and audiences, both onsite and remote? And what can streamers do to level the playing field for those participating from near and far? In this clip from their recent panel at Streaming Media Connect 2023, LiveX's Anna Cowdery, Ohio State's Derrick Freeman, Boston 25 News's Ben Ratner, Stream4us' Anthony Burokas, and Howard & Associates' Andy Howard discuss best definitions and best practices for hybrid event video in 2023.

Multi-CDN Best Practices for Optimizing Performance and Reducing Latency

Pursuing a multi-CDN strategy is critical to reliable and high-performance edge delivery when streaming at scale to disparate audiences in multiple regions. But what do large-scale streamers need to know about multi-CDN decisioning and traffic-shaping to optimize performance? Harmonic's Jeff Gilbert, Paramount's Sean McCarthy, and Live X's Corey Behnke offer last-mile best practices in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media East 2023.

Are Hybrid Events the Future of Corporate Video?

Are hybrid meetings the new normal for corporate communications, presentations, and training? EY's Waseem Ahmad and LinkedIn's Dan Swiney discuss the future of hybrid events and the technical challenges involved in getting there in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

How to Distribute Workloads in Hybrid Streaming Environments

What are hybrid streaming environments and how do large-scale streamers and broadcasters manage workloads and divide tasks between cloud and on-prem infrastructure? Microsoft's Andy Beach and TV2's Loke Dupont discuss distribution strategies in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

How to Serve Your Digital Audience Better in Hybrid Events

The biggest problem with hybrid events is focusing entirely on the on-site audience treating the online/digital audience like an afterthought. 090 Media's Alex Lindsay, who's been producing virtual and hybrid events since well before the pandemic, and Social180Group's John Porterfield provide indispensable tips on how to avoid falling into that trap, and fully integrating digital audiences into the event experience in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Hybrid Event

With so many virtual event platforms available today, which one is right for your events? 090 Media's Alex Lindsay and BC Live's Dan Houze pull no punches when assessing what the current crop of platforms get wrong, how they can do it better, and how to avoid the common pitfalls of producing virtual and hybrid events that don't pass muster in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

How Disney and EvocaTV Approach Streaming QoS and QoE

How do streaming platforms such as Disney and EvocaTV handle the variables of Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE)? Pankaj Chaudhari of Disney and Imran Maskatia of Evoca TV discuss the variables impacting both efficient QoS and QoE and the ways their organizations work to mitigate issues and solve them when they arise.

When Is Low Latency Critical to Streaming QoE?

LiveSwitch Founder & CEO Jerod Venema discusses when low-latency streaming matters most and how increasingly common those latency-critical streaming experiences are becoming in this clip from Streaming Media West 2021.

QoE vs. QoS

Disney Streaming's Robert Coluantoni and JD Power's Ian Greenblatt break down the differences between quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) for streaming end users in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2021.

Companies and Suppliers Mentioned