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Almost Live from NAB: Wowza Focuses on Live Video Streaming

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[Note: This sponsored interview was recorded at NAB 2015.]

Live streaming video is exciting for viewers, but a challenge for content creators. As David Stubenvoll, CEO of Wowza, explained at NAB, it's important to get live streams right the first time because there's no second chance.

"Live was always problematical at the beginning. Now we have the infrastructure and the things required to make it happen," Stubenvoll said. "So crucial. Either it happens now or it doesn't work at all. It's not like video-on-demand where you can try it in an hour. Real solutions have been available. Wowza's been very focused online since day one on more and more ways to get live media into the server."

Wowza makes creating a live video streaming workflow easier and more affordable with Wowza Streaming Engine Pro, a product it announced at NAB.

"You start with Wowza Streaming Engine—and we just announced Wowza Streaming Engine Pro. We took our transcoding capability, which you used to have to buy by the channel, and just put that into Wowza Streaming Engine. Now we have unlimited transcoding channels in Wowza," Stubenvoll explained. "We ingest the video. We can manipulate it, trasnscode, transrate, add watermarks, overlays, then we package it for delivery to every device. Then we deliver it."

To learn about Wowza's other big NAB announcement—Wowza Streaming Cloud—watch the interview below.

 

Eric:    Hi, I'm Eric Schumacher-Rasmusen, editor of Streaming Media magazine, here at NAB 2015 with David Stubenvoll, CEO of Wowza Media Systems. How are you doing, David?

David: Awesome! How are you today?

Eric:    Excellent. Good to have you here. As I look back on the last almost decade, we've watched Wowza as a company grow up. The industry has changed a lot in the last decade. We've really seen a paradigm shift in the last few years to such a strong emphasis on live video. Why do you think that is and what are the implications?

David: I think the why is it's working more and more, right?  Live was always problematical at the beginning. Now we have the infrastructure and the things required to make it happen, right? So crucial. Either it happens now or it doesn't work at all. It's not like video on demand where you can try it in an hour. Real solutions have been available. Wowza's been very focused online since day one and more and more ways to get live media into the server. That stuff has really proliferated.

Eric:    Right, right. How does Wowza help video producers and content owners do that?

David: In a bunch of ways. You start with Wowza Streaming Engine and we just announced Wowza Streaming Engine Pro. We took our transcoding capability, which you used to have to buy by the channel, and just put that into Wowza Streaming Engine. Now we have unlimited transcoding channels in Wowza. We ingest the video. We can manipulate it, trasnscode, transrate, add watermarks, overlays, then we package it for delivery to every device. Then we deliver it. Could be to an end device, could be to a CDN, could be to a YouTube Live or a Ustream.

Eric:    Right, right. You've talked abut the fact that the technology to enable live streaming has matured and become reliable. What about the business case for streaming? Why is streaming live so important to some many end users, consumers, different verticals? Why is streaming so important?

David: For video or any media, you have media to entertain, to educate, to inform, and to influence. A key aspect of influence is also scarcity. It's either now or never. With the internet and all this video, it's either right now or a bit later, because you do the video on demand. That ability to get that information, to have those experiences in real time, it's a big driver in human behavior.

Eric:                Right. Right, absolutely. You've mentioned one of the products you've announced here at NAB, the Wowza Streaming Engine Pro.

David: Yep.

Eric:    You've also announced the Wowza Streaming Cloud.

David: That's correct.

Eric:                Tell us about that.

David: And you added the streaming, which I always forget. Wowza Streaming Cloud takes the power of Wowza Streaming Engine and makes it available in the cloud as an architected, pre-built and ready to go system. It is focused on live today. We're not doing VOD in the cloud yet.

Eric:    Okay.

David: We will but we're not doing it there yet. We kind of did it the Wowza way. With Wowza Cloud, number one, very approachable from an economic standpoint. It's fifteen bucks, pay as you go. So that's easy to get in and then we offer all the pieces you need for an end to end. Start with the Wowza go encoder for IOS and Android. Into Wowza we'll do the transcoding, CDN delivery and then out to Wowza player, even on a Wowza hosted page.

Eric:                Right.

David: But, you can change any of that. You can use your player. You can embed our player. You can use your own CDN. We'll publish to them all. You can, of course, use any encoder that you want as well. This is a very flexible system that is extraordinarily approachable, ease of use and economics, but we still have the power of Wowza behind it. We've got a full blow API that we haven't published yet but we will very shortly that let's you control this and make it part of any solution that you want to sell. It's good for publishers and it's also good for solution providers.

Eric:    Sounds great. Thanks for sharing the Wowza news and also a little bit of your insights on the industry. I've been talking to David Stubenvoll of Wowza Media Systems. I'm Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen of Streaming Media at NAB 2015.

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