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NAB Perspectives: Wowza Media Systems’ Stubenvoll on Bringing Streaming Cloud Services to the Masses

April 24th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Brandon Costa

It was a big NAB Show for Wowza Media Systems, which made some of the biggest product introductions in its history. With the new Wowza Streaming Engine Pro and Wowza Streaming Cloud, the company is looking to make streaming services — especially transcoding — more cost-effective for the various levels of content creators.

SVG sat down with Wowza CEO/co-founder Dave Stubenvoll to chat about those new products and how an end-to-end streaming infrastructure in the cloud can be accessible to content creators across the board.

Wowza Media Systems’ CEO/co-founder David Stubenvoll (left) in the company’s NAB 2015 booth with CTO/co-founder Charlie Good.

Wowza Media Systems’ CEO/co-founder David Stubenvoll (left) in the company’s NAB 2015 booth with CTO/co-founder Charlie Good

What’s new with Wowza that fits with your sports clients?
Engine Pro is the new pricing and packaging for Wowza Streaming Engine that actually takes what used to be extra-cost components — transcoding, network DVR, and digital-rights management — and bundles that in Wowza Streaming Engine. Primarily, most of our customers use our software subscription, so they pay for the software every month that they use it. For $65, you can get unlimited transcoding. That is a transcoding price point that is unheard of in the industry, and we’ve gotten tremendously positive feedback for that. It’s all for live [production]. Particularly for sports and the smaller sports organizations, this is very accessible. It allows you to deliver at scale with the same technology that 45% of CDNs worldwide use to deliver media. You can put it under your own control and get that out.

The other bit that is, I think, even better is Wowza Streaming Cloud. We took the power of Wowza Streaming Engine — which is live, VOD, remote recording — and created a fully architected and built end-to-end streaming infrastructure in the cloud. Initially, Cloud is only live. With that, while we offer the end-to-end, you can use our own Android and iPhone Go Coder all the way out to our own hosted page with a player, or you can replace any piece in between.

So bring your own encoders. We have the Works With Wowza program, which means we have direct relationships with all of the top encoder companies, and we support hundreds more. You can use your own players on the backend; you can even use your own CDN in the middle if you want. It’s an extraordinarily effective system for getting people to where they need to go. You can be up and running in minutes; if you want to put in your own special sauce, we’ll give you the spoon.

That accessibility to the technology is one of the reasons colleges are attracted to you.
Absolutely. Groups like MLB Advanced Media are great customers of ours. We’re not used in places where [there is] broadcast infrastructure. We’re in the minor-league stadiums, and we help them with all of the other crazy sports they help handle. We’re just a very effective system for that in live [production] and on-demand.

Live is hard. It comes with its own special issues, and we’ve done it very well for over eight years.

Any big trends jumping out at you at this show?
We’re hearing more about 4K and HEVC. Google and Facebook love VP9, so we’re hearing more stuff about that, which is an interesting alternative. We support VP8, VP9, and we do all of that in our transcoder. But the desire for really high-quality, really high-reliability sports streaming is there.