Streem: Delivering intelligent media monitoring services with Google Cloud

About Streem

Streem is a new generation media monitoring service. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Streem collects and analyzes online, print, television, and radio content on behalf of businesses. These clients use the service to track people, products, and brands.

Industries: Technology
Location: Australia

With Google Cloud Platform, Streem uses Google Cloud APIs to transcribe and analyze text and Google Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, and database solutions to provide a flexible, highly available media monitoring service.

Google Cloud Results

  • Enables the business to deliver comprehensive, timely media monitoring services spanning television, radio, print, and online outlets
  • Gains access to an agile, cloud-based platform that leverages the latest technologies
  • Delivers availability levels that meet the demanding requirements of large corporations

Reduces infrastructure costs by up to 20%

News coverage can have a powerful impact on business and personal reputations. A report or article can go global over social media in mere hours. The challenge for businesses is to monitor, analyze, and report on coverage and respond accordingly.

Streem is a new generation media monitoring service. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Streem collects and analyzes online, print, television, and radio content on behalf of businesses. These clients use the service to track people, products, and brands.

A tailored service

Streem aims to provide a highly customized service and disrupt established players. “We aim to understand our clients’ businesses so we can determine what they care about and tailor our setups accordingly,” Antoine Sabourin, Chief Technology Officer, Streem, says. While the service is accessible to businesses of all sizes, the Streem platform focuses on meeting the needs of larger organizations, including ASX 100 companies and large government departments, covered extensively by the media.

According to Sabourin, Streem aims to provide an experience that delivers better insights and calls clients to action faster and more effectively than its competitors.

Streem has employed the latest web technologies to develop its media monitoring platform. The company’s founders also decided the platform would be born in the cloud — enabling them to avoid investing in servers, storage, and associated systems of an on-premises data center. Streem then began operations on a traditional cloud service.

“We tried many other APIs that are available out there and found Google APIs to be the most advanced.”

Antoine Sabourin, Chief Technology Officer, Streem

Rapid feature delivery

As the business matured, Streem’s technology team explored options to enhance the performance and cost-effectiveness of the platform. The team explored the products available through Google Cloud Platform and migrated some systems to the service when Google launched its Sydney Region in mid-2017. “I could see Google Cloud Platform enabling us to build and deliver features faster and operate more flexibly than in our incumbent cloud service,” Sabourin says.

Furthermore, Google Cloud Platform was a sound cultural fit for the business. “We are trying to grow by providing a more flexible product and a better service for our customers,” Sabourin explains.

The business started its Google Cloud Platform journey with Google Cloud APIs. These enabled Streem to interface directly with Google services from its own code and automate key workloads. “We tried many other APIs that are available out there and found Google APIs to be the most advanced,” Sabourin says. Streem captures broadcast content and combines human intelligence with computer resources including the Cloud Speech-to-Text API to provide more complete and accurate transcriptions quicker. In addition, the business leverages the machine learning-powered Cloud Natural Language API to extract relevant topics, brands, and text from media reports.

Streem also targets Google machine learning services as a way of widening the gap between itself and its competitors. The business has, for instance, developed an algorithm based on machine learning models running on Google Cloud to distinguish between music and speech-based radio content, helping minimize human labor.

“We’ve been able to reduce the time required to provision and launch a new service from an hour to just a few minutes.”

Antoine Sabourin, Chief Technology Officer, Streem

Streem has now expanded its use of Google Cloud Platform services to include Google Kubernetes Engine. “We’ve been able to reduce the time required to provision and launch a new service from an hour to just a few minutes,” Sabourin explains. “Furthermore, autoscaling is just one click away and can support a tenfold increase in traffic during our busiest periods relative to our quietest times.

“Finally, having the same deployment process for any kind of technology stack — we have a mix of Ruby, Python, and Java/Scala applications — is convenient for our developers. They did not have to learn different toolsets to run and scale their projects.”

The availability of infrastructure services from the Google Cloud Sydney Region also piqued Streem’s interest. The business has started using a range of infrastructure services, including Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, and Cloud SQL. These services provide cloud-based compute, storage, and database resources respectively that enable Streem to run its media monitoring service effectively.

Flexibility key to success

As a startup, Streem welcomed the flexibility Google Cloud Platform provided. “We can select the exact instance size we need with Google Cloud Platform,” Sabourin says. “Furthermore, we can change our virtual machine instance sizes as we collect more data and experiment easily with our infrastructure and databases. In other cloud environments, the costs of performing similar activities are relatively high, and we would have had to commit to long-term use to reduce these.”

“We also found Google Cloud Platform to be more open and up to date with the latest cloud technologies. It really feels like everything moves a bit faster without facing vendor lock-in-risks.”

Antoine Sabourin, Chief Technology Officer, Streem

A 20% cost saving

Sabourin estimates the business is saving up to 20% of costs compared to other cloud services. “Transparency is another attribute,” he says. “As soon as you start using a new service with Google, it tells you how much you are likely to pay.”

Google Cloud Platform has met Streem’s availability requirements, all but eliminating outages that could compromise the customer experience and diminish the credibility of its media monitoring service. The business can also record and process large volumes of content for analysis, and index that content in its search engine in a matter of minutes, meeting the expectations of the most demanding customers.

“We also found Google Cloud Platform to be more open and up to date with the latest cloud technologies,” Sabourin says. “It really feels like everything moves a bit faster without facing vendor lock-in risks.”

Account team support

The Google Cloud Platform account team has played a key role in helping Streem obtain value from its investment in the service. “The team has helped us make the most of Google Cloud Platform products by making us aware of training and implementation support,” Sabourin says. “They have also provided access to features we may not even have known about.

“Furthermore, we have joined a testing program that enables us to gain early access to new products so we can provide feedback,” he adds. “It’s a win-win. Google gets to improve its products and we benefit from new products before the general market. It’s been a very fruitful relationship.”

About Streem

Streem is a new generation media monitoring service. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Streem collects and analyzes online, print, television, and radio content on behalf of businesses. These clients use the service to track people, products, and brands.

Industries: Technology
Location: Australia
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