Vidio: Streaming on Google Cloud and scaling 9,000% without disruption

About Vidio

Vidio is a subsidiary of EMTEK Group and provides the most complete streaming service in Indonesia. As well as being connected directly to more than 21 television streaming services, Vidio presents thousands of items of local and international content to video-on-demand services and pay-television networks. By March 2020, the number of active Vidio users had reached more than 60 million per month, an increase of 30% from the previous month. Vidio is also among the leading apps downloaded by Indonesian residents from the Google Play Store and the App Store.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: Indonesia

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With Google Cloud, Vidio is running a collaborative, secure workplace and a scalable, cost-effective infrastructure to deliver its OTT video service to more than 60 million Indonesian residents.

Google Cloud results

  • Groups enable seamless collaboration and movement of individuals between teams
  • Supporting interactive features such as live chat for video viewers
  • Gained access to powerful cloud compute resources to support continued business growth

Increases transcoding capacity by 9,000% to support spikes in demand for video streaming

Video streaming is becoming increasingly entrenched in the Indonesian market and quality content is key to success. Vidio, a subsidiary of EMTEK Group, provides one of the most complete streaming services in Indonesia. As well as being connected directly to more than 21 television streaming services, Vidio presents thousands of items of local and international content to video-on-demand services and pay-television networks. The business also provides exclusive content for original series and movies, across categories including sport, drama, and documentaries. Users can view content provided by Vidio anytime on the web and through devices such as mobile phones and smart televisions.

By March 2020, the number of active Vidio users had reached more than 60 million per month, an increase of 30% from the previous month. Vidio is also among the leading apps downloaded by Indonesian residents from the Google Play Store and the App Store.

To compete effectively with multinational OTT providers, Vidio focuses on delivering an experience tailored to Indonesian viewers. This makes discoverability a key responsibility of the Vidio engineering team. “We have millions of items of professionally produced content and it is extremely important we surface the right content for each user,” says Tommy Sullivan, Chief Technology Officer at Vidio “We do this through a balance of data-driven user segmentation, per-segment content curation, and machine learning for behavioural recommendations. Delivering that content quickly, efficiently, and reliably is another set of engineering responsibilities.”

“We found the cost efficiency of Google Cloud to be very high. So we elected to move our data, compute, and media to the platform as part of a broader plan to standardize our usage.”

Tommy Sullivan, Chief Technology Officer, Vidio

High throughput demands

Vidio started operations on a domestic cloud service in Indonesia but quickly found its demands exceeded the provider’s capacity. “There were instances where our demands—video being high bandwidth and high throughput—maxed out the cloud service’s capacity,” says Sullivan. “We simply weren’t able to buy any more capacity from them.”

The business opted then to use the infrastructure provided by a traditional multinational cloud service. However, as part of a project to take over the BlackBerry Messenger consumer messaging service, Vidio was able to benchmark Google Cloud pricing and compute efficiency against other cloud providers. “We found the cost efficiency of Google Cloud to be very high,” says Sullivan. “So we elected to move our data, compute, and media to the platform as part of a broader plan to standardize our usage.”

“Many companies use Google Workspace’s Groups for Business for communication and workspace collaboration, but having those same access control lists flow into Google Cloud services has made my life easier.”

Tommy Sullivan, Chief Technology Officer, Vidio

Existing familiarity with Google Workspace

Vidio already had experience and familiarity with Google Cloud due to the deployment of Google Workspace across the business. “Many companies use Google Workspace’s Groups for Business for communication and workspace collaboration, but having those same access control lists flow into Google Cloud services has made my life easier,” says Sullivan. “Our employees can move seamlessly between departments and Groups, while identity and endpoint administration available through Google Workspace enables us to manage all of them from a single console.”

The business completed the migration with near-100% availability—minimizing disruption to users—and is using Pub/Sub for event ingestion and delivery and Dataflow for fully managed stream analytics processing. “These are very useful tools in our data pipeline,” says Sullivan.

Controlling compute costs for transcoding

Vidio is also controlling its compute costs through the use of preemptible instances—affordable, short-lived virtual machine instances optimized for batch jobs and fault-tolerant applications—and its evaluation found the Google Cloud versions provided better value than those offered by other, traditional cloud providers. The business is also able to use those instances to complete transcoding—converting video to the best format for its service—in a scalable infrastructure.

Furthermore, using CDN Interconnect to enable CDN providers to establish direct peering links with Google Cloud and take advantage of special pricing for traffic egressing from Google Cloud to approved providers is saving the business $10,000 per month. Vidio is also taking advantage of the flexibility and predictable rates of Google Cloud Role-Based Support to avoid $12,000 per month in support costs that may be incurred on another cloud provider.

“We have scaled our transcoding instances as needed to support Indonesia’s dynamic news cycle. Within a short period of time recently we grew our transcoding capacity by over 9,000%.”

Tommy Sullivan, Chief Technology Officer, Vidio

New interactive services

Google Cloud has played a key role in improving the interactivity of Vidio services and consequently providing a more engaging user experience. Vidio is running live chat on Compute Engine with websocket servers and Memorystore for Redis providing application caches with sub-millisecond data access. “We are integrating chat so audiences can join the fun of particular shows—for example, we stream a quiz show that sees children play games such as guessing answers to questions and solving riddles,” says Sullivan. “With live chat, children and adults can play along themselves as well.”

9,000% increase in transcoding capacity

Using Google Cloud has enabled the business to adjust its transcoding capacity to support increased demand during high-profile events or incidents. “We have scaled our transcoding instances as needed to support Indonesia’s dynamic news cycle,” says Sullivan. “Within a short period of time recently, we grew our transcoding capacity by over 9,000%.”

Sullivan rates Google Cloud—including Google Workspace—as an all-in-one business enablement platform. “Google Cloud is a powerful engine to support our growth in the vibrant Indonesian market,” says Sullivan. “We’re extremely excited about working with Google Cloud over the coming months and years to continue realizing our vision of being a leading over the top video provider here. ”

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About Vidio

Vidio is a subsidiary of EMTEK Group and provides the most complete streaming service in Indonesia. As well as being connected directly to more than 21 television streaming services, Vidio presents thousands of items of local and international content to video-on-demand services and pay-television networks. By March 2020, the number of active Vidio users had reached more than 60 million per month, an increase of 30% from the previous month. Vidio is also among the leading apps downloaded by Indonesian residents from the Google Play Store and the App Store.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: Indonesia