Massmotionmedia spreads global HD diffusion thanks to Cedexis

Context

On a global scale, every Internet user has watched 186 videos a month during the year 2011. And this number is growing constantly.

Since 2007, Massmotionmedia has been a key player on the online video market, with a focus on delivering the highest quality video experience to every end user, anywhere and on any device. Founded by Three Web development, broadcast and network specialists, Massmotionmedia has 50 clients today, mainly film distributors and luxury brands.

The company’s service portfolio includes video content distribution, globally, on every type of device with the highest levels of performance (very high video quality, quick start, no interruption) from whichever country.

Ensuring the highest video quality is an increasingly complex challenge, with the proliferation of devices types within the home and without, including Tablets, Smart-phones and Connect TVs. Through continued investment, Massmotionmedia addresses these issues, with significant proprietary technology and reliable partnerships, in order to deliver more than a hundred million videos every month, with bandwidth going from 300 Kbps to more than 3500 Kbps.

It is a real challenge, knowing that consumer demand will continuously grow. Equipment provider Cisco believes that connected TVs will be responsible for more than 6% of the global Internet traffic by 2016 and 18% of video traffic… With users always more demanding on the highest quality video experience.

Challenge

The initial Massmotionmedia infrastructure was based in France with the purpose of providing the highest quality service throughout for european user’s. As the demands of their customers became global, Massmotionmedia incorporated the services of CDNs worldwide.

At the request of a client in the Luxury goods industry, Massmotionmedia performed a survey on global video performance, using proprietary tools, to compare the various types of distribution (progressive download, streaming, etc.) in various countries, from various ports of connection.

« We have collected hundreds of user’s measurements to build the first comparison database of the main CDNs on the market, » explains Jocelyn Guyon, co-founder of Massmotionmedia and Video Department Manager.

He adds : « We then decided to choose one CDN. However, our video player is capable of informing us with statistics about the real user’s viewing experience, so we quickly realized the limitations of this choice. One CDN could show ultimate performance or not, depending on the geographical location of a user, depending on the hour and the country. In the same conditions, we then tested another CDN and rolled out business usage, but the same issues were leading to same conclusion: each CDN has its own advantage and weakness. »

The business of Massmotionmedia is to deliver high quality video contents with optimal performance, but they couldn’t find one CDN providing optimal performance to every user, anytime, anywhere in the world.

Guillaume Desouhant, Business Development Manager for Massmotionmedia, states : « Our interest, and our customer’s interest, is to deliver high quality files, meaning lots of Bytes… and very heavy files. It is only possible if CDNs are able to deliver the files with instant response time and throughput. If we detect an interruption for one of our users, it means that we didn’t scale the solution well enough. »

For Massmotionmedia, more than 7 seconds of video session buffering leads to an almost 100% abandon rate. The company decided to focus on less than 4 seconds of buffering time using an intelligent solution based on choice of quality and choice of device. To achieve it, they first make simulations before rolling anything out, working on the throughput rate related to every country and defining an optimal global diffusion strategy.

« Editors realize that it’s impossible to agree on a single video distribution profile when delivering content to every user on the planet (…) That’s why we always invite our customers to consider a multi-quality / multi-throughput distribution scheme, delivering optimal service to final users based on his location. Choosing a unique throughput rate for everyone is a failure waiting to happen: buffering times could easily last more than 20 seconds and, without any monitoring tool based on user’s experience, no one from the editor to the agency would measure the extent of the failure,…» underlines Jocelyn Guyon.

univ_massmotion
The Massmotion player on Universal Pictures French website.

Cedexis usage

With precious data in hand, Massmotionmedia wanted to fine tune their streaming strategy even more, to offer their customers the guarantee of a viewing experience without any interruption and with buffering times strictly down to a minimum, from New York to Beijing.

A first meeting with Cedexis helped to define a promising and fruitful collaboration.

« We quickly understood the advantage of a solution putting CDNs into natural competition depending on performance criteria, including data coming from Cedexis Radar » explains Jocelyn Guyon.

Shortly after the integration of Radar (the main Cloud/CDN performance monitoring tool from Cedexis) Massmotionmedia confirmed that their first choice of CDN was not the best.

Guillaume Desouhant confirms : « Our in-house analysis matched the one from Cedexis, based on billions of real-time measurements. This relevance comforted us into signing with Cedexis and, on another level, with a few CDNs to deploy a multi-CDN distribution strategy powered by the Radar data and our user-centric statistics. »

Because the delivery of HD video, globally and without interruption, requires a level of performance never seen before, the delivery partners must be quick to react but also guarantee a constant optimal throughput, during a limited time, to the final user’s networks.

The Cedexis R&D team furthermore proposed to Massmotionmedia to test a new feature in Openmix, the multi-provider load-balancing service.

During the first days, Massmotionmedia noticed that a dynamically selected CDN by OpenMix, depending on response times, was not always the CDN offering the best bandwidth to some access networks.

Cedexis proposed to incorporate throughput monitoring between each user and each CDN, as an additional source of data for the routing of each user to the best partner.

The results

Evolvign from a single CDN strategy to dynamically managed multi-sourcing by Cedexis Openmix, Massmotionmedia demonstrated that a well-managed distribution, based on real time metrics provided optimum results.

Thanks to real time throughput level measurements from Cedexis Radar, Massmotionmedia could spot that one CDN with fewer occurrences of bandwidth variability was a better choice.

« For us, response times and bandwidth are both taken into consideration. Cedexis proposed a routing tool depending on the real time measurement of throughput for each partner. There was no better way to address our needs: CDNs with high bandwidth capacity are to be considered… but it’s important that they show good levels of response times in some key countries, » insists Jocelyn Guyon.

He further adds : « From a global point-of-view today, we are able to maintain a high ratio of QoS (quality of service) / user’s experience, which means delivering very high quality content globally with minimal buffering times, reducing or eliminating viewing interruption. By showing us how to work with various CDNs, Cedexis helped to optimize our performance and to validate our own analysis mechanics. »

Finaly, « the integration of a routing solution depending on throughput levels allowed us to raise our HD diffusion rate of 5% compared to our previous performance parameter settings. It even helped us to spot a CDN with good response time levels but unsatisfactory bandwidth. As of today, Cedexis is fully integrated to our tools and participates to the continuous optimization of our ‘ATAWADAC’ (Any Time, Any Where, Any Device, Any Content) video strategy. »

In the near future, Massmotionmedia will also integrate their hosting infrastructure into their routing strategy in order to address users in some specific countries.