Facing growing demand for a live concert experience

On Air, a pay-per-view on-demand streaming service, launched its first streaming solution for live concerts and performances in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the demand for live streaming content increased more quickly than On Air could have anticipated.

The company realized that it needed a more robust solution so that it could continue to deliver a high-quality live concert experience to fans. On Air reached out to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Nomad for help creating an updated solution.

Nomad’s namesake solution is a software-as-a-service-based content management system (CMS) built on AWS. “Building this solution on our own would have been very time consuming,” says Angelo Lamme, head of product at On Air. “Nomad CMS was already a proven solution. It was very clear to us that Nomad understood our language, so we could start customizing Nomad CMS to make it suitable for our needs.”

By working with Nomad to integrate Nomad CMS into its existing streaming solution, On Air was able to launch a new ultra-high definition streaming solution in less than three months.

Customizing a proven CMS solution

Nomad, a content and media management solution provider, offers solutions for video creation and live streaming. Its goal is to help companies focus on delivering media rather than focusing on the technology and infrastructure behind it.

The company takes advantage of the AWS Software Partner Path and belongs to the AWS Solution Provider Program, which helps AWS Partners resell and deliver AWS services to customers as part of the AWS Partners’ unique offerings. Nomad’s staff members have obtained five AWS Certifications. One of those is AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional, a credential that helps organizations identify and develop talent with critical skills for implementing cloud initiatives.

Several years ago, Nomad worked mainly with a file-based workflow. More recently, Nomad began working primarily with live workflows, recording and archiving video for customers to use in the future.

Nomad CMS is built on AWS. For all external requests to Nomad components, it uses Amazon API Gateway, a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. And for its web file host, Nomad CMS uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.

Streamlining workflows in the cloud

“On Air came to us and said that it needed to get this new solution online,” says Adam Miller, founder and lead architect of Nomad. “Using Nomad CMS made it simple for us to integrate most of the technology and bring it directly into On Air’s user interface.”

Nomad customized the CMS for On Air so that it could integrate seamlessly with On Air’s existing streaming solution. Nomad’s new, integrated solution effectively became On Air’s new backend.

Nomad CMS handles upcoming show dates, provides support for multiple languages and currencies, and creates metadata for events. The user interface, through which On Air administrative users manage content, has a simple-to-navigate folder view. This gives On Air access to all media in the system, including images, artwork, audio, video, and trailers.

To transcode and package media into web-friendly formats for optimal playback, the solution uses AWS Media Services, which let users create digital content and build live and on-demand video workflows. And for highly scalable content delivery to On Air users worldwide, Nomad uses Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience. All On Air has to do is drag and drop content, and Nomad CMS automatically does the transcoding and creates thumbnails and metadata.

“Behind the scenes, Nomad CMS is controlling all this,” says Miller. “So the customer has the ability to showcase their branded experience without having to worry about all the technical nuances.”

The virtual venue solution delivers high-definition video and audio using AWS Elemental MediaLive, a broadcast-grade live video processing service. Previously, after a facility partner uploaded media assets to a server, On Air would need to download the asset, reformat it, postprocess it, and upload it to a legacy video provider. Now, the facility partner uploads assets through the Nomad solution, which then uses AWS Elemental services—which include AWS Elemental MediaConvert, a file-based video transcoding service with broadcast-grade features, as well as AWS Elemental MediaPackage, which reliably prepares and protects video for delivery over the internet—to process the file for playout.

Using MediaLive, On Air can now broadcast content in ultra-high definition using immersive audio technology. Previously, the company could only broadcast in high definition with stereo sound. And as a result of these streamlined processes, On Air is realizing a more than 60 percent time savings on media workflows.

For long-term storage of the original media files after transcoding, On Air uses Amazon S3 Glacier storage classes, which let users choose from three archive storage classes optimized for different access patterns and storage duration. And to manage user accounts, the solution employs Amazon DynamoDB, a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database designed to run high-performance applications at any scale. It also uses Amazon Cognito, which businesses can use to add user sign-up, sign-in, and access control to web and mobile applications quickly and easily.

Through its partnership with Nomad and by customizing Nomad CMS, On Air was able to relaunch its virtual venue solution in less than three months.

Succeeding through partnerships

Because it worked with Nomad to customize Nomad CMS, On Air completed the solution improvement project more quickly and cost effectively than it could have done alone or by working with multiple vendors.

“What’s nice is that through the power of the cloud, we have the ability to distribute the solution virtually instantly with high performance,” says Miller. “So when these big shows come online, we have the ability to scale instantly from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of users, and you don’t have to touch your infrastructure. It just works.”

About Nomad

Nomad provides a content and media management system that makes it possible for users to focus on creating and distributing media rather than the complexities of the technology behind the process. Learn more about Nomad.