“Competition in OTT solutions is what makes it exciting:" Amagi's Baskar Subramanian

Founded in 2008, Bengaluru-hqed broadcasting, cloud and OTT ad and tech solutions provider Amagi is a homegrown outfit that is slowly and steadily making its mark globally, thanks to its innovative tech prowess.  With offices in New York, London and Hong Kong, and its R&D lab in Bangalore,  Amagi has made  deployments in over 40 countries and delivers more than 80 feeds to audiences worldwide. Its client roster features some big ticket premium players like: Discovery Communications (for DSport), Vice (for its Viceland channel),  Turner, AMC, IMG and B4U.

Like previous years, the company is exhibiting at the global broadcast and OTT ecosystem confab, IBC in Amsterdam. Among the tech solutions it is showcasing at the exhibition include:  Cloudport channel Playout, Thunderstorm OTT Ad insertion, and Storm TV localization.’s Kirti Chauhan had a brief conversation with Amagi CEO Baskar Subramanian about the company’s participation in IBC as well as on its journey so far. Excerpts from the interview: 

What are the innovations you are bringing to IBC 2017?

This time we are carrying two big innovations. First is related to machine learning capabilities or we call it the new deep learning capabilities, the artificial intelligence approach. For the first time, we are announcing products and services that would leverage machine learning capabilities to create new services. For example, we are demonstrating the  sports highlight feature.

In a 90 minutes live soccer match, as soon as the match completes, a video editor identifies and creates a 10-15 minutes highlight show removing injuries, fouls and much more non-highlight things.

But, Amagi has created a system that can automatically spit out 10 minutes highlights without worrying about missing the key factors.

This is one step in the evolution of the bunch of services we are bringing in, which is going to transform how content is processed more in terms of live as well as VOD content.

The new capabilities allow us to create promos, key frames, and much more with the help of our new solutions, which are done manually today.

The second big innovation is the auto ad detection capability. It is an OTT offering. We have created a mechanism that can identify an ad and content separately so that each can be monetized on an individual basis.

What is the amount of investment put in the technologies, which you are showcasing at IBC 2017?

Amagi has raised $60 million to date and a large part of these funds are used on technology and research and development from the past six years. The products and innovations which we are going to present in IBC 2017 are a result of that R&D. We have raised  $35 million earlier in this year from KKR Emerald Media.

How much traction has your ad insertion solution got globally?

The total amount of ad insertion transaction we have done is close to about $30 million.

You are entering a competitive market in OTT end-to-end solutions. Comment.

There are three different parts specifically to the OTT value chain today. Looking at it from the technology standpoint, there is a need for OTT platform, that is, first, the software infrastructure, users interface towards the customers and the interaction with the customers. That is the whole customer related platform which is the online platform.

Second is the advertising monetization, which is a separate piece of managing the monetization part. And third is video back pulling which is bringing the content into the system.

Amagi basically focuses on its strength -  which is ad monetization as well as video back and forth today. We work with multiple different online platforms.

Yes, it is a competitive market and that is the exciting part. The market is growing dramatically in this segment. Many different players from different parts of the globe are getting into this particular space.

Who is your target clientele for live streaming online?

Our target clientele is everybody who is into live streaming of any sort of content. One bunch is the large professional  sports TV channels. Another bunch of clients we are targeting is Youtube stars and wannabes. Those who already exist on Youtube space now are looking to create live events and sessions.

We have few clients worldwide who have started to look at it and lot more is going to happen in the next few months, where we will be seeing digital first companies becoming great consumers of live streaming capabilities on the internet.

For example, we already have channels that are using Amagi’s infrastructure for live sports. In India, DSport,  a Discovery Communications sports channel, is run by Amagi. We are handling their live content day in and day out. Content coming in from worldwide is going through our infrastructure where we help them to orchestrate and create live streams for different sports events worldwide. Currently, we are managing their Pakistan vs World XI  match via Bangalore.

How you will take out the interruptions (ad breaks) from the live content that you are demonstrating at IBC2017?

When an event happens, we take the whole event content into the cloud, and then there is a stream of the event coming as an IP stream or internet stream into the cloud. In the cloud, Amagi can through a browser insert exact points of the ad. For example, if we are watching a cricket match, exactly at the end of an over to put an advertisement, Amagi uses its browser-based approach. Another current example, in the DSport scenario, the satellite uplink is happening in Hong Kong,  the cricket match is happening in Pakistan, the control of the advertising, graphics and sports score card is done in Bangalore.

Amagi does the effective master control of the whole live stream from the Bangalore master control room on cloud infrastructure. Amagi has built out sophisticated and complex architecture that we are demonstrating at IBC 2017 as our new innovation.

What would be the time lag in the telecasting of the live content?

From the time the camera captures the event to the time it comes to on any screen is called glass-to-glass latency. In Amagi, the glass-to-glass latency is about 10 seconds.

How have you scaled up to offer these solutions?

Amagi’s infrastructure has been built from a software architecture standpoint through which we would be able to scale and offer thousands of services. Once, applied on a public cloud infrastructure like Amazon, Microsoft Azure, then it starts scaling up dramatically.

How do you operationalize these channels and run them?

Amagi uses a lot of automation instead of people and has built automated monitoring capabilities, alerts, and system capabilities. Everything is automated, as much as possible, and we minimize manpower, as well as our scalability, is automatically addressed using machines.

How do you manage monetization?

Amagi has the technology to identify the location of all the ads breaks on the online television content, which is available on television today. Once it is identified, we connect with ad networks and ad exchanges and sell the advertisements to them.

What is your expectation from these innovations?

Fundamentally the innovations we are doing are world class and pioneering. We will be probably the only company or one of the companies talking about taking the machine learning and artificial intelligence approach. Also like Google and Microsoft, we will be one of the few companies, which talks about these capabilities for broadcasting as a media business programmer.

Also read:

Managed Broadcast Services Amagi's Skylight Cloud Platform

Amagi wins IBC Innovation Award

Amagi to provide ad solutions to Sun TV Network

Latest Reads
Pune Times joins hands with the Pune Police to launch the 'City Safe' app, as part of #MakeMyCitySafe initiative

Pune Times, city supplement of leading media house, The Times of India, has joined hands with Pune Police to support an initiative for women’s safety in the city. Pune Times has launched its campaign #MakeMyCitySafe as a big shout out to the youth of Pune to come together to make the city safer...

Technology Software Applications
HAL Robotics ropes in Navanit Samaiyar as board member and advisor

MUMBAI: HAL Robotics has roped in Navanit Samaiyar as its board member and advisor. Samaiyar has a record of setting up, scaling and transforming businesses across a very wide cross section of industries spanning from IT/ ITeS to steel, telecom, engineering goods, earthmoving machinery, logistics...

Technology Hardware Components
Republic TV launches Android app

MUMBAI: Republic TV is on a roll. From rocking the ratings chart in launch week itself to going international, the channel has added one more accomplishment to its kitty. The Republic TV Android app is now live.

Technology Software Applications
STB cos in India, China enhancing features, providing customised solutions, Technavio enlists top vendors

MUMBAI: The global STB market is characterised by intense competition as the market is saturated in developed countries. The market share of these players is declining because of the entry of new players. The STB companies are enhancing the features of STBs and providing customised solutions to...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India's PFT Clear Media ERP suite to help US' PBS content delivery

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology arm of Prime Focus, announced that its CLEAR™ Media ERP Suite has been selected by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to enhance their Network Operations Center (NOC) ecosystem efficiencies and sustainability, with the objective of reducing...

Technology Software Applications
Broadcasters, OTTs to gain as Via adds xHE-AAC at special rate

MUMBAI: Via Licensing Corporation, a intellectual property solutions provider, has announced the upcoming availability of Extended High Efficiency AAC (xHE-AAC) as part of the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) patent pool. The expanded patent pool licence will be available at no additional cost to...

Technology Software Applications
Tata Comm to deliver Motorsport videos on global devices

MUMBAI: Tata Communications will now deliver video content for viewers' all devices over its global network. The two have partnered to power the growth of the network’s internet television platforms.

Technology Software Applications
How to create live video content sans pros, convert radio broadcast into visual show

MUMBAI: ChyronHego will be showcasing its live production, automation solutions at Broadcast India show in Mumbai in mid-October.

Technology Software Applications
Sony renews IP licence deal with TiVo

MUMBAI: TiVo Corporation, a leader in entertainment technology and audience insights, has announced that Sony Corporation, a leader in consumer electronics, has renewed its multi-year intellectual property (IP) licence agreement. The license to TiVo’s patent portfolios covers all of Sony’s...

Technology Software Applications

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories