App Publishers Can Now Easily Add Mobile Live Video Streaming to iOS and Android Apps

Posted 2/24/2016 9:20:57 AM by RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

App Publishers Can Now Easily Add Mobile Live Video Streaming to iOS and Android Apps
The quickly growing mainstream popularity of Twitter’s Periscope App, Facebook Live, YouTube Live Streaming, and Meerkat has certainly heightened the interest of many in the app publishing community who are interested in learning more about how to leverage live streaming. We visited with Carlos Perez, Chief Revenue Officer for Wowza Media Systems, to learn how app developers can successfully add mobile live video streaming to their app.

ADM: Why is mobile live video broadcasting so hot right now?

Perez: For one, there is massive demand from consumers, and in turn businesses that are looking to capitalize. The Internet and smartphones – together with the expectation of real-time access and the desire for visibility across any and every engagement – is reshaping all facets of technology. 

Live video is now expected by users who demand real-time access to events, and the resulting explosion is only going to intensify. Since inception just last year, Periscope has already exceeded over 100,000,000 live broadcasts.

At the same time, improvements in streaming video technology continue to make streaming video from a mobile device, video broadcasting and consumption, more affordable and less complex, opening up virtually limitless applications. 

From live-video social apps like Periscope (built on Wowza technology) to aerial reconnaissance via drones, live sporting events and insurance claim damage reporting, the personal and commercial uses of mobile live streaming are endless. And we’re just getting started. 

While receiving video on our mobile devices has been popular for several years now, and is only increasing in popularity, streaming and broadcasting from our phones is still in the early stages.

ADM: What are some of the challenges that app developers face when building an app that broadcasts live video from a mobile device?

Perez: A successful mobile live-streaming app requires a reliable end-to-end streaming workflow, from video and audio capture to encoding, transcoding, packaging, delivery, and playback. There are a number of approaches to consider up-front, and developers should look to proven technology at every stage. 

The right approach for your app depends on what pieces you already have, how fast you need to go to market, whether you need custom branding or functionality, and what developer and technology resources you have available. 

Another consideration is how to build a mobile live video app that can scale to accommodate large numbers of users without quality degradation when usage spikes. 

Take the recent Super Bowl game, which broke all prior streaming records for America’s big game with nearly four million unique viewers. While other apps might not need to scale quite that much, designing for volume needs to be a consideration when your goal is to get as many views as you can. 

Also related, latency can be an issue since there are multiple processing steps to deliver video to mobile devices, which can cause delays in delivery that can make “live video” not so live. That’s why virtually every delivery provider in the industry is working to solve the live streaming latency challenge.

ADM: How does the Wowza GoCoder SDK enable developers to create that next killer app?

Perez: The Wowza GoCoder SDK is designed for end-to-end mobile live video app development. We want organizations of any size to be able to quickly and affordably create their own new and improved apps that incorporate high-quality live video streaming on iOS and Android platforms, so their users can broadcast live from mobile devices anywhere at anytime. 

The toolkit simplifies mobile-app development and saves app developers thousands of hours and costly delays through its standard, cross-platform API to capture and stream live video - with broad support for the ever-growing spectrum of connected handheld devices. 

Direct integration with Wowza Streaming Engine software and the Wowza Streaming Cloud service provides a true end-to-end mobile broadcasting solution, using proven technology to speed time-to-market, lower development costs, and enable unlimited scalability.

ADM: How does mobile encoding and the GoCoder SDK and product set fit with other products and services Wowza offers?

Perez: Wowza continues to focus on solving key challenges and problems for our customers. In this case, our customers and prospects asked Wowza to help them solve the end-to-end Live Mobile Broadcasting challenge by offering a mobile encoding technology that seamlessly integrates with our Wowza Streaming Engine and Wowza Streaming Cloud offerings. 

Wowza is focused on streaming - making streaming available to any organization, regardless of size. We started with powerful streaming software, then added a cloud streaming service, so moving to mobile encoding to make the input part of the workflow easier is a natural progression.

ADM: Where do you see the biggest opportunities in terms of use cases and end user markets?

Perez: As mentioned earlier, the opportunities truly are endless. We see game-changing uses across industries including not only media and entertainment, but education, insurance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and the public sector, just to name a few.

ADM: What are some of the most interesting applications you’ve seen that utilize live streaming video?

Perez: In addition to the social media nature of live broadcasting your life, we have seen live streaming apps created for insurance companies to start a claim, apps for law enforcement and security firms, healthcare firms streaming surgeries for educational purposes around the world, and musicians streaming concerts. 

ADM: Where do you see the apps and streaming video industry heading in the next 3-5 years?

Perez: Up and to the right! Much like the consumption of video streaming has rapidly increased in the past 3-5 years - jumping the chasm between personal use into business use - so too will the video broadcasting app market. We anticipate that live streaming from mobile devices will not only be apps in-and-of themselves, but will serve as integral pieces of organizational apps for business purposes.

Also related, innovative technologies like Wearables (which stream live video), virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video will continue to find their way into professional settings. VR and 360-degree video in particular are emerging as two of the most innovative trends gaining mainstream attention - powering events such as live sports and concerts - and giving birth to a number of companies whose entire business model is predicated on mainstream acceptance of these technologies. 

On the consumer/media side, we expect to see more and more citizen journalism conducted over live video. People are starting to stream whatever they are experiencing and, when that experience is compelling or captures something interesting and spontaneous, people will tune in to watch. It’s going to be fun to watch these incredible uses of live streaming video play out over the next few years. 

ADM: How should an app developer, or anyone interested in Live Mobile Broadcasting, get started?  

Perez: We recently developed a guide that provides a great introduction, with some technical detail, for developers interested in getting started with live mobile video. It presents options, best practices, and examples for creating a mobile live video streaming app of your own or integrating live-streaming capabilities into your existing mobile app.

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About the author: RICHARD HARRIS, Executive Editor

As the Publisher and Editor for App Developer Magazine, Richard has several industry recognitions and endorsements from tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google for accomplishments in the mobile market. He was part of the early Google AFMA program, and also involved in the foundation of Google TV. He has been developing for mobile since 2003 and serves as CEO of Moonbeam Development, a mobile app company with 200 published titles in various markets throughout the world. Richard is also the founder of LunarAds, a mobile cross-promotion and self-serv mediation network for developers. He has been a featured presenter at trade-shows and conferences, and stays active with new projects relating to mobile development.

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