Co-founder & CEO at CloudCover
Genflix, launched in 2014 as Indonesia’s first over-the-top (OTT) video service, was founded by an all Indonesian team. Since then, Genflix has offered a compelling mix of live sports, e-sports, and popular movies on demand. The service attracts close to over 6 million users to its applications on iOS and Android and website. Subscribers enjoy unlimited viewing on up to three devices for a monthly fee of rp49k or about US$3.40.
In 2019, Genflix decided to migrate its video-on-demand (VOD) media workflow to Amazon Web Services (AWS). With version 2.0 of its mobile platform scheduled to launch before the year-end, the move to a flexible cloud infrastructure offered Genflix a future-ready technology foundation. It could now deliver exceptional user experience and facilitate the expansion of its dynamic services.
The Genflix video team built a rigorous requirement set for its new VOD media workflow. Efficiency was a top priority. With a library of 10,000 hours of VOD content, transcoding and distribution had to be fast and seamless.
The project had a three-month window to design and deploy the new infrastructure in order to meet the launch deadline for the updated platform. And, cost was a critical factor, as the new workflow had to align with the organization’s forecasted operating budget, without adding significant expense.
CloudCover, an Amazon Partner Network Advanced Consulting Partner, collaborated with Genflix and AWS to plan and implement a new VOD media infrastructure that aligned with Genflix’s business strategy and technology requirements.
CloudCover based the Genflix workflow on a broad selection of AWS services, including several AWS Media Services. The workflow was designed with an emphasis on cloud-native automated processes and serverless computing, implementing an array of Lambda functions to optimize cost and achieve consistent, high performance. It was also designed for high availability and scalability, accounting for the large and growing volume of content that required storage and management.
Following are the key elements of the VOD media infrastructure:
Asset Storage: CloudCover designed the Genflix workflow for high availability and scalability, accounting for the large and growing volumes of content Genflix needs to store and manage. Within the video-processing workflow, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) stores the ingested and transcoded video content. When new content is uploaded, S3 uses the HeadObject S3 API to extract the metadata and triggers an AWS Lambda function.
The Lambda function sends the metadata of the video content into an Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) queue. Any information related to video content, such as media metadata and user data, is stored in an Amazon DynamoDB database.
Video Transcoding: A separate AWS Lambda function listens to events coming out of the SQS queue and creates a job in AWS Elemental MediaConvert to transcode video content when triggered. The transcoded assets are saved in Amazon S3.
With AWS SQS, the process of simulating a sequence of first-in, first-out events is seamless, enabling Genflix to dynamically scale the video processing resources based on demand.
With MediaConvert, Genflix can assure consistent, high-quality viewing experiences for browser-based viewing and a full complement of mobile devices.
Video Packaging: When the transcoded assets are saved to Amazon S3, an AWS Lambda function is triggered to create secure asset endpoints for the transcoded content in AWS Elemental MediaPackage, which prepares and delivers video content for distribution. Digital rights management (DRM) is applied via the Pallycon Multi-DRM service as part of the MediaPackage packaging group settings.
CloudCover designed a solution that automates the usage of the MediaPackage packaging groups for batched transcoding jobs. When the current packaging group crosses its asset limit during transcoding, CloudCover’s custom script automatically uses the next packaging group in the sequence to assure efficient, uninterrupted video processing for massive transcoding workloads.
Content Distribution: The secured endpoints are sent to the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN) for distribution to viewers across Indonesia. The workflow generates Amazon CloudWatch Event rules to filter specific events that are used as triggers for other services, such as the status of the transcoding jobs in MediaConvert. Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) sends email notifications to fulfill the monitoring and reporting requirements.
Within the three-month project timeline, CloudCover designed, deployed, and ramped-to-production a new VOD workflow for Genflix on AWS.
Genflix launched its upgraded mobile application on schedule with a workflow that scales based on demand, conserves its technology budget with pay-as-you-go utility, and delivers high-quality viewing experiences across a full range of devices and screens.
Genflix was able to transcode more than 10,000 video assets through the workflow while enabling its video team to store, transcode, and manage content centrally with much greater efficiency than was previously possible.
“CloudCover brought a highly experienced and committed team to our workflow transformation,” said Greeny Dewayanti, Director of Marketing and Product at Genflix. “The result was an all-new workflow built on AWS that delivered a big impact and value to our business. CloudCover offers exactly what we look for in a partner.”
“We were able to achieve our customer’s goals thanks to the strong technical team Sinar Mas and Genflix brought to the project,” said Dhruv Parpia, CTO of CloudCover. “Clear communication and smart, stringent requirements set the foundation for timely and efficient delivery and mutual success.”
Disclosure: This case study was written in partnership with Genflix and Amazon Web Services.