As the home of Australia’s most trusted and loved brands spanning news, business and finance, lifestyle, entertainment and sport, Nine prides itself on creating and curating quality content, accessed by consumers when and how they want.
Nine is Australia’s largest locally owned media company with investments spanning television, video on demand, print, digital, and radio. Nine’s assets include the Nine Television Network, video on-demand platform 9Now, talkback radio stations 2GB, 3AW, 4BC and 6PR, major mastheads such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Australian Financial Review, digital properties such as nine.com.au, 9Honey, Pedestrian.TV and CarAdvice, subscription video platform Stan, and majority investments in Domain and Future Women.
Nine’s strategy is creating great content, distributing it broadly and engaging both audiences and advertisers. Nine’s 9Now streaming service plays a big role in this strategy as a place where viewers catch up on their favourite shows that went to air on Channel 9, GEM, Go, Life and Rush. With new investment in exclusive content the Broadcast Video on Demand platform is becoming a content destination in its own right.
9Now is available on 13 platforms which includes web, mobile apps, Smart TVs, connected streaming devices, set top boxes and gaming consoles. Supporting all of these platforms takes an extraordinary amount of engineering effort, but it means audiences are able to engage with their favourite shows wherever they are, whenever they want and on the best screen that is available to them.
The 9Now Product and Engineering teams are passionate about delivering the best viewing experience to their users. This led them to looking for a Quality of Experience (QoE) service that can benchmark the current experience and observe changes after implementing changes to encoder profiles or introducing CDN optimisations. They also needed alerting in the event QoE degrades due to network failures and insights for troubleshooting.
The 9Now Engineering team previously had an analytics solution in place, but not one with Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics. If they wanted to optimize their video delivery, for example improving their encoding profiles, they knew they needed QoE data to establish a benchmark first.
The team evaluated a number of solutions and, although they received recommendations for Mux Data, the team had some concerns because it was the youngest company in the consideration set. However, Mux Data proved itself through a real-world test. By coincidence, 9Now experienced an intermittent live streaming issue and the team had the opportunity to have all the vendor solutions under evaluation monitor the situation in real-time.
When ultimately choosing a solution, Nick Carroll, 9Now’s Director of Engineering said, “It came down to simplicity and ease of use. The key to the decision was being able to understand what the data was saying in the dashboard. The only one where we could make heads or tails of the data was Mux.”
Beyond enabling the team to experiment with encoding profiles, Mux has helped monitor both VOD and live streaming experiences across a multitude of platforms for the 9Now app. The app is available on Web, iOS, Android, LG TV, Sony TV, Samsung TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Fetch TV, HbbTV, Telstra TV and PS4.
Mux Data has helped provide confidence that the 9Now team is delivering the best experience for their audiences, enabling them to enjoy their favorite shows and live sporting events any time, anywhere, and on any device.