Adstream, founded in 2001 and head quartered in London, is the world’s largest Ad Services Network. It delivers over 2 million TV ads every year. It is used by over 9,000 brands, covering more than 60% of the top global agencies and 70% of the top global brands. It has over 100,000 customers worldwide, with facilities spanning the globe and presence in over 125 countries.
Prior to 2017, all the content processing and preparation was occurring locally within Adstream’s various facilities worldwide. This meant they needed to have all the necessary tools for their content processing locally at each location. For example, Adstream relied heavily on Venera Technologies’ Pulsar on-premise file-based QC software to validate their content as part of their workflow. That meant they were using multiple Pulsar licenses at each location.
Adstream then began the process of consolidating the operations at these disjointed facilities into a cohesive homogenous central cloud-based platform, where all the facilities worldwide, could store, process, and prepare content using central set of tools and services. The goal was to gain efficiency in cost, resources as well as being agile and flexible in meeting their global needs.
The key challenge in migrating their QC operations to the cloud along with their content migration was solving the need for a fully featured, highly scalable, region agnostic, automated file-based QC system. More specifically:
- Unique Features – QC for commercials requires regionally unique considerations when compared to film or program content, especially around track layouts, audio, and PSE testing
- 24x7 Availability – The chosen system had to be available 24x7 and located geographically near to where Adstream clients upload their files
- Scalability – The system had to be able to scale to meet the sessional peaks in advertising
- Reliability & Availability – With no reliance on regional data centers or on-premise hardware, the required solution had to be cloud native and be available in all AWS regions, including China
- Security/Privacy – Due to security and client privacy considerations, analysis had to be performed in place and assets could not leave Adstream’s AWS VPCs (Virtual Private Cloud). Solutions requiring files being sent to 3rd party providers for QC weren’t an option.
- RESTful API – As the QC solution was to form part of a larger and completely automated QC system then a fully Restful API was required.
“After assessing other file-based QC systems, we found that Quasar was the correct solution forAdstream and solved the challenges of finding a single QC solution which included featuresrequired to offer the ability to QC commercial content against unique regional needs at thevolume required to service a global market”
Michael Lee - Global Operations Director, Adstream
By deploying Quasar into the AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and taking advantage of the native cloud features of Quasar, Adstream was able to meet their needs for security and total control of Quasar operations. Integrated with Adstream’s media asset management system using REST API, Quasar forms core of Adstream’s Ad delivery platform. The project included a resilient deployment in Adstream’s China region despite the challenges presented by the market. Quasar was very quick to configure, deploy, and integrate into the larger Adstream QC, ingest and delivery workflows.
Quasar is used by all Adstream offices worldwide and is now processing thousands of assets daily. Its multi-lingual reporting allows customized local language reporting for different regions. The system automatically scales to match the volume of incoming media thereby allowing Adstream to process a large number of assets in parallel and almost instantly. Its region-specific scaling also keeps latency to a minimum.
Another advantage of Quasar is its tiered usage-based pricing, which allows Adstream to pay for what they use. Adstream is able to easily modify their plan as their requirements change and their volume grows. This has allowed for great business flexibility.
Since its deployment and scaling up the use, Quasar has processed over 120,000 assets in its first 18 months of use by Adstream. During this time, Quasar has experienced over 99.99% uptime, and has proven to be easily scalable globally based on volume and need. The Exceptional Technical Support provided by the Venera support team, has been deemed invaluable in handling normal operational issues, particularly in the early stages of deployment.
“Product support and aftercare from Venera has been exceptional. In addition to supporting our specific needs, they ensured almost zero downtime even during product upgrades”
Michael Moorfield - Global Broadcast Services Manager, Adstream
Rolling out Quasar at scale for Asia, EMEA, Australasia, and the Americas has required very little effort to bring online. In fact, the operations has not required the extensive input of Adstream’s IT and Technology departments to keep the system going or keeping it secure, as those aspects are naturally and natively handled by Quasar. Quasar has demonstrated low cost of ownership, being very competitive without compromising features.
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