Launched two months ago for the start of Norway’s 2018 football season, the new Gullpila video streaming service is another example of how sports teams can go to market independently to engage their fan base. Gullpila is the subscription offering from Eliteserien club Odds Ballklubb. [Eliteserien is the Norwegian equivalent of the Premier League or Serie A]. The club signed up hundreds of subscribers within weeks of the launch, creating what is said to be a significant and growing source of recurring revenue.
Gullpila provides exclusive access to match highlights, player interviews and other fan-friendly content that is streamed live or on-demand to connected devices. The service is built on the cloud-based Crystallize platform created by Snowball Digital.
Crystallize offers customers a comprehensive, platform-as-a-service approach to building and managing subscription-based video services. The PaaS combines a complete video processing and delivery solution with an e-commerce engine to manage subscriber access and process payments. The PaaS is itself powered by AWS Media Services.
According to Einar Håndlykken, Managing Director at Odds Ballklubb. “Crystallize truly automates the business and technical aspects of delivering paid video services. It allows us to focus on serving our subscribers with fresh, dynamic viewing experiences.” The vendors involved in this deployment say the time required to launch Gullpila was half of what you typically expect for a service of this kind.
Designed as a “headless” e-commerce solution, Crystallize lets customers like Gullpila customise the user experience for their audiences and easily integrate with back-end services via REST API, GraphQL and webhooks. E-commerce functionality is executed with the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), AWS Lambda, Amazon ElastiCache for Redis, and AWS Elastic Beanstalk services. Odds Ballklubb (the football club) have full control over their video monetszation strategy.
Snowball Digital selected AWS Elemental Media Services for cloud-based video processing and delivery on the Crystallize PaaS. For Gullpila’s on-demand content, AWS Elemental MediaConvert transcodes file-based inputs (received from Odds Ballklubb’s in-house video team) for distribution through the Amazon CloudFront CDN. AWS Elemental MediaLive takes care of live streams, processing real-time inputs. AWS Elemental MediaPackage prepares streams for delivery to connected devices via CloudFront.
“Sports teams are looking for new ways to connect with fans, enhance their brands and monetize the uniquely compelling content they can produce,” says Bård Farstad, CEO at Snowball Digital. “Crystallize lets forward-thinking organisations like Odds Ballklubb customise video services to their audiences while taking advantage of a virtually turn-key solution for distributing OTT video at scale. We are delighted by the capabilities of AWS solutions to enable services like Gullpila – and any Crystallize customer – to engage their audiences in new ways and generate new revenue streams.”