Published on May 1, 2023 (about 1 year ago)

Video analytics and Mux Data: Reflecting on NAB and what streamers care about today

Eric EliaSteven Lyons
By Eric and Steven5 min readEvents

For the past several years at NAB, we’ve spent hours with video engineering leaders from some of the largest media companies on the planet. This is just one more in-person opportunity for us to connect and keep digging into the trends we see every day from our Mux Data customers. Looking at these trends as a whole, we’ve seen some common themes emerge over time. Years ago, rebuffering and video start metrics were important. They still are, but now they are table stakes (or steaks, as an old boss used to malaprop). Here’s what we are hearing matters to the most sophisticated streamers today — and how Mux Data is helping to address these issues.

LinkData reporting latency

Video engineering and operations teams need to see issues and anomalies before their viewers are affected. This can be a game-changer for streaming events, where every second counts. Data reporting latency must be almost instantaneous. Minutes are not acceptable. That’s why the Mux monitoring dashboard and APIs have a latency of just 10 to 15 seconds.

For example, during the most recent Super Bowl, which was being monitored with Mux Data along with other services, Mux Data was able to identify a playback problem within 15 seconds after it started surfacing to viewers. The issue was related to ad packaging earlier in the workflow. That allowed the operations team to move traffic away from the system having the issue and minimize the impact, which went mostly unnoticed by viewers. Other data platforms being leveraged for the event surfaced the issue a few minutes later, long after the issue was resolved.


Sometimes you know the date of your biggest event well in advance, and sometimes a spike can be unpredictable. This is a nice problem to have for commercial teams, but not operations. Video analytics must scale to support even the largest events on the planet. Mux Data is built to handle massive amounts of information, so you never have to worry about hitting a ceiling. Mux Data has been used to monitor multiple recent Super Bowls, the World Cup, the Winter and Summer Olympics, and many other sporting events worldwide.

You may not be in the sporting events industry, or your events may be much smaller. But it is still imperative to your business that the video analytics you use are reliable during your events. Mux Data’s support for larger scale means the monitoring of your events, no matter the size, is even more reliable, thanks to the benefits of a higher-quality infrastructure.

LinkStandards and interoperability

Common Media Client Data (CMCD) (aka Clever Monkeys Communicating Discreetly, lol Will Law) was introduced a few years ago, and the slow boil of interest has become a roaring fire. Just about every company we talked with is interested in this new standard that can help them more easily bridge the gap between the viewer experience collected on the player and the request logs from their CDN that serves the content. This helps streamers identify an issue for a specific viewer, or viewers like them, and resolve issues quickly.

If you’re looking to explore the benefits of CMCD, check out this post for all the background information. Or if you’re eager to try it for yourself, our integration guide shows you how to connect and visualize Mux Data with Akamai logs.

Link360-degree observability

You want a platform that can easily connect with other systems, such as BigQuery, New Relic, Snowflake, Mixpanel, or CDN logs via CMCD. You should be able to visualize video data with other metrics in Grafana, Looker, or your dashboards of choice. This accessibility can enable the previously mythical “single pane of glass” that large streamers seek for gaining a full view across all their systems.

Mux Data provides API access to all of the analytics data that is collected. Streaming Exports enables immediate delivery of updated video view sessions. You can access this data via AWS Kinesis and Google Cloud Pub/Sub and push it to observability platforms like New Relic, Grafana and data warehouses. Sophisticated teams use exports to combine video streaming metrics with other product and business metrics.

LinkBringing it all together

Video analytics have evolved beyond the basics to instead focus on data reporting latency, scale, standards and interoperability, and 360-degree observability. These areas are crucial for ensuring that video engineering and operations teams can identify issues and anomalies before viewers are affected and can seamlessly handle even the largest events on the planet. The adoption of Common Media Client Data (CMCD) as a standard for bridging the gap between viewer experience and request logs from CDN is also becoming increasingly popular. If you missed us at NAB but want to explore how these trends play out for your teams, or if you’re curious to see if Mux Data may be a good fit for what you’re working on — reach out and we’ll be happy to connect.

Written By

Eric Elia

Founding team at Brightcove, cut teeth at Comcast and @Home. Once held the ceremonial title VP of Tacos. Will take friends of Mux on dive tours of Monterey.

Steven Lyons

Steve comes from data-driven optimization and analytics at Cedexis and Yahoo!. A tea drinker in the land of coffee.

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