Freecaster, Fastly and Flowplayer partner for Tomorrowland 2019 live streaming

Celebrating the 15 years of its music festival, Tomorrowland is the world’s biggest electronic dance music event, taking place in Belgium and more recently in the Alps.

Since the Amicorum Spectaculum in 2017, Freecaster has been doing the live streaming of the event. The company managed to deliver high quality video to the world, using its strong platform, a large Content Delivery Network and some innovative features.

For the 2019 edition, The Book of Wisdom – The Return, Tomorrowland asked Freecaster to live stream the event for 72 hours non-stop. To ensure the perfect continuity of the streams as well as offer to the viewers the most immersive experience, Freecaster teamed up with Fastly and Flowplayer.

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Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

Since its foundation in 2004, Freecaster has developed as a specialist in online video services for both live and on-demand high-quality content serving customers such as TV and radio broadcasters, brands, event organisers and sport and cultural events. Among Freecaster’s customers are the Belgian Public Broadcaster RTBF as well as fashion houses (LVMH group and others), international institutions (European Commission, Bundesrat – the German Federal Council) and sports championships (FIM Motocross World Championship – MXGP). Since 2019, Freecaster is a subsidiary of Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), a European leader in media services, system integration and software development in the areas of television, radio, production and postproduction, telecommunication and IT.

“Innovation has always paved the way of BCE activities. The all-IP infrastructure leaded our company to hybrid and cloud while increasing the distribution of media content on a global scale. The acquisition of Freecaster and its integration in our workflow was a significant move to the non-linear market. Tomorrow, the engineering of new solutions will enhance the development of BCE in the digital media world,” says Frederic Lemaire, CEO at BCE.

Tomorrowland footprint reaches more than 10 million viewers with multiple artists performing at the same time on several locations at the festival. Sharing this fantastic experience with the online community is a complex task and Freecaster has managed to deliver the right solution to meet the organizer needs.

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Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

“The target for our customer was to expand the festival experience to the electronic community, with the opportunity to follow the main action of the festival live and experience the thrill of Tomorrowland,” explains Ray Dulieu, CEO and founder at Freecaster.

Flowplayer worked hand in hand with the developer team of Freecaster to ensure the perfect implementation of its FP8 – Native, award-winning HTML5 player within the Freecaster’s Online Video Platform (OVP). This dynamic HTML5 video player developed by Flowplayer, has a reduced size ensuring faster loading time and stability. It also features a dynamic DJ line up allowing viewers on web and mobile to switch seamlessly between the different live stages within the same HTML5 video player.

“The new version of our video player, with the multi-stream features, allows live streaming, live switch from one stage to the other and gives a clear view of what is coming next,” adds Ray Dulieu.

Freecaster’s OVP streamed four live stages on Tomorrowland’s website, app and on partner networks as well as five radio feeds for selected internet radio networks. During the two weekends of the festival, the OVP was monitored using Freecaster’s monitoring dashboard. Thanks to data provided by Fastly, Mux and Touchstream, the interface gives a detailed overview of the traffic statistics. Freecaster’s engineers can access to the dashboard remotely, solve issues immediately ensuring the best viewer experience.

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Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

To deliver the best experience to millions of online viewers, Freecaster teamed up with Fastly. The company edge cloud platform enables the delivery of live video over common HTTP streaming formats, including Apple’s HLS, Microsoft’s HSS, Adobe’s HDS, and MPEG-DASH. For Tomorrowland 2019 it ensured the live stream of 3PB with a 250 Gbps average transfer rate (Freecaster, September 2019). Fastly’s fast and globally distributed network provided the viewers with instant video streams, without buffering nor interference. During the event, Fastly’s Network Operations Centre provided Freecaster with Live Event Monitoring, daily reporting and dedicated on-site support.

“Fastly’s network speed and self-service features helped to considerably improve the performance of our live streams for the largest dance festival in the world. Fastly also provided a dedicated team of network engineers to monitor the event from their Network Operations Centre, ensuring any issue that could arise would be addressed quickly. Offering more than peace of mind, it allowed our teams to focus on other areas of the delivery workflow during the event,” concludes Ray Dulieu.

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Copyright Tomorrowland 2019

Freecaster extends its Tomorrowland live streaming with new partners in 2019

Tomorrowland, the world’s biggest electronic dance music festival, has joined forces with Freecaster to deliver high-quality, real-time video of each event, to be enjoyed by a global live audience online. We promise customisation, hands-on support and for our clients to reach unlimited audience worldwide. Since 2017, Tomorrowland enriched the online experience using Freecaster’s multi-channel video player to allow viewers to choose between different stages streamed simultaneously in the same video-responsive multi-bitrate video player.

Freecaster enjoys working for clients such as Tomorrowland who continuously raise the bar. In 2019, Freecaster worked intensively alongside Flowplayer and Fastly to provide a seamless 72-hour, non-stop live streaming service.

“The target for our customer was to expand the festival experience to the electronic community, with the opportunity to follow the main action of the festival live and experience the thrill of Tomorrowland.” Ray Dulieu, CEO and founder at Freecaster.

Seamless multi-channel streaming

Tomorrowland is a massive event, a world of different experiences with multiple acts performing live at the same time. It was essential for Freecaster to convey this experience and choice online by offering multi-channel live streaming. We received four video feeds onsite at the festival, as well as a dynamic DJ line up allowing viewers on web and mobile a seamless switch between the different live stages within the same HTML5 video player. Freecaster’s Online Video Platform streamed live on Tomorrowland’s website, app and on partner networks. We also delivered five radio feeds for selected internet radio networks.

The platform was supervised throughout the two weekends of the festival using Freecaster’s monitoring dashboard fed by data from Fastly, Mux and Touchstream. The interface gives a precise overview for the monitoring engineers, shows traffic stats (impressions, unique visitors, countries, and more) and can be accessed by Freecaster remotely anywhere in the world. This close monitoring and flexibility ensures the platform is stable and any issues can be promptly addressed, resulting in a seamless customer experience.

“The new version of our video player, with the multi-stream features, allows live streaming, live switch from one stage to the other and gives a clear view of what is coming next.” Ray Dulieu, CEO and founder at Freecaster.

Advanced live video player

Freecaster selected Flowplayer to provide a unique experience for Tomorrowland’s live streaming audience. Flowplayer worked using FP8 – Native, its award-winning HTML5 player. Building the player completely from scratch, Flowplayer has succeeded in adapting to the HTML5 world of today’s web. The player size is reduced to a minimum, significantly enhancing stability. The small codebase results in faster load-time and fewer possibilities of errors.

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Flowplayer worked in close collaboration with the developer unit at Freecaster, implementing FP8 together with the Freecaster platform. Deep shared understanding provided the basis for a joint roadmap to meet the high standards of Tomorrowland festival and deliver the best possible performance and user experience. Together we reached more than 10 million music fans, live streaming worldwide.

Global delivery

CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) helps Freecaster multiply traffic for live streaming events. Freecaster joined forces with Fastly to deliver global live streaming of Tomorrowland 2019, and used Fastly’s edge cloud platform to live stream 3PB with 250 Gbps average transfer rate (reported by Freecaster, as of September 2019). Fastly’s fast and globally distributed network ensured all video streams played instantly, without buffering or interference, while independent, real-time functionality meant that Freecaster had control over configurations.

In the build-up to the event, the Fastly and Freecaster technical teams collaborated over a dedicated Slack channel and numerous scoping calls. During the event, Fastly’s Network Operations Centre provided Freecaster with Live Event Monitoring, daily reporting and dedicated on-site support.

“Fastly’s network speed and self-service features helped to considerably improve the performance of our live streams for the largest dance festival in the world. Fastly also provided a dedicated team of network engineers to monitor the event from their Network Operations Centre, ensuring any issue that could arise would be addressed quickly. Offering more than peace of mind, it allowed our teams to focus on other areas of the delivery workflow during the event.” Ray Dulieu, CEO and founder at Freecaster

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BCE, Take Media To The Next Level

Live stream and manage your OTT platforms

Discover BCE’s online video solutions for both live and on-demand high-quality content serving customers such as TV and radio broadcasters, brands, event organizers and sport and cultural events.

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Live streaming massive events such as Tomorrowland and the fashion weeks, BCE has acquired a leading position on the market with a solid player, multiple features and global delivery.

Thanks to BCE’s Online Video Platform (OVP) and services, the customer can create video platforms (VoD, Replay, PayTV, etc.), manage and distribute its content, monitor and analyze its audience.

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Produce and broadcast with StudioTalk

StudioTalk is an all-in-one solution to produce shows, manage content, add special effects, control sets and broadcast your programs on any existing platform. Experience live production and 360° distribution through an easy touch interface and powerful system.

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StudioTalk touchscreen interface
  • Thanks to an intuitive Graphic User Interface and a touchscreen, the customers are able to control cameras, feeds and studio sets.
  • An automated mode can let StudioTalk work on its own to ensure seamless production and broadcast.
  • An advanced Content Management System is built-in and can easily be connected to your workflow.
  • Encrypt the content with BCE DRM.
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StudioTalk at RTS

Itstored, BCE’s cloud backup and storage solution

With S3 (Simple Storage Service) protocol being a worldwide standard, BCE ensures the protection of the files as well as its immediate availability as itstored is directly connected to the customer workflow.

  • The customer can perform unlimited actions on your content with a single, flat rate
  • Thanks to BCE’s bandwidth, The customer can access your content at any time
  • With more than 22 PB, the customer can backup all its content
  • The content can be stored on two redundant datacenters

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Discover as well BCE’s recent system integration projects for Groupe M6, BNJ, RTS and Antenne Reunion, the remastering of Baywatch for Fremantle, BCE’s DRM services and our 4K Broadcast services of Altice and Luxe.tv.

More info and Meeting

Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) acquires Freecaster

BCE today announced that it has fully acquired Freecaster, an online video service provider specialised in production and streaming of high-quality content. The transaction closed on 1 January 2019 with Raymond Dulieu remaining the CEO of Freecaster.

With this acquisition, BCE strengthens its production capabilities and furthermore expands its footprint in the live and on-demand streaming of content.

Frédéric Lemaire, Chief Executive Officer of BCE, says: “At BCE we have already developed advanced online video solutions for the market. These will be complemented by the know-how and recent developments of Freecaster which allow us to strengthen our offers and accelerate the development of our non-linear portfolio. Since May 2018, BCE has successfully collaborated with Freecaster in live-streaming of events such as The Spot (the international sport innovations event) and the Montreux Volley Masters. I am looking forward to taking our collaboration to the next level and offering even more targeted and high-tech solutions to our clients.”

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Tomorrowland

Raymond Dulieu, Chief Executive Officer of Freecaster, adds: “Over the past 15 years Freecaster has grown from being the leading global extreme sports video platform to becoming a live 4K video production and streaming service provider to fashion houses, music festivals and broadcasters. Integrating within BCE will reinforce the company from a managerial, financial and technical point of view. It will also allow Freecaster to further offer its customers the high-end support and level of customisation they have enjoyed to date whilst also adding new services as part of BCE’s technical portfolio.”

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FIM Motocross World Championship – MXGP

Freecaster’s services span across the entire video value chain from production to world-wide streaming via a proprietary online video platform. Since its foundation in 2004, Freecaster has developed as a specialist in online video services for both live and on-demand high-quality content serving customers such as TV and radio broadcasters, brands, event organisers and sport and cultural events.

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Fashion houses (LVMH…)

Among Freecaster’s customers are the Belgian Public Broadcaster RTBF as well fashion houses (LVMH group and others), music festivals (Tomorrowland), international institutions (European Commission, Bundesrat – the German Federal Council) and sports championships (FIM Motocross World Championship – MXGP).

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Freecaster further boosts Live Video Streaming with BCE at IBC2018

Provider of extended streaming services to key customers such as Tomorrowland, MXGP, Tag Heuer, LVMH, RTBF to name but a few, Freecaster’s streaming solution can be customised to meet the needs of the most demanding and most creative customer. Recent deployments included players with multiple video or multi camera feeds in one player all in adaptive streaming.

“In July we managed the live streaming coverage of Tomorrowland, the world’s largest electronic music festival. Our platform can deliver video worldwide to the largest audiences including in China and our player providing multiple video feeds offered a more interactive user experience” explains Raymond Dulieu CEO Freecaster.

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Photo credit: Tomorrowland 2018

This technology was recently combined to BCE’s expertise, platform and network at the recent Montreux Volleyball Master (MVM). During the 6 days of the event, BCE and Freecaster teamed up to produce and stream live interviews from BCE’s StudioTalk platform.

The flexibility and portability of BCE’s StudioTalk was used to set-up a fully automated multi camera interview studio. Freecaster’s streaming platform was used to publish the StudioTalk feeds to MVM website and social network accounts. The feeds were also recorded for VoD purposes.

BCE created the channel branding for the event, perfectly integrated within StudioTalk, the team was able to trigger the different secondary events with the synchronized graphics and effects.

“BCE and Freecaster worked hand in hand to deliver outstanding services. The team was always available and ensured the best results for Montreux Volley Masters. We were impressed by the quality of the productions and the seamless streaming quality for our viewers” comments Maria Möller, Media & Marketing Manager at Montreux Volley Masters.

Freecaster will be present at the IBC2018 on BCE’s stand 7.C37 in hall 7.