StreamETH x Livepeer: Livestreaming Devcon Bogotá to the World
Devcon is one of the most important Ethereum events of the year. That’s why, when Livepeer agreed to collaborate with the Ethereum Foundation to livestream the event, the team was understandably excited (and nervous!). Livestream productions at this scale can be complex, and many things can go wrong. But with a team of six people and six months of prep work, livestreaming at Devcon was a success. Here’s how:
Devcon was livestreamed via StreamETH, a public-good project for the web3 ecosystem co-created by the Ethereum Foundation and Livepeer. It was also multistreamed to YouTube via the Livepeer network. This allowed Devcon to take advantage of YouTube’s distribution and discoverability, while still offering a web3-native streaming experience that lives within the Devcon application home.
There were nine rooms at Devcon Bogotá. Due to internet bandwidth limitations, only a single stream was sent out per room. However, primary and secondary streams from a data center close to the source stream were set up using Livepeer Catalyst. The StreamETH video player was able to auto-switch to a secondary stream if the primary stream failed. A similar setup was successfully used at Devconnect and ETHBerlin earlier this year.
All content was pushed immediately afterwards to Swarm using Etherna, a decentralized and transparent video platform, and is available for replay on the Devcon Archive.
Roughly 60,000 people from around the world watched the Devcon livestreams. About 40% of the audience watched the livestream via the StreamETH player (labeled as Livepeer on the Devcon site), and 60% watched on YouTube. This data confirms the effectiveness of multistreaming in the current phase of web3, where building web3-native consumer experiences while simultaneously leveraging existing distribution channels like YouTube is important.
- Day 1 of Devcon was the most watched across all platforms. Total views: 21,780.
- The most watched talks across all platforms were from the opening ceremonies including speakers Aya Miyaguchi, Danny Ryan, Skylar Weaver, Tim Beiko, Trent Van Epps, and Vitalik Buterin. Total views: 12,503.
- Most viewers of the StreamETH x Livepeer livestream were from South America. Total views: 13,745.
All Devcon livestream URLs (Livepeer and YouTube) were blocked in China. The Livepeer livestreams were sent through a gateway service. Options will be explored in the future such as encouraging viewers to run relay nodes and delivering video peer-to-peer.
There was a power outage in the venue on day 3, making livestreams unavailable for a few hours.
The Livepeer video ingest used SRT on day 1, which is an experimental feature that caused video quality issues for the first hour. The issue recovered immediately after switching back to RTMP.
The best part, of course, is the people who made this possible. Pablo Voorvaart led the onsite video production and player integrations with his deep experience in live event streaming. Wesley van Heije from the Ethereum Foundation led overall development and product management of StreamETH. Hans Yadav of Livepeer did most of the heavy lifting and front-end development of the web and streaming experience. Austin Leung and Aqeel Mohammad were both instrumental on design. Great job everyone, and here’s to more Ethereum event livestreams to come!