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Unleashing the Power of Digital: Prasar Bharati Amplifies its Online Presence

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As India’s esteemed public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati understands the importance of delivering accurate and timely news to millions. In a move to enhance reliability and performance, Its digital arm—Prasar Bharati News Services & Digital Platform (PBNS) has harnessed the power of AWS, revolutionizing its digital presence.

PBNS has seamlessly migrated its consolidated news website, newsonair.com, and its open content management system, NDMS, to the AWS platform. Leveraging Amazon CloudFront for fast content delivery and Amazon Elastic File System for efficient file storage and archiving, Prasar Bharati now boasts an unrivaled system for gathering and distributing news with unparalleled speed and scalability.

Opportunity | Accelerating Digital News Collection and Delivery on the Cloud

Prasar Bharati is India’s public broadcaster, committed to providing accurate news from across the country to netizens across the globe. Its digital arm—Prasar Bharati News Services & Digital Platform (PBNS)—launched in 2019 to deliver digital content and better engage its target audience, particularly younger viewers and listeners.

Initially, PBNS hosted its applications with a colocation IT provider and on a private cloud, but the company experienced high latency, resulting in performance and availability issues. This caused frequent downtime for its NewsOnAir website and disrupted video streaming, which significantly impacted news distribution and the audience experience.

Furthermore, its in-house news data management system (NDMS)—a content management system (CMS) designed for the organization’s regional news units to upload and share news—experienced availability issues on the private cloud, particularly in remote areas with poor internet connections.

To strengthen its digital presence, improve website and CMS performance, and accelerate content delivery, PBNS chose to migrate its NewsOnAir website and NDMS to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. Samir Kumar, head of PBNS, says, “We needed a comprehensive set of cloud capabilities, from scalable compute and storage resources to content production, management, and archiving, to transform the way we deliver content.”

Solution | Supporting Traffic Spikes and Improving Loading Times

PBNS engaged Arsenal Infosolutions, a local AWS Partner with a strong focus on the public sector, to lead the migration of its NewsOnAir website and NDMS to AWS. Arsenal Infosolutions helped PBNS size scalable, cost-effective Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances according to viewer and listener demand, along with Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) to distribute incoming application traffic.

PBNS also relies on Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for simplified database administration and Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) for managed storage and archiving of multimedia content. It leverages Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network with low latency and high transfer speeds, for the NewsOnAir website and its NDMS. After migrating NewsOnAir to AWS, traffic quadrupled to 40,000 page views per day in the first three months, without any scaling challenges or reported interruptions during video replay.

“We’ve noticed significant improvement in loading time, from 25 seconds to load a newsreel previously, to 3 seconds,” Kumar says.

He continues, “With AWS, we have the reliability and scalability to distribute news across the nation at speed, while constantly updating our growing audience with trusted information, even during peak periods.”

Outcome | Delivering Timely News to Reporters and Millions of Viewers

Since migrating to AWS, PBNS is delivering news in near-real time to hundreds of millions of viewers and listeners in more than 190 countries. Furthermore, it supports content delivery in eight languages on its website, while simultaneously streaming up to seven TV channels and 250 radio stations.

Its NDMS platform on AWS can categorize, archive, and share content across internal news units, social media teams, and external news agencies across India seamlessly. Kumar says, “As a content management system, NDMS quickly and accurately coordinates and gathers news from reporters for delivery to heads of regional news units.” Currently, 54 regional news units and 1,500 journalists are onboarded to NDMS.

PBNS is now exploring the possibility of machine learning-powered transcription and translation on the cloud, as well as automated push content through social media channels. The organization has expressed interest in developing its own over-the-top (OTT) content platform and archiving both raw and finished news content. Kumar says, “The biggest contribution AWS has made to our organization is to remove the performance worries around our existing assets. Finally, we have peace of mind regarding the stability and scalability of these assets, which gives us the bandwidth to take the next step in our digital transformation.”

Kumar concludes, “We are confident that our cloud-first approach to creating, transforming, and delivering digital content quickly, powered by AWS, will help us continue to make information more accessible and relevant to the growing requirements of our audience.”

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