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Building a WebRTC-based Live Video Auction Site: Key Vendor Considerations

Michelle Chen
Jul 21, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Real-time auction sites are incorporating video as part of their technology stack. For developers seeking to build their own auction sites, WebRTC is the fastest protocol available that can consistently provide ultra-low-latency video interactivity between sellers and bidders. However, scaling an auction site can be challenging without a properly engineered live video stack. This blog post will discuss the key considerations auction site vendors are making to provide better user experiences at scale.

WebRTC Live Video auction site

Is the video stack optimized for bandwidth variability?

Sellers and bidders connecting to the internet need stable connections during an auction. Large brands and charities hosting auctions also require stable connectivity for a premier auction experience, which can be difficult without the right software stack. For example, a virtual fundraiser hosted for a corporate gala over a corporate VPN must have an underlying live video software stack that can accommodate underpowered connections over a VPN.

Most developers working with a WebRTC-based commercial live video SDK can rest easy knowing that most SDKs are designed for optimal bandwidth performance. This is true for customers using LiveSwitch Cloud or Server to build their virtual auction platform; our customers enjoy the benefits of automatic bandwidth adaptation and simulcast all of which, when used in unison, provide a better user experience across all ranges of bandwidth connectivity scenarios.

Is the video stack cross-platform and how well are the client SDKs maintained?

Auction site vendors are increasingly seeking to evolve their platforms at pace with changing customer needs in the virtual and hybrid events industry. With sellers and bidders often participating from mobile devices, current and future device support need to be considered in order to enable better user experiences. However, supporting more devices in-house can increase development resources. One common challenge these in-house teams face is when third party platform vendors cause breaking changes. Continual maintenance of multiple client SDK avoid these code vulnerabilities can be time-consuming - and costly - without the right vendor-supported product.

Is the video stack infrastructure scalable?

Live video auction site vendors often face scalability bottlenecks as their platform grows. Auction site vendors quickly find themselves facing performance problems that can be simply solved by opting for a live video stack engineered for scalable growth. Consequently, vendors are considering video stacks that are:

  1. Optimized live video stack for better profitability at scale (e.g. automatic bandwidth estimation, SFU and MCU video architecture)
  2. Capable of avoiding peak connectivity issues (e.g. ability to deploy additional Media Servers, conduct pre-event load tests).
  3. Flexible pricing-usage models for platforms seeing high concurrent usage (e.g. licensing, Capex deals)

Does the video stack include professional event support?

Live video auction sites are often included as part of a company’s events strategy. In the events space today where virtual and hybrid events are commonplace, a key consideration that is weighed by businesses and vendors is the ability to access live video event support. Auction site vendors can operate their events in real-time while entrusting the live video infrastructure management to a team of professionals. This setup ensures load tests are generated and the right number of Media Servers are added pre-event based on platform client connectivity. During the live auction, live video infrastructure professionals can monitor live video feeds for better connectivity and tap into their ability to troubleshoot WebRTC-based problems such as packet loss and jitter.

Does the live video stack support custom integrations?

Live video auction platform vendors often consider the importance of having access to the live video media pipeline. WebRTC or open-source WebTC solutions often lack the necessary codebase to allow auction vendor developers to customize their live video stack. Selecting the right commercial-grade live video SDK provides developers with the ability to build end-to-end security, protect bidder & seller financial data, and integrate live video with third-party software for better billing and user management. Some commercial SDKs even allow developers to wholly customize their auction platform for a unique administrator, seller and bidder experience.

Bidding on scalable live video

Live video auction sites are tapping into WebRTC-based live video solutions to provide their administrators, sellers, and bidders with a unique hybrid/virtual experience. Scaling auction sites with live video require careful consideration. Vendors are considering a live video stack that is optimized for bandwidth variability and device flexibility that can empower their developers to fully customize the video media pipeline. Concurrently, vendors are considering video stacks that are backed by professional support and engineered with a scalable infrastructure for successful growth.

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