Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, id3as CMO

The Business Case for Norsk: Interview with id3as CMO Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen

I recently spoke with Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, the Chief Marketing Officer at id3as, about their flagship product, Norsk. In our discussion, Eric detailed Norsk’s functionalities, how it operates, and its distinct advantages for media publishers and broadcasters at scale. Below is the video of our conversation, accompanied by a summary of the key points we touched on.

Video 1: The complete interview. 

id3as’ BackStory

Eric began by discussing id3as’ background, which started as a consultancy 14 years ago. The company made its name building highly reliable and available custom live workflows for major media customers like NASDAQ, Akamai, and Arqiva. Their slogan, “good on a bad day,” speaks to the level of reliability their work provided.

Eric shared an example of when Nasdaq had 168 events running simultaneously during an Amazon East outage, and neither Nasdaq nor id3as received a support call. However, as a consultancy, customers had to come to id3as for every change or new feature. To address this, the company productized its technology and expertise into Norsk.


Excerpt 1: Norsk’s origin story.

Norsk’s Dual Components

Norsk has two parts: Norsk Manager and Norsk Media. As the name suggests, Norsk Manager is an infrastructure manager that handles on-site, hybrid, or cloud infrastructures and ensures seamless failover when needed. The main discussion focus was on Norsk Media, a media server that offers access to a wide range of production and enrichment features beyond the typical input, transcode, transmission, and output paradigms of most servers.

Simplifying Complex Workflows

Eric demonstrated how Norsk Media simplifies complex workflows through its low-code SDK and the newly introduced no-code interface called Norsk Studio. With Norsk, users can easily set up inputs, outputs, and processors using just a few lines of code or by dragging and dropping components in the Studio interface. This lets users quickly create basic and advanced workflows, such as multi-camera setups with vision mixing, lower thirds, and multiple output formats like HLS, DASH, and WebRTC.

One key aspect of Norsk is its customizability. While it provides significant functionality out of the box, it can be easily supplemented to deliver specific business requirements. For example, the camera switcher UI in Studio is open-source, allowing users to refine it to meet their unique requirements. Users can choose which parts of their customizations to keep proprietary and which to share with the Norsk community.

Norsk Value Proposition

Eric positioned Norsk as a middle ground between off-the-shelf tools that can be limiting, and building custom workflows from scratch using tools like FFmpeg or GStreamer, which can be time-consuming and expensive. With Norsk, developers don’t need to be video engineers, as the platform automatically handles the more complex aspects of media engineering. The low-code/no-code development paradigms empower programmers and non-programmers alike to iterate more quickly and visualize their workflows more easily.

Excerpt 2: Norsk compared to traditional workflow creation alternatives. 

Operationally, by performing production and transcoding functions on the same server, Norsk helps reduce latency compared to using multiple applications and servers, while also reducing complexity, CAPEX, and OPEX. Because Norsk runs on commodity hardware and supports multiple ASIC-based transcoders and GPUs for transcoding and AI, it enables users to access the power and cost savings of high-density acceleration hardware that’s inaccessible to most appliance-based systems. The built-in high availability and reliability ensure that viewers won’t notice any failures.

Deployment Flexibility

Lastly, Eric mentioned that you can run Norsk on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments. A fully-featured free trial with a 20-minute time limit is available as a Docker container on the Norsk website, and users can contact id3as for a full license.

Norsk bridges the gap between the simplicity and convenience of off-the-shelf systems and the flexibility of custom development projects. It is effectively tailored to the demanding needs of large-scale media publishers and broadcasters, offering an unmatched blend of customizability, flexibility, and reliability. For those seeking to elevate their live-streaming workflows without the typical constraints of traditional systems, Norsk presents a compelling option.

You can learn more about Norsk at https://norsk.video.

About Jan Ozer

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I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks and evaluate new encoders and codecs. I am a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, writing about codecs and encoding tools. I have written multiple authoritative books on video encoding, including Video Encoding by the Numbers: Eliminate the Guesswork from your Streaming Video (https://amzn.to/3kV6R1j) and Learn to Produce Video with FFmpeg: In Thirty Minutes or Less (https://amzn.to/3ZJih7e). I have multiple courses relating to streaming media production, all available at https://bit.ly/slc_courses. I currently work as www.netint.com as a Senior Director in Marketing.

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