How MasterClass Makes it Possible to Learn from the World’s Best with Video
Want to learn storytelling from Neil Gaiman? How about cooking from Gordon Ramsay, songwriting from Alicia Keys, or even tennis from Serena Williams? Where else will you get that opportunity besides on MasterClass? The streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best offers unlimited access to 100+ instructors and classes across a wide range of subjects, including Arts & Entertainment, Business, Design & Style, Sports & Gaming, Writing and more.
“At MasterClass, we believe that learning should be lifelong,” says Mandar Bapaye, the company’s Vice President of Engineering. “Our mission is to inspire a learning lifestyle in everyone across the globe and open their minds through high-quality video content.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ABLE TO SCALE FAST
When Bapaye joined MasterClass in 2016, the company consisted of about 20 people. “Like all startups, we were trying to make sure we were putting a product in front of people that they were excited about,” Bapaye explains. “At that point in time, with constrained resources, we asked ourselves, how can we take something off the shelf and build up our value offering? Brightcove helped us get things off the ground. We were able to scale our business very rapidly, and as you can imagine, it took away a lot of work for us so we could focus on the business aspect of things.” Today, over 350 people work behind the scenes at MasterClass to democratize access to learning and produce video content that the rest of the world can learn from and be inspired by.
AN UNPRECEDENTED YEAR WITH UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH
MasterClass was already growing steadily when 2020 kicked things into high gear. “With people cooped up inside their homes, the demand for video products went up, and we were no exception,” says Bapaye. “Predictions of what level of traffic we were going to get kept changing as months passed. One of the things that we were able to sustain, in partnership with Brightcove, was a scalable and reliable experience, even when we had tremendous growth in our user base during this period.”
Today, MasterClass members provide a lesson in geography. “We are unlocking different geos around the globe, and delivery in every single geo has never been a problem with Brightcove, which we love. In every single place, we are able to achieve the same level of reliable video delivery,” Bapaye says. “And as we continue to grow, making sure that members on the other side of the world, no matter their device or what bandwidth they’re on, are getting the exact same experience as members in North America.”
DELIVERING A PREMIUM VIEWER EXPERIENCE, EVERY TIME
For MasterClass, reliably delivering broadcast-quality video experiences 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is an essential part of their brand. “We are a premium product – we offer a curated and personalized learning experience, and we want to make sure that the experience our members are getting is premium, as well,” Bapaye notes. “That is our value proposition, and making sure that we are able to keep that promise within our own infrastructure, as well as in partnership with Brightcove for our video delivery, has been beneficial to us and our members.” With Brightcove, MasterClass can be assured that the quality of their video delivery will be on par with the excellence of their instructors, every time members press play.
A ONE-STOP SHOP FOR VIDEO
Video is absolutely critical for the MasterClass business – after all, video content is its core product. “What we love about Brightcove is that it’s our one-stop shop for video. Our post-production team uses Brightcove for our video ingestion pipeline, all the way to the player’s level for delivery and playback and the analytics support that comes in Brightcove Video Cloud,” says Bayape. “One of the great things about Brightcove, which stands out from the rest, is how solid the product is across every single aspect of video.”
The team at MasterClass thrives on imagining what’s possible with video to continue to create new opportunities for their members to learn from the world’s best. “One of the great things about Brightcove is the API access we have. With those APIs we can build on top of the foundational layers that Brightcove gives us and use that to build the next layer of product experiences,” says Bayape. “Every single aspect of Brightcove is top-notch and something that takes away a lot of effort and investment from a company standpoint. Brightcove takes care of the heavy lifting for us so we can deliver a great product to our members.”
Sounds to us like a master class in creating a successful business partnership.