Keep your head (and data) in the clouds

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Keeping your head in the clouds is often a metaphor for a fantasy or a whim. At YinzCam, we firmly choose to keep our head (the brains of our system) in the clouds in order to drive our speed to market, to support our scale, our international presence and the dynamic experience that we provide to users. We have over 30 million installs of 150+ mobile apps for our NFL, NBA, NHL, NRL and NCAA properties, with over 5 billion pages viewed in our apps and 3 billion push-notifications delivered to devices. In all, sports fans have spent a total of 200 billion seconds in our apps, around the world.

Serving up content and warehousing our data on Amazon Web Services‘ cloud-computing platform has allowed us to grow faster and more strategically, as a business, has allowed us to scale to support the needs of our clients, and has allowed us to personalize the mobile experience for sports fans everywhere. We have been able to spin up cloud-hosted servers to support the National Rugby League in Australia as easily as we can spin up servers to support an NBA team in the United States. We’ve been able to drive business rules (in-market vs. out-of-market) for content display off our cloud-hosted infrastructure. From a scale standpoint, we’ve used cloud computing to support 6,000 live games, generated over 3 million instant replays, and served nearly 2 terabytes of in-venue video content. Our cloud-hosted infrastructure has served up over 3.7 petabytes of data to our users, and our cloud-hosted data warehouse stores over 8.2 terabytes of raw analytics data about the usage of our apps.


We analyzed what kind of load our cloud-computing infrastructure encountered in a representative month, and the type of content that fans consumed the most in our apps.

Let’s pick the month of October 2015. In that month, we served 5.7 million active users, with 4.3 million of those users returning from previous months and 1.4 million being new users. The 5.7 million users generated nearly 230 million page views during that month and spent 2.6 million hours in our apps, and we delivered 446 million push-notifications to these users’ devices.
Here are the top 5 categories of content that fans consumed.
  • 20.6 million news articles
  • 15.4 million videos
  • 11.8 million box-scores
  • 4.6 million photo galleries
  • 2.2 million podcasts
And here’s the amount of time that fans spent on these top categories of content.
  • 479,000 hours on reading news articles
  • 610,000 hours watching video
  • 60,000 hours viewing box-scores
  • 38,000 hours viewing photo galleries
  • 36,000 hours listening to podcasts


Engineer and statistician W. Edwards Deming famously said, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” The sheer volume of the data that we have collected means that we can compare metrics, trends at different days, times, locations and apps, in a statistically significant way. We measure the usage of our products in order to seek to improve them, both in terms of the experience of sports fans (the consumers of content) and the daily experience of our sports teams (the producers of content).

Improving the fan experience in a data-driven way. We use our cloud-hosted data warehouse to develop a better fan experience by tailoring our mobile apps to surface the right kind of content at the right time, and to auto-evolve the home screen of our apps for the enhanced discoverability of the content that fans care about. We can provide “just-in-time, just-in-place” experiences to fans, changing the content up pre-game, in-game, post-game, in-stadium, out-of-stadium, in-home-market, international, etc. Essentially, our data warehouse enables us to design our apps better, and to make the experience more personalized for the fan.

Improving the sports team’s workflow in a data-driven way. We use our cloud-hosted data warehouse to advise our clients on the best times to publish new content to the app (for generating the most views), what kinds of content to deep-link via push-notifications, and what kinds of content to make “sticky” (to ensure that that content remains persistent on the home-page of the app). Essentially, the data enables sports teams to publish the right kind of content at the right time, to their mobile properties.

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