How Sentry Helps Uscreen Create Video Monetization and Distribution Technology

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Uscreen is a leading VOD platform that helps creators distribute and monetize video content. As an entire video ecosystem dedicated to creative enablement, Uscreen’s development team builds complex technology that powers entire video communities. Sentry application monitoring has helped Uscreen keep up with the myriad features of the platform — OTT apps, video monetization, live streaming, and more — while enabling a focused development team to continue launching remarkable tech without worrying about missing errors.

Uscreen CTO, Nick Savrov was one of the company’s first employees. He now runs a development team of 25 engineers. In order to identify issues and triage bugs before they impact customers, Uscreen relies heavily on Sentry monitoring features. “Sentry is a must-have part of the development stack now,” explained Nick.

As a fully bootstrapped company, efficiency is key for Uscreen. Sentry saves the company’s bottom line not only by preventing errors from impacting customers but by saving untold hours of development time by streamlining the process for error monitoring.

Sentry is a must-have part of the development stack now

Even more than most companies, Uscreen’s success is intertwined with the success of its customers. When an error hits production, it doesn’t impact Uscreen users first, it hurts the consumers of Uscreen’s users’ videos. This downstream flow means that Uscreen doesn’t have a clear user-feedback loop to catch errors, so they need a robust application monitoring platform to identify issues before they hit customer audiences. Without Sentry, Uscreen customers would lose viewers and hard-earned cash, and Uscreen would be unable to triage the problems effectively.

Uscreen simply can’t afford to let errors reach the consumers of customer videos. Nick’s engineering team needs telemetry on the events and activities of their users’ customers since they wouldn’t get a direct feedback loop from viewers..

Here are some key examples of Sentry helping Uscreen detect and solve errors that impacted the services and clients.

Broken Gif Service

Uscreen uses an API partner to deliver a key feature for customer videos — a looping GIF that serves as a video preview. GIF overlay is a critical engagement element that leads to better conversions and more viewer’s satisfaction.

When the API for this GIF service went down for a specific region, the API partner never notified Uscreen. Since the job ran in the background, the only eyeballs on the error would be the end-user of Uscreen customer videos. It would have taken 10 to 12 days for Uscreen to discover this issue — over a week of major hits to the viewer’s conversions and overall satisfaction rate, which will eventually lead to lower customer’s success rate.

With Sentry, Uscreen identified the issue quickly and was able to provide a fix without impacting customers. If Sentry wasn’t deployed, Uscreen would have to spend extra resources on investigating the issue, which would cause delays in delivering the actual solution to the problem.

Supporting Customer Success Teams

In addition to the upstream improvements to issue identification and error triage, Sentry saves Uscreen’s customer success teams a massive chunk of time each week.

The Uscreen support team is hyper-focused on helping customers successfully sell video content and succeed with video. Sentry frees the team from dealing with technical issues and allows them to focus on what makes customers happy and successful.

Workflow and Future

The Uscreen team watches Sentry after every deploy to get a jump on any issue before customers can send a report. The team uses Sentry’s Slack and Jira integrations to keep the process tight, and efficiently solve issues.

With Sentry as an application monitoring platform, Uscreen dev teams can focus on building the video platform of the future.

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