As an entertainment provider, one of HBO’s primary customer service concerns is ensuring the scalability of its streaming platform content, allowing as many viewers as possible to concurrently watch its programming. This was particularly a concern as it prepared to air the final season of Game of Thrones. The previous seasons had been so popular with viewers that it proved to be a significant challenge to ensure viewing availability for everyone who wanted to watch the latest episode immediately when it aired.
HBO had been using high-volume streaming service for several years and made the decision to develop an in-house solution that would allow high volumes and be available across the world. A critical step of the deployment process for this new technology was load testing the new system to ensure its ability to handle the massive spike in traffic. With millions expected to tune in (60 percent of the audience tunes in within three minutes of airing an episode), immediate availability was an absolute necessity.
Load Testing from Apica
HBO selected Apica to help with load testing its new platform based on Apica’s proven platform scalability and long experience in advanced enterprise testing. Apica’s load testing abilities give companies complete visibility into the expected performance of applications and services in the most demanding circumstances, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the customer experience. The feature set suited HBO’s needs perfectly, leading them to selection as a partner for the enhanced streaming initiative.
HBO is one of the world’s leading entertainment providers. Its premium cable programs and on-demand streaming services are popular worldwide, bringing hit movies and original programming into millions of homes across the globe.
- Complete visibility into apps and services
- Enhanced customer experience
- Performance predictions under highest increase in online traffic
- Scalability of streaming content
- Load-testing a massive spike in traffic
HBO used the Apica solution to test and monitor the new streaming platform in intensive conditions to ensure high availability of the final season of Game of Thrones. The company can now handle millions of viewers all signing on at once to watch the same program, which significantly improved the customer experience for the duration of the season and beyond. Playback video issues in the U.S. market have significantly decreased. Apica technology continues to provide monitoring capabilities to ensure consistently excellent performance for HBO’s customers.
There is an even more ambitious plan for HBO that will require Apica’s capabilities, as AT&T’s Warner Media prepares for the launch of its streaming service HBO Max. This new service will combine HBO content with other programming under the parent umbrella, enabling it to compete with the other major players in the streaming entertainment industry. HBO is also testing the use of Apica’s solution in its Latin America market.