One of the selling points of the HBO GO streaming service is that HBO subscribers can stream the station’s content at any time and from anywhere they want, as long as they are using an approved app or device. However, the HBO streaming service has faltered in the last month not once but twice due to demand for high-profile shows.
The first incident happened in March during the finale of the first season of “True Detective.” During the initial airing of the finale, HBO GO users experienced errors and were unable to access the content for several hours. A similar incident happened on April 6 during the season premiere of “Game of Thrones,” with users reporting outages and log-in issues. In a prepared statement, HBO blamed both of these outages on “overwhelming demand,” according to CNN.
High demand and content delivery networks
As the world becomes more mobile-focused and more users than ever are accessing television shows online in lieu of tuning in to the channel itself, streaming services will need to look to the future of content delivery and find ways to increase scalability when “event” television programming demand surges.
Because outages during these high-traffic periods can be the stuff of nightmares for channels and advertisers, content delivery networks (CDNs) are able to scale bandwidth on demand during high-traffic periods, alleviating the fears of those whose business hinges upon having little downtime. By having a flexible network that can open up bandwidth when traffic surges, content can be delivered and streamed in a timely manner regardless of demand, saving the drama for the screen.
Looking to the future
Streaming services have become an integral part of the TV viewing landscape, and with more consumers choosing to stream content now rather than watch it later through a DVR or on-demand service, TV content providers may have to take a hard look at their delivery methods to ensure downtime is minimized and audiences aren’t lost due to technical issues. It’s probably no coincidence that at the same time that HBO GO faltered, illegal downloads for “Game of Thrones” hit a record high, according to Variety.
It is easy for users to get frustrated when a streaming content provider goes down. This situation makes for an important case study in content delivery and highlights the need for solutions that provide high-quality video streaming with 100 percent availability to ensure audiences always have access to the content they want.
Photo credit: Flickr