WWE Network gets off to shaky start

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CacheFly Team

Date Posted:

April 1, 2014

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In an effort to connect millions of fans with the content they care about most, World Wrestling Entertainment launched its own streaming-only network subscription service. Dubbed simply WWE Network, this service allows users to access past, current and future content from WWE for $10 a month (think Netflix for wrestling, but with the added benefit of live-streaming future events such as Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble). However, the service got off to a shaky start, with content delivery issues hampering early adopters’ service with choppy video quality, downtime due to high demand, and log-in problems across multiple platforms.

Preparing for a smooth rollout
Though WWE Network has resolved its issues and users are now enjoying on-demand content, the issues that plagued its launch may have been preventable. Using a content delivery network (CDN) that can scale bandwidth on demand for high-traffic periods is essential when you are launching new content. Though WWE was likely expecting its network to be a hit, it was unprepared and “overwhelmed” by the amount of launch-day traffic it received, according to Deadline. As a result, quality and the user experience suffered. Having in place the flexibility that CDNs can offer before content is rolled out ensures that these kinds of launch-day woes don’t occur.

Getting content to multiple devices
Another widespread issue consumers reported was not being able to log in to non-PC devices to access content. Gaming consoles (particularly Xbox 360s) continued to produce errors, and users were unable to reach content via their chosen devices the same way they could by using a PC. Though rolling out content to multiple devices seems like a tall order, CDNs can ensure users have options when it comes time to launch these services.

Looking beyond launch day
Though launching new content certainly creates an early high-water mark for traffic, it is important to look to the future to forecast when larger traffic increases may increase. One fan, speaking with WhatCulture, expressed concern over “how the WWE will handle the high traffic they will most likely experience on the night of Wrestlemania XXX.” The question is certainly valid. Simply preparing for a launch isn’t enough anymore, and planning for the next big-traffic “event” is crucial when you are planning a content strategy and must adjust for spikes in demand.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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