LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SOASTA, the leader in performance analytics, today unveiled details of an intense technical engagement with STV in the weeks immediately prior to the UK General Election. The experience ultimately led STV to standardise on SOASTA’s CloudTest platform. This was due in no small part to the impressive performance of their online digital platforms during the UK General Election that resulted from the performance and load tests carried out by SOASTA.
The 2015 UK General Election featured a series of UK and country-specific live televised leaders debates. The Scottish leaders debate attracted a lot of interest given the high profile nature of the Scottish referendum debate the previous year. The 2014 referendum debate generated 450,000 digital stream start requests, with 340,000 requests coming within the first minute of broadcast. This formed the backdrop against which STV had to prepare its digital media platforms for the 2015 Scottish Leaders debate.
“While the Scottish referendum debates of 2014 had provided valuable insights about our online platforms, the Scottish Leaders debate presented a new set of challenges. A key issue was the ability to manage huge spikes in traffic over a matter of seconds and minutes as people logged in and registered to view the debates. The other issue was the continued uncertainty over the dates and frequency of the debates. That made planning for the debates incredibly difficult as it effectively narrowed the window that we had for assessing the performance capabilities of our digital platforms to a matter of weeks. SOASTA were the only company that put forward a viable proposition that delivered a robust and scalable performance-testing platform at an affordable price point. Critically, SOASTA delivered a level of support and value-added services that enabled us to prepare and undertake a range of performance tests rapidly and with a high level of confidence in the outcome,” said John Catnach, Service Delivery Manager, STV.
“Live debates have a tendency of throwing up controversial comments that are picked up on social media. It can result in a corresponding spike on our digital platforms as viewers log on via their smartphone or tablets to view what has happened. We had a matter of weeks, if that, to complete complex tests to ensure that our online digital player and platforms could deal with these spikes, both at the beginning of the debates and at any point in between. We ran two tests within days of each other that consisted of 10,000 concurrent users. This highlighted a few issues that were quickly addressed and we moved on to run a 100,000 concurrent user exercise that validated the login, registration and live stream functionality. The 100,000 user test also included driving traffic to the dedicated election website. SOASTA were able to create and map various user journey scripts that helped us gain valuable insights,” added Catnach.
“Overall, the few weeks in April demonstrated the robustness and flexibility of SOASTA’s platform and its ability to adapt to a highly fluid environment. Standardising on the SOASTA platform was an inevitable conclusion. Indeed, the decision has allowed us to create a benchmark against which STV can measure and manage its growth as it continues along the path to become a leading digital player as well as driving our online revenue. We utilised the SOASTA platform to performance test the latest version of STV Player that we launched in May,” concluded John Catnach, Service Delivery Manager, STV.
“When we were appointed by STV to support their preparations for the Scottish Leaders debate and General Election campaign, the only certainty was the date of the election itself. It is a testament to the professionalism and expertise of our technical teams and our cloud-based technology that ensured we met STV’s pressing deadline. Harald Wilson (former Labour Prime Minister) famously once said that a week is a long time in politics. When it comes to performance and load testing, our work with STV speaks volumes as to what can be accomplished in such a short period of time,” said Chris Addis, General Manager & VP EMEA, SOASTA.
STV reaches 3.6 million viewers each month with a range of programming including soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street, big drama productions, entertainment hits The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, strong home-grown productions and the most comprehensive local news service in the UK. STV’s digital business incorporates Scotland’s most popular commercial media website, stv.tv, home to the STV Player and comprehensive news, sport and entertainment services.
STV’s range of platforms also include digital services providing all the latest news, events, offers, pictures and videos for consumers in Scotland’s biggest cities. STV Glasgow, STV Edinburgh, STV Aberdeen and STV Dundee are available as Apps, free to download and use on iOS and Android devices, and accompanied by desktop and mobile sites.
STV delivers city TV for Scotland’s largest cities. STV Glasgow launched in June 2014 and STV Edinburgh launched in January 2015. Both channels are available on Freeview channel 23, Sky channel 117 and Virgin channel 159 in their broadcast areas. STV content is available across multi platforms including iOS, Android, Windows 8, YouView and Samsung Smart TV.
SOASTA is the leader in performance analytics. The SOASTA platform enables digital business owners to gain unprecedented and continuous performance insights into their real user experience on mobile and Web devices – in real time, and at scale. With more than 10 million tests performed and more than 100 billion user experiences measured, SOASTA is the digital performance expert trusted by industry-leading companies including Experian, Hallmark, Intuit and Microsoft. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit www.soasta.com.