Already Surpassing 16M+ Downloads, Hit Podcast from “This American Life” Creators Shines Light on Importance of CDN.

 

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“S-Town”, developed by “This American Life” and “Serial” creators, is breaking download records and making podcast history. StackPath provides the CDN (content delivery network) that ensures a flawless download and streaming experience for the record-breaking listening audience. S-Town has gained popularity faster than any podcast before it. In a little over a week, it’s attracted 1.8 million subscribers and rivaled the subscription base of its predecessors.

In fewer than four days from its March 28th release date, S-Town was downloaded more than 10 million times. In the days that followed, it was downloaded another 6 million times, totaling 16 million downloads in the first week of release. The series creators are no strangers to blockbuster podcasts; S-Town’s predecessor, Serial, has had more 260 million episode downloads since its 2014 debut. The team began using Highwinds CDN (now owned and operated by StackPath) in 2014 to support the growing demand for This American Life; it has remained an integral part of the delivery infrastructure for the subsequent Serial and S-Town projects.

If you’re not familiar with how CDNs work, here’s a crash course. Files, which can include images, audio, video, games, software, etc., are pushed to the CDN or pulled from the publisher’s origin servers and then cached on edge servers located at points of presence all around the world. As listeners download or stream content, they receive the file from the network location closest in proximity. The CDN not only improves the listening experience for the end-user but also eliminates stress on the content owner’s own infrastructure. In cases like the S-Town phenomenon, the operations team doesn’t need to worry about keeping up with a massive spike in demand because plenty of server capacity is already in place to easily and efficiently deliver the downloads.

In addition to the CDN being instrumental for handling high traffic demand and distributed audiences, StackPath also delivers a number of real-time analytics that podcast producers value. S-Town uses PRX’s Dovetail ad serving technology built to work with the Adzerk platform. StackPath analytics, which are available in the CDN console and via raw logs, can be integrated with data from the origin servers and the ad platforms to show the whole picture of how a single piece of content is performing.

StackPath is proud to play a role in sharing the S-Town story with audience members all around the world.

“S-Town” is available for free download on the official website,  iTunesStitcher, and other podcasting platforms. “S-Town” is executive produced by Reed and Julie Snyder, who co-created “Serial” with Sarah Koenig. The editorial team for the podcast includes “This American Life” creator and host Ira Glass, Koenig, and Neil Drumming.

 

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