The True Heroes of Game of Thrones Are Software Developers
Figuring out why the season premier of Game of Thrones crashed last year for HBO’s streaming users was not just a matter of customer service for the network. If people couldn’t get their fix of the series, they were going to look elsewhere for it, and when they found it, HBO was going to lose out big time.
Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV show in the world. One episode, “The Wars to Come,” was downloaded a staggering 13 million times, a new record of piracy for the series, Entertainment Weekly reports. By one estimate, the piracy resulted in $44 million in lost revenue for that one episode alone.
One of the ways HBO has tried to mitigate piracy levels of the show is to make it easy for users to stream, but when that fails — as it did last year — people are going to go watch it one way or another.
In order to figure out why live streaming services failed, HBO turned to software developers, who can create applications like web functionality tools, video games, device drivers, operating systems, business productivity software, and more.
Specifically, HBO turned to AppDynamics. This company also helped Beachbody fix its slow loading times on mobile devices, and SAP’s Concur unit counts on the same vendor to see where bugs emerge across its thousands of servers.
Last May, AppDynamics announced that HBO GO was its new client. The network’s hit shows like Game of Thrones andTrue Detective were experiencing widely reported glitches, an embarrassment for the company when it was trying to compete with Netflix and Amazon. HBO tapped AppDynamics’ software to find the potential trouble spots ahead of time, a tricky task for a show that brings in about 8 million viewers an episode.
“AppDynamics gives us the visibility to find and fix potential choke points before they impact the viewing experience,” HBO senior vice president of digital products Gilman Wong in a statement.
The good news is that the show premiered across 170 countries simultaneously without much issue. The bad news is that it didn’t really help. People still pirated “The Wars to Come” in record numbers, as previously mentioned.