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The Internet and Super Bowl Sunday: What Network Traffic Patterns Uncover About Pop Culture
[February 07, 2020]

The Internet and Super Bowl Sunday: What Network Traffic Patterns Uncover About Pop Culture


Fastly, Inc. (NYSE: FSLY), provider of a global edge cloud platform, today announced real-time traffic trends and phenomena observed across its portfolio of customers during one of the biggest moments for the internet that occurs each year, the Super Bowl. These findings can certainly be a sign of current pop culture trends. Each observation is measured in requests per second (RPS), which represent how many times a user's requests to a site are delivered during one second.

Audi's "Let It Go" Ad Proves Power of Gametime Spots

Fastly customer Audi ran the melodic ad featuring Maisie Williams' cover of "Let It Go," where she drives her Audi E-Tron Sportback, its upcoming electric SUV. During the spot, Williams chooses to "Let it Go", saying goodbye to today's preconceptions of consumption, success and status, and drive towards a more sustainable future. After its ad ran in the second half, Audi's website saw an impressive 11,422% increase in RPS, compared to the moments before the spike. Its site traffic has also seen a 19.46% elevation on average RPS over the three days post-game, compared to the same time last week. With ad costs reaching up to $5.6 million for a 30-second spot during this year's game, this is one metric companies hope to see boosted after such an investment.

No Slacking Off on Slack

Slack, another Fastly customer, saw 13.25% more RPS within its platform on the day of the big game than it did on the immediate Sunday prior, January 26 2020, which could indicate an uplift in people leveraging Slack beyond the physical workplace and typical work week. With so many customers across a range of industries it's not surprising that some were extra busy on game day. The uptime in Slack could have been ad agencies supporting customers with commercials, newsrooms coordinating and publishing stories and other companies doing real-time collaboration for brand activations.



The Annual Halftime Social Media "Drop"

During previous Super Bowls, Fastly has observed a "drop" in RPS to some social media brands, indicating that users put down their phones to watch the evening's non-football entertainment. The big game in 2020 was no different, with some social media customers experiencing an average drop in RPS by 16% when the halftime performance began, compared to average request activity in the first half of the game.


GIFs and Memes Take Center Stage

Conversely, some of Fastly's GIF and meme creation customers represented brands that experienced spikes in RPS, indicating a slew of new viral snippets created. In midst of halftime entertainment, these customers saw a 34.97% average increase in RPS compared to their request activity immediately before the spike, and post-game activity observed a 46.66% average increase in RPS.

"What's really wonderful to see on our platform is proof that we can help customers handle both high-traffic events, such as an ad during a big game or a seasonal flash sale, just as much as we can support typical weekday traffic," said Dana Wolf, SVP of product and marketing at Fastly. "Our modern network design, which means fewer but more powerful points of presence around the globe, allows us to move customer data and applications closer to a customer's end user. Ultimately, that manifests in a faster, more reliable digital experience between a person and a brand, and that's what we see driving the most effective online interactions today."

With such significant ad investments, it's essential to ensure your site can handle the attention. For more information about Fastly's edge cloud platform and its load balancing and intelligent routing benefits afforded to websites or applications, visit: https://www.fastly.com/edge-cloud-platform. Fastly's blog, "The 3 most-memed-about moments and other internet user behaviors from the Super Bowl," also dives in deeper on game-time traffic trends and phenomena.

About Fastly

Fastly helps people stay better connected with the things they love. Fastly's edge cloud platform enables customers to create great digital experiences quickly, securely, and reliably by processing, serving, and securing our customers' applications as close to their end-users as possible - at the edge of the internet. The platform is designed to take advantage of the modern internet, to be programmable, and to support agile software development. Fastly's customers use our edge cloud platform to ensure concertgoers can buy tickets to the live events they love, travelers can book flights seamlessly and embark on their next great adventure, and sports fans can stream events in real time, across devices. They include many of the world's most prominent companies, including Alaska Airlines, The New York Times, and Ticketmaster.

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements that are based on Fastly's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to Fastly on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause its actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, those regarding the ability to predict future trends based on the traffic trends and phenomena observed, the ability of fewer but more powerful points of presence to create a faster and more reliable digital experience, the expected benefits of Fastly's edge cloud platform, load balancing and intelligent routing, and the ability of Fastly's edge cloud platform to handle increased traffic. Except as required by law, Fastly assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause Fastly's actual results to differ materially are detailed from time to time in the reports Fastly files with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC (News - Alert)), including in its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2019. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on Fastly's website and are available from Fastly without charge.


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