The Walt Disney Company and Verizon recently began testing advanced content caching technology affording Fios fixed network subscribers faster access to Disney+ streaming content.
Based on specifications developed by the Streaming Video Alliance and Verizon’s existing edge caching capabilities, the companies have collaborated on a trial platform that stores the most requested streaming video content, like “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” in network facilities closer to the customer, which results in content starting faster, while also reducing freezing, pausing or playback failures during streaming.
“This trial with Disney is another step in our journey with a global brand that is providing value for our shared customers,” Kyle Malady, chief technology officer for Verizon, said in a statement.
Verizon and Disney+ partnered with the launch of the SVOD in 2019, affording Verizon wireless subscribers 12-months free access to the SVOD. The promotion has been key to Disney+ generating more than 100 million paying subs in less than 18 months.
Caching popular Internet content at the network edge closer to end users is a standard ISP network management practice that has long been a part of the Internet’s architecture.
By storing content closer to customers, the data travels a shorter distance over the network, through fewer routers and switches, reducing delays in delivery of content to the customer. As a result, customers are able to start streaming content more quickly and face fewer potential network events that could cause freezing or buffering. In this trial, FIOS customers throughout the Verizon FIOS footprint were able to access Disney content using Open Caching. Results from the trial showed faster start times for content, smoother streaming, and less buffering.
Verizon said it is exploring conversations with other content providers, including news organizations, gaming companies, and other entertainment providers to use open caching technology.
Open caching for wireless customers is also under development. With the virtualization built into the wireless network and the server space on the edge of the network developed over the past few years, the wireless network is aiming to deliver an enhanced viewing experience for customers while on the go.
“The ability for us to scale Disney+ internet distribution and create optimal streaming experiences for subscribers around the content is paramount to our continued success as the flagship streaming service from The Walt Disney Company,” said Joe Inzerillo, EVP and CTO.