When stay-at-home COVID-19 precautions precluded the annual, live New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – better known as “Jazz Fest” – from taking place this year, non-profit, volunteer-driven public radio station WWOZ (90.7FM) filled the void. The station aired and streamed Jazz Festing in Place, featuring some of the best performances in Jazz Fest history, while leveraging streaming solutions provider StreamGuys’ scalable content delivery service to meet unexpectedly high demand.
Over the years, WWOZ – and its parent organization, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, which sponsors the annual festival – had amassed a huge media archive of live Jazz Fest appearances by such jazz greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, and Irma Thomas. Showcasing these performances, Jazz Festing in Place aired during the dates and times that Jazz Fest would have taken place this year – April 23 through 26 and April 30 to May 3, from 11am to 7pm Central time. In addition to the live broadcast on WWOZ-FM, which blankets the New Orleans metro, the station streamed the event live over StreamGuys’ global content delivery network (CDN) to reach jazz aficionados worldwide.
As a long-time StreamGuys customer, WWOZ knows very well the quality and reliability of their CDN and their attentive, white-glove service. What WWOZ didn’t know was that Jazz Festing in Place would be such an incredible success, drawing a listenership that was more than 20 times the station’s typical daily audience size. When WWOZ found themselves facing an unexpected surge in demand, StreamGuys – who proactively provide and manage any required capacity for broadcasters encountering sudden traffic increases – stepped in to ensure the unprecedented interest was successfully met throughout the duration of the event.
“Overall, they increased our capacity 10-fold, enough to handle 50,000 concurrent streams,” said WWOZ new media director David Stafford. “Without that, many disappointed listeners would not have been able to access our stream, and the event would not have been nearly as successful as it was. As an independent public radio station with no big station group behind us, it would be hard to envision having such a reliable, dependable online presence without StreamGuys’ exceptional CDN service and support. That’s why they are so awesome.”
“We were delighted to play a vital role in the delivery of this first-ever, historic radio event, which featured so many priceless moments from the famed Jazz Fest’s history,” said Tim Labelle, global account manager, StreamGuys. “Community and public media are key markets that we proudly serve, and we’re pleased that WWOZ continues to put their trust and confidence in our service.”