3 Media Application Testing Lessons with The New York Times
July 11, 2024

3 Media Application Testing Lessons to Take from The New York Times

Performance Testing

In today’s digital media landscape, clicks and eyeballs pay the bills. 

From the Super Bowl and World Cup to upcoming US elections, media and streaming service organizations are tasked with generating a seamless viewing experience on a nearly constant basis.  

Media organizations like British Telecom (BT) are under more pressure than ever to set themselves up for a successful user experience — both in advance of peak traffic events and on a day-to-day basis. These organizations must feel assured that their platforms are tested thoroughly and that their services will still run smoothly even on their busiest days.  

When The New York Times was preparing for coverage of the 2020 US Presidental Election — perhaps the most widely and hotly discussed election of the modern era — they needed a reliable performance testing tool to conduct media application testing to ensure a seamless digital experience for their readers and viewers. 

In this blog, we will discuss why The New York Times needed to prepare for an upcoming presidential election, three key media application testing lessons learned, and why BlazeMeter made the most sense for The New York Times as their stress testing tool. 


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Why The New York Times Needed to Brace for Impact

Preparing for increased application load is critical during times of great political importance. Particularly during the 2020 election, the New York Times felt the pressure to remain as the most stable and reliable news source at any given time – especially while receiving election results.  

With changes in the political landscape, the New York Times knew that there would be increased interest in the site. Plus, the news outlet expected multiple spikes in traffic because of the lack of uncertainty about when election results would be made public. With more subscribers than ever before, the New York Times was committed to providing a flawless user experience regardless of the circumstance. 

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Media Application Testing Lesson #1: Identify Bottlenecks

Ahead of the momentous election, the news juggernaut needed to ensure their end-user application would be able to scale effectively in the face of ever-increasing traffic. To effectively protect against any potential defects, glitches, or timeouts, they needed to identify bottlenecks in their test environment. 

Since The New York Times was already using JMeter to create their test scripts, using BlazeMeter engines to execute these tests at scale felt like a natural choice. 

By pairing BlazeMeter’s media application testing capabilities with their current testing setup, The New York Times’ development process avoided dependency-related issues scaling their internal applications appropriately – such as fixing internet application issues that were caused by extra load on their end-user application.   

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Media Application Testing Lesson #2: Improve Resiliency

Another major lesson learned for The New York Times was that of understanding the critical role that resiliency and observability plays in improving the quality of their app. With BlazeMeter, we created a plan that would mean executing bug fixes quickly during any hiccups. 

One of the ways the team did this was by frequently utilizing the BlazeMeter feature that allows for changing the RPS (requests per second) number without stopping the tests mid-run. This made their stress testing more effective and efficient.

Changing the RPS with BlazeMeter.

Other important features that helped the New York Times with their stress testing included simulated traffic from various geolocations, BlazeMeter monitoring for their extensive timeline reports, and the ability to easily share those reports with internal and external stakeholders.    

How Media & Streaming Services Prepare Their Networks for Success WithBlazeMeter 

Learn how organizations can leverage BlazeMeter, part of the Perforce continuous testing platform, to offer high-quality digital media services to their customers through performance testing at scale and eliminating bottlenecks from test environments. 

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Media Application Testing Lesson #3: Understand & Avoid Cloud Constraints

The New York Times had migrated to a new cloud architecture only a few years prior to the upcoming election. This could have posed a potential problem because there was less of a sense of familiarity than with their previous architecture. 

For any other media application testing tool, that may have posed a problem. But not for BlazeMeter — a leading cloud testing solution. Through our partnership preparing for the election, The New York Times achieved a better understanding of their cloud architecture. This helped the team scale in the cloud in a more optimized way. 

Additionally, we found more efficient ways of working with third-party providers to avoid any potential cloud constraint issues. 

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Bottom Line

Media and streaming service organizations need to prepare themselves for ever-increasing traffic, especially during peak events, as well as other environmental bottlenecks that are thrown their way. 

The need for stress testing was never more apparent than when The New York Times was approaching one of the most widely discussed US Presidential Elections in modern history. With so many eyes on their coverage — particularly as they covered the votes as they rolled in — they needed to be sure their end-user application experience was flawless. 

After partnering with BlazeMeter, they were able to unlock a few valuable media application testing lessons: identifying bottlenecks within their testing environment, ensuring system resiliency under heavy load, and navigating a new cloud architecture. 

Through the efforts and insights discovered through the stress testing process, the New York Times managed the most highly trafficked event in their history with no major outages.   

If your business or organization revolves heavily around digital media and media streaming services, it is imperative that your applications go under rigorous media application testing. Why not work with the best performance testing tool on the market? And you can start testing with BlazeMeter for FREE today! 

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