Fastly > Case Studies > Slate Magazine's Digital Transformation with Fastly's Edge Cloud Network

Slate Magazine's Digital Transformation with Fastly's Edge Cloud Network

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Technology Category
  • Analytics & Modeling - Computer Vision Software
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - Application Development Platforms
Use Cases
  • Clinical Image Analysis
  • Time Sensitive Networking
The Challenge
Slate Magazine, a digital media pioneer, faced significant challenges with their legacy Content Delivery Network (CDN). The CDN lacked the agility to purge content and complete updates at the speed required by the rapidly evolving digital media landscape. The process of waiting for a change to go live could take as much as 15 minutes, which was highly inefficient in the fast-paced digital media industry. Additionally, the legacy CDN charged on a per-service basis and required XML for updates, adding to the workload of Slate's already busy team of developers. These challenges prompted Slate to seek a more efficient and agile solution.
About The Customer
Slate Magazine is a digital media pioneer that established its podcast network in 2005. By 2021, the network's website averaged 30 million unique viewers per month. Slate's podcast membership platform, Supporting Cast, backs not only Slate’s network but also those of NPR, Wondery, and other top podcasts and audiobook publishers. Supporting Cast is a platform that allows podcasters and their networks to offer exclusive episodes and audiobooks. It provides an individual RSS feed for each user, with each episode's URL being unique to a specific subscriber.
The Solution
Slate Magazine switched to Fastly's edge cloud network, which significantly reduced their update time from 15 minutes to less than 5 seconds. This switch also eliminated the extra cost associated with spinning up a new domain, enabling developers to start testing new features and services without waiting for expense approval. In 2019, Slate launched Supporting Cast, a podcasting membership platform that uses Fastly's surrogate key purge to provide individual RSS feeds for each user and control access to content. Fastly's surrogate key purging can be applied to single mp3s, entire episodes, series, or users, allowing for granular control over content access. Fastly's compatibility with a CI/CD production environment also enabled Slate developers to deploy configurations immediately.
Operational Impact
  • The switch to Fastly's edge cloud network has empowered Slate to grow without limits. The podcast service has seen notable growth, with tens of thousands of users joining each month. With Supporting Cast still signing new podcasts every week, the team appreciates that they never need to worry about traffic volume before adding new content. Fastly's compatibility with a CI/CD production environment has also enabled Slate developers to deploy configurations immediately, instead of being held up while they're routed through systems administration. Additionally, Slate has taken advantage of other solutions in the Fastly portfolio, such as Fastly's Image Optimizer and logging options, which have further enhanced their operational efficiency.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Reduced update time from 15 minutes to less than 5 seconds
  • Eliminated extra cost associated with spinning up a new domain
  • Enabled immediate deployment of configurations

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