Looking Back to the Early Days of Streaming Media

Blog Post created by charliekraus on May 5, 2016

As I was brainstorming blog topics, a colleague pointed out that Cinco de Mayo was just a few days away. That’s the only spark I needed. I enthusiastically celebrate May 5th and play drums in a band that includes Reggae music in their repertoire, so I instantly thought of one our earliest live streaming customers, Margaritaville, and their innovative website deployment partner BubbleUp. They were an early pioneer in streaming music programming back in 2001 when Internet-only radio station Radio Margaritaville was launched. Let’s explore how this beginning led to a major footprint in the music industry.


Filling a music industry void

Listeners to Radio Margaritaville discovered other useful fan-focused content on the website such as concert touring calendars, ticket purchasing, music downloads, and CDs. The combination of a worldwide audience, music downloads, and radio listening ramped up audio traffic rapidly. A few years later, Margaritaville TV was created for live streaming of concerts, further increasing traffic levels, necessitating using a CDN to deliver content. The site had become a destination for fans, filling a void in the music industry for a single go-to place for multiple transactions. The rest is history as the saying goes, and today BubbleUp has deployed over 500 websites, including many for well-known bands based on the model created for Margaritaville.

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You can read a case study about the partnership between BubbleUp and Limelight that made this possible called Searching for My Lost Shaker of Salt.


Pushing the limits of technology to reach a global audience

Throughout this tremendous growth, BubbleUp encountered challenges familiar to any organization delivering media content: Audio files increasing in size and number, live concerts viewer expectations for broadcast quality on any device, the need to support multiple formats, and tracking usage for rights management and royalties.


BubbleUp addressed these issues by using a CDN for global delivery, cloud-based media file format conversion, integrated storage for local content caching, and a video platform for detailed usage tacking analytics. Like all long term successful partnerships, it is ultimately the ongoing support services to help push the limits of technology that cement a relationship, allowing BubbleUp and their CDN partner to continue making beautiful music together.