SeenThis Logo

SeenThis, based in Stockholm, collaborates with over 80 of the top 100 advertisers across 40+ countries, boasting an average monthly request volume exceeding 40 billion from 1,000+ customers in 2022. The ad streaming company utilizes its proprietary adaptive streaming to eliminate conventional ad serving limitations. Their ads load instantly, delivering exceptional experiences with minimal data transfer. Whether video or static ads, load times remain minimal, irrespective of connection or ad server integrations. SeenThis, certified in all major advertising networks for both programmatic and I/O, prioritizes high quality without compromising fast load times, ensuring no one has to choose between the two.
Industry: Media & Entertainment, Streaming services
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Customer since: 2017

Favorite features
Global delivery network
Customizable VCL
Enterprise support
Fastly Logging

Switching from Amazon CloudFront to Fastly enables SeenThis to meet clients' performance needs

SeenThis adaptive streaming completely removes the limitations of conventional ad serving technology – with ads that load instantly and provide astonishing experiences for a minimum amount of data transfer, thus minimizing CO2 emissions.

SeenThis – streaming for speed AND sustainability

5G has launched. We’ve got labyrinthine fiber-optic networks. But rocketing demand and mountains of data mean the internet’s still snail-slow – with a crushing CO2 footprint to boot.

Since it was founded in 2017, SeenThis has accelerated a global journey towards a truly efficient, high-definition internet – with the firm conviction that nobody should ever have to choose between high quality and fast load times.

Its adaptive streaming ads load instantly when the ad space enters the viewport, meaning advertisers get more (customer-delighting) views for every impression.

But in the global advertising industry, sustainability now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with speed. With Fastly’s help, SeenThis satisfies clients with tough sustainability targets and performance demands.

Need for speed

When SeenThis approached Fastly in its first year of operation, it’s no surprise its main driver was performance.

The speed-demon disrupter wanted to deliver custom content based on different variables – automatically adapted for every device, OS, and browser. But their existing, first generation CDN couldn’t provide the necessary configuration.

When SeenThis CTO Einar Andersson filled in a Fastly ‘Contact Us’ form, a returned call back just five minutes later resulted in a newly setup account. True to form, a lasting relationship had a lightning-quick start.

SeenThis immediately started testing Fastly CDN. The process was smooth as expected since they were already familiar with its syntax: Varnish configuration language (VCL).

The search was on for a more robust, reliable system to scale globally. After testing, it was obvious Fastly did everything required.

Their multi-cloud environment consists of different providers for applications, data analysis, and processing. And SeenThis exclusively uses Fastly for advanced content distribution – handling over 4 petabytes (PB) of data per month.

All said, a very positive start. But new challenges are always waiting round the corner.

Reporting – the details that are often ignored

SeenThis' previous logging and monitoring system, which utilized open-source tools like nginx and RabbitMQ on AWS, began showing signs of aging by 2018. It became slow and unreliable, and the team struggled to manage the increasing number of requests required to serve its 1,000+ customers.

There was a pressing need to immediately upgrade their logging infrastructure. So Fastly engineers recommended adopting Fastly’s real-time log streaming service to direct all logs through its log ingestion system to Google BigQuery logging endpoints. Meanwhile, SeenThis developed a new system to enable this transition, which resulted in a highly scalable solution with superb performance and uptime.

However, this didn’t completely solve the issue. When data transfer reduction emerged as a pressing environmental concern in 2020, SeenThis needed more detailed reporting capabilities to evidence their unique mix of performance and sustainability. For example, they were unable to determine the data volume pushed per ad impression for specific campaigns or ads.

SeenThis carried out initial testing using JavaScript, in which clients sent their list of requests to an API. But this approach entailed numerous issues. For instance, it wasn’t possible to work out if requests were cached in the browser, and only fully completed requests were accessible.

Fastly engineers stepped in again at this point, explaining that the “bytes delivered per second” could be accessed via Fastly's statistics dashboard. However, this data couldn't be segmented based on clients and campaigns, and customizing the setup would have required creating separate subdomains for each client. Given the sheer number of clients SeenThis had, this would not be feasible.

Following several collaborative meetings, Fastly engineers and SeenThis devised a solution: near real-time log streaming, but with granular segmentation by leveraging the available “bytes written” variable. Consequently, SeenThis established a new log streaming connection to BigQuery, streaming logs related to both content delivery and event metrics. Fastly offers 33 logging endpoints.

This approach was a game-changer. It allowed them to aggregate all data and, over time, calculate the data transfer per ad. The new solution proved ideal and has since become their standard practice. SeenThis now relies on Fastly not only for content delivery, but also for crucial metric and delivery logging – providing clients with the detailed, quantifiable data transfer reporting they need.

Speed and sustainability – the ultimate USP

After working closely with Fastly through a series of iterative steps, SeenThis has placed itself in a category of one – creating a unique USP for customers switched-on to climate change. Next-level performance catalyzes industry-leading sustainability – a powerful combination that makes SeenThis stand out from the crowd.

  • New optimizations to its transcoding engine and video player take sustainability to levels that were previously unimaginable – clients can soon expect hyper-fast, elite-quality video streaming with an average data saving of 40%-50% per campaign.

  • By optimizing for performance while reducing data, SeenThis outperforms competitors and has developed a powerful offer. Sustainability is no longer just an added bonus – it’s at the heart of compelling client conversations.

  • Major clients stay with SeenThis (and new ones are acquired) because they recognize it’s a powerful tool for reducing their emissions – vital when you push through billions of impressions per month.

Maximum performance, minimum data

SeenThis sets itself to achieve the highest possible sustainability standards, with a three-strand approach covering corporate footprint and product development:

  • They have now been approved for Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) 1.5°C aligned near-term target. SBTi is considered the gold standard for ambitious corporate climate action.

  • Through Fastly, SeenThis offers a competitive advantage to their customers with a proprietary adaptive streaming method that sends 40%-50% less data than conventional methods – eliminating data wastage by only sending data that’s required. The net result is an excellent user experience.

  • Continue working towards net zero through product optimization and vendor collaboration. As an example, exploring with Fastly how to become even more granular in the reporting of energy consumption during data transfer.

By delivering peerless performance with planet-preserving potential, SeenThis delivers something special – an offer any eco-conscious advertiser finds hard to refuse.

"Initially we used Amazon CloudFront, but out of frustration in terms of customizability and performance, we tried Fastly out and it was incredible. Fastly is different. It allows us to really configure our services at a really, you know, low level if we want to. And I've never seen that at any other CDN provider."

Einar Andersson
CTO, SeenThis

"Going to Fastly from CloudFront, we went from 50 milliseconds, average latency to five milliseconds."

Einar Andersson
CTO, SeenThis

"Fastly help us deploy faster with a fully custom VCL, which is CI/CD integrated. Fastly provides really fast content delivery available all over the world, but also log streaming, something that we use extensively. It's a core part of our product. We use it to measure the video metrics, but also data transfer we use as a proxy for the carbon footprint. Our sustainability impact is based on a variable available in the Fastly log streaming."

Einar Andersson
CTO, SeenThis

"Our sustainability impact is based on a variable available in the Fastly log streaming. We use that to create dashboards so we can see per client or per campaign, the actual data transfer."

Einar Andersson
CTO, SeenThis

"Supercharging performance while reducing data waste was once a pipe dream. With Fastly, it’s now a reality. Our adaptive streaming technology sends 40%-50% less data than conventional methods."

Gabrielle Persson
CPO, SeenThis

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