Private content delivery networks are the future

Broadcasters that have traditionally used satellite and terrestrial-based distribution are moving towards broadband and streaming content directly to customers over the internet, known as over the top or OTT.

“We are heading in the direction where OTT is not going to be the alternative path to the consumer, it will be the main path,” says Paul Martin, vice president of marketing and business development at Vecima Networks, a global leader in content delivery and storage solutions.

“We’re talking about significantly higher levels of video being passed across broadband and mobile networks. Those networks have to scale for both performance and price. Private content delivery networks (CDNs) are the way forward.”

From a performance perspective, the architecture of existing CDN services make it difficult to overcome the internet’s natural bottlenecks to deliver great performance for large live TV audiences.

“The ever-expanding consumption of OTT video content, at ever-higher quality levels, will continually intensify the challenge of ensuring consumers get the best viewing experience possible,” says Mr Martin.

Media companies clearly don’t want viewer experience issues with their valuable content that creates a revenue risk. Avoiding congestion is a fundamental benefit of a private CDN.

Finding the right commercial and technical partner for creating a private CDN can take away many of the challenges and obstacles that OTT operators can encounter

“Many of the larger OTT operators have observed that if other major internet events, like a new video or gaming release, are taking place at the same time as their largest events, then their own streams can be disrupted. The simple fact is that shared platforms can become uncontrollably congested and viewer experience suffers. The biggest operators don’t risk this,” says Mr Martin.

Leading OTT services such as Netflix and Amazon have already deployed private CDNs to benefit from deep visibility of their customers’ experience and to avoid congestion from shared CDN platforms.

Critically, the private CDN model has enabled them to deploy video cache solutions inside an internet service provider (ISP) network, removing the issue of traffic congestion and enhancing the relationship between the content provider and ISP in delivering service to their shared consumer customers.

While the majority of video traffic is being delivered for video on demand, or VOD, the really high spikes of peak traffic are driven by live events. The best solution to deal with these short-term traffic demands is to stay on private CDNs for both cost and performance.

Vecima graph

“The live audience is the most valuable audience and the most challenging service to deliver. Having the best infrastructure ready for live events is business critical. Not only can a private CDN overcome the perpetual network congestion points, but it can also be the most cost-effective long-term platform,” says Mr Martin.

For the C-suite, the private CDN model changes the financial dynamics of video distribution. “OTT operators are trying to make their services more profitable and  private CDNs enable significant economies of scale,” says Mr Martin. “Most large OTT operators are focused on a single country, due to content rights and the location of their audience. This makes private CDN deployment highly cost effective.”

Finding the right commercial and technical partner for creating a private CDN can take away many of the challenges and obstacles that OTT operators can encounter. Vecima offer award-winning CDN solutions and lead the market for density in video cache solutions. This enables new economies of scale that OTT operators need to survive and thrive in such a complex media and entertainment ecosystem.

While there is a tendency to look to cloud services for scale for content origination, for the CDN layer that must grow as audiences grow, there remain fundamental network design issues which will continually impact OTT operators using shared CDN services. To achieve the best performance, large OTT firms would benefit from having a private CDN.

“We provide the scalable commercial-grade CDN platforms that OTT operators need to avoid the internet’s congestion, gain significant financial economies of scale and deliver even better service to their customers,” Mr Martin concludes.

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