Content delivery networks are growing at an incredible rate. They are growing fast because they deliver websites fast, and page speed improves both user experience and SEO (search engine optimization). Patrick Sexton of Feedthebot.com notes that they are now essential for Web success: “CDNs are becoming a defacto part of a webmaster’s toolkit, and even if you don’t get one now you will probably have to do so later.” Sexton’s opinion is echoed by other industry experts, which explains the growth of the industry. MarketsandMarkets, a research firm that (according to its website) serves 1700 enterprises in eight verticals, published a report on the CDN industry in March 2014. The report forecasts that the content delivery network market will expand from $3.7 billion in 2014 to $12.2 billion in 2019, an incredible Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27%.
Small websites may primarily be interested in the potential of a CDN to help out their Google rankings and get their text, graphics, scripts, and video more quickly to a worldwide audience. Enterprises that specialize in consumer data and media are starting to re-conceive the way they get files to Internet users, understanding that a content delivery network allows them to feed huge amounts of digital information to a worldwide audience through previously inconceivable means.
Two notable examples show how big-name corporations are using the power of a CDN to create a competitive advantage.
TV Everywhere – Verizon’s Infrastructural Advantage
Wikipedia defines TV Everywhere as “a business model wherein television broadcasters – particularly cable networks – allow their customers to access content from their networks through Internet-based services, either live or on-demand.” Time Warner originally unveiled the concept in 2009, and networks including NBC, ESPN, and HBO unveiled their own versions of the platform in 2010.
Although the TV elite have clearly shown interest in the idea, it has not proven as successful as they would like. An Adam Levy article published September 19 by Motley Fool explains the problem succinctly: “‘TV Everywhere stinks.’” He went on to cite a study conducted by NPD Group that revealed only one in five people who subscribe to a TV service make use of its “TV Everywhere” component once monthly or more. The reason is that (according to Levy) typically the services only offer about 15 mediocre channels for Web streaming.
However, word on the street is that times are changing: major players in the business of delivering content are figuring out ways to design a new and improved version of the Internet-based TV model. Sony has announced its “everywhere” offering will be available by December, and Verizon will have its version released by the summer of next year. Dish Network and DirecTV will also be competing for the top market position soon.
We are ready for the TV Everywhere concept to come to fruition. According to a Nielsen poll, out of every hour of TV Americans are watching, 15 minutes of it is via a mobile device rather than the traditional appliance. That statistic is already an impressive indicator that TV providers should make their material friendly to tablets and phones, but the mobile imperative will become even more emphatic once one of the major media companies starts issuing a broader spectrum of content ready-made for the Web.
Now to our main point: Levy argues that Sony and Verizon are poised to beat out the satellite TV companies. Why is that? It’s a matter of hardware and infrastructure. For Sony, it’s the fact that it has many of its connected electronics already in households. For Verizon, it’s networks: a WiFi network and a content delivery network. In other words, CDN technology could be a major deciding factor in its emergence as a TV Everywhere frontrunner.
iOS 8 – Apple’s Mobile Challenge
The new Apple mobile operating system, iOS 8, was released on September 17. Perhaps the Job-less computer giant’s claimed continuing OS support for one of its devices could be called a little disingeuous. The Apple site now lists iOS 8 as the official operating system for the iPhone 4S. Lily Hay Newman remarks for Slate, “Wall yourself off from this madness. Your mission is to ignore.” Newman references an Ars Technica article that measured performance on the new OS vs. the old one (iOS 7) on the 4S and found that the “improvement” was a major fail: the same task will take up to 50% as long to perform.
Difficulties with the 4S are related to the extraordinary size of iOS 8. Previously updates have required about 1 GB of space, reports Tom Warren of The Verge. This one may need as much as 5.7 GB on some iPhone models and up to 7 GB on an iPad, creating space difficulties for many users (although once downloaded, it requires less than 2 GB of space, according to an advisor at the Barton Creek Square Apple Store in Austin, Texas).
Like Verizon, Apple was able to take advantage of its CDN to deliver the software upgrade to its customers. Web research firm DeepField noted that at its peak, downloads of the OS amounted to 3 Tb (terabits) per second, which analysis by the Wall Street Journal equated to 75 high-definition movies.
A Superb CDN
As you can see, business heavy-hitters such as Apple and Verizon demonstrate how valuable content delivery networks can be in business. To reiterate Patrick Sexton’s point though, they aren’t just valuable but are becoming a necessity. When you select a CDN for your company, why not go with one that is Superb. Ours offers guarantee performance across the globe (172 points of presence in 43 nations). Chat with an expert now.
By Kent Roberts
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