Industry-wide CDN pricing information has historically been difficult to pin down. StreamingMedia.com’s Dan Rayburn has been a valuable source for trending data. He has just updated his findings here.
Some highlights include:
Pricing declined by a larger percentage for larger contracts. For customers spending $1M+, pricing was down 18.9% when compared to last year; for customers spending $250k – $500k , pricing decreased 11.4% this year; and for those spending $100k – $250k, pricing was down 10.6%.
The large customers are expecting the most traffic growth (126%) but even the smaller players see traffic growth of between 49% and 73%
The latest example being the recent announcement by Comcast and Verizon Wireless whereby Verizon employees will begin to sell Comcast products and services. Yes, you read that correctly. Comcast will reciprocate and appears to already be selling bandwidth to Verizon.
Stay tuned. The shifting face of TV and video will undoubtedly lead to more unorthodox partnerships and business models.
Since then, over 13,000 people have read it, making it our most popular report. Presentation sharing site, Slideshare even selected it among its 12 best presentations with predictions.
As we hit the halfway point for 2012, we thought it would be interesting and informative to look at current market data and trends to see how our predictions have panned out. So without further ado…. here’s our Mid-Year Review of 2012 Online Video Predictions
Telecom operators deploying content delivery networks continue to be faced with the build vs buy (from legacy CDN providers) decision. Increasingly, they are choosing to build their own and integrate their solutions with Skytide’s analytics and reporting.
Recently, panelists from Comcast, Jet-Stream and Skytide discussed the nuances of this decision at the Content Delivery Summit Check it out below.
The surge in online video traffic, projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 32% through 2015**, has also ushered in a slew of new content delivery networks. This swell in traffic has triggered volume discounts by rival content delivery networks. Add an influx of new CDN providers to the equation and the result is a buyer’s market for content owners, with entrenched competitors like Akamai offering rates as low as 5¢ per gigabyte***
All of which means that aggressive pricing is a must if you are to get a foothold in the market.
Because the cost savings derived from reducing transit volumes across your network are so great, you shouldn’t let revenue goals stop you from on-boarding content owners — even if that requires an aggressive pricing strategy. This is especially true at off-peak times when you have excess unused capacity.
Skytide can help you to optimize your pricing to compete effectively. For instance, our analytics and reporting can help you to measure how much traffic your CDN offloads from its network. Skytide can also help you to identify which time periods are peak and off-peak for each PoP and geographic zone.
Established pure-play CDNs have a head start. The biggest of these players have significant global coverage and the ability to provide content owners with “one stop shopping” — a single contract and bill, one SLA to validate, a single source for maintenance and support, and a centralized set of reports.
To neutralize these head start advantages, many service providers are banding together to create CDN federations that formalize the process of interconnecting their content delivery networks.
Get involved with as many CDN federation planning and standards groups as possible to credibly demonstrate that you are putting CDN federation on your roadmap. Even federation with CDNs that have overlapping footprints can be of benefit since it can provide your customer a perceived “safety net” when putting some reliance on your CDN.
Can process the huge volumes of data that a CDN federation will generate and transform it into finished reports within minutes.
Can provide the level of richness and granularity necessary to properly allocate costs and revenue, comply with SLAs, and supply the meaningful insights needed to operate a multi-organizational business.
Enables you to provide secure portals to each of your customers so that they can access data specific to their own operations. You can also provide individualized access to business partners such as resellers, content syndicators or company subsidiaries.
Is customizable and extensible, and accommodates rapidly evolving business models.
Contrary to popular wisdom, if you build a better CDN the world will not beat a path to your door. Building a superior content delivery network is just the beginning.
You will be competing with established CDNs that have battle-tested sales teams that have cultivated long-standing relationships with the customers you covet. To secure a piece of this business, you will need to:
Establish a dedicated sales force and task them with the goal of leading prospects through the purchase process. Don’t expect your operations team to handle the sales effort. They are two very different disciplines.
Assemble a team of experienced sales professionals and equip them with the tools that they need to successfully sell your CDN service. The competitive environment is fierce; established CDN providers will not cede business without a fight.
Demand training from your technology vendors on the features that differentiate their platforms and the competitive advantage that those features will provide you against incumbent CDNs.
Skytide provides your sales team with the tools to persuasively communicate the advantages of your CDN analytics & reporting — powered by Skytide — over pure-play CDN providers. We have an established program to thoroughly train your sales team, complete with all the support materials you need to easily integrate it into your sales process (including RFP templates, data sheets, demo scripts, white papers, competitive comparison matrixes and more).
There was a time when a CDN could reasonably expect an exclusive relationship with a content provider, but those days are gone.
Today, content providers are increasingly utilizing a multi-CDN strategy to tap into benefits like an expanded footprint, better pricing leverage and a way to defer capital expenditures. Which means that Telco CDNs need to have a strategy in place to flourish in this multi-CDN environment, including:
Have a program in place that routes traffic to backup CDNs in times of trouble.
Go to market in partnership with multi-CDN control software vendors to assure integration and compliance.
Implement such software as an internal fail-over mechanism invisible to your customers.
Bid for part of a customer’s CDN business but request commitments of additional business if you achieve certain service level agreement (SLA) milestones.
Utilize analytics that provide visibility into service quality — like requests by status code and cache status — that can be used to quickly pinpoint and remedy problems (and preempt your customers from shifting service to a one of its other CDNs.) Only Skytide can provide such multidimensional insight.
Over 40 Telco CDNs have now been deployed or are in development, lured by the prospects of greatly reduced transit costs and new revenue streams. But building out the CDN infrastructure is just the beginning. To be successful, operators must court and persuade content owners to become customers, a formidable task in a market saturated with established CDN alternatives.
In a series of posts we will spotlight the five best practices necessary for Telco CDNs to secure new customers and begin the process of validating their competitive advantages.
#1: Demonstrate your CDN’s reliability and quality
Operator CDNs have significant advantages over legacy content delivery networks (e.g. owning the network enables you to cluster points of presence (PoPs) closer to the end user than third party CDNs can offer.) Which means that you should be able to deliver superior quality of service (QoS) over the likes of Akamai and Limelight Networks.
Prospective customers aren’t going to take your word for it, however.You’ll need to demonstrate your ability to provide measurably better QoS.
If you are a service provider that also operates an IPTV or OTT service, by all means, start to deliver that online video content over your own Telco CDN as soon as possible. Doing so will benefit you in two ways: It will demonstrate the faith that your company and its subsidiaries have in the new content delivery network; the proverbial “eating the dog food.” It will also provide an opportunity to work out any kinks in the service and establish a real-word case study based on empirical evidence. That way, you can sell a service that’s been proven at scale.