Viewers around the world are demanding faster and best-in-class video experience across channels. A video-first delivery network can be a game changer in this space. Taking advantage of the increased demand in video streaming, Google Cloud has announced its global availability of its Media CDN, a network for media companies, to use for their own streaming experiences. The company made this announcement at the 2022 NAB Show Streaming Summit held in Las Vegas on April 25-26.
A content delivery network (CDN) is responsible for taking the content of one website and distributing it to various servers around the world, so that when a person accesses the website, he or she can download content from the closest server, thus obtaining a faster and smoother experience.
While companies like Netflix, Disney, and HBO battle over streaming of movies and TV shows, all of their services combined are dim in comparison to YouTube, which said it delivers over a billion hours of video streams daily.
Shailesh Shukla, Vice President and General Manager, Networking, Google Cloud wrote on its blog, “The same infrastructure that Google has built over the last decade to serve YouTube content to over 2 billion users is now being leveraged to deliver media at scale to Google Cloud customers with Media CDN.”
With a presence in over 1,300 cities across 200 countries, Google said that Media CDN is designed to “automate all facets” of “serving content bringing it closer to users”.
The pandemic led to an explosion in demand for streaming content as business closures and shelter-in-place orders forced folks to stay home. According to a January 2022 Global Internet Phenomena Report, streaming video accounted for 53.7% of internet bandwidth traffic — up by 4.8% from a year ago.
“Media companies are under pressure to develop and deploy innovative experiences at a furious pace,” said Shukla. Media CDN is “built with AI/ML” to power interactive experiences, giving media providers the speed and flexibility, they need to integrate delivery provisioning into their content release processes. Companies selling access to CDNs also benefited enormously. By one industry estimate, CDN revenue grew 7% in 2020 from the previous year, to $4.45 billion.
“Leveraging the same infrastructure as YouTube, Google Cloud’s Media CDN combines geographic reach, API-first architecture and integration with the Cloud operations suite. This is a transformative move that is aligned with the future of the CDN industry,” said Ghassan Abdo, Research Vice President, WW Telecom, Virtualization and CDN at IDC.
Google is a small player in the market for CDN services. Companies such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon CloudFront, Fastly, Verizon, Akamai and Cloudflare are already leading this space, as per 2022 IDC showed.
Analysts believe, Media CDN could bolster Google’s cloud division that’s so far struggled to turn a profit. In its most recent earnings report, Alphabet reported that Google Cloud — the business unit that Media CDN falls under — grew 43% in Q1 2022 to reach $5.8 billion, but widened its operating losses to $931 million.