Verizon's EdgeCast acquisition the "best chance" to challenge Akamai in CDN
Michelle Clancy
| 12 May 2014
Verizon's acquisition of content delivery network (CDN) provider EdgeCast is just one of several developments that will shake up the CDN sector, according to Heavy Reading research.

That's significant for an industry that has long been dominated by Akamai. "In December 2013, Verizon acquired the fast-growing CDN provider EdgeCast," said Steve Koppman, research analyst with Heavy Reading Insider and author of the report. "This acquisition has positioned Verizon to mount the strongest competitive challenge dominant Akamai Technologies has faced since it launched the CDN market in the 1990s."

With its acquisition of EdgeCast, Verizon will likely challenge Akamai more effectively than any other CDN challenger has until now, Koppman said. "There will likely be increasing consolidation across the sector, which will not preclude the emergence of new specialised players," he continued. "The acquisition may also support eventual Verizon efforts to go to OTT delivery itself outside its region; however, despite its efforts, it is by no means clear yet that Verizon can seriously challenge Akamai's long-dominant market position."

CDNs and the site speeds they are designed to promote will become an intensifying concern of the "C-suite" of top executives, he predicted, and more CDN consolidation appears inevitable — although opportunities for smaller players will remain.

Value-added services beyond bit delivery of static content – e.g., security and acceleration/optimisation of increasingly dynamic Web content – are an ever-growing share of this market. So, Akamai's own extreme revenue growth goals of 18% annually require it to accelerate its path of diversifying acquisitions, Koppman concluded.