Device fragmentation, pricing and multiscreen matter most in CDN usage

DetailsEditor | 19 December 2014

A survey of online video professionals in North America and Europe as to how their firms use content delivery networks has shown the extent to which multiscreen streaming is now mainstream.

FINAL NOCC 2 9916The State of CDN Services report, commissioned by Akamai, looked at how the professionals consumed content on both a professional and personal basis. In both continents, respondents were almost equally concerned with pricing in CDN service models as with the need to maintain multiscreen delivery to existing and emerging media consumption devices.

The data indicated that the importance of quality and load time has never been greater. Nearly a third of respondents will wait less than five seconds before abandoning a video. In addition, a whopping 92% of respondents said that content quality is important or very important to their overall online viewing experiences. Just over three-quarters preferred a delayed start and then play without interruption, rather than stalling partway through playback.

The report also found that even though two-thirds prefer to stream their favourite TV shows on-demand as opposed to watching them live, a majority (56%) of viewers prefer to view live content on the television, as opposed to streaming it online. Laptops accounted for a quarter of all personal on-demand viewing in North America, followed by desktop computers (22%) and TV (19%). In Europe, 23% of viewers preferred tablets as their primary streaming device followed by desktop computers (15%) and smartphones (10%).

Looking at business, the survey revealed that delivery costs/pricing control was cited (by 48% of the sample) as the largest limiting factor for a CDN strategy. This was followed by economics of scale/contracts (21%), internal delivery preference (15%) and unfamiliarity with CDN benefits (13%).

"More consumers are streaming more video across more devices, and their expectations for the quality of the content along with the overall experience continue to rise," commented Neil Cohen, vice president, product marketing, Akamai. "This challenges the full online video ecosystem from the technology that content producers and distributors are using to how and where ads are inserted to business decisions around formats and capacity planning. To address these challenges, businesses need to carefully identify and evaluate solutions to deliver the content and quality audiences want and expect at broadcast-size scales."