content delivery network

What is CDN? Why CDN is Important For Video Streaming?

The video streaming industry is skyrocketing, and so is the content delivery network (CDN) with it. The CDN market is predicted to double to US$30 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of more than 16%.

The increased need for delivering latency-free quality video experiences to viewers is driving this exponential growth, resulting in more and more businesses opting for a built-in CDN streaming VOD solution. 

What is CDN?

CDN (content delivery network) is a platform of servers distributed over various geographical locations that help minimize the delays in loading a web page. CDN virtually reduces the physical distance between the user and the server, which eliminates latency and allows faster access to content.

CDN works by distributing the content over various servers all across the globe. So when a user requests the content, a nearby server responds to the request in place of the origin server. This reduces traffic and subsequent load on the origin, thereby minimizing the chance of failure in case of exceedingly high traffic.

On the users’ end, the CDN platform facilitates the delivery of high-quality content in the least possible time, improving viewer experiences. Hence, it’s a win-win for both content providers and users.

 Why Should You Use a CDN?

CDN providers are essential for the fast and efficient distribution of content worldwide, which comprises not only the website but also 4K and HD-quality video, apps, audio streaming, games, and more. Listed below are some of the key reasons for using a video CDN solution.

  • Bandwidth:

    Bandwidth is the measurement of data transfer on a network at any given time. If the stream of data exceeds the network capacity, data delivery gets choked off. Using a content distribution network eases the burden of stream delivery and eliminates the choke point.

  • Global content delivery:

    CDNs distribute the content across various servers worldwide, allowing content delivery from the nearest server to a user. This means that a user from India accessing a live stream from Australia can receive the content from a server in India instead of waiting for it to load from Australia.

  • Latency and RTT reduction:

    Using a CDN reduces the RTT (round-trip time) for live streams, which minimizes the latency. As the user’s request no longer has to reach the origin server, the response-request round trips get shorter in distance and time. Thus, reducing the delays.

  • Workload:

    Responding to a user request takes some amount of computing power of a server. Multiple requests at a time make it overwhelming for a single server. With a content distribution network, the workload gets distributed to various servers, keeping the origin server up and running.

  • Caching:

    Video CDNs store the live stream content in caches, facilitating the delivery through caches instead of the origin server. This makes the user acquire access to the information easier with minimal lag time.

Essential Features to Consider in a CDN for Video Streaming

A good content delivery network provider is crucial for the smooth working of a video streaming platform. Here are some essential features to consider in a CDN solution for selecting the best content delivery network for your streaming platform.

  • The number of servers in the network:

    The number of servers in a network helps a great deal in determining its scalability and speed. Ideally, a CDN should have a large number of servers because more servers mean more bandwidth. So if there is an unexpected increase in user requests, the load gets distributed to various servers, resulting in faster responses.

  • Geographic distribution of the servers:

    A CDN should have its servers evenly distributed around the world. As CDNs operate through points of presence (PoP) that deliver the content directly to users, the closer a PoP is found to a user, the better it gets with the streaming experience. If many CDN servers are confined to a particular region, other regions are bound to get low-quality super-slow streams.

  • Average performance:

    The speed of your CDN greatly determines its average performance. The higher the speed, the lesser hurdle you face with its buffering. Though it’s not easy to measure the speed of a CDN as it depends on various variables, you can compare the average performance of different CDNs to get an idea of their speed.

  • Analytics:

    A CDN should provide detailed insights into the live streams, which can include data about the number of viewers, the geographical location of the majority of viewers, and other related information. These analytics serve as a marketing tool and help to improve overall performance.

  • Pricing:

    The video CDN pricing varies from provider to provider. Some CDNs have standard prices, while others might charge you a higher rate if your video gets viral and more people join in. Your audience volume and geographical location play a major role in determining the pricing of your live streaming platform.

Why is CDN Necessary for Video Streaming?

CDNs make it easier for you to deliver a superior experience to your viewers, resulting in improved business growth. The below-listed benefits of CDNs will convince you to opt for a good CDN for video streaming.

  • Scalability:

    CDNs are the fastest way to stream your content to numerous viewers. They can accommodate unexpected spikes in traffic and easily handle viral viewerships. Thus, helping your VOD streaming services escalate.

  • Quality:

    CDNs use multiple servers worldwide for content delivery, reducing lagging and delays in loading. They bypass any traffic in between, resulting in faster and better streaming experiences.

  • Reliability:

    Streaming content through CDNs helps in preventing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which occur due to several breaching attempts simultaneously. By enabling switchover with multiple access points, CDNs enhance the platform’s reliability.

  • Enhanced Performance:

    By caching content in PoPs around the world, CDNs helps to bring your content closer to viewers. It reduces data loss, latency thus increasing in website loading speed. Hence, this improves the overall streaming performance.

  • Increased Availability:

    CDNs ensure the delivery of your content to viewers irrespective of their geographical locations. In the case of excess user traffic, CDNs distribute the load to various PoPs to prevent origin server outages. Thus, it ensures the availability of your content to all users.

  • High Security:

    With increased digital activity, the chances of digital fraud also sharply increase. So, CDNs keep your information secure by archiving the content with encryption and authentication. A good CDN has up-to-date features to tackle unexpected security threats.

  • Reduced Abandonment and Increased Conversions:

    Before the UI/UX kicks in, it is the latency of the platform that decides whether the user will stay or leave. CDN helps minimize the loading time, ensuring a better experience from the beginning, resulting in reduced abandonment and increased conversions.

Conclusion

CDNs are essential for a seamless user experience with faster, reliable, and secure content transmission. Streaming bulky video files across large distances and numerous users can be challenging for businesses. A video CDN with advanced features streamline this process, resulting in increased user subscriber counts, better growth, and higher revenue.

Content Delivery Network

Dwarakesh is Video Monetization & OTT Platform Expert at CONTUS VPlayed. Interested in digging deep into video/audio streaming media tools, and Love to blog, discuss and share views on the legal IPTV services' latest technologies tips, and tricks. He's also passionate about photography loves to capture the pure essence of life.

16 Comments

  1. Clara Reply

    I have gone through the article hope the cdn plays a major role in video streaming platforms as more number of user been accessing the platform at a time.

  2. Mathias Reply

    Using cdn improves website security as the TLS or Transport layer security is a way for encrypting data that is sent over the internet and is critical to maintaining the security of your site.

  3. Lea Reply

    The article have been explained well and cdn plays a major role and seeing the article I could see all the details have been explained well

  4. Enzo Reply

    CDN could reduce the server load on interconnects, public and private peers and backbones, freeing up the overall capacity and decreasing delivery costs. So it does benefits a lot

  5. Noah Reply

    Hope all the points on cdn are covered. It is such a important topic as by using it you can save lot of money.

  6. Lucas Reply

    CDNs have the ability to deliver real-time load insights, optimize capacity per customer, display active regions, demonstrate which resources are famous, and report viewing details to their customers.

  7. Mia Reply

    Getting a Good CDN provider is necessary where you could get better support so you queries or your problem can be solved immediately.

  8. Amelia Reply

    Very nice blog and the importance of cdn is very well explained, CDNs have automatic server availability sensing mechanisms with instant user redirection so the cdn website experience 100% availability even during massive power outages

  9. Ethan Reply

    Having a global cdn offers a single platform to deal with the separate operations, working across various regions for a reasonable price. CDNs are additionally suggested for organizations with a limited financial plan.

  10. Oliver Reply

    CDN’s are known to bring down generally bounce rates and increase the time that visitors spend on the site. This takes into consideration that the site to drive better traffic while keeping user experience at an all time high.

  11. Calisto Reply

    CDNs create superhighways that truncate the time it takes to deliver video streams from origin to end user.

  12. Mike Reply

    When using cdn for video streaming in real time for a high quality viewing experience that engage audiences globally by delivering content at the highest quality

  13. sophie Reply

    Some CDNs ensure high quality video delivery to screens around the world and to have a better cdn will help to have a smooth working of a video streaming platform

  14. Allwyn Reply

    The important feature of content delivery network is the performance and speed is related to size, several other factors. Various CDN comparisons look at different providers and average out their performance across long periods to help you get a sense of which is fastest.

  15. Jason Reply

    Your CDN helps you meet heightened streaming demands in several key ways. it brings your data closer to users, improves latency, and increases reliability and helps the content to how faster

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