There is no doubt that live video streaming has seen a massive boost for the past years. It has been integrated into almost all the activities we do every day. Despite its rapid explosion in the industry, there are still some consumers who have high expectations in terms of their video streaming experiences.
To ensure that end viewers will enjoy live video streaming services, many companies started to use CDN services. On the other hand, it is important to assess your requirements to pick the proper CDN for your business needs and video workflow.
What is a CDN
If you are new in the live video streaming industry, you might be asking what a CDN is. To help you further understand the concept of CDN and how it works, let us first define what it is.
CDN or Content Delivery Network is a set of servers with data centers based worldwide. Their data centers are scattered in every corner of the world to deliver world-class content while minimizing latency. This will give the users a consistent and seamless video streaming experience.
The CDN uses PoPs or Points of Presence, which is a strategically located data center that will bring the end-users and the video content closer to each other.
Best CDN Solutions
We want to help you choose the right CDN solution. So, we have gathered a few CDN solutions that may be perfect for the type of business you have. Each CDN solution has a distinct combination of protection and speed. Depending on the CDN solution you will avail of, your business can get lossless images and automatic mobile optimization.
In 2020, Cloudflare was the leading CDN provider among live streaming businesses. Individual users can use this live streaming cdn solution for free. But if you prefer Pro plans, you will need to pay a monthly fee of 20 USD.
This CDN solution allows you to have easy access to several analytics reports. Beyond that, you can also set, edit, and view threat controls. The only downside of this solution is that their customer support is not as active as other providers.
Using Cloudflare as your CDN solution allows you to get global CDN, DDoS mitigation, Cloudflare workers, and free extra bandwidth.
Rackspace has provided CDN services for many live streaming businesses for more than 20 years. Although this solution is not for free, you can still avail of their services, including Akamai’s network, at a low rate.
0.1141 USD per GB is the starting bandwidth charge for US traffic. In terms of request fees, 10,000 requests equate to 0.00815 USD. The good thing about Rackspace is that they collate these requests daily.
Twitter and LinkedIn are the two big names that use Akamai as their CDN solution. In Hawaiian, Akamai translates to “witty.” But there’s nothing to laugh about with this global network. This is because it has 1000 points of presence in the United States.
Unlike other CDN solutions, this one requires a monthly payment. The monthly fee will depend on your business requirements. If your business needs to host a huge website, then this CDN solution could be your best option.
Ways to Choose the Right CDN Solution for Your Live Video Streaming Service
The following is a checklist that will guide you on the things you need to consider when choosing the right CDN solution for the best video delivery.
Start with the Basics
As a live video streaming industry, your main goal is to reach as high a number of viewers as possible. But, the larger your scale, the harder the business and technical challenges you may experience.
When choosing a CDN video streaming solution, you should consider their PoPs (Points of Presence) and the capacity they have in the areas where your audiences are located.
The CDN solution you will choose should have a peering agreement with your audiences’ internet provider. This will eradicate the “last-mile” problems between the user’s internet connection and the CDN.
Determine What Services Your Business Needs
Different CDN solutions provide you with a varied selection of video delivery options and workflows, which will solely depend on what content you offer.
There is no doubt that streaming live content, such as games and events, could be challenging, especially with scale. MEG-DASH and HLS chunk streaming are two of the most common methods used in today’s live streaming. These two methods introduce that delivery latency could adversely affect the viewing experience of your audience. When the number of your audiences is constantly increasing, other users may not access the stream, while some may experience video buffering.
To avoid that, you can do the following:
- Choose a high-capacity solution that is trusted and reliable in delivering high-quality video streams without any buffering.
- Consider using an automatic transcode that will give the appropriate bandwidth to the internet speed of each end-user.
- Use a CDN solution that has higher bandwidth and can support your video workflow. This will keep a high-quality subsequent processing
Implement Your CDN Solution
Newcomers in the live video streaming industry may think that an end-to-end solution offered by a professional CDN provider is the fastest and safest way to achieve success. If you already have a little knowledge about CDN but lack a turn-key solution, you might be the one to fill the breaches in your chosen solution.
Make sure that you know the fundamentals before selecting a CDN solution for your live video streaming business. You should determine market trends and work with other trusted content streaming providers. Aside from that, you also need to weigh your gaps and capabilities.
We highly encourage you to look for a CDN solution that has years of experience in video delivery. Beyond that, work with a CDN provider with services that match your business needs and requirements.
By considering all the tips we mentioned above, you are more likely heading to find the right CDN solution for your business. Together with your CDN partner, you can achieve long-term success in the live video streaming industry.