What to consider when choosing a CDN

As the medium of Video Streaming continues its meteoric rise (see the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Twitch)...

…live content creators opting for the streaming format often find themselves facing the dreaded prospect of having to pick which Content Delivery Network (CDN) to use to distribute their video content on the net.

Whether you are streaming with Apple HLS or Flash, single or multi-bitrate, encoding in the cloud or on your machine, using HD cameras or a mobile phone, with cloud player or hosting your own, CDN solutions range from free and easy (with no frills whatsoever) to very expensive and mind-frazzingly complex.  Choosing correctly can be quite hard.

As you scour the landscape for suitable solutions, you should seek for a product that is reliable, easy to use, customizable and lightweight.

Reliability is key. When streaming out live to hundreds of  thousands of users worldwide, the last thing you want is your infrastructure to come crashing down, or lagging and stuttering because the chosen CDN is not capable to deal with the demand. The gig is over, the client is furious and your reputation is down the drain. The stuff of nightmares.

Price is also important, particularly if Live Streaming is not your core business, and you are deploying the infrastructure on an ad hoc, occasional basis. Some CDNs require costly monthly or annual subscriptions, which, if only used once every month or two, become a big, unnecessary expense. This then drives up the price of your offering above market level.

How easy is it to ‘spin-up’ and deploy your chosen infrastructure? Do you or your staff have in-depth knowledge of IT and network systems or do you need the CDN to work ‘straight-from-the-box’? Can you afford to invest time and money on specific training and learning of a complex streaming platform, or do you just want to Plug n’ Play?

We think that these are some the main things to think about when choosing a CDN.

The old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” comes to mind. Find which CDNs are more suited to different types of jobs, and use the others as a plan B, or backup streams. You never know when you are going to need them.

Do you need any information or advice about Live Streaming? Get in touch, or fill the form on the sidebar and we’ll contact you!

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