What is a Video CDN and Why Your Streaming Platform Needs One

Launching a streaming service involves a diverse array of technicalities. From choosing a video hosting provider to creating your app and website, it’s an extensive process.

But in the absence of a great user experience, even the most well-designed streaming platform will fail to retain viewers and generate revenue.

Whether you’re starting a live streaming or video-on-demand service, you must ensure that your content reaches viewers in a jiffy. With so many OTT platforms to choose from, today’s viewers don’t have the patience for latency and buffering delays.

This only emphasizes the importance of using a video CDN to speed up content delivery and deliver a seamless viewing experience.

In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the landscape of CDN video streaming in order to understand its benefits. 

What is CDN Video Streaming?

CDN video streaming refers to the use of a content delivery network (CDN) to stream live or on-demand video content.

A CDN is a network of geographically distributed servers designed to cache and deliver content across the web. Each CDN streaming server caches text, images, audio clips, HTML files, CSS style sheets, and other elements of a web page.

Whenever a user wants to access a web page, the nearest edge server addresses the request. It delivers the required content from the cache, instead of waiting for the origin server to respond.

How Does a Video CDN Work?

A video CDN is specifically designed to facilitate fast and reliable video streaming. When a video file is streamed, it is broken down into smaller segments. The edge servers cache these segments and deliver them to a user whenever they submit a request.

An HTML video player on the end user’s device arranges individual segments in the correct order before playing the video. The mechanism of CDN video delivery is similar for both on-demand and live streaming.

Key Benefits of Using a Video CDN

CDNs have become a mainstay for websites across various niches. Worldwide internet traffic from CDNs is projected to reach 252 EB per month in 2022.

From news websites to online stores, you need a CDN to deliver content faster to a global audience. A video CDN is just as important for streaming platforms.

Here are the top reasons why you should invest in a video CDN:

1. Reliability

A video CDN routes user requests to the nearest edge servers. It helps reduce the burden on the origin server and prevents it from being overwhelmed with too many requests. Additionally, it eliminates the hassle of exhausting the network bandwidth.

Likewise, caching a file in multiple servers ensures seamless failover. The combination of these factors protects your streaming platform from slowdowns and crashes.

2. Scalability

With a video CDN, your streaming platform is always equipped to handle more traffic. It reduces the burden on the origin server, thus preventing system crashes due to unprecedented traffic surges. It’s particularly useful for hassle-free live streaming.

3. Quality

One of the main benefits of CDN video delivery is that it reduces the round trip time (RTT) to and from the origin server. Delivering the requested content from a server in proximity to the end-user reduces latency and buffering time. This, in turn, enhances the viewing experience.

4. Security

Modern video CDNs are fortified with sophisticated security features, including DDoS and malware protection. It adds another layer of security to the streaming workflow and helps protect your content assets.

Choose the Right Video CDN

The selection of a video CDN is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make before launching your streaming service. While OTT giants like Netflix can afford to build proprietary video CDNs, newcomers will likely have to choose from the available CDN services.

Established CDN providers, such as Amazon CloudFront and Microsoft Azure, support video streaming as well. Make sure you check the available features of a video CDN to determine whether it’s the right fit for your needs.

Additionally, keep the location of your target audience in mind. You want to use a CDN that has edge servers situated close to your viewers.

Lastly, make sure that it’s compatible with your video hosting service. Alternatively, you could look for a video hosting service that comes with a built-in CDN.

MAZ offers a wide array of solutions to help content creators and publishers kickstart their OTT journey. Get in touch with us to schedule a demo.