It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the internet has changed everything: television delivery is almost unrecognisable from what it was just five years ago, writes Edgeware Chief Marketing Officer Richard Brandon.

Because of advances in delivery of video via IP, audiences now watch content on any device, at any time, wherever they are.

But the internet itself wasn’t designed to carry this kind of bandwidth-draining traffic all around the world. And while TV providers have adopted CDNs-as-a-service to deliver their content, the sheer volume of programming and increasingly its resolution and file size will put an even bigger strain on networks going forward.

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Richard Brandon, Chief Marketing Officer, Edgeware

From Edgeware’s point of view, this progression from delivering some content to delivering a vast amount of content has seen a shift in the way content distributors are now having to re-evaluate their delivery infrastructure.

Delivering content to users through rented space on a CDN service is sometimes the right option for distributors. But so can building your own, dedicated TV CDN – a specialised private network that delivers your TV services, and your TV services only. It lets operators maintain control over their programming and benefit from added functionality like personalised ad insertion and user analytics.

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Build versus Buy CDN

An increasingly common question we’re being asked by content distributors is when should they consider delivering services via a private network. We did some research with leading analysts Frost & Sullivan to come up with a definitive answer.

In the white paper Building your own CDN for video delivery: why, when, and how the analysts laid out a six-question checklist which content distributors can use to help them decide whether building a dedicated TV CDN is for them. Answering yes to two or more of these means they should seriously consider building their own delivery network.


Do your concurrent viewers routinely exceed 50,000 in number?

Is your traffic volume predictable with few sudden spikes?


Is your audience densely packed in or geographically concentrated (vs sparsely scattered across disparate regions)?

Is your audience located in regions where commercial CDN traffic costs are high and/or bargaining power is low?


Is TVE/OTT a critical part of your viewer engagement strategy?

Do you offer on-demand HD and 4K content?

As a rule of thumb, the tipping point between build vs buy is if a particular service has 100,000 subscribers that are in reasonable proximity of each other, who watch around an hour or more a day. Anything beyond this criteria means that the service’s distributor should strongly consider building a private network.

Ultimately the right delivery infrastructure for any service is whatever delivers the best experience to the end-user. But the delivery sector of the industry is currently at a huge turning point. We see that in the companies coming to us to speak about delivering their own content as file sizes and resolutions increase – adding more pressure to available bandwidths. As this continues, we’ll see more and more content owners taking back control and delivering their own TV.

Edgeware will be exhibiting at IBC2017 on Stand 14.F15