SVG Sit-Down: Limelight Networks’ Group VP Kevin Odden on the importance of a multi-CDN strategy in today’s market

Kevin OddenAs live-streaming viewership among consumers continues to grow, the reliance on a strong, reliable digital-content delivery vendor is increasingly important for media companies, especially in live sports production. Limelight Networks’ private internet network empowers customers to better engage those online audiences by securely managing and globally delivering digital content to the huge catalog of devices that exist in the marketplace today.

SVG recently sat down with Limelight Group VP Kevin Odden to discuss the continued consumer shift to online viewing, what the industry should learn from Amazon Web Services’ recent outage, and the company’s latest solutions heading into NAB 2017 this month.

NAB 2017 is just a couple of weeks away, so what’s the latest at Limelight Networks?
[Recently,] we announced intelligent Ingest, a unique capability for Limelight Origin Storage that helps customers upload and deliver content better, faster, and more cost-effectively. They can upload content from a wide range of storage locations, using APIs, GUI, Aspera, FTP, SCP, RSYNC, or FTP-SSL. In addition, Cedexis shows that Limelight Storage is 92% faster on average than cloud storage offerings, and internal Limelight testing has shown performance improvements up to 200% for specific customer workflows.

Digital distribution is certainly not new, but the business models are evolving, and OTT distribution has really heated up. What’s contributing to that?
While people have been talking about it for a while, we’ve just reached the OTT inflection point. It’s due to the intersection of quality, content, and costs all being in the right zone. Costs are down, and quality is up, and there’s an increase in available content. Streaming providers are increasingly creating original content and have had so much success that Amazon and Netflix just received their first Academy Awards for streaming services.

Online video cut its teeth in on-demand viewing, but live streaming is where many media companies are finding tremendous success today. Are you seeing that across your client base as well?
The traffic we’ve carried for recent live events has doubled year-over-year as we gain market share and consumers move their viewing online. A good example of this is the traffic we’ve carried for the NFL. Streaming is clearly the future. Consumers are taking control of the video-watching experience, and they want to choose what to watch and when to watch it. They’ll pay to access the content they want online, but they expect it to be delivered flawlessly and on any device.

The cloud-services side of the industry experienced a bit of a scare last month when Amazon Web Services, one of the biggest providers in the business, experienced a blackout. What lessons should be taken away from that experience?
Any company whose website is essential to their business should eliminate single points of failure and have a backup vendor who can step in instantly. We have tremendous respect for Amazon’s technological prowess. However, the recent outage they experienced can happen to anyone and is an important reminder of how vital it is to diversify risk. A multi-CDN strategy is the best way to accomplish this.

And from a storage perspective, Limelight’s Origin Storage is the only one that can serve as primary or backup origin to any CDN.

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