Google unveiled Media CDN, a platform for streaming video using the same infrastructure that powers YouTube, in wide availability this week at the 2022 NAB Show Streaming Summit. Google says its Media CDN is aimed to “automate all elements” of “providing content [near to consumers]” and has a presence in over 1,300 locations across 200 countries. As a result of company closures and shelter-in-place orders, there was an upsurge in demand for streaming entertainment during the epidemic. Streaming video accounted for 53.7 percent of internet bandwidth usage, up 4.8 percent from a year ago, according to The Global Internet Phenomena Report.
Companies that offer access to content delivery networks (CDNs), which are clusters of computers meant to accelerate the transmission of web material, reaped huge rewards. According to one projection, CDN income would increase by 7% to $4.45 billion in 2020. By no means is Media CDN, which now joins Google’s CDN portfolio for web and API acceleration, the first of its sort. There are several CDNs dedicated to serving media. However, Google claims to offer “industry-leading” offload rates and delivery mechanisms suited to specific users and network circumstances.
Google VP Shailesh Shukla stated in a blog post yesterday, “With many stages of caching, we limit calls to origin – even for seldom requested material.” “This reduces content origin performance or capacity stress and saves money.” Customers may dynamically inject video content with adverts using the Media CDN’s ad insertion technologies. Furthermore, Google claims that the service is “designed with AI/ML” to enable interactive experiences such as real-time analytics during sporting events and buy buttons embedded in virtual billboards.
“Media CDN provides robust APIs and automation tools… Shukla stated, “Detailed, pre-aggregated data and playback tracing make it straightforward to diagnose performance throughout the whole infrastructure stack.” “Google Cloud’s operations suite provides real-time visibility.” When it comes to CDN services, Google is a little fish in a large pond. According to IDC, Akamai owned 42 percent of the CDN market in 2019. ChinaNet Center came in second with 13% of the market that year, followed by Verizon with 5%.
However, according to Eric Schmitt, a senior research director at Gartner, the Media CDN paves the way for Google to further increase its dominance in streaming video and web advertising. Schmitt told TechCrunch via email that “Media CDN signifies a further growth of the [Google parent company] Alphabet empire, in this case by commercializing the pipes that YouTube utilizes to serve streaming video.”
“TV and video content producers that use Google’s Media CDN service should expect excellent scalability. On the other hand, as Google builds out linkages between its cloud offerings and its advertising software products, prospective customers must weigh the risks of becoming technically dependent on Google for advertising delivery, and eventually perhaps even commercially dependent on Google for ad sales and measurement.” If that forecast comes true, Media CDN might help support a cloud sector that has failed to make money thus far. Alphabet recently said that Google Cloud — the business arm that includes Media CDN — expanded 43 percent in Q1 2022 to $5.8 billion, but that its operational losses widened to $931 million.