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Role of CDN in Video and Audio Streaming 20 January 2020

 

How long can you wait for a website to load? And how long do you expect your visitors to wait for yours to load? It’s obvious! Neither of you wouldn’t even wait for more than 3 seconds. 

Studies say, businesses lose 57% of their online consumers if webpage takes more than 3 seconds to load. A year ago, Amazon reported that for every 100 millisecond increase in page load, sales reduced by 1%. Almost 50% of visitors give negative feedback and 80% of visitors leaving the website do not return. 

Well, this annoying page load delay, technical termed as “latency” can be disastrous for your streaming platform. 

Latency basically refers to the time frame between making a request to load a page to the moment the web content appears on the visitor’s screen. There are a number of factors that affect latency, most of which are web page specific. However, in most of the cases, latency is affected by the physical distance between the site visitor and the hosting server of the website. 

Now, if you own an audio or video streaming platform, such a report card would be suicidal.

This is where a Content Delivery Network or CDN comes to your rescue.

 

What is a CDN?

What is a CDN

Technically, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of geographically distributed servers that help reduce delays in loading a page. 

All that a CDN does is virtually shorten the physical distance between the user and the server to improve website rendering speed, eventually enhancing website performance. CDN makes it possible for users across the globe to view high-quality content without increased latency.

 

How does a CDN function?

How does a CDN function

The entire function of a CDN is based on a simple “Master-Copy” or ”Origin-Node” model. 

Once you integrate a CDN with your streaming platform, your server becomes the “Master” or “Origin” or main server in this network. CDN then stores cached versions or “copies” of your website content in different geographical locations across the world. 

These locations, technically referred to as “Points of Presence(PoP)”, contain their own caching servers or “edge servers”. 

We mentioned CDN storing copies of your web content, right? 

Now, these are the servers that are responsible for “caching” or storing copies of the master web content in respective geographical locations. So, a user’s request for loading a webpage will be attended by the PoP that is geographically closest to the user. 

If edge servers of respective PoP fail to locate the content files, it will search for the content on other servers in the CDN. The nearest server containing the files will send the response to the user. 

For example, a user in Australia makes a request to view your video streaming content that originates at your US-based server. He or she will experience slow loading of  content as the request has to travel a longer distance. When you have a CDN integrated in your streaming platform, delivery of your video content will be fast and uninterrupted. This is simply because your CDN servers will have a cached version of streaming content in all geographical locations. 

So, the CDN server, either located in or in the proximity of Australia, will attend to the request and deliver the content to the user. 

CDNs deliver software downloads like games, apps and OS updates, data records like financial and medical information, and more. 

Essentially, for a streaming platform, a CDN delivers HD and 4K quality video along with high quality audio files to users across the globe.

 

What are the benefits of using a CDN on a streaming platform?

 

  • Enhanced Performance

Increased performance is one of the most prominent benefits of integrating a CDN in your streaming platform. 

Your video or audio content is cached in all POPs placed around the world, bringing streaming content closer to the viewer. Shorter distance reduces latency and data loss, thus, increases website loading speed. It simply means “lesser buffer, better streaming”!

If you are aiming to expand your audience base, you need to go global. And when you stream globally, you definitely need a CDN.

 

  • Increased Availability

Using a CDN ensures that your streaming content is accessible to all users irrespective of the geographical locations they are in.

Even under high-stress scenarios, like network spikes, excessive user traffic, server outages, and so on, your origin server does get all the load. A CDN balances the loads and distributes network traffic across all scattered servers or POPs. This makes your streaming content 100% available to all users without any interference.

Checkout Multi CDN from Muvi for seamless video streaming across the globe.  

 

  • High Security

With the increase in volume of digital data and high-value online transactions, digital threats are also on the rise. If not taken care, it can cost you big money. 

Information security is a key aspect of a CDN.

It offers secure archiving of your streaming content with a high authentication and encryption standard. You must evaluate how feature-rich is your CDN to tackle unprecedented security threats.

 

  • Reduced Abandonment and Increased Conversions

Benefits of CDN for streaming platforms

There are numerous factors that affect the user experience starting from latency to navigation and usability. But before striking UI/UX takes over your users, it’s the latency that stands between. And there, the role of CDN comes. With low latency streaming, you ensure a better user experience from the beginning that translates into active browsing and subsequent conversions.

CDNs have been the backbone of the Internet for years.  Be it streaming videos or audio, articles, online shopping, or social media feeds, there is a CDN working behind every video frame, image pixel, and text that gets delivered to your mobile browser or computer. 

For a streaming platform, CDN is that magic fix that smoothens content transmission to viewers. So, if you plan to host a website or an OTT business, always look for a solution that provides CDN along. 

Muvi comes with Built-in CDN that lets you deliver videos in lightning fast speeds, without the trouble of buffering anywhere in the world. 

To experience latency-free uninterrupted streaming, try our 14 Days Free Trial now!

 

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Mousumi Rana
Mousumi is a Content Marketer for Muvi. She is passionate about writing corporate blogs, articles, case studies, and marketing collaterals. When not working, she loves to dance, gym, and explore new places.

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