What to Consider while Choosing a CDN?

By Media Entertainment Tech Outlook | Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The right CDN can improve customer experience manifold by enabling reliable and faster access to content.  

FREMONT, CA: Internet penetration has grown exponentially, making the online medium extremely sought-after. Content Delivery Network (CDN) plays an important role in helping seamless delivery of online content to audiences across the world. All the industries, including the media and entertainment industry, know the value of online presence in the digitalized era. However, a mere presence or generation of quality content is not enough to ensure the successful delivery of the same to a consumer. This is where CDN steps in to enrich the customer experience by establishing superior connections that can provide high-speed and optimum-quality streaming of videos, music, software, or any other kind of content. A few factors that one must consider while choosing a CDN are listed below.

• The Speed Factor

One of the fundamental reasons for deploying a CDN, speed plays a big role in how web content fares. Only when a CDN can guarantee the firm about the speed of delivery, it becomes a valuable option in the market. Buffering in videos, lag in opening web pages, and delay in downloads impacts the performance of content negatively since viewers get frustrated and lose interest. Thus, speed is a crucial parameter that enhances user engagement and helps optimize other performance metrics. Notably, average speed statistics do not give the actual insight, and hence, companies must look beyond those figures to ensure consistency in speed.

• Content Retrieval Capabilities

Retrieving content from cache enables quick delivery. CDNs should have intelligent caching capabilities so as to derive content from the edges whenever available and increase the delivery speed. CDNs should also possess the ability to draw content from the cache of other servers or from origin whenever required. Though this factor is not as apparent as that of speed, it plays a part in faster delivery. CDNs that provide these features are better equipped to optimize delivery.

• Storage and Distribution Consideration

Locating content when it is not readily available proves the efficiency of a CDN. In these cases, the CDN has to access origin storage and then serve it. Origin storage management capabilities are an essential consideration when opting for CDN providers. With services like storage automation and multi-region replication, CDNs can conduct faster retrieval and build on the delivery performance. Besides, service providers who have an extensive and well-distributed network of servers are preferable since delivery becomes more reliable and less redundant. Thus, coverage is a major factor.

• Analytic and Reporting Capabilities

Many clients today depend on real-time insights to evaluate the performance of their content. For such companies, it becomes essential that the CDNs come with inbuilt capabilities that accumulate and pass on data and statistics regarding traffic, viewership and other audience analytics metrics like visits, play duration and rate of abandonment. These pointers help companies understand the success and failure of content according to which content and delivery strategies can be modified.

• Responsive Customer Support

CDN service providers must be efficient in dealing with customer queries. Before opting for a particular service provider, it is crucial that companies read reviews about the responsiveness they display when there is a requirement for technical support. Round-the –clock assistance from experts with proper knowledge about the domain make for excellent customer support services. Thus, CDNs which are backed by dependable customer support are ideal.

Technical capabilities apart, CDNs should be transparent and must have essential security facilities to safeguard the network. When the right content meets the right delivery network, users get the best output in the form of broader and more satisfied audiences.