UPDATED 18:28 EDT / JANUARY 28 2009

Running Naked: Mark Cuban Just “Pulled Down the Shorts” of CDNs Everywhere

Mark Cuban just ran up behind the CDNs and pulled down their ‘shorts’ exposing a BIG problem. Video on the internet is far from democratized it’s a dictatorship.   For once we are not talking about the cable companies or service providers (although they have issues).

The Maverick strikes again.  Where Mark does not talk about in his post is the need for a viable P2P platform now!  The P4P standard group offers hope, but their motto is “No We Can’t”.

We need legit P2P standards now for a viable platform for online live and ondemand video.

The post is worth reading but here is my favorite part ..

Lets say you have your “Worlds Greatest Concert” that you are sure can draw 500k simultaneous streams (on demand or live) . Also planning to stream a large event, lets say the first broadcast of Dark Knight 2, which the producers will stream live at the same time, and oh my goodness, the remaining Beatles decide to have their final reunion with a single live concert at the exact same time. 3 Mega events, each with an expected draw of 500k simultaneous users. Who has the greatest opportunity and the most leverage ?

Thats easy. Its the CDNs. You have so few choices of vendors that the CDNs can charge whatever they want to handle the event. And thats for one single event. You dont want to know about costs for 24×7 streaming for viewership levels of even small cable networks.

The internet is not an open video platform. Video distribution of any scale places you  at the mercy of just a very few CDNs.  You literally have to compete for timeslots for very large events.  If you want an interesting excercise, call up a CDN and ask them how much it would cost to support an audience that is never smaller than 10k simultaneous viewers for a 1mbs stream, 24 hours a day, for 365 consecutive days. Then call up one of the satellite providers and ask how much they would charge you to deliver to 100pct of their customers, and then call up a cable company and ask the same question.  Total up the cable and satellite numbers and compare them to the internet costs. You may be surprised to see which is cheaper.

If you have dreams of competing with traditional TV network viewing numbers using the internet, dream on.  You cant afford it. You have been sucker punched  by the Great Internet Lie.


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