The New Limelight Networks

Limelight Networks (LLNW), once the dominant #2 CDN right behind Akamai, has been on a path of revitalization. A new executive team is in place, and their value proposition has broadened, in order to reach the office of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

New Target Audience
The role of the CMO has changed over the last 5 years. Today, they must understand Marketo, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and so on. IT budgets are shifting more and more to marketing departments. Limelight is targeting this audience. It’s a bold step for any CDN to make. No other CDN, except Yottaa, dare try this new approach.

This creates an interesting dilemma. LLNW expands the service portfolio, but now must train their sales staff to speak the lingua of the CMO. Whether this strategy works or not over the next three years, is up for debate. Besides CDN services, LLNW now offers a Content Management System (CMS), Online Video Platform (OVP), staff augmentation, remote instructor-led training classes, and publishes a Dummy book on digital marketing.

More Competition
With a broader service portfolio, LLNW must deal with a new legion of competitors. The competition is fierce and highly focused. Eventually, when LLNW loses enough deals, they will learn to compete effectively against competitors such as Brightcove, Kaltura, and Ooyala.

Here is a snapshot of the competition:

  • CDN: Highwinds, Akamai, Fastly, Yottaa, EdgeCast, MaxCDN, Cloudfront, Cachefly
  • OVP: Kaltura, Ooyala, Brightcove, and ThePlatform
  • CMS: Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Acquia
  • Encoding: Encoding.com, Zencoder.com, Amazon

LLNW’s best bet would be to hire talent away from the likes of Brightcove, who understand the OVP ecosystem inside out. OVP is a different type of sale compared to CDN. Either that, or LLNW will not be able to win big media accounts like ESPN with its OVP/CMS offering.