CDN Business Models


The CDN industry has several business models in play. I personally see four prevailing business models. Each one is different from an operations, sales, engineering, and ordering standpoint.  Here is a snapshot of the four business models:

  1. Amazon CloudFront & CloudFlare
  2. Akamai, EdgeCast & Limelight
  3. MaxCDN & Yottaa
  4. Telco CDN

CloudFront Business Model
Goal: Sign up as many customers as possible, including those spending $3 per month.
Features: Fully automated, self provisioning, and pay as you go.
Others: CloudFlare is in this camp.

Akamai Business Model
Goal: Be selective about type of customer. Sign up high volume websites, ecommerce sites, Fortune 1000, and websites with lots of potential.
Features: Most extensive feature set of all CDNs, developed over many years. Most experienced sales and engineering staff.
Others: EdgeCast & Limelight is part of this rock star veteran group.

MaxCDN Business Model
Goal: Sign up small & medium size customers through a fully automated self provisioning website. And cater to large enterprises through a veteran sales team that adds the extra level of touch.
Features: Fully automated self provisioning system for the tech savvy and dedicated staff for enterprise customers.
Others: Yottaa
Telco CDN Business Model
Goal: Sign up medium to large enterprises.
Features: Offer the full suite of telecom services along with CDN services including colo, voice and data.
Others: Verizon will soon be in the camp.

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