Limelight’s Media Delivery Services

Limelight Networks is reporting earnings on February 13, with expected EPS of -$.01. Regardless of the outcome, one of the areas that Limelight needs to grow is it’s media delivery business. Limelight has been delivering media for more than decade, yet has no where near the penetration of Akamai, especially amongst the large media companies. Akamai dominates this segment of the CDN ecosystem. Akamai’s “Media Delivery Solutions” segment represents almost 50% of their annual revenues. One revenue quarter of Akamai’s MDS  segment equates to one year of Limelight’s annual revenue.

Limelight’s Two Options

The only way that Limelight is going to change their position is by acquisition. Limelight needs the ideal acquisition, to even the competitive landscape between itself and Akamai. Fortunately, there are two viable options, Signiant and Brevity. Signiant is now the number one pure-play B2B media file delivery service in the media space. Aspera was the leading pure-play, but has been recently acquired by IBM. My guess is Signiant’s revenue is somewhere in the range of $15M to $25M annually. Limelight could afford it, but it would be the pricier of the two options.

The other option is Brevity Ventures, a pure-play B2B media file delivery startup, which has raised about $9M. Brevity has developed an innovative file transfer technology that is used by some of the largest media companies and broadcasters. They have created a protocol, that surpasses the performance of FTP by orders of magnitude. Their product is tailored to the needs of studios, broadcasters, and post production facilities, that need to transfer mezzanine video files between their partner ecosystem over the Internet. Their technology enables editors to collaborate on the same video files without any loss to video quality, when they are transferred between locations.

Brevity doesn’t have anywhere near the penetration of Signiant, but the Brevity team is solid with years of experience working deep in the big media vertical. Either acquisition would propel Limelight deeper into the media space, and even bypass Akamai in certain capabilities. Limelight can become a B2B CDN, just like Aryaka, but focus on the transfer of the mezzanine video files between studios and their partners.