Limelight Networks Back in the News

What are odds? On the same day, Limelight Networks (LLNW) and Verizon Digital Media Services announce a new CDN offering tailored specifically for broadcasters. It almost seems as if they partnered on this new offering, but we know they’re fierce competitors. For now, the day belongs to Limelight Networks, and their new digital media offering. In fact, this is the biggest news since Prolexic and EdgeCast were acquired. Why? Because we haven’t heard from LLNW about any new product offerings for ages. Previously, I discussed the characteristics of the 4th generation CDN. The key takeaway is that in this era, CDNs must select a non-CDN sector to focus on, in order to expand their market share beyond the CDN market share pie. LLNW has decided to focus on the media segment, and it’s a great decision. Akamai generates $500M+ in annual revenues in media delivery services alone.

Limelight Networks Integrated Workflow Solution

And by media, I mean the world of broadcasters, big studios, TV stations, Aspera, Signiant, Ateme, Vyvx, Avid, and so on. The one sentence that stuck out like a sore thumb in LLNW press release, “new integrated workflow solution for broadcasters”. In the film and TV business, the “workflow” process is the foundation for production, storage, and delivery of linear content. It helps big media companies like Lions Gate, HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Paramount, Orange, BT, and others automate the process of storing, securing, and delivering tens of thousands of titles to thousands of licensees around the world, to billions of consumers. What is the biggest challenge that broadcasters face?

End-to-end Delivery

Although broadcasters, post production professionals, and the like, are extremely knowledgeable in the traditional back-end workflow process of linear content, the online digital media world is very new to them, and in some cases, intimidating. LLNW is jumping into the world of traditional media, and offering a solution to broadcasters, TV stations, film distributors and studios. Their bringing the ‘notion of “end-to-end” to realization, enabling content creators to transcode their linear content once, and have it delivered as non-linear content to any device, anywhere, over a robust content delivery network. For phase 2, LLNW should acquire Signiant, which would catapult it past Akamai, Level 3 and Verizon, and get them deep into the back-end workflows of professional film-makers.