Instart Logic just announced a new offer called “RIP Akamai”. In that offer, Instart Logic will buy out an Akamai contract for up to $100M. In the CDN industry, thousands of enterprises are locked into CDN contracts for a certain duration. Many of the same customers are prohibited from using other CDNs. That’s the way its been since the inception of CDNs. That model works out well, because in the same respect, CDNs are required to sign contracts with their vendors, including IP Transit providers, and co-location facilities. Just because one CDN might be orders of magnitude faster than the incumbent CDN, doesn’t mean the customer can jump ship at any time to a different CDN.
Instart Logic wants to change the status quo, in order to win more business. All I have to say about this offer, hell yeah, it’s the best marketing piece I’ve seen in the CDN industry. It’s very bold, outrageous, crazy, and extremely brilliant. Instart Logic has taken a page out from CloudFlare’s marketing playbook, in that any news, especially controversial news, is brilliant marketing that pushes the brand name to the furthest corners of the planet.
What would be even more entertaining? What happens if other CDNs start offering similar promos, and everyone starts buying each other out. This would lead to CDN Ecosystem Chaos. Keep in mind that Akamai has $1B in cash, and they can pretty much buy out all existing contracts in the industry. All kidding aside, how Akamai will respond to this new offer? They will simply add a section in their contract with the following jargon: “Customer agrees to use Akamai exclusively for CDN services. In addition, customer acknowledges no CDN can buy out Akamai’s contract for the term of the contract”.