Is the CDN Market $4B or $40B Today

Akamai set a target to reach $5B in revenue by 2020, a $3B increase from 2014. Openheimer analyst stated it will take six years and $2B in acquisitions for Akamai to reach the same goal, creating a discrepancy between the two forecast. Recently, MarketsandMarkets published a report valuing the 2014 CDN Market at $3.71B, that is set to grow to $12.16B in 2019. When Wall Street looks at Akamai, it breaks down Akamai’s revenue into categories for reporting purposes with a non-CDN revenue component. Is it possible that all current published CDN research on market size is wrong, and that only Akamai has the right data in its disposal but is not sharing?

Akamai Research

Akamai knows the exact size of the CDN market, and has much more relevant data than any other company in the world including Wall Street, Gartner or Google. They’ve been in the CDN business for a decade plus, and they have been measuring CDN growth for a long time.  Every large company uses Akamai including the Fortune 1000, Global Fortune 2000, network operators globally, and the largest companies in every country in the world. So if Akamai states it can reach $5B by 2020, its best to believe they can do it. Akamai is holding this incredibly valuable data close to its vest, because if word gets out as to what the real addressable market is, competitors will flock to the space.


The definition of the CDN market is misunderstood. Today’s CDN market is much different than the CDN market of five years ago. Caching, origin storage, streaming, DSA, FEO, VOD delivery, and so on are commoditized terms that no longer mean anything. The term CDN needs to be redefined, reclassified, and completely transformed to incorporate not only the vast new complex technologies being used in the infrastructure, but it must include the cross over markets, because CDN has migrated into the non-CDN industries of WAN, SDN, Security, MPLS, and so on. The CDN market is not $4B, not by a long shot, and it is likely closer to $40B.

So before relevant market analysis can be published about the CDN market size, it must first be understood and all include the cross over industries. In addition, every single network operator in the world, whether its Brazil, China, Singapore, Japan, or so on, has an internal CDN consisting of caching servers, routers, switches, PoPs – that market must also be included in the total market size.

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