CDN Business Model Recap


The CDN Ecosystem continues to churn out new business models. No single CDN can be all things to all industries, hence the need for specialization. Most business models reflect the type of service a CDN offers, with the exception of the European CDNs and APAC CDNs. The newest business model to enter the industry is the RAN-based CDN; they offer specialized optimization services between CDN PoP and mobile devices, thus improving mobile content performance across 3G, 4G and WiFi networks.

In the B2B CDN niche, SOHA Systems is the latest start-up to enter the space. Although SOHA is not a CDN today, they do compete directly with Aryaka Networks and Zscaler.  Next, the Content Exchange start-ups include MediaSilo and Aframe. These two start-ups work specifically with post production studios, broadcasters and professional filmmakers. Their cloud platform offers two major benefits: 1)  they provide media companies the ability to upload large video files to the cloud (via Aspera & Signiant) and 2) offer the ability to view, comment and collaborate on dailies and other files. Some CDNs are in more than one category. How many CDN business models are there in the Ecosystem today? We’ve counted 15 so far.

  CDN Business Models

  1. Security Focused CDNs: Incapsula, CloudFlare, Sitelock, Distil Networks, Akamai and Zscaler
  2. Next Generation: Instart Logic, Fastly, MaxCDN and Yottaa
  3. B2B: Aryaka Networks and SOHA Systems
  4. Streaming and Broadcast: Level 3, Limelight Networks, Verizon EdgeCast and Akamai
  5. RAN CDNs: Rev Software, Twin Prime and Kwicr
  6. RAN Pure-plays: Saguna Networks and Teclo Networks
  7. Internally-built CDNs: Netflix, Apple and Comcast
  8. European: KeyCDN, CDN77, CDNify, Arkena and Streamzilla
  9. APAC: China Unicom, China Telecom, ChinaCache, ChinaNet Center, Alibaba and CDNetworks
  10. Telco CDNs: Level 3, Verizon and Hibernia
  11. Transparent Caching: PeerApp, Qwilt, Swiftserve, Ericsson and Broadpeak
  12. Cloud Compute + CDN: Amazon, Internap, LeaseWeb and Google
  13. Content Exchange: MediaSilo and Aframe
  14. DDoS Mitigation w/o CDN: Arbor Networks, Neustar, F5 Networks, Radware, Verisign and Black Lotus
  15. Traditional: Highwinds and Cachefly
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