Economic Conditions Not Affecting Video Traffic On CDNs, For Now

With all that is taking place with the economy, not surprisingly, the most frequently asked question I am getting is what impact is the economy having on traffic growth for video across content delivery networks? So far, I have not seen any content creators putting less video online and from all the content creators I have spoken to, they are still seeing traffic growth. But the real question is not whether or not traffic is growing, but whether video traffic growth across the CDNs is slowing.

While the CDNs don’t publish their traffic numbers on a monthly or quarterly basis, I have had in-depth conversations with many of them in recent weeks and so far, they are not seeing any signs of video traffic slowing down. Some of that might be offset by the fact that many content creators have moved to higher bitrates and as a result, are pushing more bits, which could be confused as more traffic. And while some slowdown is being seen in very specific markets for the delivery of things like ads and small objects, the traffic for video related content continues to be strong. Without knowing what percentage of traffic across a CDN comes specifically from video, some of the data from the CDNs is hard to verify. That being said, the best data comes directly from the content owners who are the ones paying for the content delivery services and the ones who know all the traffic data.

I’ve spoken to most of the major broadcasters over the past month, many of whom were at Streaming Media West, and it is clear that they are still seeing the kind of video traffic growth they expect, with no signs of that slowing. While I don’t see the economy having any impact on the CDN market in terms of traffic growth, the economy and the general market for CDN services is going to have an impact on many of the CDNs by 2010. As I have said many times, the market is not big enough, and will not grow fast enough to support 50+ video content delivery offerings in the market.