If You Webcast It, How Many Will Come?

Posted on October 31, 2006 by


In StreamingMedia.com’s latest news feature, Geoff Daily writes about traffic planning for webcasts and mentions among other things that content owners should look to CDNs for help on how to plan for audience levels.

I quote:

CDNs are also often a good reference point for learning more about webcasting in general and, not surprisingly, gaining a better understanding of how much streaming delivery will cost for a particular event. “We’ve built a lot of tools that help us to represent the cost to customers with the least amount of error so their expectations are set correctly,” says VitalStream’s Byrne. “We want them to understand the process.”

Many CDNs also have mechanisms in place, such as alerts on bandwidth charges that can help to limit a Webcaster’s exposure to unexpected spikes in traffic. Some CDNs even have ways to set bandwidth thresholds that, once passed, automatically trigger a change in the way their Webcasts are delivered. “If someone has a fixed budget,” Wheaton says, “we can set it up so that once traffic hits a certain level we can take the 300Kbps stream off of the site and offer only a lower-quality one.”

However, none of this is really ideal is it? Many content owners need to monetize the content based on how many impressions the ads surrounding the content makes, and then providing a lower quality of service and/or limiting audience size does hardly seem beneficial.

Had these content owners deployed P2P technologies as enhancement to their unicasting, they could have offered scalability of their broadcasts and would not have had to worry so much about peak traffic or over-runs in bandwidth.

Read the full feature article by Geoff Daily here.

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