An article form Gigaom's Ryan Lawler recently caught my eye as a potential game changer in the mobile video delivery market and got me thinking.
As a user of mobile video, I get often frustrated by latency, stop and go, long loading times, etc...
I can't imagine that content owners can be too happy about video experience being mangled for their customers.
If we look at the trend for content control and compression, the early way to reduce content size, at the time of dial up and mobile narrow band was compression and encryption.
The main problem was that it required a client. Clients were difficult and expensive to update, fix, maintain over the air, so the business model died.
Fast forward 10 years later, seemingly everyone walks around with a smartphone or wants one. One of the major catalysts for the smartphone adoptions has been the apps explosion. Apps are nothing more than standardized clients that can be downloaded, upgraded over the air...
My YouTube app is a client with an embedded player that allows me to navigate and select content in a predefined manner. It is similar to my browser experience but at the same time a little different. In a browser, Google, Microsoft, Apple control my user experience. In the YouTube app, YouTube controls my user experience.
In the case of mobile CDNs, there is an additional potential benefit to reduce cost of delivery by hosting, caching, delivering content as close to the user as possible.
If you add to this the trend towards using P2P technology for video delivery,YouTube, Dailymotion, Akamai, Limelight... could decide to encrypt and tunnel the traffic, to try and keep control of the user experience.
I will examine the potential implications of this scenario in a future post and look at possible alternatives.