Mark Cuban says the idea that Web video will somehow someday be able to compete with satellite and cable TV is just a big joke — “The Great Internet Video Lie.” His argument centres on the fact that it would take three or four content delivery networks for any Web-only broadcast to be able to reach as many simultaneous viewers as TV can easily.
Anyway, here’s the best bit from “The Great Internet Video Lie.” (Remember though, Mark cofounded HDNet, so there’s a natural bias here):
In reality, if you have a desire to deliver a large number of streams, and you want to compete with another internet video provider to offer a large number of streams, you are not in a very good position. You are at the mercy of 3 or 4 CDNs, the ultimate internet video gatekeepers
On the flip side, there are at least 8 large cable and satellite video distributors that can deliver 100 or more video streams, concurrently, to a million or more simultaneous viewers.
The Great Internet Video Lie is that the internet opens distribution to compete with the evil gate keepers, cable and satellite. In reality, if you have a desire to deliver a large number of streams, and you want to compete with another internet video provider to offer a large number of streams, you are not in a very good position. You are at the mercy of 3 or 4 CDNs, the ultimate internet video gatekeepers
Let me put this another way. Lets say you have your “Worlds Greatest Concert” that you are sure can draw 500k simultaneous streams (on demand or live) . Also planning to stream a large event, lets say the first broadcast of Dark Knight 2, which the producers will stream live at the same time, and oh my goodness, the remaining Beatles decide to have their final reunion with a single live concert at the exact same time. 3 Mega events, each with an expected draw of 500k simultaneous users. Who has the greatest opportunity and the most leverage ?
Thats easy. Its the CDNs. You have so few choices of vendors that the CDNs can charge whatever they want to handle the event. And thats for one single event. You dont want to know about costs for 24×7 streaming for viewership levels of even small cable networks.
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