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No Turning Back: The State of the European Content Delivery Market
After more than a decade of fits and starts, the content delivery market in the U.K. and Europe is poised for major growth.
Learn more about the companies mentioned in this article in the Sourcebook:
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The respondents included A stream; Interoute Communications; Level 3; CI; Qbrick; Jet Stream BV (Streamzilla); Kontiki, Inc.; mediaondemand Ltd.; Globalfire; Ipercast, Inc.; StreamMedia; and Tier1Research.com; in addition to Global-MIX data.

These were the questions asked; see the associated table for the breakdown of answers:
—Where are you commercially based?
—Where are you commercially represented?
—Where are you technically present?
—How do you deliver content (topology type)?
—Transit 1-3 Provider
—Own enterprise
—Own international
—Own national
—Fully backoff to another CDN
—An overlay CDN
—What technical issues have you faced with rollout?
—What legal issues have you faced with rollout?
—How “big” are you (staffing)?
—Do you focus on live, video on demand (VOD), or both?
—Do you focus on any particular formats?
—How big are you (turnover)?
—What is your most prestigious client?
—What is the key differentiator you present to your clients?

Again, I hasten to reiterate that the sample was very small, and my “method” to reduce the data to these charts is entirely “finger in the air”, but it gives some interesting indications and should start a few grey cells whirring out there!

Assessing the State of the Market
We also asked all the respondents to comment on the state of the market in the U.K. and Europe, and how it compared to that in the United States. So as not to risk misinterpretation, we print those responses as they were delivered to us:

“Looking across the pond, Europe looks like an enticing market for the many CDN service providers based on North America,” says Jim Taylor of Tier1Research. “As traffic growth slows somewhat in their home market this year, overseas expansion will be a needed component of the CDN service provider’s business strategy. Beyond a sales presence in the UK, targeting different regions in Europe will require that these CDNs deepen relationships with creative agencies, systems integrators, and perhaps the telcos themselves, as the likes of Orange Business Services or a DT can offer a global CDN service to their enterprise customers.”

“Having had the joy (though sometimes it was an exhausting commute) of working both in the EU and the US for CDN companies, I can say that perception in the US was the EU was ahead and likewise in EU the feeling is the US is driving the market,” says Level 3’s Joe Trainor. ”My opinion is that the US is definitely driving the audiences with many more viewers watching and downloading content, however EU has a tendency to be more resourceful, creating more value from less people—I think that this is driven by the smaller audiences. Bottom line is, and it pains me to say this, I can name more exciting US video solutions than EU ones. I think that what the EU needs is a big broadcaster (apart from the BeeB) taking the plunge and release their best content online, after all the Internet is the new TV platform.”

“Markets in Europe are smaller and demand more localized content,” notes Mads Brydegaard of StreamMedia.

“As our focus is Europe, I am happy to say the demand for our online distribution and media services is dramatically increasing,” says Oisin Lunny of Interoute. “Our main obstacle is market visibility, but viral marketing tools such as Interoute Express and focused local PR and Marketing has really helped us gain brand recognition and new business, particularly in Germany, The Nordics and Spain.”

“The industry has grown significantly over the last few years and will continue to grow,” says mediaondemand’s Andy Lewes.

“US companies tend to forget that unlike the US, Europe is a collection of countries with their own cultures and languages,” says Stef van der Ziel of Jet Stream. “Your staff needs to be multilingual. You can’t get into the EU market with just an English speaking headquarter in London or Amsterdam. Also, EU companies don’t think that being a large organization (such as Akamai for instance) is always a good thing.”