We have entered the golden age of niche broadcasting from highly-specialized news for yachting enthusiasts to VODs devoted to cult classics and anime lovers. But VOD platforms face unique obstacles from their traditional CDNs, which make the delivery of “longer tail” videos (the phenomenon of having many videos where each one is watched less often) slow, irregular, and expensive. HolaCDN solves this problem with its mid-stream switching video streaming technology and is the only reliable CDN for longtail video.
Take GoodTV, a popular and rapidly expanding VOD service for “family-friendly” content targeting Chinese-speaking Christian evangelicals. GoodTV’s experience provides an excellent case study of the technological challenges facing niche-broadcasting services and demonstrates how HolaCDN can dramatically improve performance and cost.
GoodTV’s problem: Delivering a large archive of niche “longtail” video
GoodTV has a massive archive of family-friendly programs, including live and VOD programing related to art, leisure, cooking, and religion. Before implementing HolaCDN, GoodTV was using its own streaming infrastructure with a traditional CDN. But GoodTV’s traditional CDN was not ideal for “longtail video.”
Why? Traditional CDNs only cache (or store) the most frequently accessed videos, while they remove infrequently used video from their servers. So when a user is trying to access a rarely-watched program, the traditional CDN has to go back to the origin server to request the rarely-watched program. This creates delays and increases the possibility of failure as the traditional CDN communicates (or sometimes fails to communicate) with the origin server.
GoodTV’s solution: HolaCDN delivers fast and dependable “longtail” video
HolaCDN’s innovative technology was transformative for GoodTV. Instead of relying on one local CDN server, HolaCDN’s midstream switching technology enables seamless use of multiple servers around the world in addition to the traditional CDN. This allows HolaCDN to cache (store) even less-popular video in a variety of locations. HolaCDN can store a large archive of less-popular video because it stores video in chunks across its network. It can then access video chunks from servers near and far. Start times are excellent because HolaCDN determines where fastest starts will occur, accesses the first chunk of video from the fastest server available, and then delivers the remaining chunks from around its global-network of servers.
The result of improved performance: lower costs
Executive from Good TV reported: “When we saw HolaCDN’s 1c/GB global flat rate, we thought that the lower price meant that the quality of video delivery will be poor; that this is just another CDN that is offering a lower price, compromising on margins. Then we realized the low price was a result of a new type of delivery technology, and that in fact performance is better than traditional technology even at this low price.”
The ways that HolaCDN reduces costs is directly related to its technology. Because HolaCDN accesses the first piece of video from the fastest server, it can retrieve the remaining pieces of video from lower-cost servers around the world.
HolaCDN helped GoodTV rethink video delivery
Before integrating HolaCDN, GoodTV was using a Flash-based video player. As most browsers phased out Flash, GoodTV selected Hola Video player, a free modern HTML5-based video player. The Hola video player is one of the only HTML5 players that supports adaptive video such as HLS, and GoodTV uses it for both live and VoD traffic.
“GoodTV’s goal is to deliver our message to as many viewers as possible, at the highest quality,” writes GoodTV executive. “HolaCDN specializes in video delivery, unlike traditional CDN vendors who provide a generic solution. Using HolaCDN allows us to discover and fix many performance issues. We are seeing increased user engagement and better delivery quality with HolaCDN Video Analytics.”
With HolaCDN, GoodTV users now have nothing but good content and great streaming!