Everyone’s doing it. From online and brick-and-mortar retailers to music services, everyone these days relies on a content delivery network. But if you think that mobile apps are the only ones that benefit from housing data in CDNs, you might be surprised with the truth.
First, What the Heck is a CDN?
Think about cell phone towers. They’re everywhere, which means that your phone swings from tower to tower, picking up the signal where you need it. Content delivery networks are the same. There are servers located in different geographic locations, and all servers have copies of the same information. That means if someone wants to stream a video in India, his movie will come from the server closest to him, not the server located in Toledo. He gets instant access to that movie with no buffering or jittering.
What that means for your customers is faster access to the content they want. What that means for you is more happy customers, and thereby more revenue.
What’s It Good For?
While CDNs initially launched to help deliver streaming video, audio, and Internet television programming (think Netflix), more and more industries are finding value in using them.
News services benefit from content delivery systems simply because of the sheer amount of content they’ve got. While last year’s news story isn’t going to be read as much as today’s, it’s still important that their customers be able to access any and all content, regardless of age.
Another field with massive amounts of data is weather updating. Apps and websites constantly pull the latest weather conditions for local areas. Users want fast access to that data, and CDNs helps deliver it.
Retailers, too, have turned to CDNs to help manage their online inventory. Content delivery systems help ecommerce sites load faster, which makes for easier purchases. In a world where shoppers have teeny attention spans, fast loading is critical for sales.
The sheer amount of content available online is a testament to the fact that content marketing and social media aren’t going anywhere. But that data’s got to go somewhere, and to the CDN it goes! All those Tweets, shares, likes, and images need to be housed where anyone in the world can quickly access them. This is where all those CDN server locations come in handy.
The Benefits of CDN
As I mentioned, the world has a shorter attention span. We’re no longer willing to wait to stream content through a wide area network (WAN) now that we’ve been introduced to local area networks (LAN). Customers can get their content when and where they want it, making for a better customer experience for your brand.
It’s also great for websites that see a surge in traffic, since not all the load is being put on a single server. The CDN servers share the strain, and users don’t know the difference.
CDN also acts as a great data backup system, spreading the risk of data loss across so many servers, it becomes essentially a non-issue.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this benefit, specifically to our M2 system: you’re no longer beholden to Apple or Google to sell your apps, videos, or music. The problem with those is that they only allow users to view or listen to content on that platform. M2, however, lets your customers take their movie, music, or other content to any device with Internet. And we take less of a chunk of profit than the big guys!
Content delivery systems are often underrated, but in fact, they’re the foundation for many of the services and content you access every day.