We recently covered the announcement of Velocix Accelerator, the world's first free content delivery network aimed towards new digital media businesses. Just a few weeks later, another low-cost CDN aimed at the start up market has surfaced. This time, the company entering the CDN ring is Softlayer, a datacenter out of Dallas, Texas.
The service is cleverly called CDNLayer and is priced very low: a monthly US $20.00 fee for the first 200GB transferred and .20 cents for every GB after that.
The same customers attracted to Velocix Accelerator to power their sites will most definitely also want to check out CDNLayer. If all you care about is money, Velocix may be a better choice: for the very attractive cost of free, your site can transfer up to 500GB compared to CDNLayer's 200GB.
On the other hand, CDNLayer allows you to stream in flash or Windows Media while Velocix makes you upgrade to the next tier for this (starting at US $1,000 a month!).
Yet another option for your cash strapped YouTube clone is Voxel, also primarily a hosting provider, who is offering to match Amazon's S3 digital storage service pricing as well as offer services on a pre-paid basis to ensure that customers can buy bandwidth without having to worry about contracts or commitments. This is attractive to newcomers in the business, who may not be totally aware of how much they will need, especially when demand for their sites start to go up.
CDNs are Becoming Big Business
That's three low cost content delivery networks opening themselves up to the public in the last few weeks. CDNs are big business right now as more and more sites want to enter the digital media age faster and easier and with a huge push to provide fast online video.
Ryan Lawler of Contentinople speculates on whether or not the CDN market is a "bubble", much like the dotcoms of the late 90s and gives evidence that only two CDNs have actually made over US $100 million dollars last year (Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM) and Limelight Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: LLNW). In just a few years, many of these companies will merge or won't exist.
The push for more CDNs is clearly coming for an increased demand for multimedia content, especially fast and high quality video. The problem is how many of these sites will survive and in turn make their CDNs survive? As Lawler astutely points out, users will want to gravitate towards just one site. As is typical in this business, only the strong (and the most trafficked) will survive.