Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dan Rayburn -- Don't Believe the Hype About Adaptive Bitrate Streaming's Cost Savings

Dan Rayburn of Streaming Media is one of the most highly respected experts in the Internet video space -- I hear this time and time again. He is very much like E.F. Hutton -- when he talks, people listen. That's why his recent post about adaptive bitrate streaming and HTTP streaming is so instructive not only for those of us in the video publishing platform space, but even more importantly for those businesses and video professionals who are in need of a video publishing solution.

Let's face it, there are many players who provide video publishing solutions -- we are one of them (we offer our new highly-reviewed "Sorenson 360" solution). And, all of us in this space have our respective pitches of why our solutions are better than those of the others. (If you want to understand our points of differentiation -- which we believe are many -- click on this link.) For Sorenson 360, a critical differentiating ingredient in our "special sauce" is client-side encoding -- no one else has it. Some others, on the other hand, loudly preach the mantra of adaptive bitrate streaming -- and the purported associated cost savings that go with it.

But, despite all this noise regarding the purported cost savings related to adaptive bitrate streaming (which requires the encoding of a single video file in multiple bitrates), Dan Rayburn cautions pundits and potential customers to not believe the hype. In fact, not only does he underscore that no CDN "is charging any less for HTTP based [or adaptive bitrate] streaming", he concludes that the opposite actually may be true -- i.e., that multi-bitrate encoding and storage may cause "a content owners delivery and storage costs [to] actually go up, not down."

So, when choosing your video publishing platform, read the label carefully -- and look for ingredients that actually (and demonstrably) make your videos look the best and your work-flow the easiest ... cost-effectively of course ...