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Netskrt Edge Caching for Content Providers

Keep your subscribers engaged, wherever they are

Content providers are battling for subscribers, and making sure your content performs well in even the most challenging network environments is emerging as a competitive differentiator.

While content and pricing strategies are top of mind, OTT platforms, along with rights and content owners, need to give Quality of Experience (QoE) equal focus. They need to ensure that all of their subscribers have a high quality viewing experience, wherever they are connected.

This includes the 5-10% of subscribers who live in rural and remote areas, several hops downstream of the nearest cache – effectively out of sight of content distributors in the normal content delivery network (CDN) paradigm.

And now, subscribers want to take their content with them when they travel. 

Fortunately,  there’s an innovative solution available today – extreme edge caching from Netskrt.  The Netskrt eCDN lets content providers position and deliver their content within the last subnet, and get it into hard-to-reach locations like planes and trains, ensuring high QoE wherever their viewers are. 

Increased engagement and subscriber growth demands high QoE everywhere

Streaming officially surpassed cable and broadcast TV in July 2022, and it’s clear subscribers love their streaming video, with 93% of American adults accessing one or more streaming platforms.

This mass adoption brings increased competition for customer wallet share.

Subscribers expect OTT services to work “just like TV” with no interruptions and at high quality. Lacking this, subscriber churn is likely. As content providers explore tactics to keep and gain subscribers, and extend subscriber engagement time, they rely on delivering high quality viewing experiences to their users, at all times.

Traditional CDNs leave thousands of viewers out

Traditional CDNs help assure quality by establishing delivery capacity in points-of-presence around the telco and cloud infrastructure at the “center” of the Internet. They are typically positioned in major centers in an upstream location that makes caching cost effective for content origins. This works well for more than 90% of the population.

Outside of more populous areas, remote and rural locations aren’t well served by traditional CDNs as the populations are small, often geographically dispersed, and are not statistically significant in their general delivery volumes.

As a result, downstream subscribers encounter quality issues. These issues often surface at  upstream peering points and around traditional CDNs, and become especially acute with live streaming. As these underserved viewers all pull individual video streams from caches in upstream networks and increase the burden on overburdened peering points, lower quality, latency, and errors during playback inevitably appear. Any bandwidth issues can quickly affect each live stream’s quality and reliability.

Exclusive live events demand high QoE for all viewers

Attracting new subscribers with exclusive content and rights to deliver popular sporting and other live events has been a successful strategy for many OTT platforms. However, if online is the only way to watch, providers must ensure that everyone, in every location, can get high-quality access to that stream. This is extremely challenging at the outskirts of the internet – in the last subnet – and in locations with limited network access, like passenger environments. Delivering high quality online streams from centralized CDN caches to these extreme edge locations overwhelms limited network capacity and frustrates viewers. Aircraft and trains have particularly constrained bandwidth. Even with satellite connectivity, allowing just a few passengers to stream live video quickly overwhelms available bandwidth, and shuts down other online activities such as email and web browsing. ISPs serving smaller or geographically dispersed populations expect to deliver a responsive, high quality experience to their subscribers who have 4K and HDR TVs and gigabit internet connections. But traditional CDNs are too far upstream to ensure QoE for hundreds or thousands of viewers watching the same live content as individual video streams chew up bandwidth.

Advertisers will demand high QoE across the board

The emergence of FAST channels, ad-supported subscription tiers, and online rights to the world’s largest events has increased interest in OTT advertising solutions and the value of both the ad spots and the targeted consumers. Ad spend wastage in online environments is a challenge and can lead to lower-than-expected CPM for content owners and returns for the advertisers. 

Advertisers expect their content to be delivered with the same care and attention that the “main” content is, with the same expectation of QoE for the viewer. This holds true even for last-subnet locations and private networks with captive audiences (such as trains and aircraft). Poor viewing experiences diminish the value of the advertising opportunity, when it could be amplified in these underserved locations.

Onboard entertainment is a significant growth opportunity

Airlines and rail operators seek differentiation through their Wi-Fi and entertainment offerings, such as enabling OTT to work naturally in their environments. While many providers make content downloadable for offline access, it’s inconvenient for subscribers to prepare in advance, rather than just connecting to their streaming services wherever they are.

And while internet access on aircraft and trains is improving, it’s nowhere near the typical bandwidth on the ground that ranges from nearly 80 Mbps for mobile to over 200 Mbps for fixed broadband. Simply turning on streaming video for all passengers would immediately consume all available bandwidth, creating poor QoE and frustrating passengers. Adding more bandwidth from satellite providers would result in runaway costs.

Adopting Edge-Native caching ensures a quality viewing experience and controls internet access costs. Having this footprint allows content providers to gain access to thousands of captive passengers seeking hours of entertainment, and creates competitive differentiation for content providers, airlines, and rail operators alike.

Content providers who partner with Netskrt and its air and rail partners can take a lead in these markets, gain new subscribers with onboard promotions, increase coverage for existing ones, and keep both of them from choosing other content offerings.

Extreme edge caching supports subscriber growth with QoE

Content providers invest heavily in content, channels, rights acquisition, and marketing efforts to bring viewers to their platforms. Reaching all potential new and existing validated subscribers with high quality content and delivery wherever they are – including rural communities, planes,  and trains at the extreme edge – is critical to content owners gaining ROI from these investments. 

Netskrt has the largest eCDN for rural ISPs, and is the only CDN for air and rail environments. The Netskrt eCDN can deliver the QoE subscribers expect without requiring massive bandwidth. It gives content providers a compelling opportunity to grow subscribers and engagement even in the hardest-to-reach locations.

Deliver QoE

See how Netskrt Edge-Native CDN works

What is extreme edge caching for content providers?

Extreme edge caching brings a proven CDN technology to the hardest-to-reach points on the internet. Website owners and software companies have been using CDNs to bring content close to the customer for decades. Today’s content providers rely on CDNs to improve video delivery and subscriber viewing experiences.

But traditional CDNs aren’t economically feasible to serve subscribers in many places that have bandwidth constraints like aircraft, trains, and small populations. Netskrt invented extreme edge caching that uses innovative title-aware caching and network-aware content management to meet these technical and economic challenges.

For content owners and distributors, extreme edge caching manages the complexities of delivering high QoS for live and on-demand streaming video to widely dispersed populations, difficult-to-reach environments, and the wide variety of devices consumers use.

At the same time, it makes the most effective use of available bandwidth. It predictively pushes and stores popular content in edge caches located closer to viewers than ever before possible – in the last subnet for ISP customers and onboard passenger environments. Maintaining a view of popularity across content libraries, Netskrt extreme edge caching uses promotion, popularity, and usage behavior to prioritize limited caching resources. Subscribers enjoy an excellent viewing experience and get the high quality content they expect from their streaming platform brands – all delivered with outstanding efficiency.

What is the Netskrt Edge-Native (eCDN) Content Delivery Network?

The Netskrt Edge-Native CDN (eCDN) is a title-and network-aware content management, distribution, and delivery service that predicts viewing demand and ensures the shows subscribers want to watch are available in the eCDN cache when requested, without large bandwidth or cache requirements. It is a compact, cloud-based solution that’s easy to deploy in previously un-cached, hard-to-reach locations.

Here’s what makes it ideal for content providers to extend their CDNs:

  • Title aware – recognizes that content is part of a series, movie, or event title, and if is not available locally, downloads and caches it for future requests
  • Network aware – identifies and uses the best and lowest-cost connection for environments that are on the move; and for ISPs, uses the desired backhaul network configuration
  • Cloud-based, machine learning-driven content fill – ingests and analyzes provider content to push the right content to the right caches at the right time, without relying on subscriber media requests to fill caches
  • Live content replication – replicates live content at the extreme edge, minimizing backhaul consumption, while letting each subscriber pause, rewind, and fast forward their own live stream
  • Endpoint transparency – all Netskrt endpoints appear as a single traditional CDN to content provider and distributors
a diagram of the Netskrt edge caching solution for ISPs, air, rail operators, and content providers

Why choose Netskrt Edge-Native CDN (eCDN)?

Ubiquitous access

Ubiquitous access for the hardest-to-reach subscribers

Netskrt’s edge caching brings content as close to subscribers as possible, improving access to high-quality content in capacity-limited locations. Consumers in previously un-cached locations are likely to spend more time with streaming platforms that give them the high quality viewing experience they expect. Likewise, content providers and distributors who place their catalogs on trains and aircraft will gain more consumption hours as travelers entertain themselves during their journeys.

Superior QoE

Superior QoE without excessive bandwidth requirements

A single stream of content cached locally on the Netskrt Edge-Native CDN can serve hundreds of subscribers with the QoE they expect. Local caching at the extreme edge reduces bandwidth requirements for live content by up to 95%. Viewers can rely on high quality, non-buffering live streams, with the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward their individual streams – even for the most popular events. The Netskrt eCDN can serve more than 90% of on-demand requests locally and it looks just like a single CDN for easy content delivery.

Revenue Opportunities

Increased revenue

The Netskrt eCDN creates a footprint that serves currently unreachable locations, giving content providers multiple avenues to increase revenues. Travelers are a captive audience that represents thousands of potential new subscribers through promotions, advertising, and partnerships with airlines, rail operators, and their entertainment partners. Giving existing subscribers access to their own streaming services while they travel serves to improve their satisfaction and reduce churn.

Secret to Success

The extreme edge is the secret to success

Netskrt is the only extreme edge caching provider in the market today. By partnering with Netskrt, its ISPs, and leading rail and air partners, content providers can differentiate themselves and capitalize on consumers’ growing desire to have high quality access to their streaming platforms everywhere they are. Netskrt allows providers to deliver their content closer to underserved subscribers than ever before, and reach thousands of potential new subscribers.

Learn more about Netskrt's Edge-Native CDN (eCDN)

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