How do the biggest video-streaming platforms in the world manage to store so much video and serve it so fast to such vast, global audiences? These questions stump even some companies that need to deliver high-performance streaming.
The level of global video streaming has skyrocketed since the Covid-19 crisis began, with more people staying at home, watching video across all their devices. The carbon footprint of this nonstop viewing isn’t easy to calculate, but it’s fair to say that it’s significant. One aggressive claim cites a six-hour video binge on Netflix as equivalent to burning a liter of fuel. Streaming involves a complex mix of data center capacity and electricity -- both of which produce carbon dioxide, the levels of which vary depending on the technology being used.
Sometime during the 2020-21 Covid-19 pandemic, video streaming, which had already gained a foothold in terms of mass-market entertainment, took a big lead over linear TV. Consumers started cutting the cord en masse, as they’d long been predicted to do. A proliferation of digital-first content providers and robust streaming technology coupled with people being stuck in their homes for what felt like infinity created the perfect conditions for OTT video streaming to take what’s traditionally been the domain of TV broadcasters by storm.
When it comes to deploying video -- both on-demand and live -- content and delivering with a good quality of experience (QoE), there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But for almost any video streaming company, a multi-CDN strategy is needed to ensure that QoE and the ability to scale up to deliver it.