Over the last few days, there has been a lot of speculation in the industry about who will power tonight’s YouTube Live event– whether YouTube will announce their own live service, acquire a live streaming platform, or simply stream the event live using a CDN.
Any move by Google/YouTube in offering or acquiring a Live streaming service would obviously be very important to our company and live streaming industry – so as you can imagine I have watching the story very closely.
Earlier today, TechCrunch Editor Michael Arrington posted further comment on the speculation that YouTube might be partnering with Ustream.tv for this event and reached out to us for comments.
My answer earlier today :
“We are not powering it – although as you can imagine Mogulus would obviously be interested to partner with Google/Youtube.
If I was to speculate, I think that Youtube will use an established and traditional content delivery network (CDN) such as Akamai who can cover the Tokyo event too and build a simple Flash player themselves. Google would pay the CDN premium fees for bandwidth for it. They probably contracted multiple CDNs to ensure scalability and have insurance if one has trouble with the load.
Partnering with someone like ustream.tv who has not yet proven more than 80,000 streams nor has servers around the world could be risky for your first LIVE show- but who knows – this is only speculation – we will find out later tonight !”
The event has just gone live and by looking at the player and HTML code, we found that our prediction was correct. YouTube is not launching any live service and has chosen AKAMAI to stream this one-off event using a custom Flash player built by web agency Digitaria (See the publishing points used by the player http://live.youtube.digitaria.com/site/streams.xml – edgefcs.net is registered to AKAMAI)
So how do content delivery networks (CDN) such as AKAMAI compare to live streaming platforms like Mogulus?
CDN’s have been around for nearly 10 years and have been streaming live video for most of that time. CDNs like Akamai are behind the scene at Mogulus.com to help us scale our live streaming and on-demand capacity.
The difference between CDNs and Mogulus is that with CDNs:
(A) you must negotiate a full contract for weeks, with lengthy commitments
(B) there are no free options; you have to pay per gigabyte streamed
(C) you only get the network basics, and will need to build and integrate your own player
(D) you don’t get any Mogulus features like broadcast graphics, remote multi-camera mixing, server-based recording, etc.
Mogulus is a service that offers producers a turnkey solution to go live on their website within minutes and at no cost. Mogulus did not invent live streaming; we packaged all the things you need–including a CDN– into a free, easy-to-use solution.
You can compare this to YouTube. YouTube did not invent video on-demand, but they did make it easy enough for anyone to publish videos to millions–without any understanding of CDNs, player development or video encoding.
Mogulus does the same for live video.
As we roll out Mogulus Pro next month and continue to break scalability records, we believe that media companies will increasingly move towards white-label, turnkey solutions such as Mogulus for their live streaming– instead of building their own solution ‘from scratch’, each time, with a CDN.