Why Choosing a CDN Solution With Advanced Analytics Tools is Critical for Pay-TV Operators.
Information is gold in today’s pay-TV environment, especially when it comes to receiving analytics from content delivery network (CDN) systems. Utilizing analytics, operators can gain valuable insight into what is going on in every single part of the delivery chain.
In fact, every team in an organization can benefit from analytics. The marketing team can use data to check the impact of ad campaigns, monitor a service take off level, establish audience profile, and create and prove differentiation from competitors with quality of service (QoS)/quality of experience (QoE) indicators. With analytics, the operations team can validate the dimensioning of the system, perform capacity planning, check the load of the system, and make the proper investments related to the growth of the service or the technology provider. The support team can also use information to its advantage for troubleshooting and detecting points of contention.
Ultimately, analytics are the key to operators’ getting the “big picture” of where the CDN system is going, understanding if it is performing well, and planning improvements.
Deriving information from a CDN system
CDN systems can acquire analytics from several different components in the video delivery ecosystem, including servers and players.
- Information from the servers
With video servers at the heart of the delivery system, operators can gather a wealth of useful information. For example, operators can receive data about the number of sessions in a period, or in error, the used bandwidth resources compared to available resources, the number of sessions streamed from various points of presence (PoP)… This is key for operators to check the popularity of services, optimize capacity planning and topology for instance.
The problem is this information alone does not allow operators to understand what is happening at the end-user level, making them ill-equipped to analyze QoE.
- Information from the players
Once operators are able to get analytics from the video players they can get feedback on QoE. The QoE can be represented, in particular, by the following metrics: start-up time, freezes, displayed video profile, completion rate of content and errors.
Gathering these information is crucial for example to investigate roots of errors or to determine which profiles are used and the level of quality that is reached by end-users.
When Analytics Fuel New Business Models
The information generated by an analytics tool can also be used for billing purposes, in the cases where the business model is based on information that is retrieved on a regular basis to check the status of a quota. In the case of a CDN, the quotas can be related to:
- TB of content served per month
- Maximum number of simultaneous sessions
- Maximum bitrate
The operator can bill the content provider using its delivery system, but first it needs to provide proof of the resources that have been consumed.
Advanced analytics in Broadpeak solutions
Broadpeak BkA100 is a pure video delivery analytics system that provides operators with feedback on what is going on at the delivery system (i.e., servers and network) and player levels.
It can also ingest information from third-party CDNs that may be used by operators for offload, fail-over or extension reach scenarios, to offer a single point of display for all analytics information.