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8 Reasons to Use CacheFly CDN for Podcasts

If you’re running a successful podcast, your listener base may be massively growing…but the problem is, so is your bandwidth consumption. Web servers were never built to handle global delivery and traffic bursts for large web files—especially when a typical episode could range anywhere from 20-100MB.  Each download adds strain to your servers and causes delivery performance to be considerably slower.

Listeners won’t wait for your podcast to download. They expect fast delivery. Relying on web hosting alone, is simply not enough to sustain and grow your listener base. You must be able to accommodate surges in traffic while ensuring a fast and seamless listener experience.  That’s why you need a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to offload traffic from your servers, and deliver your podcast files faster—by delivering them as close to your audience as possible.

However, not all CDNs are built the same. CacheFly is different. Here are 8 reasons why podcasters trust CacheFly.

1. Highest Global Throughput Performance

Throughput (or Time to Last Byte) is the time it takes to deliver a file—from the initial response—to full download. CacheFly’s network is the only network built for throughput. Web monitoring companies such as CloudHarmony and Cedexis prove that CacheFly’s global throughput performance trumps all other CDNs in large file delivery. With CacheFly, your listeners will be able to download your podcast files faster—no matter where they reside.

CacheFly eclipses all major CDNs in overall throughput performance of a 100KB file in the U.S.

CacheFly eclipses all major CDNs in overall throughput performance of a 100KB file in the U.S.

2.) Infinite Scalability

A popular podcast can expect bursts for a couple of days—or even weeks. CacheFly’s infinitely scalable bandwidth delivers seamlessly when spikes in traffic occur.

3.) 100% Availability SLA.

CacheFly ensures the highest availability and guarantees continuous network uptime, 100%.  No scheduled or emergency maintenance.

4.) Fully Interoperable.

CacheFly supports all major mediate types and video players, such as: H.264, Adobe Flash (SWF and FLV), Windows media and all other formats, and also integrates with feed management and reporting solutions. In addition, CacheFly has full certification with use on iTunes.

5.) Gzip Compression.

The larger your podcast files, the longer it will take to deliver. CacheFly provides gzip compression to automatically compress files to further reduce transfer time. Gzip compression not only optimizes files for faster delivery, but also lowers your bandwidth costs by using less data to deliver your files to an end user.

6.) Security Platform.

Rest assured, your information is secure. CacheFly offers Referrer Blocking rules to prevent simple hotlinking. This allows you to deny HTTP requests, if the listener (requestor) did not come from another web page in the same domain, or domain of their choosing. CacheFly offers secure delivery via a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. This type of encryption allows secure web transmissions of your content.

7.) Real-Time Reporting.

CacheFly’s robust, real-time reporting platform provides you aggregate and drill-down insights into where—and how fast—podcasts and videos are being delivered.

8.) Easy Implementation and Instant Activation.

With CacheFly, you can get up and running fast. Simply setup your account online by selecting your username and upload method (origin pull or reverse proxy).

Take it from Leo Laporte and Dan Benjamin:

leo laporte TWiT.TV CacheFly

“CacheFly just works. Our users don’t have to think about how they get our programs; they just do, fast. The show must roll and CacheFly keep them flowing without a hitch.” – Leo Laporte, TWiT.TV

 Dan Benjamin 5by5 Download Faster

“We wanted to better serve our audience, who are distributed across the globe. Providing everybody with fast downloads is critical for us, and CacheFly has a network designed for this purpose.” – Dan Benjamin, 5by5

Don’t risk losing your audience due to slow downloads.

Start Free for 14 Days

Image Credit: TWiT.tv

 

Music streaming grows in 2013 despite falling sales

Spotify

There is plenty of buzz about whether the future of video content is centered around streaming, and it now appears that the “streaming revolution” has now shifted to the music industry. The Guardian reports that in 2013, music sales fell sharply, but the industry as a whole was buoyed by what could become a lasting trend: music streaming.

Streaming hits a billion dollars

Almost all major streaming services, including Rdio, Spotify, and Pandora, grew in 2013. These services generated a combined billion dollars in revenue — a first for the music streaming industry. This milestone is certainly a big one for an industry trying to course-correct in light of losses caused by years of rampant music piracy. With this new data, it’s clear that the on-demand nature of streaming lends itself well to monetization and could lead to a streaming renaissance in the industry as a whole.

On-demand content propels success

So, why has music streaming enjoyed such widespread success? The key lies in on-demand content. While many were satisfied with buying records in the industry’s early days, when the Internet age dawned, consumers began to prefer purchasing music without leaving their homes. Though piracy is still an issue in the music business, by and large, consumers are finding it easier to use paid streaming services such as Spotify, which allow them to listen to the music they want, when they want, rather than pirate content. This is good news for both fans and executives alike.

Content delivery is key to continued growth

For music streaming to continue its meteoric rise toward becoming the preferred method of content delivery for music fans, it will be critical for providers to cement a reliable content delivery system that facilitates the on-demand nature of streaming. If consumers have to wait more than just a few moments to listen to the music they want, they might search for other methods to get the content. Partnering with an industry-leading content delivery network (CDN) will ensure consumers have unfettered access to their music. Using a CDN that can deliver music streaming instantly, even during times of peak usage, will be critical to ensuring the continued growth of streaming providers.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

BackBeat Media Reaches Global Audiences Faster with CacheFly

BackBeat Media, an interactive advertising and web publishing company, works with advertisers, such as Apple, to achieve long-term returns by developing targeted, demographically desirable online communities in the form of premier sites and podcast networks.

Due to the popularity of today’s Apple products, global demand grew for BackBeat Media’s Apple-focused podcasts, consisting of Mac Observer, Mac Cast, Mac Geek Gab, Mac OS Ken, and many other of their Apple-focused communities. However, BackBeat Media’s internal infrastructure wasn’t built to accommodate the heavy bandwidth needed to process massive surges in traffic. Co-Founder of BackBeat Media, Dave Hamilton, knew that in order to effectively run their business and achieve their mission to grow audiences for clients, they needed a way to offload their bandwidth and scale to reach global audiences faster and more reliably.

“Given the widespread popularity of the Apple audience, it was necessary to use a CDN to quickly reach audiences spread throughout the world,” said Hamilton. “One of our other challenges was figuring out how difficult this was going to be and whether we’d be able to get our content to the edge to reach our clients’ audiences quickly enough.”

BackBeat Media chose CacheFly.

Read about BackBeat Media’s results using CacheFly.

Read the Case Study >>

Top music streaming apps continue to grow

hphones

The on-demand music streaming apps industry continues to expand its service offerings to consumers, who are increasingly opting to listening to music with these easy, on-the-go options. The biggest question on everyone’s mind is how to properly grow a solid customer base. To become a top music streaming service, companies must provide the best content streaming experience to draw more customers to their platform.

Pandora

With 70.8 million active users, Pandora is the most popular of all the music streaming apps. Pandora offers both a paid and a free version, with free users monetized with advertising revenue. The paid, ad-free version costs $4.99 per month. Users can build stations based on their favorite songs, but they cannot pick which songs will play. The thumbs-down feature allows listeners to skip songs they don’t like.

Spotify

Spotify is quickly gaining momentum with 24 million users. It has a revenue model similar to Pandora’s, with both free and paid versions. Spotify’s premium subscription, which currently has about 6 million users, costs $9.99 per month and allows customers to play any of its millions of tracks on demand, on any device, with no advertisements. Premium subscribers also have a “Listen Offline” option, where they can cache their favorite music on their mobile device for when they are unable to stream it live. Content delivery networks are becoming more sophisticated to handle the increasing demand for these services.

Rdio

Very similar to Spotify, Rdio offers the same free and premium options for its users, right down to the cost of unlimited streaming and mobile use. Both Rdio and Spotify offer the cache music option for their premium customers. Some argue that Rdio’s user interface is better than Spotify’s, but it has a smaller library of songs to choose from.

Songza

Songza is similar to Pandora in that the app learns what type of music a listener likes and adjusts its playlists accordingly. Songza is unique because it recommends playlists based on the time of day, a user’s mood, an activity, or a theme. The service is free and generates revenue through advertisements, sponsored playlists, and partnerships with companies that build a branded version of Songza tailored to their audience. Businesses utilizing Songza’s services will need content delivery methods that can align with the high-bandwidth demands this medium is known for and, ideally, have scalable capacity for high traffic spikes.

Both Google and Apple are getting into the music streaming game with their own services, and only time will tell whether they will be able to gain momentum in this crowded marketplace. Businesses will have to get creative to find different ways to monetize this revenue stream and make the business model profitable. The determining factor of success may come down who can provide the best customer experience, fastest download speeds, and most reliable service.

To accomplish this, content delivery networks will play a major role in providing the necessary support to supplement current infrastructures, delivering media up to ten times faster than traditional single-hosting delivery. Partnering with a high-performance vendor to assist with content delivery will become a necessity to stay on top in this growing market.

Photo credit: Flickr

CDNs play major role as music service industry increases in popularity

music service image

The music service industry is growing, with digital music streaming up 32 percent in 2013.

On-demand digital music service providers are more popular with music fans than ever before. According to the Nielsen and Billboard’s 2013 U.S. Music Report, digital music streaming is up 32 percent, with 118.1 billion streams accessed in 2013. This number includes audio streaming providers like Pandora and Spotify as well as on-demand video services like YouTube. While overall music sales are down by 6.3 percent, the shift in consumers’ preference for streaming services reveals the increasing role CDNs will play in the industry.

Streaming music services are growing

Music listeners worldwide now have the option of streaming their favorite songs directly from the cloud, and the value consumers find in the convenience of these services cannot be overlooked. Along with the 103 percent increase in on-demand audio streaming, the approximate revenue generated in 2013 from streaming services was the equivalent of 59 million album purchases.

The recurring revenue model for digital music streaming services is already proving to be more profitable than brick-and-mortar or digital album sales. An average customer paying for a “premium” subscription account is worth $16 per year to a major record label versus the $14 per year a buyer of digital or physical music is worth, numbers generated by The Wall Street Journal indicate.

This is also exciting news for independent musicians and smaller record labels. Since anyone can make their music available on services like Spotify, which pays out approximately $0.006-$0.0084 per stream, music fans can enjoy a wider pool of music to draw from, allowing them to better support the artists they prefer. The ease of use of on-demand music service may also increase consumption rates, since streaming offers music lovers the option of listening at their computer or on-the-go with mobile devices.

The role CDNs will play in the future of music

Content delivery networks have played a major role in the growing popularity of music streaming service providers, and will continue to become even more important as the industry evolves. Offering on-demand audio and video files customized to fit every individual customer’s preferences, is extremely bandwidth-intensive. The only cost-effective way to provide customers with fast and reliable streaming audio and video content is to partner with a high-performance CDN vendor that can supply access to a worldwide network of servers and ensure the best possible live-streaming experience.

Demand for music streaming services is growing rapidly, and the range of options that the industry will offer consumers will continue to evolve. High-performance CDNs will play a vital role as music fans seek out online audio and video applications that provide the best customer service experience available.

Photo credit: morgueFile