Video distribution is now the lifeblood of business.
Organizations use on-demand video and live streaming to communicate and connect with employees. Recruiters and managers interview job applicants virtually. Entire conferences and events happen through video.
And companies are pouring more into video marketing. For example, a 2017 HubSpot survey found that video was the number one way people preferred hearing from a brand.
That finding shows that enterprise video distribution was already growing before the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s accelerated exponentially since.
This growth and our new way of working are why many companies are upgrading their infrastructure. They don’t have the right technology to deliver the best video and live streams.
Enterprises require the highest quality, most reliable video content. You can’t have your virtual all-employee townhall lag during your CEO’s update.
But why, precisely, does video distribution matter? And what makes a platform the right fit for large organizations?
In this article, we talk about the importance of video distribution systems to the enterprise. And we highlight what to look for when upgrading your company’s video content.
How Enterprise Video Distribution Works
First, let’s cover how enterprises distribute video. These companies use what’s called an enterprise content delivery network, or eCDN.
An eCDN is not the same thing as a regular content delivery network (CDN).
A CDN works fine if you’re using video within one location. But most enterprises are not. They’re spread across many offices with employees in various spots around the world.
Plus, enterprises require high-quality video and live streaming. It’s what employees and the public expect from major companies. Delivering that quality, though, puts extra stress on an organization’s servers.
By using eCDNs, enterprises can deliver superior videos and live streams with minimal issues. eCDNs reduce problems such as lag and buffering while decreasing the strain on a company’s infrastructure.
And that’s why you want to make sure your organization’s video solution uses an eCDN for video.
An eCDN is the first step in ensuring your company can deliver the best quality live stream and video content.
The Best Methods for Video Delivery
We’ve walked through how eCDNs help with video distribution. Now let’s talk about the significance of how an eCDN distributes your live streams and videos.
There are a few ways enterprises send videos across their networks. Two of the most efficient solutions are caching and multicast.
Caching is video hosting that occurs when your eCDN stores your videos on local servers, or servers that are close to where they’re accessed. When you distribute a video using your eCDN, the platform stores versions of that video on local servers.
For example, you publish a video on your company’s website. Your organization’s eCDN distributes and stores that video on servers located around the world. When people watch that video on your company’s website, your eCDN pulls from the server closest to their location.
Caching reduces video load times and the stress on your network.
A critical element to look for when considering video distribution solutions is how an eCDN handles caching.
Not all eCDNs are the same. Some retrieve cached videos from non-local servers, called edge servers, more frequently than others. Doing so decreases the benefit of caching and eCDNs.
The best eCDNS only tap into edge servers on a must-need basis. These are the video distribution solutions you want.
Multicast distribution is another way to deliver your video content. Multicast is when you send video from one spot to many other points.
Multicast is excellent for live events because it lowers bandwidth demand. The less you ask of your company’s servers, the less lag and buffering viewers experience watching your livestream.
Multicast is a must-have for enterprise video distribution. That’s true, especially now, as more organizations are supporting remote work like never before. Multicast distribution is how you can ensure a good user experience for your virtual town halls and online events.
Real-Time Insights a Must Have
Monitoring your video and live stream performance is a huge part of delivering quality content.
Imagine you’re live streaming an all-employee town hall. Thousands of your company’s employees are tuning in from across the country. Right as your CEO takes the stage, you start getting emails from colleagues telling you the video isn’t working for them.
You reach out to your IT team for help. But IT tells you there’s little they can do because they can’t see where there’s an issue or what the problem is.
This scenario is why you want an enterprise video distribution solution equipped with a real-time analytics dashboard.
Such a tool allows your IT team to monitor live streams as they take place. That insight puts IT in a position to see and address issues negatively impacting your live stream.
Issues will always occur. Even the best eCDNs can’t prevent every hitch from happening during your virtual event.
And you can’t afford to have your live stream fall apart because you have the wrong technology in place. You put too much time and effort into the event. Not to mention your company’s reputation is on the line.
That’s why you should make sure your video distribution platform comes equipped with a real-time analytics dashboard. Doing so gives your IT team the tools they need to ensure your live stream goes off without any embarrassing issues.
The Critical Components of Enterprise Video Distribution
Video and live streams are dominating how enterprises operate. Workforces are now remote, and events are virtual. People want videos, more than anything else, from brands.
The escalating demand for video content is causing many large organizations to reevaluate their video distribution strategy. Companies need scalable, reliable solutions.
That’s possible by picking a platform that features a few critical components. Specifically, when shopping for an enterprise video distribution solution, look for:
- An enterprise content delivery network, or eCDN.
- An eCDN that offers both caching and multicast video and live stream delivery.
- A real-time analytics dashboard.
And we recommend that you partner early in the process with a member of your IT team. These individuals can help you review possible solutions. They’ll know the right questions to ask, and they can dig into the technical side to ensure you pick the right platform for your organization.
Would you like to learn more about video distribution?
And if COVID-19’s impacting your company, check out these resources collected to help ensure your business continuity.