Recent CDN Market Sizing Reports Are Flat Out Wrong: Terrible Data, Lots Of Errors

Over the past two months, I’ve seen quite a few market sizing reports released about the content delivery market. Unfortunately, the reports are really bad, with factual errors that are so obvious, it makes you wonder how any of the companies publishing the reports would expect anyone to buy them.

For example, multiple reports list vendors that are covered in the competitive section of the report, that haven’t been in the market in years. Contendo was acquired by Akamai four years ago and should not be on any competitive list. Skytide, which isn’t even a CDN, was acquired over two years ago. Another report lists Telestream, Kaltura, Cisco and Adobe as leading CDNs, which of course they aren’t.

Many reports also spell vendor names wrong. They don’t know if the company name is one word or two and don’t know how to properly capitalize the company name. That might seem trivial, but it shows they really don’t know the market if they don’t even know how to list vendors names properly.

Another problem is that these reports total revenue and market sizing from products and services that don’t have anything to do with CDN. For instance, this report gives out the size of the CDN market, but includes revenue from “data security”, “cloud storage”, “transcoding” and “digital rights management”. Those aren’t CDN services.

And the press releases promoting these reports sound like they were written by someone who doesn’t understand English. You don’t deliver “contents”. And I like this line that says, “The recent improvement in bandwidth cost has vastly increased the consumption of internet.” You don’t “consume” the Internet, you consume content over the Internet.

It’s also a dead giveaway that something is wrong with the report when they don’t list the name of the author who wrote it. If you don’t know the expertise of the analyst who wrote it, why would you buy it? And yet, these firms will gladly accept your money, usually $3K-$5K, and sell it to you anyway. Bottom line, don’t waste your money on any CDN report that doesn’t list who the analyst is, doesn’t list the leading vendors properly and doesn’t describe the methodology used to provide the market sizing numbers. Any good analyst will be happy to describe their methodology to you, before you buy the report.

So what is the size of the CDN market? All depends on which CDN service you are looking at. The size of the market for video delivery, is very different from the size of the market for dynamic content delivery, which is different from the app acceleration market. In 2015 the size of the CDN market for media and software delivery was $4B dollars. Other segments of the market are harder to nail down, but using the right methodology, you can come up with good estimates. If you have questions on the size of any segment of the CDN market, feel free to reach out to me at any time. I’ll share what I have.

  • Jesse

    Hey Dan, it’s widely known (at least within the SEO industry) that press releases are a dying business that was overtaken by spammers years ago. Even companies like PRWeb or PR Newswire who pretend to “filter” out bad content simply don’t, in order to collect more cash for their dying business. It’s easy to guess who wrote these reports… it’s probably the company whose homepage is spammed throughout the reports around 4-5 times:

    http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/
    http://whois.domaintools.com/marketsandmarkets.com

    Even their WHOIS data is incomplete (illegal) and misspelled.

    Anyway, your blog is interesting and I do wonder which “CDNs” would dominate in size when including private company infrastructures such as those maintained by Google, Facebook (apart from their Akamai network), and others. My company, LittleBizzy, is a managed WordPress hosting service that partners with MaxCDN and it seems that for SMBs anyway, there are still shockingly few well-known providers these days. Cheers for now 🙂