NAB 2022: Google Cloud unveils Media CDN distribution platform | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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The same network that Google has built over the last decade to serve YouTube content is now the foundation of a new service designed to help media and entertainment customers to viewers anywhere in the world.
FLM google cloud 5Jan2021
Media CDN is described as a modern extensible platform for delivering immersive experiences and is designed to tap into a digital media and entertainment industry experiencing dramatic growth, as audiences migrate to online experiences and content providers seek to deliver new and innovative content. to back its case, Google quoted research from The Global Internet Phenomena Report noting that streaming video accounted for 53.7% of internet bandwidth traffic at the end of 2021, up by 4.8% from a year ago.

Yet such rapid growth of over-the-top content is now, said the company, straining existing infrastructure, fuelling media companies’ shift to the public clouds with their global presence and greater distribution capacities. In addition, other use cases such as gaming, social networks, AR/VR experiences, and education continue to fuel the need for intelligent media services and operations.

With Media CDN, Google will aim to enable media and entertainment customers to deliver streaming experiences to viewers anywhere in the world efficiently and intelligently. Media CDN’s foundational advantage is said to be the Google network. Noting the investments in capacity and reach it has made in over 200 countries and more than 1,300 cities around the globe, Google believes that its infrastructure can cope with modern video applications are sensitive to fluctuations in latency, so getting content closer to users enables higher bitrates and reduces rebuffering, resulting in a superior experience for the end user.

The platform is built with AI/ML designed to give viewers more control over how they see, experience, and even interact with content. For example, sports fans watching a game can obtain real-time stats and analytics, viewers can purchase items from virtual billboards, etc.

Media CDN builds on the firm’s existing Cloud CDN portfolio for web and API acceleration and complements it by enabling delivery of immersive media experiences. It tailors delivery protocols to individual users and network conditions and includes support for QUIC (HTTP/3), TLS 1.3, and BBR, optimising for last-mile delivery. When the Chrome team rolled out widespread support for QUIC, video rebuffer time was said to have decreased by more than 9% and mobile throughput increased by over 7%.
Media CDN is also claimed to achieve “industry-leading” offload rates.

With multiple tiers of caching, it minimises calls to origin — even for infrequently accessed content. This is said to alleviate performance or capacity stress in the content origin and saves costs. These features are built into the product and support customer content hosted on Google Cloud, on-premises, or on a third-party cloud.

Media CDN offers additional capabilities to enable monetisation, enabling ad insertion, ecosystem integrations and platform, and AI/ML analytics for interactive experiences. Streaming providers are also said to be able to improve monetisation through integrated ad serving via the Video Stitcher API, which allows manipulation of video content to dynamically insert ads.

Through extensible ecosystem integrations, Media CDN connects customers to key capabilities to simplify their operations. A transcoder API supports custom streaming formats, while the Live Stream API transcodes mezzanine live signals into direct-to-consumer streaming formats, for multiple device platforms.

One customer announced already is Australian on-demand video provider Stan. Commenting on the use of the technology, chief technology officer John Hogan said: “We are excited to leverage Media CDN to continue to deliver an exceptional streaming experience for Stan users across Australia. With Google’s massive network, and a deep reach into the ISPs, we are able to deliver the highest quality video for our users, no matter where they are.”

Added Rutong Li, chief technology officer of video service U-NEXT: “Our mission at U-NEXT is to deliver the highest quality and most entertaining content to our users. Google Cloud’s Media CDN helps us efficiently scale our infrastructure, which is challenging with a vast library of content. Media CDN offloaded 98.3% of requests from our origin server while delivering consistent great quality.”