Article originally published in May/June 2014 issue of Video Edge Magazine.
Playwire is a video content monetization platform that was established to provide publishers and content creators with a profitable alternative to hosting and coding their videos online.
Video content captures the attention of audiences and increases user engagement, but it’s an expensive asset to create and manage. There are the upfront production costs of shooting and editing video content, and there’s also a laundry list of hidden back-end costs that publishers have to think about.
These include video player development, choosing a hosting provider, encoding and managing an ad sales team. Our goal was to create a one-stop shop for publishers looking to a third party to take care of these responsibilities for them at no charge. The cost and quality aspects of any vendors or service providers we intended to work with was high on the priority list.
Without A Great CDN, Content Is Worthless
One element that’s absolutely necessary for our business to operate is a content distribution network (CDN). If a publisher has great video content, but it takes forever to load—or doesn’t play through without constant buffering interruptions—the audience won’t bother to watch that content and will likely leave the web site to view content elsewhere.
If the CDN isn’t reliable, audience engagement and user retention go down; the publisher will experience a reduction in traffic and his ad revenue will shrink. The CDN really is king here. That’s why, after doing extensive research, we elected to go with Highwinds.
In order for Playwire to properly run video content and video advertising through our platform, we needed a CDN with an infrastructure that combined global scale and reach with reliability and speed. Our product is video, so we can’t afford to have it obstructed by buffering and latency problems. Our publishing partners can’t either. For them, content is king.
After extensive research, we chose Highwinds as the right CDN for Playwire. Our selection was based on quality of service, global reach, reliability, speed and customer support. Highwinds scored extremely well in each of these categories.
Highwinds Scores Consistently High Marks
We have more than 800,000 videos in our library and are averaging more than five million views per day globally. All of this distribution is monetized with advertising, so performance means a lot to us. Response time and click-through were the two most important metrics used in our CDN evaluation, and Highwinds consistently outperformed its competitors. Highwinds has data centers in 26 countries spread across five continents, so we can be assured that our videos will play quickly and seamlessly, no matter where they’re viewed.
Another factor in our decision to go with Highwinds is their excellent customer service. Playwire is a young company and a lean operation. A business our size needs partners that are accessible and can provide support when an issue may arise. Not only does Highwinds happen to be located near our offices here in South Florida, they also have a full-time in-house staff that’s able to handle anything that might go awry.
We’ve been using Highwinds network services for a year and a half now and couldn’t be more satisfied. More importantly, our customers are satisfied too.