As more people hop on to digital bandwagon, CDN market to see jump in India

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Ashwin Rao
Ashwin Rao
Ashwin Rao is Director at Limelight Networks, India.

2019 has been as remarkable for the CDN market as it can get. In India, the figure of monthly active internet users crossed the mark of 451 million as early as March. To give you a picture, the total population of all countries that India shares its borders with (including Afghanistan and barring China) is 480.7 million. So, as internet adoption experiences a double-digit growth rate within our nation, we can understand the magnitude of change that is being driven on the ground.

Another figure that gives us a glimpse of the grand Indian internet story is the one given by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. Its report indicates that internet shutdowns alone have cost the Indian economy more than $3 billion between 2012 and 2017. This highlights the growing importance of the internet in Indians’ day-to-day lifestyles as well as businesses.

Now, video consumption is a key attribute of India’s digital adoption. So, let us understand what have been the key developments in this field and what the outlook for 2020 are:

Video Consumption

In line with market expectations, video consumption is exponentially increasing in India. According to ‘The State of Online Video 2019’ report by Limelight Networks, Indians now spend around 8 hours and 33 minutes in streaming online videos every week. This is 1 hour and 45 minutes higher than the global average. This trend is largely because of the growing adoption in India and the decreased data tariffs. As more Indians hop onto the digital bandwagon in 2020, this figure is expected to become much higher, taking a direct toll on TV broadcasts.

When talking about video consumption, we often tend to club ‘standard video streaming’ and ‘live streaming’ together. However, the two of them are quite different from each other. Live streaming requires a dedicated technological infrastructure to decrease the lag in content delivery. Imagine watching live cricket and hearing the cheers from your neighbourhood 5 seconds before you know the reason why.

Thankfully, live streaming has only gone upwards in India, owing to the development of new-age content delivery techniques by leading CDN players. In fact, Hotstar broke its own record by registering 18.6 million simultaneous viewers for IPL’s final match between MI and CSK this year. This depicts people’s growing proclivity for live videos and gives us an indicator for 2020.

Market Growth

Riding on the ever-increasing video consumption and the need for infrastructure, the global CDN market is also growing with a double-digit growth rate. According to a report by Zion Market Research, the global market is expected to grow with an aggregate CAGR of 12.5% between 2019 and 2025. It is forecasted to become worth 24.9 billion by 2025. This development will involve several paradigm-changing developments including the expansion of edge infrastructure, increased density of data centres, and so on.

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