April 22, 2024
India Content Delivery Network

India’s Growing Appetite for Digital Content Driving Growth of India Content Delivery Network

Rise of Digital Content Consumption

India has witnessed exponential growth in consumption of digital content over the past few years. With affordable smartphones and cheap data plans, more and more Indians are going online to access content like videos, music, games etc. According to a report by IBEF, India will have over 850 million internet users by 2022 and digital consumers will account for over 75% of total internet users in the country. Growing digital literacy and availability of content in local languages are major factors driving this growth. Indians now spend an average of 6 hours per day online consuming content as compared to global average of 4 hours. This surge in consumption of digital content has propelled the growth of content delivery networks (CDNs) in India.

Need for Fast and Reliable Delivery

CDNs play a vital role in efficient delivery of bandwidth intensive digital content like videos, games etc. to consumers. They do so by caching and storing content at edge servers located close to end users. This helps deliver content much faster without creating bottlenecks. With internet infrastructure still developing in many parts of India, reliable and fast delivery of content is a big challenge. High latency and inconsistent speeds impact user experience negatively. CDNs address this by routing requests to the nearest edge server instead of primary storage, thus reducing latency significantly. They also offer other benefits like load balancing, DDoS protection, reduced origin traffic etc. For digital businesses aiming to deliver engaging experiences, availability of robust CDN infrastructure has become imperative.

Growth of Indian CDN Providers

Recognizing the potential in the Indian market, several global and local CDN providers have expanded their footprint in India over the past few years. Players like Akamai, Cloudflare,Fastly, CDNetworks etc. have established strong presence while local firms including MeghConnect, CacheNetworks and NetMagnet are also gaining traction. Indian CDN market is estimated to reach a value of $1.2 billion by 2024 according to a study. e-commerce, OTT platforms, educational portals and gaming companies are major adopters, with demand spiking during events like IPL and festive seasons. CDN providers are setting up additional Point of Presence (PoPs) in Tier-II and III cities and collaborating with telecom operators to optimally serve diverse user base across the country.

Challenges of Connectivity and Regulations

However, India Content Delivery Network growth of CDNs in India is not without challenges. Vast geography, lack of robust infrastructure in certain areas and inconsistent policies impede efficient operations. Issues like bandwidth constraints on backhaul links connecting metros to rural pockets hamper delivery capabilities in those regions at times of heavy traffic. Similarly, frequent changes in tariff guidelines for virtual private networks create uncertainty. Lack of adequate international submarine cable bandwidth further pushes up cross-border content delivery costs for Indian firms. Absence of a centralized internet exchange point (IXP) also leads to roundabout traffic routing in some cases. While CDN providers are taking mitigation measures, support from policymakers is required to develop a conducive environment.

Cloud CDNs Emerging as Popular Option

In recent years, cloud-based CDNs have disrupted the market with ease of deployment and scalability. Major cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud offer fully-managed CDN services that can be provisioned with just a few clicks. They leverage their global network and infrastructure to deliver edge caching functionality virtually everywhere. For Indian startups and SMEs, this provides a cost-effective alternative over deploying own hardware. Even large enterprises are adopting hybrid models combining on-premise setup with cloud CDN for requirements like event streaming. With cloud gaining widespread adoption, leading Indian CDN providers have also rolled out cloud CDN services. Sectors like OTT, news portals etc. widely leverage cloud CDNs’s pay-as-you-go model to dynamically scale during spikes in viewership.

Opportunities for Innovations

With growing number of internet-connected devices and evolution of technologies like AI/ML, 5G, IoT and AR/VR, the opportunities for CDN industry are immense. Large captive consumer bases offer scope for leveraging edge compute capabilities to offer innovative services beyond content delivery. CDNs can potentially function as distributed mini datacenters supporting latency-sensitive apps. Similarly, tie-ups with 5G rollouts will help deliver immersive experiences by keeping content and processing near end points. Participating in Indian government’s ambitious digital initiatives across sectors provides further opportunities. Collaborations with local startups is another avenue to develop customized offerings catering diverse content needs across languages and regions. The potential of CDN industry in India has only just begun to be tapped.

India’s digital revolution is bringing sweeping changes in consumption patterns with content taking the center stage. Growing internet access and local language availability are catalysing consumption while evolving technologies are pushing boundaries of experience delivery. In such a scenario, efficient and reliable distribution network like CDNs play a vital connectivity role. With rising interest in innovations, opportunities beckon industry stakeholders to shape the future of how digital experiences are delivered for Indians.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it