NewTeeVee has a post up regarding Akamai’s new HD strategy. If you haven’t heard of Akamai, well you’re probably not reading a lot of video blogs, because the company’s been everywhere lately. Akamai specializes in content delivery networks (CDNs), hosting content in a variety of geographic regions for faster, more efficient transport to end users. It’s a great technology, and no doubt appealing to content distributors who want to make sure their high-quality video gets delivered without a hitch. CDNs have also got to be attractive to broadband service providers who want to show that their networks can handle the demands of new media.
There’s one thing that troubles me though. CDNs naturally give an advantage to the content distributors who are able to buy CDN services. That means that the average Joe trying to stream content gets squeezed out as bandwidth demand grows and viewers migrate to sites that can consistently deliver a smooth video experience. It makes sense – it’s the way the market operates. It’s just a bit sad in my view that we’re moving from the democratizing stage of the Internet to the phase of power consolidation. Call me a bleeding heart.