Taking Content Close to the Edge: How Broadcasters are Using Edge Computing to Redefine the Viewing Experience

Edge computing is fast-moving technology that’s transforming how data is being handled, processed, and delivered from millions of devices worldwide. The growth of edge computing is underpinned by the boom in IoT devices and new applications and services that require real-time computing power, such as self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Recent data shows worldwide spending on edge computing will reach USD 250 billion by 2024 with a compound annual growth of 12.5% between 2019 and 2024.

Ariff Sidi

Ariff Sidi is a General Manager and Chief Product Officer at Edgecast and has 15 years of experience in internet and digital media problem solving, and 10 years of experience in streaming media platform development.

The benefits of edge computing are already being experienced in multiple industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare, and uptake will only increase as more sectors realize the transformative nature of this technology. The media and entertainment industry, however, has been slow to explore how edge computing will help reimagine how consumers watch and interact with content.

However, as we head into 2022, this is all set to change. An increasing number of broadcasters understand that edge computing will underpin innovation and new services across the entire media ecosystem. As a result, over the next 12 months, we’ll see broadcasters work closely with service providers to realize the full potential of computing at the CDN edge.

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A brand new viewing experience

Despite the slow uptake of edge computing in the media and entertainment industry, it’s clear that edge computing will drive innovations that will help broadcasters reimagine the viewing experience by overcoming the challenge of managing and distributing live content at ultra-low latencies, particularly as more 5G capable devices emerge.

Edge computing will help broadcasters overcome the latency challenge by optimizing key video workflow capabilities such as video ingestion, video encoding, and ad-insertion closer to where users physically are by utilizing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) edge compute platform.

Computing at the CDN edge will also play an important role in helping broadcasters manage the demands from traffic spikes and flash crowds which can often overload servers and cause streams to fail. The streaming market is a billion-dollar industry and it’s still growing.

Consequently, there will be an increased pressure on broadcasters to deliver TV-like experiences and edge computing will help them meet increased demand for their services and guarantee reliable and high-quality streams regardless of how much data is required.

In a broadcast environment, edge computing will deliver much lower latency, faster workload time, and the ability to localize workloads for individual users or individual customers. Workflows in live media entertainment are extremely latency-sensitive, so even a reduction to 200 milliseconds latency will make a meaningful difference to the viewer.

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This slight improvement is highly significant and means broadcasters can also supplement the viewing experiences with new features and services, particularly betting and live sports production.

Another advantage of edge computing is that content can get into the cloud much more quickly during live events so broadcasters can engage in real-time with users across any device or platform. Additionally, content producers can leverage edge resources to get content more rapidly into the cloud for things like processing or transit.

The arrival of the edge compute era

In 2022 we expect more broadcasters will invest in edge compute technologies because the use cases and their advantages are clear. Edge computing will support new innovations and bring exciting new viewing experiences to the viewer from the CDN Edge.

Ariff Sidi
Ariff Sidi
Chief Product Officer at Edgecast

Ariff Sidi is a General Manager and Chief Product Officer at Edgecast. Ariff joined the team with 15 years of experience in internet and digital media problem solving, and 10 years of experience in streaming media platform development.

Ariff has generated 11 patents and earned an Emmy award for innovation during his many years of digital media platform and product development, in both B2C and B2B businesses. He has held leadership roles in engineering, product management, and strategy in start-ups, media companies like Disney and FOX, and tech heavyweights like Qualcomm and Verizon. He currently has responsibility for Edgecast's industry-leading video streaming and content delivery business.

Ariff's background includes leading the development of multiple industry-first streaming products including ABC's Full Episode Player and FOX's national primetime live streaming. He has also led the development of several multi-platform, VOD products for Disney across Europe.

Several of Ariff's patents have defined industry best practices for online video and advertising, and several of his novel solutions were precursors to now industry standard specifications.

Additionally, Ariff founded a technology start-up in the kids and family mobile space and co-founded a ground-breaking social video start-up.

Ariff has a BS in Computer Engineering from UC San Diego and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.


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