Over at The Business of Online Video Dan Rayburn reports that this month Level 3 (LVLT) has opened broadcast encoding centers in Manhattan and Tulsa. This represents yet another step in the evolution of Level 3’s content offerings, one that it has always hoped will separate it from the pack.
What’s a broadcast encoding center? Well, to stream live events you have to take the video feed from the event and turn it into whatever streaming format (Flash, Move, Windows Media) that you are going to hand off to your CDN. As Dan reports, most CDNs use partners for this, but for Level 3 it will be in-house courtesy of its existing braintrust at the Vyvx division and its ServeCast acquisition.
How big an impact will this have for Level 3’s results? Nothing huge immediately, the benefits are indirect. But I think the increasing breadth of Level 3’s CDN offering and the effort they are putting is gaining them traction at precisely the right time. In its Content Markets at least, 2009 looks like it may be a good year – perhaps the rest of the company can hitch a ride?
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