Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 2 February 2001
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Probe Research Report Claims Content-Delivery Market Positioned for Substantial Growth

According to a recent report by Probe Research, Inc., the worldwide market for content-delivery services is expected to grow from $25 million in 1999 to as much as $50 billion by 2005. Probe's latest Global Internet Service Provider Markets (ISPM) bulletin, Content Delivery Networks, attributes this trend to the failure of connection capacity and router speeds to keep pace with the increase in network backbone traffic, due to a continuously expanding user population.

Liz McPhillips, Probe's network software analyst and author of this latest ISPM bulletin, said: "Content-delivery networks have emerged to alleviate the overload on parts of the network. Content-delivery networks are essentially a geographically distributed system of intelligent storage devices located at the edge of the network, which are used to allow quick download of specific content from any location. The content-distribution network pre-populates its servers rather than pulling content when it is first requested. This way the content is always available locally and quickly to the user."

McPhillips believes that demand for content-delivery networks will continuously and substantially increase as more companies use the Internet to sell products and services. "As the world edges toward e-commerce on a large scale, businesses cannot afford to lose customers and transactions as a result of their Web pages not downloading in a satisfactory time period," she said. "The average Internet user gets bored waiting if a page has not loaded up in about 6 to 7 seconds, and tries another site. The threshold believed to be representative of human scanning speeds is less than 1 second. Hence, the need to have information downloaded quickly is important to those whose revenues depend in some way on users seeing it."

The bulletin also reports that Web-hosting companies will become major players in this area, making up approximately 65 percent of the market within the next 5 years.

This most recent Internet Service Provider Markets bulletin (released separately for the global and U.S. markets) examines the market for content-delivery networks. It also explores the technology of content-delivery networks, including system components, approaches, and comparisons of different types. Challenges and threats to emerging content-distribution companies are also discussed. A large portion of the bulletin analyzes the business issues of this market in terms of growth drivers, competition, business models, and market forecasts.

Source: Probe Research, Inc., Cedar Knolls, NJ, 973/285-1500; http://www.proberesearch.com.

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