We decided to take a look at the different content delivery networks out there and provide some of the information to our readers.


There’s nothing explicit on the site regarding API interfacing, but they clearly are a leader in the industry and offer fully customized solutions. They also have a very good sales and technical team. They must be contacted to discuss the API functionality, but they do offer the info below:

"Starting with an a-la-carte selection of the standard components that comprise the world-class Limelight Content Delivery Network (CDN), our service professionals can quickly shape and implement a custom CDN that's right for you. Limelight's distributed network architecture and versatile family of CDN products were designed from the ground up to offer flexibility in the delivery of rich media to enormous broadband and mobile audiences.

The custom CDN that Limelight customizes and creates for you can be run on your own servers or you can host it on Limelight servers. If, for technical, logistical or business model reasons, you need to have dedicated servers at your own sites, Limelight's technology makes it easy to CDN-enable them without the complicated re-engineering required by some distributed delivery systems.


Brightcove is on par with Limelight as an industry leader when it comes to offering the most advanced product list and support tools for maintaining and delivering digital media. They received a good amount of media attention when they raised over 50 million in financing from some heavy hitters. They provide Javascript and ActionScript API’s “that you can use to extend our players and create your own functionality on top of the Brightcove service.” This link is the starting point to their Developers Center and provides access to all API information:

Brightcove's “How To” section, found below, seems particularly helpful:

Follow these short step-by-step walk-through of development basics and common application functionality. Some How To's contain sample code that you can download and work with locally.

• Embedding the Brightcove Player in your flash app
• ActionScript Basics with the Brightcove player
• Swap players in-page
• Adding simple search functionality to your app
• Creating closed captions with cue points

Make note however, that: For the time being, the APIs are being provided but not actively supported by Brightcove. You're best bet is to find help in the Brightcove forums or other networks online.

This could clearly cause some development issues when integrating into a user's site.


ThePlatform which is owned by Comcast out of Philly seeks to “make broadband video manageable.” It's really a CMS and a CDN in one which makes it different than a Brightcove which is more focused on delivery of content. Its broadband video ASP delivers proven media management and publishing technology that supports a companies business model with a versatile approach to the ideal technical solution for your needs.

Refer to this link for an overview of the services:

This is clearly an all-in-one solution, in addition to the fact they have digital media professionals that can guide a customer through the entire process:

In terms of API connectivity, they mention the following in relation to their mpsFramework (note that there must be extreme flexibility given the solutions they provide):

Comprehensive SDK


Akamai is probably the premier global IT services provider, especially when it comes to the delivery of rich media content. They effectively offer everything a website could possibly need in terms of ground-up, all-encompassing customization:

Akamai Stream OS represents a very powerful Web-based suite of configurable services and tools that ease the publishing of rich media to the Web, map out detailed usage reports, automatically do ad insertion, digital rights management, and eCommerce. These services make it easy for content owners to manage and deliver all of their rich media—including WindowsMedia, RealMedia, QuickTime, Flash, MP3, software downloads, and electronic documents. Robust rich media management and near real-time reporting empower content owners to rapidly refine and optimize return on investment.

This entire online offering sits on the "tiny ;-)" backbone of 20,000 servers located around the world, which is something unique to Akamai. Regardless, they certainly offer API connectivity, but the product/services need to be researched by your CTO to get more clarity.


Lightningcast has developed the market leading software platform for broadband marketing and advertising. They have enable the owners as well as the distributors of broadband audio and video to increase their revenue potential by providing seamless content and ad insertion; CMS and reporting; auditing and targeting; a variety of audience analytics; streaming operations and support; media player enhancements; varying management of your media; and other technologies to help you deliver your content.

The Lightningcast System is a hosted ad insertion, trafficking, scheduling, auditing, and reporting platform used by major media companies including AOL, Microsoft, Disney/ABC, Scripps Networks, MTV and others.

I hope this helps people in choosing an appropriate Content Delivery Network. Let us know your experience with any of these firms.