CDNetworks announced today that it renewed its partnership with Toyota Spain to provide Flash streaming for the auto maker’s sales website. Normally, the announcement of a renewed contract wouldn’t be worth noting, but with CDNetworks’ recent merger with Panther Express, the content delivery network is making a push to become a major player in the European space.
Currently, CDNetworks has about 150 customers in Europe, according to VP of EMEA Robert Gribnau, with whom I spoke last week; he said the company hopes to double its European customer roster by the end of 2009. Right now CDNetworks has 17 data centers in Europe, but since some of those were Panther Express nodes, Gribnau said that number will actually decrease in the next few months to cut down on redundancy.
Gribnau also spoke to the challenges that the Korea-based company has faced moving into the European market after its successful entry into the U.S. market a couple years ago. “Most of the content generated in the U.S. has some general global appeal, whereas most of the content in European countries tends to be specific to that country, for language and cultural reasons,” he says. “So the challenge is that the market is so fragmented.” Beyond the language and cultural issues, he pointed to the differences in regulatory environments that mean a CDN can’t simply treat Europe as a single entity. “French labor law is different from British labor law, for instance,” he said, “and for security and confidentiality reasons, some content needs to be stored in and delivered to only the country in which it’s created.
We’ll be taking an in-depth look at the European content delivery space in the Autumn issue of Streaming Media magazine — get your free subscription here.