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Google Cloud’s Media CDN lets companies build on the network that keeps YouTube running

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It’s a pretty solid pitch

Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Companies like Netflix, Disney, and HBO do battle over media streaming of movies and TV shows, but all of their services combined pale in comparison to YouTube, which says it delivers over a billion hours of video streams every single day. Now, Google Cloud is announcing general availability of its Media CDN, a network for media companies to use for their own streaming experiences. Competitors like Microsoft Azure, Amazon CloudFront, Fastly, and Cloudflare are already in the market, but none of them can point to the service so many people use every day to help sell their products.

As we noted two years ago, the world is streaming more video than ever, and things have not slowed down since. While we think a lot about the algorithms that drive engagement on YouTube, the actual network that keeps the videos streaming is what makes the entire thing work as well as it has since Google bought the video platform for $1.65 billion in 2006.

The pitch is laid out plainly in a statement issued at the 2022 NAB Show Streaming Summit, “The same infrastructure that Google has built over the last decade to serve YouTube content to over 2 billion users is now being leveraged to deliver media at scale to Google Cloud customers with Media CDN.”

YouTube has the occasional outage. But unless you’re willing to build the next Netflix, operating on a network of servers that claims to reach “over 200 countries and more than 1,300 cities around the globe,” could be a big help in keeping things running, and now it’s available to more businesses. It also includes support for modern transport protocols like QUIC to use less data and deliver content smoothly — as well as the APIs media companies use to serve advertisements — add real-time data feeds for live sports broadcasts, and support new platforms.