Yahoo acquires PeerCDN, and it isn’t about voice or video calls.
[If you are new around here, then you should know I’ve been writing about WebRTC lately. You can skim through the WebRTC post series or just read what WebRTC is all about.]
A year ago, Yahoo made their first WebRTC acquisition when they plucked OnTheAir before I had a chance to interview them. Out of the original team, a year later, 3 out of the 5 members are still at Yahoo. 1 went to Dropbox and the last one… well… LinkedIn wasn’t kind enough to find me a profile of his. The remaining threesome are now working on “mobile” at Yahoo. Not really what they previously did. Or not quite.
Was that a technology acquisition at the time or just pure talent acquisition?
Back to the acquisition at hand. This week, TechCrunch announced the acquisition of PeerCDN. A 3-person outfit that uses WebRTC to speed up CDNs by using the Data Channel in WebRTC – doing something similar to Bit Torrent within the web browser.
This gives a real boost to the companies who use the data channel – less than 5% of all vendors who use WebRTC do anything with that (consider it a great opportunity).
The reason for it this time?
You know. Year end. Budget to spend. Ho – there’s a small startup with 3 nice kids out there doing something neat for CDNs – why not put some money into it?
Jokes aside, Yahoo actually has a real asset in hand now – a unique proposition that others don’t have – with not much comparable technology out there – Peer5, Streamroot and SwarmCDN comes to mind, but that’s about it.
This kind of a technology can do wonders for Yahoo! In speeding up their large content assets: things like Yahoo videos, Yahoo music and Flickr. You see, when multiple people access the same content at about the same time, they can now share bits and pieces of that content directly amongst themselves instead of getting those pieces from Yahoo’s network. It costs less bandwidth and processing for Yahoo and might even speed up the download time for its customers.
Now the team of PeerCDN will have their hands full with scaling up this technology to something the likes of Yahoo can use – not a trivial task, but definitely one of the most interesting ones.
This is one of the many creative uses that people are finding for the Data Channel – place where real innovation happens.
Come December 2014. Which WebRTC startup will Yahoo acquire out of their pocket money then, and where will the PeerCDN team will be?