Dan Rayburn at the Business of Online Video tracks pricing for content delivery services as closely as anyone. When analysts predict CDN pricing wars, Dan is usually the voice of caution, adding balance and context to the conversation. So his post this morning about the recent price cuts by Limelight Networks (LLNW) got my attention.
Limelight has been “getting a lot more aggressive” on pricing for video delivery, and telling customers that the new pricing is driven by recent infrastructure improvements that have lowered Limelight’s delivery costs. Dan had anticipated this would happen eventually, but wasn’t expecting to see it until the second quarter of 2009. He writes:
If they can cut their own costs, pass that savings onto customers in the form of lower pricing and increase their margins all at the same time, we are going to see another huge shift in pricing in this quarter. Not to mention, Limelight is going to continue to grab a lot of the new business in the market and continue their momentum. I am already starting to see some big changes in pricing this month as compared to last quarter and if Limelight continues to put pressure on some of the other providers, we’re going to see CDN pricing for video slashed over the remaining two months of the year.
Limelight’s recent momentum would have seemed unlikely back in February, when the company lost its patent infringement lawsuit with rival Akamai (AKAM). At the time, analysts questioned the company’s ability to continue operating and predicted a sale to a competitor or telco.