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Disney Streaming, Lumen Working to Standardize CDN Metadata

Lumen Technologies
(Image credit: Lumen Technologies)

DENVER—Disney Streaming and Lumen Technologies have announced that they are leading an effort to produce standardized CDN configuration metadata and application programming interfaces (APIs) for the streaming video industry. 

The multi-year effort is being done through the Streaming Video Alliance (SVA), a consortium of 100+ businesses in the video industry that work together to improve the streaming experience for consumers.

Standardized metadata will allow content providers to use a common metadata model and a single API to publish CDN configurations to vendors.

Without this standardization, organizations must separately model and publish metadata within each CDN vendor’s proprietary API or management portal. For large organizations with multiple brands, proprietary APIs are inefficient, error-prone, and costly – issues that negatively affect the customer experience, the companies said.

With contributions and leadership from Disney Streaming and Lumen, the SVA recently published the first version of the Configuration Interface Specifications (opens in new tab) – the technical specifications document that will serve as the streaming industry’s guide for standardization. Version two is underway, and work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“We believe all streaming providers will benefit from standardization across commercial CDN providers and the Open Cache industry, which is why we’ve led the charge, working alongside companies like Lumen, on evangelizing this important work,” said Michael Fay, vice president, software engineering, Disney Streaming. “Hundreds of millions of subscribers already engage with Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Star+, and as demand increases for our direct-to-consumer platforms, we believe standardization will be a key driver in maintaining our reputation in delivering a high-quality viewing experience for subscribers at scale.”

“Lumen operates one of the largest CDNs in the world via the Lumen Edge Platform, which provides unmatched performance and speed for latency-sensitive, data-intensive applications and content,” said Pierre-louis Theron, Lumen vice president of product management for content delivery services. “Developing standards that reduce complexity for our media customers is key to our shared success, now and in the future. We will continue to contribute significant work and insight to the standardization effort, relying on the deep expertise we have gained from years of experience building and operating our own CDN.”

“Commercial CDNs and open caching systems have many common requirements when it comes to defining and publishing configuration metadata,” said Glenn Goldstein, Lumen CDN product strategist and lead editor of the SVA’s Configuration Interface Specifications. “We knew we could help the industry leverage those commonalities while still helping every company achieve its own interests. We started by agreeing upon a set of drivers that benefited all industry participants. These included standardizing feature definitions, providing for DevOps-friendly automation, and allowing technology vendors to differentiate.”

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.