Back in October, Adobe announced that sometime in 2010 they would provide support for HTTP streaming enabling CDNs to leverage their existing HTTP infrastructure and cache technologies for video delivery. The platform, called "project Zeri", will provide support for all Flash Codecs, support adaptive bit‐rate switching, support live and on-demand delivery, enable the protection of content and will include full support within the Open Source Media Framework, to help provide a standard player. Kevin Towes from Adobe detailed all of this in a post on the Adobe blog six months ago.
In that time, Adobe has been working with some of the CDNs who have already deployed the technology and they have been working with beta customers to test the platform. Sometime next month, Adobe is expected to officially announce that the technology is now available with CDNs and will also announce content owners who are using the new service.
While this is good news for the industry and for content owners, the real question is how much cheaper is it for a CDN to deliver video via HTTP as opposed to RTMP? If HTTP based Flash streaming really does reduce the internal cost to a CDN, will CDNs pass that savings onto the customer in the form of lower pricing? While it is possible, I have yet to see any CDN offer lower pricing for video content being delivered via HTTP using Microsoft's HTTP technology called SmoothStreaming. But the cost to CDNs to deliver content using Microsoft's technology was never that expensive because unlike Adobe, Microsoft does not charge a license fee for the streaming software or take any kind of revenue share payment.