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A View from the Top with Qwilt CRO Jesper Knutsson

Steve Nathans-Kelly: I'm Steve Nathans-Kelly, editor of Streaming Media, and it's my pleasure to be joined today by Jesper Knutsson, Chief Revenue Officer, Qwilt. It's good to have you here today, Jesper.

Jesper Knutsson: Thank you. It's good to be here.

Steve Nathans-Kelly: So, Qwilt is a leading-edge cloud application developer that should be very familiar to Streaming Media readers, not least because they just made the Streaming Media 50 for the second year in a row. Congratulations on making the streaming media 50 once again.

Jesper Knutsson: Thank you so much. It's always a great milestone to achieve such a, an honor.

Steve Nathans-Kelly: Well, it seems like Qwilt is on a great trajectory. Can you just tell me a little bit more about that?

Jesper Knutsson: Yeah, it's been a very interesting journey for us. For a number of years, we've been building a better way to deliver content. And as we're seeing over the last couple of years, the consumption patterns for video is changing, there's a growing need for something that Qwilt is doing, a global CDN that is embedded into service providers. We have made some major announcements over the past couple of months. For instance, we've announced Airtel in India with 400 million-plus subscribers being able to consume content via open caching. We're building out to people like the NCTC in the US, reaching a segment of operators that are slightly smaller. Being able to deliver high-quality video to that niche of users is also significant and improves the user experience for their subscribers. And we're expanding in markets that are traditionally difficult to reach for content providers like la Middle East and Asia. So we're excited about where we are, and now we're building a very large CDN. And I think over the next couple of years we will be one of the larger CDNs in the world, with hundreds of terabytes of capacity available.

Steve Nathans-Kelly: That's great. And it seems like more and more service providers are partnering with Qwilt to join your global edge CDN. So just tell me a little bit more about how that's come about.

Jesper Knutsson: I think service providers are recognizing, again, this change in the industry that's happening in terms of content, and they're striving to deliver an optimal experience for the subscribers. They see Qwilt and they recognize that that's a way to achieve that delivering content from the the carrier edge. And at the same time, as we're increasing the viewer experience for their subscribers, we're also helping them to build it out in a way that reduces their network costs because there's less usage of the network core and it's with a financial model that is better for them. So it really achieves a trifecta for them of improving the experience, saving cost, and having a model that financially aligns better to what they need to do. And I think that's what's causing a lot of these guys to join this movement.

Steve Nathans-Kelly: And so specifically in what areas of content delivery would you say Qwilt Solution is making the biggest impact?

Jesper Knutsson: I think live streaming, we're seeing more and more massive live scaling events, and that's where some of the traditional CDNs are more stretched because we're embedded, because we have the capacity that we have because we can avoid some of the traditional bottlenecks. Qwilt is better suited to that. Similarly, also things like 4K, and very large quality events--things that requires a lot of bites to be transferred--being closer to the consumer, again, avoids some of the obstacles that others have. And the collaborative way we work with the service providers can deliver events that otherwise are almost impossible to deliver, or at least very difficult. So those areas are probably where we excel the most. The more difficult it is, the better we are, generally speaking.

Steve Nathans-Kelly: So, you mentioned large-scale live events, and obviously this is something that we are talking about constantly, the challenges of streaming at scale. And one of the largest global events of all, the World Cup, is coming up very soon. So as more and more large-scale live events like this one move to streaming, how can Qwilt solution improve the experience for service providers, rights owners, and of course, most importantly, viewers?

Jesper Knutsson: I think that's actually is very well phrased. Because it really is about everyone getting a better solution out there. And it's getting something that can cope with a problem we haven't seen before, which is these mass events that, frankly speaking, a couple of years ago, we didn't think it would be possible to do in streaming. So the service providers, as I said, can provide a lower cost of delivery and much better scaling. For the content providers, they get control, and the ability to deliver events in manners that previously was almost unheard of. And most importantly, for the fans, they can see a delivery of quality that they probably don't notice. The best I can say is if they don't notice a difference between broadcast and OTT, then we've done a good job. So we're putting the fans in a situation where they don't have to worry about whether they're streaming this to an app or whether they're getting it through open caching by Qwilt. That's really what we strive for. and I think that's where we're getting to now through this ecosystem that we've been developing.

Steve Nathans-Kelly: So, what you've been describing here does sound like a massive undertaking. How is it that you've been able to build out such a large ecosystem across the globe?

Jesper Knutsson: Yeah, you're absolutely right. This is not trivial. It's not simple. And I think there are a number of reasons we have been successful about this. I think, first and foremost, we're building on a proven solid foundation of open caching that's created in the Streaming Video Technology Alliance. So the foundation for what we do is extremely solid, It's proven, tested, and as you know, the whole ability to scale things is to have a solid foundation. So that was key. We've also established a very strong relationship with Cisco that enables us to go to market in a fashion that otherwise might be tricky for a company Qwilt's size. So, Cisco gives us a different leverage. It gives us a different ability to scale, and then we're creating really a very positive circle between adding content providers and service providers. This means the more service providers that join, the more content providers are interested, and the more content providers come along, and the more service providers get interested. So we're starting to get that positive momentum circle that I think is gonna essentially change our industry, and deliver content in a much more efficient fashion.

Steve Nathans-Kelly: Well that's great. You know, it sounds like you're building a solid foundation and building the right relationships and partnerships. So just to wrap up, to learn more about Qwilt, you can go to Qwilt.com, and thanks so much Jesper for joining me today for this interview, and congratulations once again on making the 2022 Streaming Media 50.

Jesper Knutsson: Thank you so much, and thanks for having us. It was always great talking to you.

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