A large portion of today's Internet traffic originates from streaming and video services. Such services rely on a combination of distributed datacenters, powerful content delivery networks (CDN), and multi-level caching. In spite of this infrastructure, storing, indexing, and serving these videos remains a daily engineering challenge that requires increasing efforts on the part of providers and ISPs. In this paper, we explore how the tags attached to videos by users could help improve this infrastructure, and lead to better performance on a global scale. Our analysis shows that tags can be interpreted as markers of a video's geographic diffusion, with some tags strongly linked to well identified geographic areas. Based on our findings, we demonstrate the potential of tags to help predict distribution of a video's views, and present results suggesting that tags can help place videos in globally distributed datacenters. We show in particular that even a simplistic approach based on tags can help predict a minimum of 65.9% of a video's views for a majority of videos, and that a simple tag-based placement strategy is able to improve the hit rate of a distributed on-line video service by up to 6.8% globally over a naive random allocation.
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