Digital service providers are one of those terms that can be confusing to some people. Knowing what its is should give you a better chance of optimizing your use of digital technologies, especially in the acquisition of digital media (think unlimited songs and videos).
In this article, we shall get a very brief introduction on what digital service providers (DSPs) are and how they came to be. This should be a fitting backgrounder to our list of the most important digital service providers we have in the world today.
What is a Digital Service Provider?
I tried to get a clear definition of who a digital service provider in the US is. Unfortunately, I came up empty-handed. What I did find is the definition of the NIS Directive of the European Union. The definition identifies the provision of services for remuneration, provided for at a distance, and using electronic means.
The same definition identified three broad categories of services that can be classified as DSPs. These include those that provide cloud computing services, those that provide search engines, and those that provide a digital or virtual marketplace for consumers.
Think of it this way. A digital service provider is like a traditional service provider. The difference is that it is no longer necessary that we meet with the service provider face-to-face to avail of his services. Acquiring the services occur through digital means.
How Did DSPs Come About?
It would be safe to assume that DSPs coincided with the growth of the Internet. In the Internet of Things, people no longer must worry about the physical challenges of obtaining a service. They can now obtain such a service through advanced interfaces that allow for seamless operation. Devices can talk with other devices for as long as they’re connected to the Internet.
What are the Best DSPs in the World?
There are literally tens of thousands of digital service providers all over the world. It would be impossible to list them one by one. As such, I only focused on those DSPs that are considered the best in their respective categories as defined by the NIS Directive.
Cloud Computing Services
Businesses love cloud computing service providers because they can innovate faster, they can make use of their resources in a more flexible way, and they can ensure better economy of scale. Here are the 5 best cloud computing services today.
- Amazon Web Services – Founded in 2006, AWS provides customizable on-demand cloud computing services to both individuals and organizations.
- Microsoft Azure – This is compatible with both Windows and Linux operating systems.
- Google Cloud – An inexpensive option that offers versatility and ease of use.
- IBM Cloud – You get a customizable platform, excellent management tools, and even pre-configured tools for those who want it easy.
- Oracle Cloud – It has excellent architecture and storage for big businesses.
It would be difficult to navigate the Internet without search engines streamlining the process of searching for whatever you need. That is why search engines are also classified as digital service providers. The following are the best according to their market share.
- Google – Nine out of 10 who ever use the Internet always uses Google as the search engine. The algorithms are cutting-edge and receive frequent updates to make the search more responsive.
- Bing – Playing second fiddle to Google, Bing is the perfect solution for those who want to search items based on home pages and not ordinary blogs.
- Yahoo! – Before Google, there was Yahoo! the interface is impressive and the results are clean. Its best feature is its shopping search.
- Baidu – A dominant force in China, Baidu provides excellent quality search results and good features. It also has the backing of one of the world’s largest artificial intelligence.
- Yandex – Yandex is to Russia as Baidu is to China. You’ve got to love the image search option.
I am pretty sure you are already familiar with the online marketplace. Think of it as a large supermarket, grocery, or department store rolled into one and which you can access anytime. What I listed here is the best online marketplaces according to their average number of visitors per month.
- Amazon – More than 130,000 people visit Amazon.com per second. This register to about 5.7 billion visitors per month.
- PayPay Mall – This is a popular online marketplace in Japan where an estimated 48,000 Japanese visit the site every second.
- eBay – Like Amazon, eBay enjoys a global presence. About 1.6 billion people log into eBay every month.
- Mercado Libre – 15,300 South Americans visit this e-commerce platform every second.
- AliExpress – This is a China-based online marketplace with a global presence. It caters to about 149 million people every week.
- Rakuten – Overshadowed by PayPay Mall, this Japanese platform has the advantage of a global audience. In fact, 20.7 million people visit the site every day.
- Taobao – This Chinese online commerce platform caters to about 757,000 visitors per hour.
- Walmart – A US brand, Walmart also enjoys a global presence, like Amazon and eBay. It plays host to about 469 million visitors every month.
- JD – This is the largest e-commerce platform in China in terms of revenues. It also has a global presence like AliExpress. About 8,800 people visit JD every second
- Etsy – A marketplace for unique, handmade, custom, and vintage items, Etsy is perfect for those with very eccentric tastes. Some 266 million people visit the site every month.
I have also listed here other notable digital service providers because of the unique services that they provide.
- iTunes – Great for sourcing high-quality music and videos to expand your iTunes library.
- Salesforce – Ideal for businesses who want to improve on their customer relationship management activities.
- YouTube – An excellent source of videos for personal use and commercial purposes.
- Spotify – Probably the best music streaming mobile app, alongside with iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, and the like. Starts at $9.99.
- Expedia – Perfect for those who have a Dora the Explorer spirit or those who simply want to travel the world.
- Facebook – The undisputed king of social media, Facebook is also a great platform for businesses and other groups.
- Wikipedia – Your digital version of a popular encyclopedia. The best part is that Wikipedia is a collaborative undertaking.
- Craigslist – Online communities that are locally organized. Perfect for simple classified ads.
As you can see, almost every other website on the Internet is a digital service provider. Here’s a tip: if you can get something from a site, then that site is a digital service provider.
BONUS: Here’s the actual complete list of Digital Service Providers
Editor’s note: All credit goes to Isaac Shepard who did quite an extensive research in providing this complete DSPs. If you think there are more that we should add, let me know in the comments below.