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Analysis for 'Akamai'

  • Akamai Adds Live Streaming Features Ahead of Anticipated Viewership Surge

    Akamai has announced a set of new live streaming features for its platform in anticipation of a viewership surge in late 2020 and into 2021. Akamai forecasts that a single event could have 50 million concurrent streamers, approximately double what events have seen in the past. The company cited the Summer Olympics which have been pushed to 2021 and UEFA EURO as sporting events expected to drive record live streaming in narrow time windows.

    Akamai said the pandemic generated peak traffic on its platform exceeding 100 terabits per second every day during Q2 ’20; for context, the 100 terabit per second threshold was broken for the first time in October ’19. Akamai cited video games, in-game live events and esports tournaments, in addition to SVOD/AVOD consumption, as key traffic drivers.

    To support the expected surge in live streaming, Akamai announced the following platform enhancements:

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  • Akamai Unveils Watermarking Support to Combat Content Piracy

    With all the billions of dollars that are being invested in high-quality original TV shows, piracy prevention is becoming more important than ever. Content security is an imperative for video providers to keep valuable assets from being consumed illicitly online. Last Friday, Akamai introduced support for watermarking content to help prevent piracy and to help trace leaks to their source.

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  • Free On-Demand Webinar on The Future of Live Streaming With Viacom and Akamai

    I recently hosted a free webinar on The Future of Live Streaming, with guests Alec Hendry, Senior Director of Technology Convergence at Viacom and Henrik Eriksson, Service Line Manager at Akamai, which presented the webinar which is now available on-demand. Our round table discussion was followed by audience Q&A.

    If you or your colleagues are using live streaming as part of your content strategy or are thinking about doing so, I believe the webinar and Alec’s and Henrik’s insights/advice is invaluable.

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  • Free Webinar Today on The Future of Live Streaming With Viacom and Akamai

    I’m hosting a free webinar today at 1pm ET / 10am PT focused on the Future of Live Streaming. I’ll be joined by guests Alec Hendry, Senior Director of Technology Convergence at Viacom and Henrik Eriksson, Service Line Manager at Akamai, which is presenting the webinar, for a roundtable discussion, followed by audience Q&A.

    We’ll dig into key topics such as the state of live streaming today, how to measure quality and ensure a positive user experience, which business models are being used successfully in live streaming, best practices, key challenges, future directions and more. Alec and Henrik have a wealth of experience live streaming hundreds of events and they’ll share their unique perspectives.

    The webinar builds on a white paper I just wrote for Akamai in which I interviewed 5 leading media executives about their live streaming initiatives. The edited transcripts of these interviews are included in the white paper which will be released shortly.

    Bolster your live streaming efforts in 2019 by joining us for this free webinar today!

    Register now!

     
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  • Perspective What's this? Defying Murphy’s Law - Three Keys to Live-Stream Performance

    In my ten years of experience in major event streaming, including Super Bowls and Olympics, I’ve found that every big event is unique – and every event has something unexpected happen. But successful streaming always has three essential ingredients – clear objectives, comprehensive testing, and operational playbooks.

    Know Your KPIs
    The ultimate objective may be to make the live-stream experience flawless. Realistically, that can’t happen for all viewers all the time in all places. Audience expectations, while rising steadily overall, vary locally. And there are cost-performance tradeoffs to navigate.

    Amid all that variability, you need to establish specific KPIs to benchmark performance measurement, comprehensive testing, and continuous improvement. Start with the basics – viewers’ time-to-access the stream and rebuffering percentage. Include audience satisfaction and feedback if measured. And be precise about time-to-recovery objectives. For example, when servers go down, software components fail, or unexpected things happen on the Internet, does the workflow have the resiliency to recover quickly, even imperceptibly to the viewer?

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  • Latency in Live Sports Streaming is Improving

    If you’ve ever streamed a live sports event and simultaneously tuned into it on TV, you’ve immediately noticed the latency in the live stream. I’ve tried this a number of times and found the latency can be as much as 45-60 seconds.

    For example, last week I streamed the Thursday night football game to my iPad using Amazon, while also watching on TV, and the latency was around 10-12 seconds, which was actually quite good. This may be part of a larger trend that bodes well for live streaming especially as more sporting events move online and to mobile.

    To get more perspective on the issue, I recently spoke with Alexander Leschinsky, Co-Founder and Managing Director, G&L Geißendörfer & Leschinsky GmbH, which provides systems integration and managed services for public broadcasters in Germany. Alexander has deployed numerous live streaming events since 2000 and has worked extensively on the latency issue in sports streaming.

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  • Attend Our Streaming Sports Webinar on October 19th

    Sports has been on the forefront of the streaming revolution from the start. Whether it’s early successes like the NCAA basketball tournament or the unprecedented scale of the 2016 Summer Olympics or more recently Thursday Night Football on Twitter and Amazon, sports have continued to push the boundaries of what’s possible with online and mobile delivery.

    To better understand what’s happening with streaming sports and the best practices today, Akamai is presenting a free webinar on Thursday, October 19th at 1pm ET, which I will be hosting with Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia, my weekly podcast partner. Joining us will be Clark Pierce, SVP, TV Everywhere and Special Projects at Fox Digital Consumer Group and another executive TBD. Fox has been a leader in streaming sports, so Clark has a wealth of knowledge to share.

    In the webinar we’ll also explore distinct new value propositions being created by streaming sports, key challenges and what’s ahead. We’ll draw on insights from Akamai’s recently published thought-leadership paper, Game On! How Streaming Sports is Heating Up, in which we interviewed executives at 8 companies leading the charge on streaming sports. Game On can be downloaded here.

    For anyone involved in streaming sports, the webinar will be extremely valuable - register now!

     
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  • Attend Our Streaming Sports Webinar on October 19th

    Sports has been on the forefront of the streaming revolution from the start. Whether it’s early successes like the NCAA basketball tournament or the unprecedented scale of the 2016 Summer Olympics or more recently Thursday Night Football on Twitter and Amazon, sports have continued to push the boundaries of what’s possible with online and mobile delivery.

    To better understand what’s happening with streaming sports and the best practices today, Akamai is presenting a free webinar on Thursday, October 19th at 1pm ET, which I will be hosting with Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia, my weekly podcast partner. Joining us will be Clark Pierce, SVP, TV Everywhere and Special Projects at Fox Digital Consumer Group and Ben Weinberger, SVP and Chief Product Officer at Sling TV. Both Fox and Sling TV have been leaders in streaming sports, so Clark and Ben have a wealth of knowledge to share.

    In the webinar we’ll also explore distinct new value propositions being created by streaming sports, key challenges and what’s ahead. We’ll draw on insights from Akamai’s recently published thought-leadership paper, Game On! How Streaming Sports is Heating Up, in which we interviewed executives at 8 companies leading the charge on streaming sports. Game On can be downloaded here.

    For anyone involved in streaming sports, the webinar will be extremely valuable - register now!

     
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  • Inside the Innovative World of Streaming Sports

    Sports are where you’ll find a lot of the most innovative online video activity happening. In fact, sports have always been a leader in online video, with marque events like the NCAA basketball tournaments and Olympics driving some of the biggest live and on-demand audiences. For fans, online and mobile delivery have brought unprecedented access and immersion - watching sports has never been as much fun and convenient as it is these days.

    To better understand the rapid innovation in streaming sports, what lies ahead and the key challenges that remain, my weekly podcasting partner Colin Dixon, of nScreenMedia, and I recently interviewed eight sports leaders for a thought-leadership report presented by Akamai. The report, “Game On! How Streaming Sports is Heating Up,” is available for complimentary download.

    The executives we interviewed are from Sling TV, NBC Sports Digital/PlayMaker Media, Fox Sports, NeuLion, ETN Media/Street League, Tennis Channel, Whistle Sports and Akamai. Their companies participate in all facets of sports online - networks, rights-holders, technologists and service providers, leveraging various business models. The interviews provide invaluable insights into what’s working well today and what still must be improved for streaming sports to make further gains.

    In addition to the report, we’re also planning a webinar to further explore the topic. Date is TBD, but coming soon.

    Enjoy!

    (Note: Akamai is a VideoNuze sponsor)

     
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  • VideoNuze Podcast #376: Proving Value of Streaming Quality; Apple’s Video Mystery

    I’m pleased to present the 376th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we start by discussing research Akamai released this week with Sensum, proving in how streaming video delivered in high quality results in improved satisfaction. Colin and I wrote about it here and here. It’s further evidence of how viewers’ expectations have been set by TV’s quality. Viewers clearly react to quality deficiencies.

    Then we transition to talking about Apple and its hiring late last week of 2 producers who were formerly presidents of Sony Pictures Television. On Monday I wrote how this is a positive step, but still missing was any sense of Apple’s overall video strategy or business model. We debate what Apple might do, and also wonder about what private assurance may have been given to the producers to induce them to move to Apple.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 40 seconds)



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  • Scientific Study Reveals Impact of Streaming Video Quality

    It goes without saying that the quality of any consumer experience will directly affect the satisfaction derived from it. Video is no different; as has been shown in numerous studies over the years, whenever the streaming quality is diminished, so too is the viewer’s satisfaction.

    But new research from Akamai, conducted by Sensum, which used advanced biometric measurement methods, has revealed the extent to which lower quality streaming impacts viewers’ experiences and perhaps more importantly, what the business consequences of this are. Admittedly, the research is a bit geeky, but it’s also quite eye-opening and valuable for anyone building video products and services.

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  • Akamai: Global Average Connection Speed Up 15% In Q1 ’17 vs. Q1 ’16

    Broadband connections keep getting better, enabling video and other high-bandwidth applications, according to Akamai’s Q1 ’17 State of the Internet Report. Global average connection speed was up 15% vs. a year ago, to 7.2 mbps, with 96 of the 149 countries/regions that Akamai tracks seeing an increase.

    Perennial leader South Korea had the fastest connection speed, at 28.6 mbps, followed by Norway (23.5 mbps), Sweden (22.5 mbps) and Hong Kong (21.9 mbps). All of the top 10 countries has an increase vs. last year’s Q1 except South Korea, with dropped modestly. The U.S. broke into the top 10 in the number 10 position at 18.7 mbps, up 22% vs. a year ago, the biggest change among the group. A total of 25 countries/regions had an average speed of at least 15 mbps, up from 23 in Q4 ’16.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #364: Top Takeaways from Industry Conferences

    I’m pleased to present the 364th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First, Colin and I are proud to announce our very first podcast sponsor, Akamai Technologies, which will show its Media Acceleration capabilities and range of cloud-based solutions at the NABShow in Las Vegas, in booth SL3324. Click here to schedule a meeting.

    Colin was in London for the TV Connect show earlier this week and on today’s podcast, he shares his 3 top takeaways. Meanwhile earlier this week I was in NYC for the Advanced Advertising conference and I then share my 3 top takeaways.

    As you’ll hear, data was on both of our lists. Interestingly though, our conversation reveals a very different approach to how users’ data is being treated. Colin elaborates on the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which will enforce minimum collection standards on Internet companies in Europe, whereas just this week, the U.S. House voted to repeal the broadband privacy rules.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 3 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
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  • Akamai Launches Media Acceleration to Boost OTT Viewing Experiences

    Akamai has launched Akamai Media Acceleration, a new content delivery technology which boosts the quality of over-the-top video, as well speeds up video game and software downloads. In a briefing, Alex Balford, senior product marketing manager, media, told me that Media Acceleration was developed in order for Akamai customers to deliver broadcast TV quality OTT experiences to viewers, whose expectations continue to rise.

    Alex said that Media Acceleration addresses the last mile connection from the edge of Akamai’s own network to the viewer’s device. It uses an emerging technology standard called “Quick UDP Internet Connections” or “QUIC,” to detect and overcome congestion or latency, including in the viewer’s in-home WiFi network.

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  • Akamai: Global Average Connection Speed Up 21% In Q3 ’16 vs. Q3 ’15

    Akamai has released its State of the Internet report for Q3 ’16 finding, among other things, that global average broadband connection speed increased 21% to 6.3 Mbps vs. Q3 ’15. The country with the biggest jump in the past year was South Korea, which increased 28% to an average 26.3 Mbps, with Hong Kong next, up 27% to an average 20.1 Mbps. South Korea continues to have the highest average connection speed.

    The US had an average connection speed of 16.3 Mbps, with the top 5 and their improvement over Q3 ’15 as follows: District of Columbia (24.8 Mbps, up 1.8%), Delaware (21.4 Mbps, up 9.8%), Utah (21.4 Mbps, up 13%), Massachusetts (21.1 Mbps, up 11%) and Rhode Island (20.7 Mbps, up 5.4%).

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  • Network Investments Paying Off for Akamai in Delivering Record-Setting Live Sports

    Akamai’s network investments are paying off as the company keeps delivering ever-greater levels of concurrent live sports streams. The latest example occurred with last weekend's Euro 2016 Portugal-France championship match where Akamai delivered a peak of 7.3 Tbps during overtime. That level beat the 2014 Argentina-Netherlands World Cup final which achieved a 7.0 Tbps peak.

    Akamai said that over 3.3 million concurrent streams were delivered at peak across 35 rights-holders globally. Akamai’s VP, Product Management Corey Halverson told me in a briefing that a number of network investments in quality and reliability have been instrumental in supporting the record streaming activity.

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  • Microsoft’s Azure CDN From Akamai is Now Generally Available

    Microsoft and Akamai have announced general availability of Azure CDN from Akamai, which provides Azure cloud customers integrated access and support for Akamai’s global content delivery network. The partnership was initially announced last September and the companies have been working closely on integration and on-boarding charter customers since.

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  • Akamai Ramps Investment in OTT With New Broadcast Operations Control Center

    Akamai has opened a Broadcast Operations Control Center (BOCC) in its Cambridge, MA office, making a  multi-million dollar investment in delivering over the top video at a quality level better than broadcast and cable TV.  I received a tour of the BOCC last week from Matt Azzarto, Akamai’s director of media operations, who oversaw the BOCC’s construction over the past 6 months and will run it going forward. Matt came to Akamai from NBCU where he was a long-time broadcast systems engineer.

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  • Akamai: 15% Of World's Broadband Is 4K Ready As Ecosystem’s Embrace Accelerates

    Akamai has released its Q3 2015 State of the Internet report and, as always, it is chock full of details about global Internet connections. One of the more interesting data points Akamai found related to online video is that 15% of the world’s Internet connections now average 15 mbps or higher, the speed Akamai has designated to be “4K ready.” That’s up from 12% in Q3 ’14.

    South Korea once again had the highest percentage of connections above 15 mbps, at 45%, which was actually down from 66% in Q3 ’14. In second place was Sweden at 38%, up from 29% a year ago, followed by Norway at 37%, up from 21% a year ago. Switzerland and Hong Kong  (both at 36%) rounded out the top 5 countries that are 4K ready.

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  • Adobe and Akamai Partner for Server-Side Online Video Advertising

    Akamai has integrated Adobe Primetime ad insertion into its network to enable server-side online video advertising. Red Bull Media House and Turner Broadcasting are both trialing the joint solution.

    While other server-side ad solutions exist, John Bishop, CTO of Akamai's media business told me last week he sees this as a "Server-Side 2.0" offering because the ad requests run directly through Akamai's CDN, thereby eliminating slower communications paths that can hinder scalability.

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