Tokyo Streaming Traffic Runs Rings Around Rio
With 35 medals at stake, the last full day of competition during the games in Tokyo generated the highest video streaming traffic for 30-plus customers on the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform. Medal matches for baseball, basketball, and soccer, along with several track and field finals, drove related traffic to 10 Tbps on Saturday, August 7. That's more than double the 4.5 Tbps peak Akamai observed during the games in Rio in 2016. Average peak traffic for the full event in Tokyo was 8.3 Tbps compared with 3 Tbps for the full event in Rio. In total, Akamai streamed 500 million hours of video from Tokyo for our customers. That's more than double the 234 million hours of video delivered from Rio.
Just last month, we shared streaming figures from the European soccer tournament held in June and July, which hit a traffic peak of 35 Tbps on Akamai and averaged 17.5 Tbps across every match. Why the difference in peak traffic compared with the 10 Tbps high and 8.3 Tbps average from Tokyo? It boils down to audience concentration. The soccer matches made for appointment viewing, typically 90-minute competitions that rarely played out over more than a 2-hour window. Compare that with Tokyo, which consisted of many different competitions taking place all day, every day. While the peak from Europe was more than triple Tokyo's, the number of total streaming hours from Europe (578 million) was just less than 1.2x the 500 million hours from Tokyo.
Although Akamai's scale and capacity are essential to delivering such high-traffic events, equally important is the customer-focused approach of Akamai's services and support teams. These seasoned professionals help ensure that our customers' solutions remain stable, reliable, and secure, and are set up to deliver a high-quality end-user experience. Akamai's history and experience in delivering the biggest and highest-profile events allow us to prepare our platform for our customers using a consistent, repeatable, and proven approach; an approach that will be similarly applied as we prepare for winter sports in Beijing, soccer in Qatar, and the many other major events planned for 2022.
Cory Sakakeeny is Principal Lead Technical Project Manager at Akamai.