Akamai HD Network Scales to New Heights -- Delivering Hundreds of Live Games, Concerts and Other Events
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Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leader in powering video, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced that, since its launch in the fall of 2009, hundreds of live events and thousands of hours of video have been delivered over the Akamai HD Network. Customers have also been making on-demand content available for viewing in high definition using the Akamai HD Network.
Leaders in the media and entertainment industry are adopting the Akamai HD Network to deliver better video experiences online, as well as to reach audiences through new device platforms such as the iPhone and iPad. Akamai's HD Media Analytics allows these customers to gain valuable real-time insight into how online viewers are interacting with their content and brand to help make better programming decisions and uncover increased opportunities to monetize content.
According to recent industry data, consumers define a high-quality video experience based on smooth playback, fast video start up times, and video resolution and size. To deliver on these priorities and requirements, content owners and publishers are rapidly adopting the Akamai HD Network to take advantage of adaptive bitrate streaming, interactivity, and HD quality delivery – all key factors for a great online experience for consumers.
Since the Akamai HD Network was launched in September 2009, Akamai customers have reported seeing solid business value from using Akamai's new delivery capabilities, including longer viewing times, increased audience sizes, fast start up times, and improved customer retention. Measurable benefits seen by customers delivering content across the Akamai HD Network include:
Longer viewing times. When higher bitrates are offered, customers are finding that user viewing times increase by 30 to 50 percent.
Fast video start-up times. With better mapping and servers in more locations and networks, content delivered across the Akamai HD Network is delivered closer to the consumer and starts up more quickly.
More viewers are experiencing true HD quality video. Due to higher throughput on the Akamai HD Network, content owners are able to reach 100 percent of their intended audience by delivering a TV-like experience for all consumers, regardless of connection, by delivering bitrates that match the consumer's environment.
Increased use of interactive features. When made available, up to 90% of consumers use these tools as they enable popular and familiar features complementary to TV such as DVR and multi-camera angle viewing for live events.
"The industry is rapidly moving toward the availability of higher bit rate, higher-quality video, and audiences have been responding with increased viewership," said Suzanne Johnson, Director of Industry Marketing at Akamai. "The Akamai HD Network is designed to handle the quality and scale required by these companies, and offers the necessary business tools, including analytics and security features, to help customers run their online businesses effectively and efficiently. The interest we've been seeing in delivering content and events across the Akamai HD Network validates our approach."
Customer Successes Include:
NFL.com utilizes the Akamai HD Network to deliver to fans video in high quality. During the 2009 season, NFL.com used the Akamai HD Network to stream NFL Network's eight-game package Thursday Night Football, exclusive coverage of Super Bowl XLIV Media Day, as well as bring fans live video of player workouts and interviews from the 2010 Scouting Combine. The Akamai HD Network enables NFL.com to deliver high-quality, high-bitrate versions of all new video on demand content, further enhancing the viewing experience for NFL fans.
Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium
Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, a joint venture between leading media conglomerates CTV Inc. and Rogers Media Inc., trusted the Akamai HD Network to maximize the use of its exclusive Canadian broadcast rights for delivery of more than 28.5 million live and on-demand videos, totaling more than 7.2 million hours of video consumption. On average, online viewers watched 54 minutes of video each day. With 14.4 million live HD video views and 14.1 million on-demand HD video views, the Consortium's English and French websites, CTVOlympics.ca and RDSolympiques.ca, delivered nearly six times the amount of video than what was reported by the previous Canadian broadcast rights holder.
Akamai has served as the exclusive live video streaming provider for a number of Turner Sports events over the last six months, including the 91st PGA Championship and marquee NBA basketball games. The PGA Championship application for the iPhone and iPod touch supported Turner Sports' integrated broadcast strategy of combining traditional television coverage with online and mobile components to provide fans with a multiplatform experience. Leveraging Akamai's HD Media Analytics solution, Turner Sports was also able to measure audience engagement including average bitrates, total views and average play time perspective, as well as the success of interactive features available, including various camera angle viewership.
Akamai's HD Network was developed with the goal of delivering the highest quality experience at broadcast audience scale¹ across the industry's most popular devices, platforms and runtimes, and is optimized to enable large-scale broadcasters, sports leagues and film distributors to increase audience engagement and expand revenues. Content owners are using Akamai's HD Network to deliver live and on-demand content while leveraging a highly-available and fault tolerant infrastructure of tens of thousands of HTTP servers. The Akamai HD Network supports the most popular runtime environments including Flash and Silverlight, as well as delivery to HTML5 browser-based players and applications on devices including the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Akamai was the first to globally launch a commercial service based on Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS7) Smooth Streaming technology, enabling a higher quality video experience for the Silverlight runtime. The Akamai HD Network will support Adobe's upcoming HTTP Dynamic Streaming for Flash®, and Akamai is engaging customers to test these capabilities
Akamai® provides market-leading managed services for powering video, dynamic transactions, and enterprise applications online. Having pioneered the content delivery market one decade ago, Akamai's services have been adopted by the world's most recognized brands across diverse industries. The alternative to centralized Web infrastructure, Akamai's global network of tens of thousands of distributed servers provides the scale, reliability, insight and performance for businesses to succeed online. Akamai has transformed the Internet into a more viable place to inform, entertain, advertise, interact, and collaborate. To experience The Akamai Difference, visit www.akamai.com.
Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
This press release contains information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai's management that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including, but not limited to, the effects of any attempts to intentionally disrupt our services or network by hackers or others, failure of our services to operate as expected, a failure of Akamai's network infrastructure, and other factors that are discussed in Akamai's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC.