Akamai Outlines New Solution for Online Video at EDGE 2017 Customer Conference
Akamai has outlined how its solution set is designed to help its customers achieve a predictable delivery of high-quality online video to broadcast-scale audiences with highly sustainable economics. Traditionally, industry efforts offered a maximum of two out of three of those characteristics. However, Akamai showed how all three are achievable during a keynote demonstration at its Akamai EDGE 2017 customer conference, that took place October 11th-13th in Las Vegas.
“Just as Akamai pioneered content delivery networks, we have developed an innovative and reliable solution set to deliver online video that meets higher customer expectations and larger audience sizes in a manner that is cost effective to content owners and distributors,” says Michael Fay, Vice President, Media Operations and Products at Akamai. “Akamai has delivered many of the world’s largest live streaming events, and we are prepared to help our customers meet the insatiable demand for online video content with our suite of solutions. At Akamai Edge 2017, those solutions, which are being deployed at customers worldwide, are being demonstrated.”
Akamai EDGE demonstrations showcased new innovations that address rising viewer expectations, including:
Cost-Efficient Content Delivery with Multi-Source Media Distribution
Given the increasing popularity of online video and the appetite for higher quality, including 4K and HDR content, Akamai recently introduced “efficiency” capabilities within its Media Acceleration solution that sets a foundation for quality streaming at scale with sustainable economics. The new functionality enables multi-source distribution of media that addresses congestion on the Internet, helping to ensure viewers securely receive content via the most efficient available source – be it directly from the Akamai Intelligent Platform or a nearby device streaming the same content.
Akamai introduced Media Acceleration this year as a solution to improve the performance of media delivered over the Internet. It is an extension of Akamai’s content delivery capabilities that can be enabled by integrating technology directly into a video application. The result is architected to deliver a consistent, reliable viewing experience for each end user regardless of their circumstances or local network conditions.
Streamlined Integration with Cloud Services
A new feature within Akamai’s services streamlines how customers deliver the best quality experience from the cloud all the way to end users, while minimizing costs related to the use of those cloud services. An open, modular approach makes it easy for customers to work securely with both Akamai and their cloud provider of choice to enable exceptional end-user experiences.
Dynamic Ad Insertion to Preserve Media Business Models
Predictable online ad insertion has been a consistent inhibitor toward full embracement of online video business models. Akamai’s recently announced Dynamic Ad Insertion is designed to help content providers offer greater monetization opportunities through targeted server-side online advertising while maintaining a TV-level experience for viewers at scale.
Broadcast-Quality Ingestion and Low Latency with liveOrigin Capabilities
Akamai’s Media Services Live provides purpose-built capabilities for reliable, broadcast-quality live streaming. At the 2017 NAB Show earlier this year, Akamai introduced liveOrigin, which included four new capabilities for its Media Services Live solution for delivering 24/7 live/linear online video: broadcast-quality ingestion, low latency, self-healing network and monitoring/reporting. Together, these components are designed to support the same level of quality for live and linear video streaming that is expected of traditional broadcast television.
With these capabilities, Akamai has delivered a broadcast-quality online experiences for significant live events, such as major sports, including a recent event in which more than one-million users streamed concurrently at an average bitrate of 3.5 Tbps. Of note, Akamai has regularly achieved a 100-percent ingest rate for these events.
Analyzing Data on Telemetry from Origin to Viewer to Optimize Experience
Through the Akamai Broadcast Operations Control Center (BOCC) and its Broadcast Operations Support System (BOSS), media analytics tools can provide operational insight and telemetry from origin to viewer for unprecedented control and visibility into video operations and performance. During 2017 alone, the BOCC, with its 24/7, specialized staff of media/networking professionals, has supported more than 500 unique live streaming events for Akamai customers worldwide.