While the number of online viewers continues to grow, content providers must be able to deliver high quality video streams, flawlessly at scale to meet the demands of these audiences. This is no small task as high volumes of requests often come from various locations, diverse device types and networks. When it comes to preparing content, some content providers opt for a one-size-fits-all approach, creating a similar bitrate ladder for all their content, however this can result suboptimal playback quality. Content providers that store large sets of bitrate renditions and prepare manifests at origin often incur unnecessary compute overhead and storage costs.
As a part of the latest Adaptive Media Delivery release, there is a new product option available called "Manifest Personalization." The new option allows content providers to enhance viewing experiences by dynamically performing device, geo, network or user-level manifest manipulation functions on the edge in a scalable way that are otherwise compute and storage intensive.
Customers can utilize the Akamai Intelligent Edge to dynamically personalize video experiences for each end viewer.
How Manifest Personalization Works:
Manifest Personalization allows the user to customize manifest files (for both HLS Live and On-Demand streaming) using either one, or a combination, of the following:
Preferred Bitrate: The preferred bitrate option allows video providers to set a specific bitrate as the first bitrate in their HLS manifest. In turn, this enhances the viewer's playback experience by initiating playback with a bitrate of their choice based on the device, geo-location, etc. for each viewer.
Bitrate Filtering: With this option, video providers will have the ability to select or filter in the individual (or range of) bitrates that they want to present to a viewer from the complete set of bitrates. Customization using this option will allow the user to control the set of bitrates that they present based on various conditions such as the end-user's device, geo-location etc. for each end-user.
The introduction of Manifest personalization focuses on optimizing streaming quality. In the future, Akamai plans to continue building out additional complex edge functionality that helps customers drive revenue and meet viewer expectations. This includes functions such as personalizing audio tracks, captioning, subtitles, program replacement and more.
Adaptive Media Delivery customers can go to the Akamai marketplace to start a free trial of manifest personalization. If you're not already using Adaptive Media Delivery to deliver your streaming media, get started with a free trial. To learn more or for any questions, please reach out to your Akamai account team today.