Even though it was only November, it seems like an eternity ago that Akamai CEO Tom Leighton discussed the then-forthcoming "streaming explosion" on Variety's "Strictly Business" podcast. Tom spoke with Variety Co-Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wallenstein about the upcoming launches of streaming services like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock, and the internet's ability to withstand so much more video coming online. Nobody knew at the time that we were mere weeks away from the beginnings of a global pandemic that would, among many other things, drive streaming and internet traffic in general to levels never before seen.
Since the interview, a lot has happened that's affected the media industry. Much of the world's population has largely stayed in or near their homes, relying on the internet for work and entertainment. Two of the aforementioned streaming services have launched and two more have plans to debut soon. And Akamai saw traffic hit a record peak on our edge network, along with an increase in volume of 30% during the month of March. As TV Technology put it, Akamai "is at the epicenter of the recent streaming explosion."
Despite the unprecedented strain, one thing didn't happen: The internet didn't break.
With traffic leveling -- though still elevated -- and conversations about getting back to work and adapting to a "new normal" gaining momentum, we believe it's a fair time to share some of what we've learned over the past few months and what it means for media companies. That's going to be a big focus of Akamai's Edge Live | Virtual Media Summit on Wednesday, May 27.
Over the course of five sessions that day, we'll take a look at recent traffic and consumption patterns, discuss what we're hearing from our customers and partners, address the challenges of delivering video in this new environment, and talk about protecting content and mitigating threats. Most importantly, we're sharing these perspectives through a lens of "what it all means" to the media industry and what we expect the landscape to look like as we move forward.
Anyone who attends will have access to the presenters for a Q&A session, along with the opportunity to interact with Akamai experts throughout the duration of the event. In addition, we'll have a number of virtual demo stations open for visits to offer a firsthand look at some of the products and services that are available to help navigate this uncharted territory.
While we're disappointed to have missed the opportunity to meet as an industry in person during NAB and now IBC, we do hope you'll join us next week as we congregate online.
Register for the Edge Live | Virtual Media Summit today.