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Akamai Wins with Live OTT at NAB

The latest version of Akamai's Media Services Live streaming solution, featuring the addition of new liveOrigin capabilities specifically for live and 24/7 linear OTT video delivery, earned two awards at last week's 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas. Streaming Media named it one of its six "Best of NAB" products while TV Technology recognized it with a "Best of Show" award.

There's no doubt the at-show demonstration was key to helping garner those accolades. We were pleased to partner with Playmaker Media, the live streaming and VOD technology service launched last year by NBC Sports Digital, to feature a live OTT feed of NBC Sports Network streaming via Apple TV displayed adjacent to a local Las Vegas cable feed being delivered through a standard set-top box (for the record, the monitors and calibration were identical).

The 'Audience of You' at NAB

It's all about the "audience of you" as Akamai gears up for next week's 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas. With that phrase, we're talking about helping to deliver the best possible experiences for each and every OTT video viewer. It's not an easy thing to do, but we're demonstrating a host of new products and technology that can help make sure consumers enjoy nothing less than flawless viewing ... anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Among the new products we're showing is Media Acceleration. Just announced in March and available now, Media Acceleration uses technology integrated directly into consumer OTT applications that is designed to enhance the performance of media delivered over the Akamai network and optimize the viewing experience for each individual end user.

Even newer are liveOrigin capabilities that we've added to our Media Services Live solution for live and linear streaming. The system is built from the ground up specifically to support the rigors of 24/7 video delivery and combines critical features such as accelerated ingest, low latency and DVR functionality to help meet the high expectations of today's OTT viewers.

Internet TV Makes Stranger Bedfellows

Ever thought you'd be able to order Xfinity TV service from Amazon; or watch Netflix through your cable set-top box? If politics makes strange bedfellows then programming for Internet TV is like:

... last call at a college bar.

... a '70s key party.

... an episode of 90 Day Fiance.

Let's just say that some unexpected relationships have been forged thanks to the disruptive forces of online video. It's changing the way that we as an industry look at TV and certainly what consumers expect from the many available services.

Akamai's CTO for Media, John Bishop, will help to make sense of it all as part of the CES session, "Internet TV, The Disruption: Programming Everywhere." Taking place on Thursday, January 5th, as part of the CES Digital Hollywood Conference track, John will join panelists from Deloitte & Touche, DISH, Strategy Analytics, Vubiquity and 87AM to explore the options ranging from a la carte viewing to premium bundles.

If you're attending CES and want to learn how we can help support your OTT service and strategy, feel free to arrange a meeting with us. We'll have demos and subject matter experts available to discuss your business and technology needs, and how Akamai's global content delivery capabilities can help.

Chris Nicholson is a senior public relations manager at Akamai.

NYC You at NAB

Akamai is participating in the East Coast edition of NAB next week as we head to NAB Show New York at the Javits Center November 9th-10th.

Stop by booth #1053 where we'll have a host of interactive demonstrations highlighting Akamai technology and services that can help broadcasters and content owners deliver OTT video at consistently high quality and scale. This includes live and on-demand video workflows, new media acceleration technology and predictive content delivery and pre-positioning capabilities onto connected devices.

Elections and Events: Expect the Unexpected

Much like most everything else about this year's Presidential election, live video streaming traffic for last night's final debate didn't fit the norm. Whereas viewing numbers typically decline for each consecutive debate, aggregate video traffic for Akamai broadcasters streaming the third matchup between the two candidates was actually slightly higher than the second, peaking at 3.8 Tbps yesterday compared to the 3.6 Tbps peak we observed during the October 9th faceoff.

Akamai set a new peak-traffic record for a live sports event delivered on our platform during last weekend's Portugal-France championship match of the quadrennial European football (soccer) tournament. The 7.3 Tbps peak, which was hit during the match's overtime period, eclipsed the former live sports record of 7.0 Tbps generated by the Argentina-Netherlands semifinal in the 2014 World Cup. The championship match also drove a peak of more than 3.3 million concurrent streams.

The Human Element of Our Ubisoft Case Study

For a couple of reasons, I'm pleased to share this video and case study showing how Ubisoft is working with Akamai to enhance their player experience and streamline game development. Have a look to learn how the publisher of hugely successful titles such as Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, Just Dance and many others is addressing rising customer expectations for fast downloads and gameplay, as well as mitigating the challenges that come with globally dispersed development teams. It's pretty cool stuff.


Akamai is First to Bring Live 4K to Consumers

While there have been many OTT 4K-related announcements leading up to next week's NAB Show, Akamai has already evolved the live/linear 4K workflow from controlled demonstrations to real-world, public, consumer distribution. In fact, live 4K has the potential to reach the market more quickly online as opposed to traditional methods like satellite, IPTV or cable. That's a pretty big deal.

Life Lessons at NAB

Less than a year out of college and getting ready to cover my first NAB Show as a wet-behind-the-ears trade journalist in the mid 90s, I remember receiving a fascinating (especially at the time) piece of advice. It came from a veteran of many shows, not to mention many trips to Las Vegas, shortly after I was assigned an ambitious list of conference sessions to report on during the week.

Akamai Earns Perfect Fives in Streaming Media 100

We're humbled and honored that Akamai was one of only three companies to earn a perfect '5' rating from every judge in this year's Streaming Media 100. The annual list includes "The One Hundred Companies that Matter Most in Online Video," highlighting those considered to be the "most interesting, important and influential" in the industry, according to the publication.

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