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Fortnite Sets Game Traffic Record on Akamai

Akamai Technologies set a new record on Thursday, July 12th, 2018, for the peak level of traffic delivered for a single video game on its network, at more than 37 Tbps peak across all platforms. This massive influx of traffic was driven by the launch of Epic Games' cultural phenomenon: Fortnite, which launched its Season 5 on Thursday. To put this into perspective, this level of traffic would be like downloading the average mobile game 2.8 million times per minute. This demonstrates both the continued success of Epic Games' hit title, and the power and resiliency of the Akamai Intelligent Platform.

Nelson Rodriguez is Global Director, Media Industry Strategy at Akamai.

Lighting the flame marks the beginning of PyeongChang, commemorating the ancient Greek myth of Prometheus stealing fire from Zeus, and connecting the games to its predecessors. The lighting ceremony has provided some of the most iconic moments, such as Muhammad Ali lighting the flame in Atlanta in 1996 and Antonio Rebollo shooting a flaming arrow to ignite the cauldron in Barcelona in 1992.

2017 was a year of epic proportions that broke numerous retail records worldwide. The stage was set earlier in the year by Amazon's Prime Day, which became Amazon's biggest day ever by generating over $1 Billion in sales (60% increase YoY). This was followed by Singles' Day, during which Alibaba generated a record $25 billion in sales (a 39-percent increase over 2016). And then Black Friday and Cyber Monday joined the party by generating revenue of over $11.5 billion. Cyber Monday went on to become the largest online shopping day in US history.

A key trend that played out throughout the year was a significant shift in buying patterns; more consumers moved to shopping online and, as a result, there was a decrease in traffic at brick and mortar stores.  Among the three major platforms for online shopping (namely desktops, mobiles and tablets), mobile devices played a pivotal role during this year's holiday season. In fact, close to 40% of the Black Friday revenue was generated via mobile devices and smartphone revenue on Cyber Monday grew 32.2% from last year, reaching a new all-time high of $1.59B.

The week before Christmas was the last peak period for retailers in 2017 to appeal to consumers that were frantically looking to buy gifts for their loved ones. A recent NRF survey showed that only 12 percent of consumers had finished their holiday shopping as of December 12, with the average shopper having completed only 61 percent. As a result of this, there was a huge surge in traffic on our platform during the week before Christmas. Here are the key trends that we observed on our platform in 2017, one of the most successful years for retailers:

 

In the first and second  part of this blog series, we discussed the challenges associated with cloud adoption and how you can leverage Akamai Cloud Delivery Platform, the world's largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform, to achieve the scalability, availability, reliability, security and performance needed to deliver superior digital experiences and maximize customer engagement and revenue.

There is another trend in the market that promises similar benefits as cloud adoption and that is DevOps. In the past few years, there has been a tremendous increase in the adoption of DevOps processes in software development.  Businesses are adopting DevOps practices for reduced time to market, agility and better collaboration between teams (business, operations, development). Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) of application code and configurations is at the heart of DevOps, providing the nimbleness needed to rapidly deploy new code and faster resolution of bugs and defects.

Businesses are rapidly moving to the cloud and a recent IDG survey indicates that 70% of businesses have at least 1 application in the cloud and 16% plan to take their first app to the cloud in the next 12 months.

However public cloud providers present their own challenges. They are unreliable which results in downtime, do not focus on performance which results in sluggish customer experiences, and are inflexible which reduces your freedom to pursue the most optimal cloud strategy. This means that the world class digital experiences you create to delight customers, sharpen competitive edge and boost revenue may prove ineffective if you rely solely on public cloud platforms.

 

Don't Say Goodbye to Your OTT Viewers

Takes a second to say goodbye
Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh
It takes a second to say goodbye
Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh, say bye bye
Where you going to now

When U2 penned the lyrics to its song, "Seconds," in 1983, there was no such thing as online video. In fact, video had killed the radio star only four years earlier, and the Internet was a notion that barely extended beyond the walls of a few educational and government institutions. Yet, the above passage could very well describe what's weighing on the minds of today's OTT service executives some 30-plus years later.

New research from Akamai shows online video viewers have little patience for symptoms of poor-quality streaming such as buffering and low resolution. The study, conducted in conjunction with biometric research firm, Sensum, was designed to measure viewers' emotional and physical reactions to varying levels of video streaming quality and experiences, and how they relate to OTT business models and brands. And the results were amazing.

Online viewers of former FBI Director James Comey's live testimony last week generated a massive peak of 2.5 Tbps of live streaming video traffic on the Akamai platform, despite the hearing occurring in the middle of the work week, in the middle of the work day.

Not all Cloud Solutions are Created Equal

The errant swing of a backhoe in a New Jersey field cuts through a major cloud provider's underground cable, bringing activity along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard to a crashing halt.

The outage hits some businesses hard. Every minute of downtime means thousands of dollars of lost revenue and hordes of angry users. But they've no choice but to wait until crews physically arrive on site to repair the cable before business can resume.

Other businesses don't notice a thing. The dollars continue to roll in.

Both groups of businesses rely on cloud solutions for their workflows. So what's the difference?

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.

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