From Simone Biles's incredible routines to Usain Bolt's lightning sprints to Michael Phelps's record-shattering gold medal performances, Rio was packed with excitement. Yet there's been a lot of press coverage highlighting how the number of people watching the games on linear TV declined vs. prior years, typically by a 10-20% average.
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There's been a ton of great action from Rio already, and as expected digital viewing is sprinting ahead, setting new records. Here at Akamai, we're supporting the streaming efforts of over 50 different broadcasters and partners with rights to the games, so we have relatively unique insights into viewership. In fact, we've already broken a couple of records ourselves: In just the first three days of Rio, Akamai delivered more video traffic than for all 17 days of London in 2012. Just two days later, we exceeded the total for Sochi in 2014; and three days after that we topped London and Sochi combined.
With an event where every second is so wrought with consequence and expectation, success for online hinges on capturing every microscopic moment. As always, we witnessed many record-setting athletic triumphs, which thrilled fans around the world. But off-the-field records were also set: the 2016 games had the greatest volume of online views, consuming the largest amount of content, across the widest variety of devices. Akamai shattered expectations, setting the standard for a world beyond broadcast.
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.
By Will Law and Shawn Michels
Apple's June 15th announcement at its Worldwide Developers Conference that it will add fragmented MP4 (fMP4) support to HLS marks a significant step in simplifying online video streaming. fMP4 is the parent of the emerging Common Media Application Format (CMAF), and Apple's plan to support fMP4 brings the industry closer to the single format for OTT distributors and playback support on all consumer electronics devices. The ultimate goal is to reduce the complexity when delivering video online.
If you've ever visited the Akamai Network Operations Command Centers (NOCC) or Security Operations Control Centers (SOCC), you're familiar with Akamai's expansive state-of-the-art nerve centers of data collection. Every second of every day, the Akamai NOCCs and SOCCs provide customers with a broad breadth of insight into global network conditions and threatening activity, wherever the activity may be occurring.
It was 11:30pm, and I was standing in a parking lot. The sky was oddly clear for the Pacific Northwest, but the temperature had dropped below 50 degrees, and you could see mist rising from each person as they spoke. Most of us wore branded sweatshirts which weren't really designed to keep you warm, but we were caught up in the energy of the night.
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.
We are less than a month away from NAB and Akamai has some big plans in store. With the amount of buzz centered around over-the-top (OTT) video, our floor presence is dedicated to bringing OTT workflow and delivery to life. Show attendees can experience a behind-the-scenes look at the technologies that are helping drive the seismic transformation in media delivery and consumption. Each section of the Akamai booth will represent a key component of OTT workflow including capture, cloud, monitor and consume.