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Content delivery network (CDN) specialist Akamai Technologies has unveiled Akamai Media Acceleration, designed to improve viewing experiences for OTT video consumers and accelerate video game and other software downloads.
According to Akamai, Media Acceleration marks a significant milestone in the evolution of its content delivery capabilities in moving to a consumer-centric approach to online video and software distribution. Technology is integrated directly into consumer applications to optimise the experience for each individual end user.
OTT operators can use the technology to take advantage of more efficient communication between consumer devices and the Akamai network to deliver video that is ideally suited for the device capabilities, network type and conditions of specific end users. By overcoming many of the fundamental challenges of online video delivery, Akamai suggests that Media Acceleration can help OTT operators provide a consistently high and predictable quality of experience to which consumers are accustomed with traditional broadcast.
Online video-sharing platforms and entertainment destination Vimeo realised immediate improvements in its viewer experiences after implementing Akamai Media Acceleration. “Shortly after shifting traffic to Media Acceleration, Vimeo observed higher quality video experiences for our viewers; most notably a marked increase in playbacks at HD quality,” explained Naren Venkataraman, Vice President, Engineering, Vimeo. “With video creators comprising such a large portion of our customer base, delivering high-quality video and the experience to match is of utmost importance to maintaining the Vimeo brand.”
As a part of its UDP-based delivery optimisations that are designed to maximise video throughput on a global scale, Akamai is leveraging emerging standards, including Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC), to help drive customer adoption of Media Acceleration. The capabilities can improve the speed, quality and consistency by which content is delivered over the open Internet while mitigating the degradation that often occurs in the last mile and few feet of a network – even inside the home.
“Traditional television distribution has fundamental commercial and operational characteristics that are very different from Internet video distribution today,” said Scott Brown, Vice President, Product Management, Media, Akamai. “Akamai has developed Media Acceleration to function as a vehicle through which we can introduce innovations that address the quality and scale challenges of OTT, while also facilitating sustainable economic models that can help enable the growth of video distribution over the Internet.”
Video game publishers and software providers can leverage Media Acceleration to improve the performance of video game delivery and other software download use cases. The technology will be available to Akamai customers as a feature of Akamai’s Adaptive Media Delivery and Download Delivery products.