Analysis for 'Akamai'

  • Scientific Study Reveals Impact of Streaming Video Quality

    It goes without saying that the quality of any consumer experience will directly affect the satisfaction derived from it. Video is no different; as has been shown in numerous studies over the years, whenever the streaming quality is diminished, so too is the viewer’s satisfaction.

    But new research from Akamai, conducted by Sensum, which used advanced biometric measurement methods, has revealed the extent to which lower quality streaming impacts viewers’ experiences and perhaps more importantly, what the business consequences of this are. Admittedly, the research is a bit geeky, but it’s also quite eye-opening and valuable for anyone building video products and services.

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  • Akamai: Global Average Connection Speed Up 15% In Q1 ’17 vs. Q1 ’16

    Broadband connections keep getting better, enabling video and other high-bandwidth applications, according to Akamai’s Q1 ’17 State of the Internet Report. Global average connection speed was up 15% vs. a year ago, to 7.2 mbps, with 96 of the 149 countries/regions that Akamai tracks seeing an increase.

    Perennial leader South Korea had the fastest connection speed, at 28.6 mbps, followed by Norway (23.5 mbps), Sweden (22.5 mbps) and Hong Kong (21.9 mbps). All of the top 10 countries has an increase vs. last year’s Q1 except South Korea, with dropped modestly. The U.S. broke into the top 10 in the number 10 position at 18.7 mbps, up 22% vs. a year ago, the biggest change among the group. A total of 25 countries/regions had an average speed of at least 15 mbps, up from 23 in Q4 ’16.

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  • Akamai: 15% Of World's Broadband Is 4K Ready As Ecosystem’s Embrace Accelerates

    Akamai has released its Q3 2015 State of the Internet report and, as always, it is chock full of details about global Internet connections. One of the more interesting data points Akamai found related to online video is that 15% of the world’s Internet connections now average 15 mbps or higher, the speed Akamai has designated to be “4K ready.” That’s up from 12% in Q3 ’14.

    South Korea once again had the highest percentage of connections above 15 mbps, at 45%, which was actually down from 66% in Q3 ’14. In second place was Sweden at 38%, up from 29% a year ago, followed by Norway at 37%, up from 21% a year ago. Switzerland and Hong Kong  (both at 36%) rounded out the top 5 countries that are 4K ready.

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  • Akamai: Global Broadband Adoption Hits 60%, 4K Readiness Still Modest

    Akamai has released its Q3 2014 State of the Internet Report, its compendium of global connection speeds and broadband adoption for fixed and mobile networks, along with 4K readiness, attack traffic and IPv4/IPv6 updates. Among the highlights are that broadband adoption rate reached 60% globally, a 1% increase vs. Q2 '14. (Broadband is defined as an average connection speed of greater than 4 mbps.)

    South Korea once again led all countries with 96% adoption above 4 mbps, followed by Bulgaria (95%), Switzerland (93%) and Israel (92%). South Korea also had the highest percentage (81%) of adoption of "high broadband" (defined as average connection speed above 10 mbps), followed by Hong Kong and Japan (both at 55%) and Switzerland (54%).

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #232: World Cup Streaming Records and Mobile Video Adoption

    I'm pleased to present the 232nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    The World Cup is in full swing and as many predicted beforehand, live-streaming is a crucial part of how fans are following the action. Colin notes that Akamai (which is responsible for a lot of the live-streaming globally), said that back in the 2010 World Cup, the peak bandwidth used was 1.4 terabits/second. Akamai was expecting that level to quadruple this year.

    Sure enough, in current group play, the Brazil-Mexico game already almost reached that target, registering 4.59 Tbps. That level will surely be exceeded as play moves on to the knockout stage (in which Colin's beloved England is unlikely to be participating).

    A key part of the World Cup's streaming success is due to the proliferation of mobile viewing devices, and we next discuss data Ooyala released this week revealing that mobile's share of online views increased from 3.4% in Q1 '12 to 21.5% in Q1 '14. Live-streaming in particular was a big-driver, and that's mainly sports. We dig into the details.

    Listen in to learn more!

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #201 - Digging Into Online Video Advertising's Effectiveness

    I'm pleased to present the 201st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week we're joined by special guest Ramesh Sitaraman, professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an Akamai fellow. Ramesh and Akamai's S.S. Krishnan released an academic research paper this week studying the effectiveness of online video advertising (I wrote about it here and Colin here).

    In the podcast, Ramesh adds color to his findings. Among other things, he discusses mid-rolls' high completion rates, time-of-day's low impact on completion, geographic viewership differences and abandonment of ads vs. slow-starting content.

    Listen in the learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 55 seconds)




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  • New Academic Research Shows Mid-Roll Ads With Highest Completion Rate, at 96.8%

    A new academic research paper on video advertising effectiveness, written in partnership with Akamai, shows among other things that mid-roll video ads have the highest average completion rate at 96.8%, followed by pre-rolls with 74.3% and post-rolls at 44.7%.

    Even when controlling for other factors like an ad's length or the video itself, mid-rolls continued to have the highest completion rate. The data underscores the value of an already engaged viewer. The new research aligns with prior research from FreeWheel which also showed mid-rolls with the highest completion rates of 97% for 15-second ads and 91% for 30-second ads.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #168 - Akamai's New Cloud-Based Ad Insertion; Video Guides Improve With Dijit and Fanhattan

    I'm pleased to present the 168th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Today we start by discussing Akamai's new Ad Integration Services, which enables cloud-based video ad insertion, in partnership with mDialog.

    This approach has multiple benefits including improving the user experience which extends view times. Colin notes that recent data from Conviva, for example, shows that a 1% increase in buffering results in 8 minutes of lost viewing time, which in turn means a loss of 2 ad breaks. Conviva estimates in 2012 this adds up to $2.2 billion in lost ad revenue globally, and by 2017, it could be $20 billion. Clearly improving the viewer experience has a significant payoff.

    We then transition to talking about improvements in video discovery. Colin shares takeaways from his interview this week with Jeremy Toeman, CEO of Dijit (Next Guide), which recently acquired Miso. And I share observations on the new web version of Fanhattan, which launched in beta yesterday.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 50 seconds)


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  • 4 News Items Worth Noting from the Week of July 27th

    Following are 4 news items worth noting from the week of July 27th:

    New Pew research confirms online video's growth - Pew was the latest to offer statistics confirming that online video usage continues to soar. Among the noteworthy findings: Long-form consumption is growing as 35% of respondents say they have viewed a TV show or movie online (up from 16% in '07); watching video is widely popular, draw more people (62%) than social networking (46%), downloading a podcast (19%) or using Twitter (11%); usage is up across all age groups, but still skews young with 90% of 18-29 year olds reporting they watch online vs. 27% of 65+ year olds; and convergence is happening with 23% of people who have watched online reporting they have connected their computers to their TVs.

    FreeWheel has a very good week - FreeWheel, the syndicated video ad management company I most recently wrote about here, had a very good week. On Monday, AdAge reported that YouTube has begun a test allowing select premium partners to bring their own ads into YouTube, served by FreeWheel. Then on Wednesday, blip.tv announced that it too had integrated with FreeWheel, so ads could be served for blip's producers across their entire syndication network. I caught up with FreeWheel's co-CEO Doug Knopper yesterday who added that more deals, especially with major content producers, are on the way. FreeWheel is riding the syndication wave in a big way.

    Plenty of action with CDNs - CDNs were in the news this week, as Vusion (formerly Jittr Networks) bit the dust, after going through $11 million in VC money. Elsewhere CDN Velocix (formerly CacheLogic) was acquired by Alcatel-Lucent. ALU positioned the deal as fitting with its "Application Enablement" strategy, supporting customers' needs in a "video-centric world." Limelight announced its LimelightREACH and LimelightADS services for mobile media delivery and monetization (both are based on Kiptronic, which it acquired recently). Last but not least, bellwether Akamai reported Q2 '09 earnings, that while up 5% vs. year ago, were down sequentially from Q1. Coupled with a cautious Q3 outlook, the company's stock dropped 20%.

    IAC is making big moves into online video - IAC is making no bones about its interest in online video. Last week the company unveiled Notional, a spin-out of CollegeHumor.com, to be headed by that site's former editor-in-chief Ricky Van Veen. Then this week it announced another new video venture, with NBCU's former co-entertainment head Ben Silverman. IAC chief Barry Diller seems determined to push the edge of the envelope, as IAC talks up things like multi-platform distribution and brand integration. With convergence and mobile consumption starting to take hold, the timing may finally be right for these sorts of plays. At a minimum IAC will keep things interesting for industry watchers like me.

    Click here to see an aggregation of all of the week's broadband video news

     
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  • New Statistics Address Video Piracy, Importance of Quick Online Release of TV Programs

    During very informative presentations at my NAB panel discussion yesterday, there were 2 slides that really caught my attention. Both shared statistics, new to me, about video piracy and user behavior patterns. These statistics illustrate the important early online window just following when a TV program is aired. Capturing this audience spike can dampen video piracy and also be a big revenue opportunity for providers.

    The first slide, shown below, was presented by Rob Adams, director of digital media operations at CTV, Canada's largest broadcaster. CTV offers both clips and full-length streaming episodes from its networks and select partner networks. In the slide below each line represents a single day's unique visitors for a specific TV series CTV offers.

     

    I know the slide is a bit of an eye chart, so I'll summarize the phenomenon Rob explained. In this example a popular network show airs at 7pm on Tuesday. Notice how the purple usage line spikes during the hour of its run. Rob explained that users who go online to find the episode being aired realize it's not yet available and instead begin catching up on previous episodes. That new episode is posted around 2 am, and the spike in usage the following day is shown by the blue line.

    Note the far lower behavior in the other lines and it is clear that the 24 hour window during and after airing a new episode is critical. It's also interesting to speculate on whether some users are beginning to look at online availability as pure VOD. If so, that would have implications on DVRs (i.e. why record a show when you've come to expect they'll all be posted quickly online?)

    The second attention-getting slide was based on recent research by Akamai and Vobile, which used its digital fingerprinting technology to track the availability of illegal copies of an episode a popular program and their download volume. In the slide below, it is clear that although illegal copies are available immediately, the volume of downloads jumps by more than 500% the following morning (13 hours after broadcast).

     

    What all of this demonstrates is that there is a real window of opportunity for premium video providers to slow video piracy and drive many new video views. By satisfying the obvious demand that users have for this content with legitimate distribution, providers can chip away at, though admittedly not eradicate, illegal sharing. If users gain confidence over time that their favorite programs will be available quickly, in high-quality and with a positive user experience (i.e. not overburdened with ads), the rationale to pursue the illegal route lessens. Conversely, video providers not responding to these viewer needs continue to leave themselves highly vulnerable to illegal behavior.

     
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  • Akamai Analyst Day Tomorrow

    Tomorrow I'll be at Akamai's annual analyst day (disclaimer: Akamai is a VideoNuze sponsor). The morning speaker line-up includes Paul Sagan, President and CEO, Tom Leighton, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder and Mike Afergan, CTO. I attended last year and found it to be an extremely informative day, especially since Akamai is the leading CDN and has been very focused on the media and entertainment space.

    I'll be listening for information on 3 specific areas:

    • Update on pricing pressure and what this means for customers?
    • How Red Swoosh P2P integration is coming along and are any customers using it yet?
    • Any insight on service providers' (cable operators and telcos) motivation to build out their own private CDNs with gear like Cisco's CDS?

    I'll try to provide an update before hopping a plane to Dallas to speak about broadband video trends at a large broadcasters' executive offsite.

     
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