New solutions designed to ensure success of models such as UltraViolet, help businesses secure premium content, and improve consumer access to content across a diverse set of connected devices
Akamai Technologies, the leading cloud platform for helping businesses provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere, today introduced technology advancements for the rapidly evolving online entertainment industry in the areas of security and delivery, as well broader support for emerging business models.
Today’s hyperconnected world is radically changing the business of media and entertainment. Product innovation and rapid consumer adoption have created an environment where delivering a secure, high-performing consumer experience on any device is critical. This new environment brings enormous benefits and opportunities, but also real challenges.
Building on its Intelligent Platform, Akamai has introduced new solutions to enhance its next-generation broadcast solution – the Akamai HD Network – offering advanced monetization capabilities, business model flexibility and simplified workflow to reach a growing device landscape.
“Cloud computing, ubiquitous connectivity, and the increasing consumption of IP video are driving content providers to move more content to the cloud and users to expect access to content on multiple devices,” said Bill Wheaton, Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Akamai. “Akamai is committed to reducing the complexities of the hyperconnected world by providing a platform that delivers the best user experience, securely, for any device type. By helping our customers solve the business challenges across security, multi-device delivery and analytics, we’re continuing to enable them to focus on their core business strategies.”
The acceptance of cloud computing, as well as advances in connected device and mobile technology, has led to increased viewing of IP video, but also opened the door for piracy and unauthorized consumption of content. The number of connected devices has exploded, and industry predictions indicate that by 2015, 90 percent of video will beonline and by 2015, the ratio of devices per Internet user will be five to one. As a result, the entertainment industry faces increasing complexities around entitlement, access, monetization, quality and security.
To help companies navigate the changing landscape and meet consumer expectations, Akamai is announcing:
Standardized Delivery on the Akamai HD Network
The plethora of device types used to consume HD media has added complexity to content distribution and the ability to ensure high-performing viewer experiences on the go. Akamai has addressed this by standardizing on HTTP as the primary delivery protocol, which includes HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and Smooth HD Streaming for delivery across the Akamai HD Network. Akamai also recently made available Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) across its platform, and customers can leverage these new dynamic streaming capabilities without making changes to their existing Flash workflow.
“One of the key business benefits that Adobe’s HTTP Dynamic Streaming capability offers is meeting the needs of broadcasters that are streaming an increasing volume of premium video content across a diverse set of devices,” said Pritham Shetty, vice president of Video Solutions at Adobe. “The long-term strategic relationship between Akamai and Adobe has consistently produced new and cost-effective ways for content owners to scale to the next level with their online video offerings and initiatives. The general availability of HTTP Dynamic Streaming within the Akamai HD Network is yet another milestone that will benefit our mutual customers and the end users who expect the best quality video experience.”
Digital Asset Security
As the entertainment industry expands its digital footprint, security threats have become more prominent, frequent and dangerous. Securing content in the cloud across multiple connected devices and geographies is critical and companies must achieve the fine balance between content accessibility and protection. Not all content is created equal and requires varying levels of security.
To meet this challenge, Akamai developed Akamai SecureHD, a highly-scalable, cloud-based security solutionthat includes four protection capabilities: token authorization, player verification, media encryption and content targeting. Designed to protect consumers and businesses from misuse of digital assets, Akamai SecureHD is optimized for live and on-demand streamed content and offers a simplified process for content owners to protect assets across multiple delivery formats and devices. Akamai SecureHD also optimizes security features based on device capabilities and associates security policies to ensure optimum playback for any connected device.
Support for Emerging Business Models
Positioned at theheart of the digital media ecosystem, Akamai has the experience, scale and relationships to help bring new business models like TV Everywhere and UltraViolet to market. Meeting consumers’ expectations for high quality content on multiple devices can be daunting. Coupled with security requirements, multiple content owners, retailers and distributors, as well as the introduction of digital lockers, and the task becomes challenging.
UltraViolet is a groundbreaking ecosystem for delivering a new and compelling way to collect and enjoy home video entertainment. As an UltraViolet licensee, Akamai acts as an integration point between the players in the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), the consortium of leading movie studios, technology providers, consumer device makers, entertainment retailers and video service providers powering UltraViolet. To assist content providers and entertainment retailers in meeting consumers’ demands for accessing content on multiple devices, the Akamai for UltraViolet solution is now available to support library-style entitlement models through a simplified workflow, an intelligent cloud-based delivery platform, and broad security measures. The Akamai HD Network provides high quality video streaming of UltraViolet content using the latest adaptive bitrate technologies, and Akamai SecureHD manages content streamed to PCs, tablets and other Internet connected devices. Akamai’s solution also streamlines access code redemption, account management and stream management with the UltraViolet Coordinator.
“B2B service providers like Akamai are utilizing UltraViolet’s open-specs design ability to accelerate retailers’ and other service providers’ deployment, with premium-quality enablement and delivery on a rapid-deployment and cost-efficient basis,” said Mark Teitell, general manager of DECE. “Akamai is helping the deployment of UltraViolet move to the next phase as we continue to seek to provide consumers with access to their favorite movies and TV shows in ways never thought possible. Congratulations to Akamai for bringing this suite of solutions tomarket.”
Availability & Information
All of the above solutions are available today. More details on Akamai’s HD Network and HTTP Streaming solutions can be found here: http://www.akamai.com/html/solutions/hdnetwork.html For more information on Akamai SecureHD, please download the SecureHD whitepaper. Akamai for UltraViolet is currently powering studio-approved UltraViolet solutions. Visit www.akamai.com/ultraviolet for more details on this solution.