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Akamai Expects 2021 to Be Major Year for Live Streaming

(Image credit: Akamai)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Will 2021 be the year of live streaming? Akamai is preparing like it is, as the global content delivery company expects an unprecedented surge in live streaming starting in late 2020 and continuing throughout 2021. To handle this, Akamai has announced new capabilities as part of its Akamai Platform designed to address the increase in live streaming.

Akamai points out that surges in live streaming are typical in even years, when many large sporting events often take place. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics, were postponed to 2021. Since August, when many sports leagues have returned, Akamai has seen an increase in live streaming and expects that trend to continue.  

On top of the many major sporting events expected in 2021, the U.S. presidential election and inauguration in January could see significant instances of live streaming. Akamai is estimating that over the next year there could be an instance where 50 million people are concurrently streaming a single live event.

Akamai has written a blog post detailing its updates that are meant to help handle the challenges this level of live streaming could present.

One of these potential solutions is the new Akamai Developer APIs, which are designed to increase operational efficiency for organizations managing numerous live or linear streams. The APIs are meant to simplify the process of provisioning Akamai’s Media Services Live and Adaptive Media Delivery. An example includes the new live clipping feature for Media Service Live for the creation and archiving of highlights. Another new feature called Instant TV allows for users to define the beginning of a live program and enables viewers to use Restart TV functionality to start an in-progress event when they want.

Akamai has updated its Cloud Wrapper technology, optimizing connectivity between cloud infrastructures and the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform, the company said. Cloud Wrapper now has multi-CDN support that enable it to operate as a central hub for delivery architecture.

Other new features from Akamai include added support for low-latency live streaming experiences, like low-latency HLS, and a new version of Akamai’s Access Revocation to combat fraudulent or shared streams. There are also more than 300,000 servers and nearly 1,500 networks around the world that contribute to Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform.

For more information, visit www.akamai.com.