Akamai is predicting a big year for live streaming in 2021, with an unprecedented surge starting in late 2020.
In a blog post, Akamai senior global product marketing manager, media and entertainment, Alex Balford, predicts that we could realistically see 50 million people concurrently streaming a single live event next year – roughly double the largest number of viewers during a single event in the past. Typically characteristic of even years, when many international sporting events take place, 2021 looks set to defy the trend.
To this end, Akamai has been preparing new capabilities included in the Akamai Platform Update that will help customers prepare for this surge in live streaming. Its new Developer APIs are designed to simplify and streamline the creation and setup of a live streaming workflow.
Lockdowns, quarantines and other protective measures enacted by governments and health organisations around the world as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have driven a sudden and dramatic shift in consumer behaviour, with more people than ever working from home, home schooling and watching online entertainment including live video and gaming. In the US, more consumers have adopted SVOD and AVOD services, and have increased usage of video conferencing, while the cord-cutting trend has accelerated.
Akamai’s Developer APIs are designed to simplify the process of provisioning Akamai's Media Services Live and Adaptive Media Delivery, which are critical components of many customers' live workflows to ingest streams with high stability and reach global audiences with as little latency as possible.
To streamline post-production operations, Media Services Live now includes a live clipping feature to simplify the creation and archiving of highlights, while a new feature called Instant TV enables streaming providers to define the beginning of a live programme and allows viewers to use Restart TV functionality to start an in-progress programme from a time of their choice.
Meanwhile, Cloud Wrapper optimises connectivity between cloud infrastructures and the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform. With new multi-CDN support, customers can use Cloud Wrapper as the central hub for their delivery architecture, maintaining shared cacheability, predictable offload levels, and cost savings for origin infrastructures as a streaming service scales. This allows for high performance and low cloud egress costs while increasing flexibility when integrating into increasingly complex and open live streaming environments.