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Video: How Much Latency Will Consumers Tolerate for NFL Live Streams?
Amazon's Keith Wymbs and Jim De Lorenzo discuss how they've met the challenges of improving latency and time-to-first-byte to serve the millions of viewers who are tuning in to Amazon's Thursday night NFL broadcasts in this keynote from Streaming Media West 2017.
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Dan Rayburn: Where do you think consumers are in terms of how much latency they'll allow before it really impacts the engagement?

Keith Wymbs: It really depends on the device and the particular streaming protocol that occurs, but we have feedback where there are actually times when it's ahead of the broadcast. By using a combination of the intelligence of how Amazon Video as a fully integrated solution works, as well as the fact that we can now make a decision to reduce chunks and maybe go a little bit outside of a typical scenario to reduce that latency down. This focus on the customer and the viewer and making sure that the experience is as positive as possible is a combination of making sure the stream doesn't buffer, making sure that the quality of the video and the ads are fairly seamless and robust, and that that latency doesn't have as big an impact as it used to.

It is actually coming down, and particularly in apartment and MDU environments. That's where a lot of people have concerns, and being focused on the experience and not so much the bells and whistles has allowed this service to actually make pretty big strides in this area.

Jim De Lorenzo: I agree. We've seen some really positive customer feedback on just how short the latency is, and I think the fact that we, for some devices, have been ahead of the cable broadcast, has been really surprising. And these guys explained to me how that was even possible. It seems like some kind of break in the space-time continuum that we could make that work.

But that's key. Taking a step back as a sports fan, it's impossible to unplug at this point when you're watching a game. You're gonna be getting text messages and alerts, and everything else. So if I'm watching on one of the living room devices, where we offer Amazon Video, I do not wanna get an alert or a text message from one of my friends talking about the game if I'm actually behind that game.

So latency is important, and it's something that I know these guys really put a big focus on, and the engineering team up in Seattle as well. So it's been really nice to see just how short that latency has been.

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Join us Thursday, December 7 for "Overcoming the Latency Hurdle in Delivering Streaming Video," a webinar with Limelight Networks