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Akamai Announces Support for LL-HLS, Among Other Enhancements

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Just how much more are people streaming these days? Akamai says traffic on its network peaked at more than 100Tbps every day in the second quarter of 2020. For comparison, the network exceeded the 100Tbps peak for the first time in company history in October 2019.

In response, Akamai has introduced a number of new features to customers, announcing them in a blog post from the company's Alex Balford earlier this week, in which he writes that we could realistically see a live event in the next year with more than 50 million concurrent viewers. Here's a rundown of the new features introduced in the Akamai Platform Update:

  • New Akamai Developer APIs will give more control to customers managing multiple live or linear streams simultaneously. The APIs make it easier to provision Akamai Media Services Live and Adaptive Media Delivery. Media Services Live now offers a live clipping feature for easy clip creation, and a function called Instant TV lets providers determine and define the beginning of live events and lets viewers restart programs from the start time of their choice. DevOps teams that want to learn more can check out details here.
  • Cloud Wrapper (see above image) can now be used as a central hub for delivery architecture with multi-CDN support, letting customers share cacheability and predict offload levels, as well as enable cost savings on infrastructure as their audiences scale.
  • In addition to supporting low-latency DASH, Akamai now supports low-latency HLS (LL-HLS). The company promises end-to-end latency of 3 seconds or less and backward compatibility across the Apple video player ecosystem
  • Updates to the Access Revocation service improves Akamai's "prevent-discover-enforce" approach to content security. The new version offers improved scale and faster response times. During a recent sporting event in Asia with 5 million concurrent viewers, the company says its Broadcast Operations Control Center determined that more than 10% of viewers were unauthorized.

Finally, Akamai says it continues to build out capacity on its Intelligent Edge Platform, which now boasts more than 300,000 servers in 4,000 locations and almost 1,500 networks worldwide.

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