September 15, 2008
Technology and Advertising Leaders Launch Community Initiative to Promote Standards Around Video Player Development
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leader in powering rich media, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced Openvideoplayer.com, a community site and industry initiative intended to facilitate the development and sharing of open standards and best practices for video player applications that support a wide range of advertising technologies.
Leading advertising technology companies, ad servers, video solution providers and platform companies have joined to provide industry best practices for online video player development. Inaugural partners include: 24/7 Real Media, Adobe Corporation, BlackArrow, Clickability, EyeWonder, KickApps, Microsoft Corporation, OpenX, Panache, ScanScout and smartclip.
As online video syndication and distribution matures, there are some fundamental technology barriers to growth. One of the most important development considerations is the video player application, an increasingly strategic element as it impacts the way consumers experience video content and the media brand, and enables a business model for the video content by controlling how and when ads are delivered. Specifically, the lack of a standards-based approach to the video player application slows time to market and increases complexities around content syndication and revenue sharing between sites.
"For the last decade, Akamai has had the unique opportunity to work closely with the top Media & Entertainment companies as they move their entertainment strategies online. As a result, there's a considerable knowledge base around delivering high quality consumer video experiences - including best practices around video player application development. We are making available a long history of industry best practices to the larger community to help content owners solve the complexities of making money online," said Tim Napoleon, Chief Strategist for Digital Media at Akamai. "Utilizing an open source licensing model, branded players are easy to incorporate into commercial applications without locking content owners into something that is propriety or result in complex licensing requirements."
Akamai is leading the effort, along with these companies to provide a forum dedicated to providing resources and encouraging a common approach to video player development. The goals of this site are as follows:
-- Facilitate the development and sharing of best practices for video player development through community interaction
-- Provide reference implementations and code to speed development and reduce the total cost of ownership
-- Encourage adoption of open standards to help facilitate the aggregation of video audiences and streamline the media buying process for rich media and in-stream advertising
-- Support the Internet advertising ecosystem, including agencies, interactive developers and advertising technologies for a comprehensive publishing solution
"As widespread syndication has become an increasingly important part of content providers' business models, the ecosystem must evolve to allow video content to flow more readily and to be monetized more effectively," said Will Richmond, a broadband analyst at VideoNuze.com. "A modular approach to building players will help to expand the universe of online video significantly."
Rather than supporting proprietary video player formats, openvideoplayer.com relies on the industry leading video platforms - Adobe(R) Flash(R) Player and Microsoft(R) Silverlight(TM)-- offering source code to enable rapid and flexible design with complete creative control. Through an open source licensing model, source code based on the industry standard video formats on the site can be extended and improved upon by designers, developers and media companies and either given back to the community as contributions or leveraged into video applications without complex licensing requirements.
"Adobe Flash has been used by the industry in the creation and distribution of rich media, such as video and advertising, since its inception," said Jennifer Taylor, director of product management for Flash Creation and Distribution at Adobe. "With the significant increase in online video and related advertising, there is now a critical need for standards to ease the adoption and deployment of these solutions. This initiative will help provide community-driven best practices around video player development to the global developer community for Adobe Flash technology, making it easier to deliver and monetize video content."
"Microsoft is excited by the community efforts of the Open Video Player initiative that supports the latest Silverlight 2 technology," said Steve Sklepowich, Group Manager, Silverlight Media, at Microsoft. "Having an enhanced, Silverlight-based media framework allows the millions of .NET developers to streamline the complexities around video distribution and create more opportunity for everyone."
Key Site Components
-- The Media Framework is a valuable resource for the rapid development of video player applications using either Adobe Flash Player or Microsoft Silverlight. The framework is a developer toolkit with player source code, which leverages best practices and open technologies to enable the creation of video player applications for both streaming and progressive download content. Akamai is contributing the Media Framework under an Open Source license to be extended and improved upon by the community.
Media Framework Connectors
-- Openvideoplayer.com offers sample code-based reference implementations from leading advertising technology companies for easy integration and support of ad formats, ad servers and ad networks.
-- A forum staffed by interactive designers and developers within the Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight developer community for an open exchange of ideas and expert advice on player development.
-- A library of documentation and video tutorials on how to utilize Internet standards to build professional grade online video players.
The Akamai Difference
Akamai(R) provides market-leading managed services for powering rich media, dynamic transactions, and enterprise applications online. Having pioneered the content delivery market one decade ago, Akamai's services have been adopted by the world's most recognized brands across diverse industries. The alternative to centralized Web infrastructure, Akamai's global network of tens of thousands of distributed servers provides the scale, reliability, insight and performance for businesses to succeed online. Akamai has transformed the Internet into a more viable place to inform, entertain, interact, and collaborate. To experience The Akamai Difference, visit www.akamai.com.
Akamai Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
The release contains information about future expectations, plans and prospects of Akamai Technologies, Inc.'s management that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors including, but not limited to, a decision of one or more significant program participants to discontinue their support, a termination of the initiatives referenced above, and other factors that are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other documents periodically filed with the SEC.