Akamai’s Peter Chave Discusses the Future of OTT Services, Online Video Fidelity and Security in the Content Delivery Network Market

Consumer demand for OTT content and online video continues to increase, and content delivery network providers such as Akamai have developed solutions that ensure the highest quality and security for clients and their end user, according to Peter Chave, principal architect for Akamai, in a podcast interview with BizTechReports in which he discussed advances in online video fidelity and the horizon beyond quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM).

 “We’ve seen the online video experience catch up to where the traditional TV distribution platforms are today, and in many cases surpass it. We’re seeing new formats like HDR and 4K which are being delivered online first. With all of the available offerings in these formats like OTT services, we’re seeing a shift of the viewership from traditional platforms as people are becoming cord cutters, cord shavers, and cord nevers,” says Chave. 

Podcast Interview Akamai's Peter Chave

As viewership shifts, so are the revenues, explains Chave. The money is moving to OTT services and he is seeing the disaggregation of the service provider into the skinny bundles from companies like Sling and Hulu and PlayStation Vue. 

 “People are now demanding that the online service really has to be as good as -- if not better than -- traditional TV service,” he says. 

However, the evolution of online video and the expansion of OTT is not without its challenges when it comes to reliability and quality. And that is where a cloud delivery platform -- as the one offered by Akamai -- comes in.

“We have architected our network as a global delivery platform, by placing our servers as close to users as possible. We try to get content as close to the viewer as possible,’ says Chave.
 This, he explains, reduces unknown areas of the network that can cause a “best-effort” architecture to underperform.

 “And then, on top of that, we have technology and products to bridge the gap.”
Beyond providing the performance necessary to deliver high quality online video, Akamai also works to create a secure environment for content delivery.

“In a traditional QAM network, content could be hacked by using a Y splitter to split the cable and steal the feed. We solved that problem in QAM by encrypting the feed; we’re doing the same online [for IP delivery]. We have the ability to apply everything from basic token authorization through basic encryption to full-blown DRM [digital rights management] to secure the content.” 

According to Chave, Akamai’s new generation of products address both quality and reliability for their customers by moving their Akamai software as close as possible to the edge -- including inside first-and-last-mile devices. 

“We have technologies in SDKs that will go into a player, and we have complete player frameworks which brings the Akamai edge right to your device. This allows us to extend both our visibility and our reliability in scale right to the devices in your home, over whatever access the devices are using. We do the same thing for the first mile, where our technology goes right back to master control at studios, at the playout farms, and increasingly now cloud playout systems. 

As Akamai looks forward for the rest of 2018 and beyond, the company continues to build a holistic security experience that not only addresses video streaming but also the emerging generation of applications and experiences that are entering the market. 

(For more information please visit https://www.akamai.com).