M&E Connections

Adobe, Akamai Kick Off Mobile World Congress

By Chris Tribbey

Adobe and Akamai both made early waves at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona Feb. 22, while 20th Century Fox also used the annual conference to make a major partnership announcement.

Akamai used the conference to announce commercial availability of its Predictive Content Delivery solutions, which aim to allow for instant video start-up on mobile devices. The solution allows for improved high-def video delivery, caching of new videos on end-user devices, based on preferences and viewing behavior, and scheduled delivery of video content during non-peak traffic hours.

“Mobile has become a critical screen for creating customer loyalty and satisfaction for online video, and Akamai’s Predictive Content Delivery solutions are designed to give our customers a powerful set of tools to help them make the most of this growing phenomenon,” said Lior Netzer, VP and GM of Akamai’s emerging mobile business unit. “Sustained user adoption is predicated on delivering an exemplary viewer experience, independent of network conditions, device type, or content. That’s exactly what the Predictive Content Delivery SDK and Akamai WatchNow Application are all about.”

Akamai’s Predictive Content Delivery is available in two configurations, one as a software development kit (SDK) that can be integrated into existing or new media applications, second as a white-labeled Akamai WatchNow application.

Online video platform provider Saffron Digital is among those that have already integrated the Predictive Content Delivery SDK into its overall platform solution.

“Saffron Digital is delighted to be partnering with Akamai on this market leading technology and coupled with Saffron Digital’s MainStage platform we can continue to drive innovative multi-platform video services,” said Jason Keane, CEO of Saffron Digital. “Through our partnership we are extending the user interaction with content by predictively delivering personalized high quality experiences, independent of network conditions and device type.”

Meanwhile, Adobe announced enhancements to its Adobe Primetime TV Everywhere platform, offering dynamic ad insertion in MPEG-DASH streams, using the same workflows that have been used to do the same with HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

“The end result is a high-quality, stitched stream of ads and content that can reach viewers across the wide range of devices and browsers that support MPEG-DASH — including all HTML5-compliant browsers,” Adobe said in a statement. “For consumers, this means they can access more high-quality content (including HD and 4K) with lower data and bandwidth usage, and media companies can deliver it with lower content delivery network (CDN) costs.

“Adobe Primetime is the only DAI technology available in both client- and server-side configurations, allowing for maximum reach and deployment flexibility.”

Another early highlight out of the conference was the announcement that 20th Century Fox had partnered with Ericsson, naming the mobile company a partner for the studio’s Innovation Lab, which aims to improve content delivery across devices.

“Ericsson is one of the most progressive and largest mobile companies in the world, making them the perfect partner to realize the possibilities of the Fox Innovation Lab,” said Danny Kaye, EVP of global research and tech strategy at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and managing director of the Fox Innovation Lab. “We are constantly investigating and advancing strategies that leverage new technologies to take the movie experience beyond one screen, and Ericsson’s involvement will further our ability to deliver on this vision.”

Ericsson and Fox plan to co-develop projects that will improve the connected content experience, and look for solutions that give consumers easier ability to purchase and view content across platforms, the companies said.

“It is a privilege to be chosen as a preferred TV and media solution provider involved in the Fox Innovation Lab and we look forward to jointly developing new video technologies and experiences that engage viewers in a much more compelling way,” said Per Borgklint, SVP and head of business unit support solutions at Ericsson. “Our end goal at Ericsson is to delight the TV consumer every day. 20th Century Fox shares our commitment to making this happen, placing the consumer at the heart of the ecosystem and ensuring that their expectations are met and exceeded.”