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Netflix Selects Akamai for Streaming

16 Mar, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix March 16 said it signed Akamai Technologies as the primary content delivery network (CDN) for its Watch Instantly streaming service.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai replaces or co-mingles with Netflix’s current CDN, Limelight.

With servers less than 100 miles from all end users, Akamai’s service is considered one of the fastest delivery paths from the server closest to the end user.

Close proximity between end users and servers, especially for high-definition files, is considered one of the essential requirements for download and delivery of movies with uninterrupted, smooth playback for users.

Akamai will also assist Netflix with its planned European launch later this year of a standalone streaming service.

In addition, Akamai is the CDN of choice for Apple’s iTunes movie rentals and downloads.

There continues to be much speculation about a pending Netflix app on Apple’s App store, which Netflix downplays.

“We chose Akamai as our primary content delivery network because we need a strong partner to deliver movies instantly and to be able to meet our ever-increasing demand,” said Andrew Rendich with Netflix, in a statement.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based online DVD rental pioneer has seen its membership grow exponentially due in part to offering streaming as a value-add to monthly subscribers.

Indeed, by the end of 2009, almost half of the 12.3 million Netflix members had instantly watched a movie or TV episode on either a computer or TV via a Netflix ready device.

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