Akamai’s media business feeds on massive OTT video traffic spikes in Q4

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Akamai’s media and carrier division revenue for the fourth quarter was $353 million, up 8% year over year. (iStock)

Akamai’s media and carrier division business experienced dramatic rises in traffic during the fourth quarter thanks to OTT video, along with software and gaming downloads.

During the company’s earnings call on Tuesday, Akamai CEO Tom Leighton said his company is growing traffic on its platform faster than published growth rates for the internet as a whole, which means that Akamai is continuing to gain traffic share. He said that on December 3, the company set a record for peak traffic in 2019 of 121 terabits per second.

“This record didn't last long though, as we've already delivered more traffic on multiple occasions during the first 5 weeks of 2020. In fact, I checked our traffic stats just a few minutes ago, and it looks like we're currently delivering about 140 terabits per second from the Akamai Edge platform,” Leighton said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

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Leighton attributed Akamai’s peak traffic records to the company’s network edge platform, which places assets closer to the end user, rather than attempting to pull content from data centers near the core of the internet. He also said that delivering from the core is more expensive, which is one of the reasons he said Akamai is more profitable than some of its competitors.

“We're excited by the opportunities in front of us as the OTT marketplace continues to develop, and we believe that our unmatched global capacity positions Akamai very well for 2020 and beyond,” Leighton said.

Akamai’s media and carrier division revenue for the fourth quarter was $353 million, up 8% year over year. The company’s consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter was $772 million, up 8% year over year. Akamai’s overall growth during the quarter was driven largely by its international business, which saw a 17% year over year increase in revenue.

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