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3/16/2010
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Netflix Taps Akamai For Video Distribution

Last year nearly 6 million people watched video content on a Netflix-ready PC or TV, the company says.

Netflix Inc. has chosen Akamai, which operates a global network of distributed servers, to be its primary content delivery network for movies and TV episodes streamed instantly over the Internet to its more than 12 million customers.

Ever since it announced plans to electronically deliver videos and movies in January of 2007, Netflix has been upgrading its delivery systems. From the start, Netflix committed to deliver its selection of films to "every Internet-connected screen, from cell phones to PCs to plasma screens." Initially it targeted PC screens.

By the end of 2009, Netflix said nearly one-half of its 12.3 million members had watched a movie of TV episode on a Netflix-ready device -- on a TV or a computer.

"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, head of Netflix operations, in a statement Tuesday.

Netflix said it expects the number of consumers watching a movie or TV on a Netflix-ready device will grow dramatically this year. Netflix has said it plans to begin streaming its video products in one country outside the U.S. later this year. Akamai notes that it maintains a global distributed server network of tens of thousands of devices providing a network capable of scale, reliability, and robust performance.

Akamai observed that most of its servers are located less than 100 miles from end users, enabling Netflix to bring its content close to the edge of the Internet. "This delivery approach improves the performance and reliability of HD files," Akamai said in a release. It further described its technique as resulting in "an uninterrupted, smooth playback viewing experience."

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