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Akamai Accelerates Metacafe Site, Leading to Significant Impact on Page Views and Video Consumption


* Accelerating the global entertainment site’s dynamic content helps deliver an exceptional short-form video experience that keeps viewers coming back

CAMBRIDGE, MA . - Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leader in powering rich media, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, is powering Metacafe®, the world’s leading short-form video entertainment site. Late last year, Metacafe implemented a combination of Akamai’s media delivery and rich media site acceleration solutions to optimize the delivery of rich, heavy web pages, videos and dynamic content, in turn creating a 30 percent improvement in video start time. This improvement has contributed to significant growth in both page views and video views on Metacafe, up 44 and 53 percent respectively between January and July 2008.

With viewers in more than 180 countries, Metacafe is leveraging Akamai’s globally-distributed content delivery and acceleration platform to improve performance across static pages, dynamic elements and video viewing for increased consumption, creating a complete high quality web application experience. As site performance can directly impact engagement metrics like video consumption, page views and time spent on the site, page load times are a critical success element for the company. To maintain and grow its audience in the highly competitive video entertainment sector, Metacafe targets sub-second for page load times and under a half a second for videos to load.

The advanced routing and connection optimization technologies in Akamai’s rich media acceleration solution have been crucial to Metacafe achieving these goals. Akamai’s rich media acceleration capabilities leverage a globally-distributed network with techniques to improve aspects of page performance that can be inherently slowed by web and public Internet protocols. Metacafe is able to accelerate the rendering of each dynamic component of any page, from HTML and video thumbnail previews to advertisements and video loads. In addition, Metacafe is economically reducing infrastructure costs by offloading traffic across Akamai’s highly distributed network, taking advantage of both classic edge caching as well as the strategic staging of content within the distributed Akamai network.

“In our business, it’s critical that we deliver a truly on-demand entertainment experience - when someone wants to watch a video, we want to be sure they can start watching right away and without interruption,” said Yaron Finkel, vice president of research and development at Metacafe. “Akamai helps us deliver on this promise. Keeping viewers on our site to watch multiple short videos in one session is an important part of building our business - the more videos we serve, the more ads we serve, which is good for our content partners, advertisers and bottom line.”

Online content is getting richer and more dynamic; therefore, many traditional content delivery networks are challenged to meet the needs of their customers. Akamai’s ability to accelerate dynamic content for customers leads to a clear chain of results - more pages served, more videos played and greater viral impact that leads to direct ad revenue gains and increased user engagement. As competition in the online video entertainment arena increases and more people turn to the Internet in lieu of their TV sets, site performance and the overall end-user experience are critical business issues.

“Short-form entertainment video sites face stiff competition, increasing the importance of assuring not only video and audio quality, but allowing users to navigate throughout sites with fluidity and ease,” said Tim Napoleon, Chief Strategist for Digital Media, Akamai. “Akamai’s research has shown that better performance drives increased engagement metrics for online publishers, which equals an increase in page views and in the case of video sites, like Metacafe, increased video views.”

Akamai offers social networking businesses unique site acceleration technologies that increase the speed and reliability of uncacheable content-content that cannot be accelerated by traditional CDNs focused only on caching. As a result, Akamai’s services significantly improve the visitor experience, boosting user engagement and retention. For the full-year 2007, the Akamai network experienced an increase of more than 500 percent in social networking traffic.


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