Akamai adds to content platform arsenal with Nine Systems acquisition

The Nine Systems acquisitions places Akamai in the role of an emerging service layer to those media companies aspiring to become Internet distribution and advertising powerhouses, not just content creators that feed other distribution networks.

Akamai Technologies has ramped up beyond its internal development efforts to create a premier content delivery, management, and monetization platform with the stated merger today with Nine Systems Corp., a San Diego-based rich media production, publishing and distribution services and solutions provider.

The inclusion of such a content management capability -- across the spectrum of formats in demand today -- places Akamai in a powerful position. It can expand its application delivery optimization and content-delivery services benefits by solving the demands of those seeking to create and monetize all sorts of digital content -- not just deliver it around the world in a jiffy. Akamai is moving to an end-to-end, full spectrum solutions role for broad Internet activities.

"...The combined Akamai and Nine Systems rich media framework will allow us to develop the best solutions to help our customers simplify the control, management, distribution, reporting, and monetization of digital assets on the Internet," said Akamai President and CEO Paul Sagan in a release.

Akamai says it plans to integrate Nine Systems' Stream OS into the global Akamai network. Stream OS is a suite of configurable rich media management tools that enable production and publishing of content online. The goal is to provide customers worldwide with a unified solution for managing content and controlling delivery across the Akamai rich media distribution network platform.

"This is a big win for our customers, and for companies requiring rich media management, publishing, and robust delivery," said Troy Snyder, president and CEO of Nine Systems, in a release. "Nine Systems' rich media publishing and management tools already power the online media experience for some of today's best known companies in the music, broadcast, sports, entertainment, inspirational, advertising, education, and government markets. By joining forces with Akamai, our customers will have access to the leader in accelerating content and applications online, supported by a combination of the most experienced teams in the industry."

The move comes as Akamai is also ramping up Link Syndication offerings that help its media delivery customers move their business models up the food chain along the following progression: pay per view, subscription, advertising, and syndication. Akamai is increasingly reaching out to developers of RIAs, AJAX apps, and SOAs so to allow them to more easily exploit the benefits of Internet acceleration, and to automate the speed and reliability of these inherently complex and highly chatty applications.

The Nine Systems acquisition comes as the impact of Web 2.0 and social networks is being felt, and monetized. More "user generated content" is going up and through the pipes, and needs management -- both for creators as well as aggregators and end-users. This could have huge implications as users create and want to distribute more HD video at scale. Also podcasting and blogging "platform" providers are increasingly moving to video, begging the question of why content creators and media companies would not seek an all-in-one provider with the advertising and sponsorship services embedded across all content modes.

The Nine Systems acquisitions places Akamai in the role of an emerging service layer to those media companies aspiring to become Internet distribution and advertising powerhouses, not just content creators that feed other distribution networks.

Akamai began as a content delivery network in the 1990s, but has progressed to a software intellectual property bank and global server distributor. The Wall Street darling is clearly moving more closely to becoming a B2C and B2B online sales and marketing services company that also hosts more and more of any Internet-facing company's edge infrastructure, while also managing all types of digital assets.

Disclosure: Akamai is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect B2B podcasts.

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