Sky Italia Speeds Content Availability with Akamai and Aspera

Akamai Technologies, Inc. announced that Sky Italia has improved and simplified its workflow with Akamai’s Media Delivery solutions. With the combination of the leading high-speed file transfer solutions from Aspera, an IBM company, and Akamai’s NetStorage cloud-based storage platform, Sky has realized an increase in file upload speed by up to 650 percent.

Since their launch in 2012, the Sky Go and Sky on Demand services have quickly gained in popularity as one of the most popular video content providers in Italy with over three million combined active users. To cope with this demand and an increasing amount of content offered via mobile devices, Sky needed to improve the upload speed of titles onto its storage systems in order to grow the breadth and quality of its content offerings. This required the right partner to help Sky improve their offering without additional infrastructure investments.

“With a 2500-movie library, almost five million subscribers to our satellite channels and more than two million weekly downloads, it is important that we are able to offer new content in the fastest and most effective way without affecting quality,” explained Vincenzo Roggio, Distribution Platform Design & Development Engineer, Sky Italia. “Since we added Akamai’s new Aspera high speed file upload service to our NetStorage platform, we have dramatically increased upload speed, resulting in an optimized content management workflow.”

“There are numerous challenges that media companies such as Sky face when launching new online and on demand services,” said Doug Tilford, senior vice president & general manager, EMEA, Akamai. “The close integration between Aspera and Akamai creates a complete system that makes it as easy as possible for Sky to turbo charge its upload capabilities, allowing subscribers to access a continuously updated video library featuring thousands of titles, which they can instantly download and view whenever they want, even from mobile devices.”

Integrated directly into Akamai’s NetStorage cloud-based online storage platform, the Aspera upload acceleration option provides a significantly faster means for Sky to upload content regardless of file size or geographic distance. This mitigates the bottlenecks inherent in traditional network protocols that limit the speed and reliability of large content files into Sky’s storage system. With Aspera, Sky can quickly and securely upload new content, enabling it to deliver more content to its customers.

Sky has been a longtime user of Akamai’s Media Delivery solutions to help make it possible to quickly distribute online rich media at high quality. Thanks to this solution set and ongoing technological innovation, Sky has been able to ensure an uninterrupted stream of HD video optimized for both online and mobile viewing. The service has also enabled Sky to ensure the best quality viewing experience, even during high online traffic peaks such as major sporting events.

As more consumers watch media on mobile devices and interact with content on the move, Sky selected Akamai to enable its Sky Go service for mobile video consumption. Thanks to Akamai’s fast upload solution, it has been able to provide content for mobile viewing from smartphones, tablets and laptops with100 percent availability and at unprecedented quality.

“Our ultimate goal is to offer live and on demand content via the Web with the same or higher quality than that available via satellite or Digital Terrestrial Transmission, regardless the number of simultaneous connections. With Akamai, we feel confident in achieving that goal,” concluded Roggio.