Friday, August 19, 2005

Akamai is Looking to Ride the Second Internet Wave

The Boston Globe refers to Akamai as a "little-known company" in its article announcing Akamai's move into content creation. Since I'm based in Boston and I'm a long-time online media analyst, Akamai is anything but an unknown company to me. I remember when they went public in late 1999 and the stock price shot up from $110 to $145 on the first day. Not long afterwards, the price peaked at $345. One could say that Akamai was the Google of its time. (Note, current stock price is $14.93.)

This week Akamai, which is primarily known as a content delivery platform that speeds up users' access to high-bandwidth content, announced that it has introduced a Net Usage Index that tracks traffic to news sites on a real-time basis. The index as displayed on their web site illustrates usage by continent and is updated every five minutes.

Taking a step toward creating content based on information culled from their servers is a smart move. For now, it's a small step, since it is not clear how Akamai will translate the index into a service that can be monetized. But, there are definite possibilities to help advertisers optimize their reach, for instance. In addition, with so much attention from the big search engines and major publishers focused on expanding into Asia, combined with growing attention on creating search engines for video content, Akamai's strengths in serving high-bandwidth content and its global network should help the company increase its visibility and make a name for itself that is more widely known.
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