Apple’s OTT broadcast will raise the bar for live streaming

“Apple’s long-awaited web TV service is expected to raise the bar for live streaming, thanks to its expected line-up of broadcast TV and sports, putting high demands on partners, such as Akamai Technologies,” Reinhardt Krause reports for Investor’s Business Daily. “Some analysts have pushed back the arrival of Apple’s web TV service to the second-half of 2016. Apple’s focus on ensuring high quality streaming could be one reason for the delay as well as acquiring content rights.”

“For Apple, the worry is that while it can estimate demand for a web TV service, it doesn’t want traffic surges to give the service a black eye,” Krause reports. “Apple has been seeking streaming rights to live broadcast content from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, and is believed to be keen on sports content.”

“Akamai’s stock was pummeled Wednesday on views that Apple, its biggest customer, is shifting more of its own traffic to an internal CDN network. Akamai has invested heavily in upgrading its server network to support Apple and other expected OTT services,” Krause reports. “If Apple aims to create a broad, national TV service, it’ll need plenty of Akamai’s help, even with its own CDN, analysts say. It’s not clear how much of Apple’s TV service would travel over the public Internet. So far, no interconnection issues have surfaced between Apple’s CDN and cable TV companies, which provide most broadband services.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Besides getting the ink on the contracts (which has proved elusive without Steve Jobs in the room), there is a massive amount of planning and infrastructure required to deliver quality dependable OTT service. As any heavy user of Apple TV understands, delays in streaming are frustrating. As Day One Apple TV users, (nearly 9 years ago!) it’s only been in the last year or so where suggesting watching a movie on Apple TV hasn’t provoked “Is it gonna work?” Apple TV has been much more dependable over the last year. This is one device that needs to Just Work™ and any live services do not need to start from the bottom of a deep public perception hole from which it would take years, if ever, to emerge (like Apple Maps).

Analyst: Apple needs Akamai even with their own content delivery network – August 20, 2015
iOS 8 release a significant, successful debut for Apple’s new CDN – September 19, 2014
What Apple’s new content delivery network means for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – and for you – August 19, 2014
Apple’s content delivery network now live; paid interconnect deals with ISPs, massive capacity in place – August 1, 2014
Apple’s content delivery network is reportedly live and it’s positively massive – July 31, 2014
Apple negotiating paid interconnect deals with ISPs for their own Content Delivery Network – May 20, 2014


  1. Apple has been quietly building its own data center infrastructure. I would figure that would be enough to do lots of high quality streaming. Heck as cheap as Akamai is after the earnings plummet, Apple should just buy the whole company along with its talent. With an $11 billion market cap, it’s dirt cheap relative to Apple’s wealth.

  2. The primary reason that the “Steve Jobs” version of TV has not arrived yet could well be that the pipes are not big enough yet to handle the volume of data required. Delivering a service like TV that results in a bad user experience would be far worse than never delivering it at all. Wetting our collective feet, and learning and growing through several years, with an Apple TV “hobby” was brilliant on Apples part.

  3. I still have intermittent streaming issues and it’s damn hard to figure out what’s going on.

    We live in a semi-remote area (no cable) and we get internet service using a radio transceiver pointed at a nearby tower. When I stream Netflix I do have to wait 60-90 seconds before a show starts. And I do get the occasional hiccup where the show freezes for a minute or two before continuing. But it generally works OK.

    The weirdest problem has to do with my own internal network. My house is wired Cat-5 and my AppleTVs have a direct hard-wired connection to my computer and the external drives I use to store video content. Sometimes a show will play instantly from the HD. But other times the AppleTV will tell me that the movie will be ready to play in 36 hours! FTW??! I’m using a Time Capsule as the router. The guy who installed the wiring says maybe I need a different router. I just done know. I don’t get it.

    Any suggestions?

    1. Very odd. I have nearly a thousand movies stored on an external Thunderbolt drive plugged into my iMac, with Home Sharing turned on in iTunes, which manages all the content. My Apple TV is hard wired over Ethernet to my iMac. The only problem I’ve ever had playing movies instantly from my server is an occasional HDCP error, which invariably means I’ve left Apple Remote Desktop running inadvertently on the server. So, for me, this configuration works perfectly.

      I’m using a new ac AirPort Extreme as my home router, with it plugged directly into my Internet gateway (a Comcast box).

    2. Your Apple TV is telling you is tight take 36 hours to play a movie from your computer?

      If that is the case, my first suggestion would be to make sure on the Apple TV menu you are looking at your computer (orange icon), and NOT the streaming option (blue icon).

      They both show iTunes content, but obviously one is local where the other isn’t. Also, both your computer and AppleTV must be signed into Home Sharing.

      If that’s not the case, I would try using a different router port.

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