by CIO Staff

Akamai to Buy Nine Systems for Media Control

Nov 21, 20062 mins

Online delivery service company Akamai Technologies is buying Nine Systems, a multimedia management service provider, expanding its toolset for online content.

To buy Nine Systems, Akamai will issue 3.1 million shares and pay about US$7 million in cash. The buyout will cost an estimated $160 million, depending in part on Akamai’s share price on the closing date, which is expected to come by year’s end, said Akamai spokesman Jeff Young.

Akamai helps enterprises and service providers get content and applications out to customers through its software and servers located in ISP data centers worldwide. Nine Systems sells a service for setting up live and canned content, controlling how customers can use it and analyzing how it is consumed.

Being able to deliver rich media well is a growing business as more video and audio offerings go up on the Internet and Web users learn to expect instant gratification through sites such as YouTube. The problem has also become more complicated with multimedia appearing on mobile devices such as cell phones.

Nine Systems has a set of services controlled through a software suite called Stream OS. With it, providers can take a piece of content, set up how it will be delivered, protect it with Microsoft Windows Media digital rights management, create a page where it can be sold and control how users can access it. Reporting tools include a worldwide map of where the content is being consumed and a voice-activated system for retrieving statistics from a cell phone on the road.

Other Nine Systems capabilities include setting up channels of related content and tagging media so the right advertising can be associated with it, Young said. Akamai will integrate the services with its delivery capabilities to create a one-stop shop for online media providers, he said.

Akamai, in Cambridge, Mass., will retain Nine Systems’ facilities in Denver and its hometown of San Diego and will keep a majority of the company’s 57 employees, Young said.

-Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)

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