|Apple has announced another investment in an outside company that involves its core technologies. Akamai Technologies will receive US$12.5 million from Apple in exchange for a 5% stake in the company. Akamai is an Internet service provider that provides worldwide server access to Apple's QTV network. According to Apple:
Apple® and Akamai Technologies today announced further details of their strategic agreement regarding streaming media, as well as revealed an investment by Apple in Akamai.
Announced in late July at Macworld Expo in New York City, the strategic agreement centers on the integration of Apple's QuickTime® player and streaming server technology with Akamai's global Internet content delivery service to provide Macintosh® and Windows users worldwide with one-click access to high-quality streaming video content. In addition to Akamai's integration of QuickTime servers into its network, Apple has selected Akamai as its exclusive network provider for QuickTime TV (QTV).
To cement the partnership, Apple invested $12.5 million in June in Akamai, for approximately five percent of the shares of the company at the time the investment was made.
We chose Akamai as the exclusive delivery service for our QuickTime TV network because they have the best, most scalable architecture and proven reliability, said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. Together, Apple and Akamai will deliver the highest quality and easiest to use Internet streaming video content available.
Our relationship with Apple is a major step in delivering high-quality streaming, said George Conrades, Akamai chairman and CEO. QuickTime TV offers Internet users a whole new viewing experience and empowers web sites to create more engaging content.
Apple has used Akamai's global network to deliver copies of QuickTime and Mac® OS 8.6 software upgrades as well as the Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace movie trailer to Apple customers around the world. Apple and Akamai have also broadcast two live events: Steve Jobs' recent Macworld Expo keynote and an Apple-sponsored Eurythmics concert.
In an unrelated press release today, Akamai also announced that Cisco Systems has made an investment in the company.
Since many people have written us to ask what we knew about Akamai, we are including this "about" information from the press release:
Akamai Technologies is transforming the way content is delivered over the Internet. With an unprecedented guarantee for improving the speed and reliability of Web sites, Akamai's Internet content delivery network has grown to over 900 servers in 15 countries, and serves over one-quarter billion hits per day. Akamai's customers include Apple, CNN, GO Network, Yahoo!, and over 30 leading businesses ranging from new media companies to eCommerce firms and financial Web sites. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Akamai Technologieswww.akamai.comhas 150 employees. Akamai (pronounced AH kuh my) is Hawaiian for intelligent, clever and cool.
The Mac Observer Spin: Once again, Apple has stepped up and taken a step that shows how far they have come. Outside investments show that the company is prepared to secure those resources from outside the company that are vital to their operations. It also shows that they are healthy and in charge of their own destiny.
We can not emphasize enough that this outside investment is one of the most significant signs that Apple has come out of the woods. Of all the things that Apple is doing, this is certainly the most important and it will have a profound impact on the company's future.
QTV is also, of course, very important. This investment will assumedly allow Akamai to increase their network operations which will have an obvious benefit for Apple.
Apple - Akamai