Akamai Measures Digital Music

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Akamai Technologies Inc., a company whose distribution platform handles nearly 20% of the traffic on the entire internet, has begun providing accurate measurements of music streaming and downloads.

“Not only has the Internet quickly evolved into a key distribution channel for music, it’s dramatically changing the way consumers learn about, share, and buy music online,” said Brad Rinklin, Akamai’s VP of marketing in a statement. “The Internet offers a platform to dramatically expand the global footprint artists and labels have to promote, distribute, and sell music, videos, and other rich media assets to millions of potential listeners and buyers. The Net Usage Index for Digital Music data will help the industry by providing empirical data on consumer behavior and online music.”

The Akamai Net Usage Index for Digital Music tracks more than 40 digital music sites including XM Satellite Radio, Clear Channel, Rediff.com and Napster, giving a comprehensive view of total visitors per minute. The system is updated every five minutes and serves as a benchmark for businesses and web publishers, also notifying readers if traffic is above or below the average for that time of year. Music usage over the last 24 hours can be viewed separately by continent.

According to the index, most music traffic comes from North America, Asia and Europe. Global peak traffic is more than a half million visitors per minute. Traffic peaks in Europe and North America during the middle of the week, while peak traffic from Asia tends to emerge towards the end. Sunday is a consistently slow traffic day.

To coincide with the launch of the index, Akamai conducted a customer survey about online music. Most respondents owned a portable player and spent $1-5 on music downloads each week. Most respondents also said they preferred a pay-per-download model rather than an ad-supported or subscription one. The survey also found that a slight majority listened to streaming music during the work day.

Akamai’s Net Usage Index also measures traffic for retail and news-related activity.

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