RealTime IT News

Digital Island's Role at Sony Increases

Internet packet delivery specialist Digital Island on Monday will announce it has signed an Internet content delivery and management deal with Sony Corp. that deepens its ties to the entertainment giant.

The length and dollar figure of the announcement was unavailable, but points to Sony's strategy to increase their online presence with carriers and delivery experts. On Wednesday, Sony's digital branch penned a deal with Level 3 Communications to provide bandwidth to support its interactive Screenblast service.

According to Brian Lakamp, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment senior vice president, bringing data-intensive streaming audio and video files to the consumer needs to be delivered quickly and economically.

"SPDE's aim is to make Sony Pictures the leading provider of digital entertainment," he said. "With Digital Island's 2Way Web Services we can cost-effectively leverage and deliver our digital entertainment content."

Digital Island will provide its flagship "2Way Web Services" service to Sony's online entity, which puts information at the edge of Internet networks and in the networks of large Internet service providers (ISPs), and closer to the end user. That saves Sony a lot of money in Internet traffic costs and the capacity.

Sony has signed on for two of the 2Way web services programs: 2Manage, (which collects user information demographics by location) and 2Deliver (DI's distributed network platform that guarantees speedy content delivery).

Digital Island and Sony's relationship got off to a wonderful start last year when Sony signed the company to deliver the content from their Sony Music Online Japan Web site in April. Later that year, in November, Sony expanded that contract to include the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America.

Adam Cohen, a Digital Island spokesperson, said their success with the music site in Japan prompted Sony to incorporate DI's services into other entertainment divisions and will likely lead to even more signed contracts down the road.

"What was significant about (the Japan deal) was that immediately after adopting the 2Deliver service, they saw a 30 percent performance increase in performance for a site that is the fifth-largest in Asia with 160 million monthly visitors," Cohen said. "I think that if you look at the lineage thus far (with Sony), you can see just the incredible amount of traction that Digital Island is getting, not just in Sony's entertainment division but across the organization. I would say that it's highly conceivable for us to continue to extend our relationship throughout Sony, that includes Sony's professional services, where we are a customer.

Digital Island's fortunes have risen since their acquisition by European carrier giant Cable & Wireless last May for $340 million. While a relatively small investment for the bandwidth provider company, it instantly gave Digital Island worldwide clout for its content delivery services and gave them a leg up on competitors like Akamai Technologies, Inc. .

Cable & Wireless handed its entire data center business to Digital Island, boosting their data center presence from nine to 40 around the world and increasing their number of caching servers to roughly 2,650. It also brought Digital Island access to an impressive clientele, through C&W, of customers like AOL Time Warner , Cisco Systems, Inc. , Reuters and Universal Music Group.