Limelight Goes After Akamai


Content delivery market leader Akamai Technologies (AKAM) could lose some of its edge over no. 2 Limelight Networks (LLNW).

In April, Limelight will start selling a new service that, until now, companies could only really get from Akamai. It is designed to speed up delivery of entire Web sites, including text, dynamic content, and Web apps — in addition to the pictures and videos Limelight has specialised in delivering so far.

The product, LimelightSITE, targets enterprise, e-commerce, financial, and government customers. Until now, Limelight has mostly focused on media and entertainment customers, delivering video and graphics for customers like Microsoft (MSFT), Electronic Arts (ERTS), and News Corp. (NWS). It has also picked up steam delivering mobile video for customers like Major League Baseball and CBS.

CDNs like Limelight and Akamai provide a sort-of express lane across the Internet by delivering Web sites to your computer using a server that’s as close to you as possible. It makes sense that many companies would want to deliver their whole sites using a CDN, and not just the graphics and video. So assuming its product is good, this could be a growth opportunity for Limelight.

A Sequoia-backed startup called Cotendo recently launched, offering similar whole-site delivery services. But Contendo says it’s aiming first at mid-sized clients who will spend a few hundred thousand dollars per year on CDN services.