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Report: Netflix sidelines Akamai in favor of rivals

While Netflix appears to be preparing to hand Limelight and Level 3 most of the content-distribution responsibilities, the video service says reports it is unhappy with Akamai's performance are inaccurate.

Netflix is handing more content-distribution business to Level 3 and Limelight and less to rival Akamai, but it has nothing to do with Akamai's performance according to a Netflix spokesman.

On Tuesday, Dan Rayburn reported at his blog that Netflix was making the change because of displeasure over Akamai's performance in delivering streaming video to Netflix subscribers. That's not correct, said Steve Swasey, Netflix's spokesman

"Reports of Netflix dissatisfaction are not accurate," Swasey said. "We continue to engage Akamai as a vendor in our multi-vendor strategy for the foreseeable future."

Rayburn reported that Akamai blew a golden opportunity to service one of the Web's top video sites. Akamai wrested control of Netflix's business away from Level 3 earlier in the year, only to see Netflix make plans to return to Level 3. The reasons were due to poor performance by Akamai, according to Rayburn.

Jeff Young, a spokesman for Akamai, denied there were issues over Akamai's performance.

"We continue to have an ongoing relationship with Netflix and expect to going forward," Young said. "The discussion over the issues of poor performance is simply untrue."

Young refused to comment on whether Netflix had reduced Akamai's role.

A spokeswoman for Limelight said that company will expand its relationship with Netflix starting in 2011 and extended the contract until 2013.