Investors didn't react well to
purchase Wednesday of Internet-broadcasting technology firm
. But the deal promises to make the Net a livelier place.
Following the announcement of the $1.3 billion all-stock deal, Inktomi's shares fell about 3% Wednesday. Yet the deal looks promising for Inktomi, say both an industry analyst who follows the company and a major customer of both Inktomi and FastForward.
FastForward's technology for streaming live video across the Internet is "exciting," and it's a good extension to Inktomi's product line, says George Peabody, vice president of carrier and enterprise communications at the
market research firm. Tied into Inktomi's recently announced
, FastForward will put live-streamed video in front of a larger audience, he says.
FastForward does have competition, though, says Peabody. One competitor in the live-streaming technology field is
, he says; another is
, which has "ticketing" technology for controlling access to live Web events -- technology that FastForward doesn't have. (Reliacast and Cisco are clients of Aberdeen's; Inktomi and FastForward aren't.)
By teaming with Inktomi, FastForward won't have to build up its sales and support teams from scratch, says Leo Spiegel, president of
. Spiegel's firm is a customer of both Inktomi and FastForward; Spiegel adds that Inktomi has a minor stake in Digital Island, and he considers his company a partner of the other two.
Spiegel says his firm is "really impressed" with FastForward's live-streaming technology. "It rocks," he says.
Aberdeen predicts that Web broadcasting will be a $40 billion market by 2003. But Peabody admits that consumer business models for Internet video streaming are still unclear. "We're part of a big experiment right now," he says.