‘LOTR’ preview sees 6.6 million downloads in first week
by Dennis Sellers, dsellers@maccentral.com
April 20, 2000, 7:00 am ET

New Line Cinema’s “The Lord of the Rings” preview footage has had a record-breaking one-week total of over 6.6 million downloads since it became available on April 7. However, not all QuickTime fans are happy with the trailer/footage.

The trailer loads in a proprietary box with no means of saving it to your hard drive. Immediately following this discovery, some Mac fans mobilized into action on the QuickTime message boards and newsgroups, sharing methods of ferreting out the movie so they could save it and view it whenever they wished. (MacCentral isn’t advocating this, just reporting that it happened so don’t flame me.)

Available exclusively in Apple’s QuickTime format, the delivery of the preview was handled by the FreeFlow SM Streaming service of Akamai Technologies. During the preview’s first week of availability, Akamai’s global network served 8.45 terabytes of data. At the peak, Akamai’s network supported 450MB of data per second.

“Without Akamai’s over 2,700 servers, we would not have been able to satisfy the overwhelming demand to see this behind-the-scenes footage of The Lord of the Rings,” said Joe Nimziki, president of New Line Marketing, in a press release. “We are grateful that Akamai marshaled the technical resources necessary to help us pull off this record-breaking marketing coup.”

To view the Lord of the Rings movie preview, you’ll need QuickTime 4.0. If you have it, just cruise on over to http://www.apple.com/trailers or http://www.lordoftherings.net.

Akamai’s FreeFlow Streaming service, delivered from the Akamai EdgeAdvantage platform, exceeds user expectations by delivering high-quality and reliable streaming media content including live events, continuous broadcasts and on-demand media, according to Dan Fraisl, vice president and general manager of streaming, Akamai. Akamai’s EdgeAdvantage technology delivers content by intelligently routing requests across its distributed global network to the optimal server for each site visitor, he adds. EdgeAdvantage evaluates real-time Internet conditions, thus eliminating problems caused by server overloads and network bottlenecks, says Fraisl.

New Line anticipates releasing the first installment of the trilogy of movies for “The Lord of the Rings” during the Christmas holiday season of 2001. So you’ve got plenty of time to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy before the film opens.