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Everybody Wants to Be Akamai’s Friend; Delve the Latest

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Video management platform Delve Networks today announced a non-exclusive partnership with leading content delivery network Akamai (s AKAM) in which the two companies will combine forces to provide turn-key high-quality video services to video publishers.

delvelogoAkamai may not get a lot of love in the financial markets these days — yesterday Citi said it was flying up a “Big Red Flag” over the company after disappointing earnings this week — but video platforms, by contrast, are clamoring past one another to declare their love for the CDN. While Delve had originally pitched the deal with Akamai to me as comparable to the one between Limelight Networks (s LLNW) and Brightcove, Akamai shot that down.

“We have value-added relationships with a lot of these companies,” said Suzanne Johnson, Akamai’s senior industry marketing manager for M&E. She said Akamai’s partnerships with KickApps, VMIX, Multicast, Onstream Media, VBrick and KIT Digital are similar to the one with Delve. Plus Akamai also offers its own Stream OS video platform from its Nine Systems acquisition.

Delve isn’t the only company eager to associate itself with Akamai. Ooyala recently let it be known in the press that it was going to be using Akamai exclusively (except in cases where customers already use another provider…so not really). That overrides the startup’s previous strategy of load-balancing between multiple CDNs. Ooyala CTO Sean Knapp told Contentinople, “[W]hat we found was that Akamai’s performance was always the best.”

Today, Delve hewed to Akamai’s language around the deal — “Delve Networks and Akamai Collaborate to Enable Cloud-Based Video Management for Publishers” in an official press release, but it rebelled a little on its company blog, titling its announcement post “Akamai and Delve team up to provide better alternative to Brightcove.”

Seattle-based Delve’s distinctive features are its friendly UI, its cloud-style elastic pricing based on usage, and its advanced search capabilities, carried over from when it was called Pluggd and focused on video player user interfaces that incorporated audio analysis technologies. Delve has $10 million in funding from DFJ Frontier, Intel Capital, Labrador Ventures and the Band of Angels.

So what are these white-label startups hoping to get from declaring their adoration from Akamai? Do they think the CDN will buy them?

Akamai says no, for now. “We’re always looking to bring value into our product set,” said Johnson. “Right now we have a strategy of working with partners.”