Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Mozilla Join Hands To Create Next-Gen Open Video Format


New Online Video Format

It is not often that we come across alliances of a bouquet of big names. This one is out of the rare ones – Google has teamed up with six other tech giants including Microsoft, Amazon, and Mozilla, to form the Alliance for Open Media. The alliance’s main goal is to work together to create new open source formats and codecs for online video, audio, and other streaming media.

“As a founding member of the Alliance for Open Media, Cisco is committed to offering our innovation and resources to the creation of a next-generation video codec,” said Jonathan Rosenberg, CTO of Cisco Collaboration Technology Group. “We have been very vocal about our desire to deliver a royalty-free codec and we believe that joining the forces of the designers of the Daala, Thor and VPx codecs in AOMedia will multiply our collective efforts to deliver next-generation media codecs, formats and technologies.”

Considering the names involved, this is going to be a big project to watch out for in the innovation industry. Each member in the alliance has a unique plus, all of these when put together will produce a great mix. The companies are coming together to contribute their bit to an initial project in an effort to create an open, royalty-free “next-generation” video format that adheres to the following:

  • Interoperable and open;
  • Optimized for the web;
  • Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
  • Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
  • Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
  • Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.

This last part is mainly important, because this means the format will offer support for content encryption. Now that is something that Amazon, Netflix and others have to support in order to be able to get the licensing rights for most of their content.

As per Mozilla, part of the reason for forming this alliance is not just to share technology, but also to “run the kind of patent analysis necessary to build a next-generation royalty-free video codec.” The members of this new alliance state that this of alliance is necessary to create a new interoperable video standard that will work across vendors and platforms. It is clear, though not mentioned that none of the members involved in this alliance want to have to pay royalties to the likes of MPEG LA.

We cannot really tell as to how long it will take to deliver that new codec, but the launch announcement says more information “will be available later this year.” The combined power of the tech giants, we presume will succeed in creating widely adopted codecs for online media consumption. Though the initial list is out, looking at the hype about the concept, we’re sure many other big names might too join the bandwagon.


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