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Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla And Others Partner To Create Next-Gen Video Format

Posted Sep 1, 2015 by Frederic Lardinois (@fredericl)
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Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix today announced that they have formed a new open source alliance — the Alliance for Open Media — with the goal of developing the next generation of royalty-free video formats, codecs and other related technologies.

It’s not often we see these rival companies come together to build a new technology together, but the members argue that this kind of alliance is necessary to create a new interoperable video standard that will work across vendors and platforms. While it goes unmentioned in the announcement, it’s also clear that none of the members involved in this alliance want to have to pay royalties to the likes of MPEG LA.

logo4As Mozilla notes, 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.”

There is no dearth of royalty-free next-gen codec projects, of course. Mozilla has Daala, Cisco has Thor, and Google is working on VP9 and 10. It’s no surprise then that the Alliance’s first project is to create a new video codec specification that’s based on the previous work of its members.

This work is part of the larger effort of creating a format that’s open and interoperable, as well as optimized for the web and scalable to any device and bandwidth. The format is also meant to support real-time video delivery and usable for commercial and non-commercial content. This last part is important, because this means the format will offer support for content encryption — something Amazon, Netflix and others have to support in order to be able to get the licensing rights for most of their content.

The group plans to publish its code under the Apache 2.0 license and it will operate under W3C patent rules, meaning the members will waive royalties from the codec implementations and their patents on the codec itself.

Featured Image: Pete/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE
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  • Alliance for Open Media

    • Founded 2015
    • Overview Launched in 2015, the Alliance for Open Media is a Joint Development Foundation project formed to define and develop media codecs, media formats, and related technologies to address marketplace demand for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web.
    • Location Wakefield, Massachusetts
    • Categories Technology
    • Website http://aomedia.org/
    • Full profile for Alliance for Open Media
  • Amazon

    • Founded 1994
    • Overview Amazon is an e-commerce retailer formed originally to provide consumers with products in two segments. It offers users with merchandise and content purchased for resale from vendors and those offered by third-party sellers. Operating in North American and International markets, Amazon provides its services through websites such as amazon.com and amazon.ca. It also enables authors, musicians, filmmakers, …
    • Location Seattle, WA
    • Categories E-Commerce, Crowdsourcing, Groceries, Consumer Goods, Delivery, Software, Retail, Internet
    • Founders Jeff Bezos
    • Website http://amazon.com
    • Full profile for Amazon
  • Intel

    • Founded 1968
    • Overview Intel Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells integrated digital technology platforms worldwide. It operates through PC client group, data center group, other Intel architecture, software and services, and other segments. The company’s platforms are used in various computing applications such as notebooks, desktops, servers, tablets, smartphones, automobile infotainment systems, automated …
    • Location Santa Clara, CA
    • Categories Hardware + Software
    • Website http://www.intel.com
    • Full profile for Intel
  • Google

    • Founded 1998
    • Overview Google is a multinational corporation that is specialized in internet-related services and products. The company’s product portfolio includes Google Search, which provides  users with access to information online; Knowledge Graph that allows to search for things, people, or places as well as builds systems recognizing speech and understanding natural language; Google Now, which provides information …
    • Location Mountain View, CA
    • Categories Search, Email, Blogging Platforms, Information Technology, Video Streaming, Software
    • Website http://www.google.com
    • Full profile for Google
  • Cisco

    • Founded 1984
    • Overview Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. At Cisco customers come first and an integral part of our DNA is creating long-lasting customer partnerships and working with them to identify their needs and provide solutions that support their success. …
    • Location San Jose, California
    • Categories Networking, Web Hosting, Software, Hardware
    • Website http://www.cisco.com
    • Full profile for Cisco
  • Mozilla

    • Founded 1998
    • Overview Mozilla is a non-profit organization; and a global community of technologists, thinkers and builders committed to keep the Internet alive and accessible. The Mozilla project was created in 1998 with the release of the Netscape browser suite source code. After several years of development, Mozilla 1.0, was released in 2002. By 2002, well over 90% of Internet users were browsing with Internet Explorer. …
    • Location Mountain View, CA
    • Categories Curated Web, Browser Extensions, Open Source
    • Website http://mozilla.org
    • Full profile for Mozilla
  • Microsoft

    • Founded 1974
    • Overview Microsoft is an American multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services. Its best known software products are the [Microsoft Windows line of operating systems](/product/windows), [Microsoft Office office suite](/product/microsoft-office), and [Internet Explorer](http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/download-ie) …
    • Location Redmond, WA
    • Categories Software, Video Games
    • Website http://www.microsoft.com
    • Full profile for Microsoft
  • Netflix

    • Founded 1997
    • Overview Netflix is an online television network that is engaged in the internet delivery of TV shows and movies directly on TVs, computers, and mobile devices in the United States and internationally. It provides its services under three segments: international streaming, domestic streaming, and domestic DVD. The network enables members to access and view more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies …
    • Location Los Gatos, CA
    • Categories Games, Entertainment, Consumer Electronics
    • Founders Reed Hastings
    • Website http://www.netflix.com
    • Full profile for Netflix

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