Almost 20 companies from the online video ecosystem – including service providers, content owners and an array of technology vendors – have banded together to form the Streaming Video Alliance to “facilitate the creation of architecture, standards and best practices” around the online video infrastructure.
This alliance claims consumer experience is key to its charter. If this can be taken at face value, and is not simply an alliance of corporate interests to compete with Google and Netflix or aligning themselves with Microsoft or Apple, it’s a good sign and step that different components of the streaming video landscape are starting to come together.
Founding members include Telstra, Ustream, Wowza Media Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Charter Communications, Cisco, Comcast, EPIX, Fox Networks Group, Korea Telecom, Level 3 Communications, Liberty Global, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Qwilt, Telecom Italia, and Yahoo.
YouTube, Netflix, Brightcove, Cogent and Apple are not currently part of the SVA, despite being huge streaming video operators and providers and, in the case of Netflix and YouTube, pioneers in the industry.
The SVA says it intends to foster collaboration and innovation as it works to “redefine the way online video is streamed across mobile and fixed networks to consumers worldwide,” focusing on open architecture, quality of experience and interoperability.
The association might, signal an end to the era of online video as a technology being developed in the “guns-blazing ethos of the Wild West”.
The online video industry is and continues to make inroads with consumers, content owners and service providers, and growth accelerates at a breakneck pace.
TV Everywhere, over-the-top offerings from traditional content companies like CBS and HBO and the plans of service providers like Dish Network and new media companies like Sony, Samsung and Microsoft to offer their content online is part of a trend that will continue and accelerate in the coming year.
The Streaming Video Alliance is just another sign that the evolution of streaming media is heading in the right direction. Consumers should come first, and online video distribution remains a complex endeavor and dark forest for many companies putting video online.