An open-source project named Alliance for Open Media has been announced by seven of the biggest Internet companies today. The project aims at developing next-generation media formats, codecs and technologies in the public interest. The companies which declared their allegiance to this new project are Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix.

Combining their expertise in various sectors, “the members of the Alliance will commit their collective technology to meet growing Internet demand for top-quality video, audio, imagery and streaming across various platforms and for different types of users worldwide”. Primary goals of the Alliance include the creation of a new, high-quality open video format that improves core media experiences for all.

Regarding the initial aim of the Alliance, the blog post announcing its formation reads that it is to provide users with a next-generation video format that is:

  • 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.

More information about the Alliance as well as the procedure on how to join it will apparently be announced in the coming months. The Alliance for Open Media is a project of the Joint Development Foundation which is an independent non-profit organization that enables various sectors to operate standards and source code development collaborations.

Customer expectations for media delivery continue to grow, and fulfilling their expectations requires the concerted energy of the entire ecosystem,

said Gabe Frost, the Alliance for Open Media’s Executive Director. 

The Alliance for Open Media brings together the leading experts in the entire video stack to work together in pursuit of open, royalty-free and interoperable solutions for the next generation of video delivery.

This won’t be the first ever attempt to create an open video format though. As you’d remember, Mozilla has Daala, Cisco has Thor, and Google is working on VP9 and 10.

As for this current project, the Alliance is looking to publish its code under the Apache 2.0 license and it will operate under W3C patent rules, essentially implying that alliance members will waive any royalties they get from the use of this codec.

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