Hulu Is Latest SVOD Service to Back AOMedia Video Codec

Hulu has joined the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) to help promote the AV1 AOMedia Video codec. The alliance’s video compression standard “strives to deliver improved compression efficiency over the current cutting-edge video compression standards HEVC/H.265 and VP9, in addition to providing the industry with an open source, royalty-free, interoperable video format,” wrote Hulu CTO Tian Lim. “Hulu joins other streaming media industry leaders in pursuit of a common goal — to accelerate development and facilitate friction-free adoption of new media technologies that benefit the streaming media industry and our viewers.”

“AOMedia, which was created to develop open-source codecs that are royalty-free as an alternative to HEVC, has launched a new video project to promote active development of an open-source video codec,” reports FierceCable. “Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel and Netflix are among the major supporters of AOMedia.”

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“Ultimately, having the top three OTT SVOD services on board will provide strong momentum for the standards produced by the consortium,” said Parks Associates analyst Brett Sappington.

“The royalty-free aspect of AOMedia standards for technologies like video codecs is of particular interest to distributors like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon,” he added. “As their video delivery volumes increase on a global scale, royalty-based licensing costs quickly become substantial.”

Sappington also pointed out that AOMedia does not yet have formal support from any major broadcasters or production companies, and deviation could lead to further fragmentation.

“If one major content service or CE manufacturer opts to take a different approach, it forces others within the delivery chain to either abandon support for a sizeable consumer group or to support all of the media format options that could apply,” he said.