Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Other OVPs May Say They "Support" VP8, But Read the Fine Print - What That REALLY Means

As I reported earlier today -- and as the whole world has reported throughout the day -- Google open sourced its VP8 video codec for the world to see as part of the new WebM format. The goal ultimately is to accelerate the adoption and proliferation of high quality video across the Internet. But, for many, the current reality is simply more confusion. VP8, H.264, Flash, HTML 5, Apple, Adobe -- what does it all mean?

Businesses need solutions now -- this noise is deafening. They need to get back to what they do best -- building their business -- using online video to better showcase and sell their products and services and, therefore, drive more revenues.

Virtually every online video platform (OVP) jumped on the VP8 bandwagon today -- pronouncing that they are here to provide VP8-related solutions and solve such confusion -- in their own frequently used words, that they "SUPPORT" VP8.

But, take a look at that word -- "Support." It is a funny thing. It means different things to different people. And, for virtually all OVPs, "support" apparently does not mean the same things as providing their customers with real working VP8 solutions today. They don't -- plain and simple. "Support" is a strategic word chosen to ride on the coat-tails of Google's press wave today. It is NOT a word that is used to connote that they are problem-solvers for their customers on day 1.

Take Brightcove for example -- a company we greatly respect as a leader in our industry. They are one of many OVPs that issued a major press release today in connection with Google's VP8/WebM game-changing announcement. But, what does the company's press release say? While the headline reads "Brightcove Announces Support for WebM Video Format", read the fine print in the body of the release itself. If you do, you read this -- "Brightcove ... today announced PLANS to support WebM ...." (emphasis mine). In other words, not today -- but at some point in the future.

They are not alone -- read the fine print with virtually any other company in the encoding and OVP space. Yes, the press releases were flowing. But, the live VP8 encoding solutions weren't.

And, that's where I am very proud to report, yet again, that Sorenson Media out-innovated all the rest. When we say "support", we mean it. And, we mean it on Day 1 -- that means today, out of the gates, we were fully live with VP8 supporting solutions -- across our entire product line -- as soon as Google announced to the world. That truly is remarkable.

How did that happen? Because Google reached out to us several weeks ago and asked us, as industry leaders, to develop in advance of its announcement. And, for the sake of being good partners -- and for the sake of innovation and providing world class video solutions -- we did. My team worked literally days, nights, weekends -- whatever it took -- to make this happen. To make our VP8 solutions available to businesses now -- today. To clarify the confusion now.

To be problem-solvers.

So, just because we and others use the same word -- "support" -- that doesn't mean we are saying the same thing.

We likely aren't.

Just read the fine print ...

Google's WebM/VP8 Open Source Initiative is Live -- And So Are Sorenson Media's VP8 Solutions!

Okay, everyone anticipated news at today's Google IO Developers' Conference. And, the big news just announced is that Google, as anticipated, has open sourced the VP8 video codec to the world! What does this mean? Very simply -- game changing for the online video world. High quality video -- wrapped in the new WebM format -- and available now. Here is the new WebM website. Here's surprising news -- Adobe's CTO just announced that Flash will support VP8!

And, I am very pleased to announce that, at Google's invitation, Sorenson Media is one of the few partners with live solutions right now (check out this link from the WebM website) and is immediately giving VP8 encoding solutions available RIGHT NOW and for FREE to developers. Come get it here by clicking on this link.

And, we are further supporting VP8 across our entire video solutions product line -- now only Sorenson Squish VP8, but also Sorenson Squeeze 6.5 (accepting invitations to private beta right now). But, wait, there's more ...

Based on popular demand -- this has been requested for a long long time -- we are announcing new Sorenson Squeeze Server Edition (click here for our press release). Yes, all the differentiated power of our award-winning Squeeze engine now available for enterprises in two flavors: (1) on their own servers; and (2) as a service hosted by us. And, of course, with full VP8 support.

Others today are announcing "support" for WebM and VP8. But, take a close look -- that does not mean that their solutions are live and available right now.

We put our money where our mouths are -- our form of "support" means that our VP8 solutions are available right now.

Come and get it!

What Do Andy Abramson & Justin Bieber Have in Common? Both Hot Right Now!

Justin Bieber. If you have a 10 year old girl (like I do), then you'll know who he is. He is one of the hottest things in music right now. He is today's pop idol for millions of screaming young teens and tweens. Not sure if it is more about his music ... or his hair though. Oh well, I like him because my girl likes him (took her to the Staples Center in LA to see him this past Saturday night ... thankfully Usher was on the same bill).

Then there's Andy Abramson. If you have digital media or technology company (like I do), then you'll know who he is (if you don't, you should). Andy is part of the digerati. He is an influencer in the world of digital media and technology. He runs his own PR and consulting company. And, he too is hot. Not necessarily because of his music or his hair, but because he has the Knack! (by the way, they too were pop idols to screaming teens and tweens now 30 years ago!). Okay, a different kind of knack, but still the knack.

Andy's knack is that he picks "winners" in the technology world time and time again. This time it is voice and video technology company Global IP Solutions or GIPS. GIPS is the 18th company with which Andy has worked closely that has seen a successful exit (fortunately, my former company SightSpeed was one of those successful companies -- we were acquired by Logitech in November 2008). As I blogged yesterday, GIPS has just been acquired by Google for $68 million in cash.

So, which came first? The chicken or the egg? The successful company or the Abramson? I think both. There are no coincidences. Andy can help drive real successes. Sorry Bieber, Andy is hotter. He has proven that he has staying power in his industry. Will you be able to do the same?