Vimeo joins the Alliance for Open Media

Vittorio Giovara
May 14, 2018 · 2 min read

I’m proud to announce that Vimeo has officially joined the Alliance for Open Media.

The Alliance for Open Media, or AOMedia for short, is a nonprofit organization that brings together the world’s leading companies in video to define and develop media technologies in support of an open and royalty-free standard for video compression and delivery over the web.

This is possible thanks to the participation of video experts from a variety of companies across many different segments of the technology industry. Just to mention a few:

  • The original founders, Google, Mozilla, and Cisco, who kicked off the project by merging their individual open-source codecs — VP10, Daala, and Thor — and setting the goals and guidelines of the association
  • Chip manufacturers, such as Apple, Nvidia, and AMD, who make sure that the emerging codecs will be easy to implement in hardware and speed up the time to market for tomorrow’s devices
  • Streaming providers, like Netflix, Amazon, and now Vimeo, who ensure that the codecs are suitable for streaming (and who benefit by adopting this technology, which either reduces the amount of bandwidth used or allows for extra video fidelity in the video streamed)
  • Open-source associations, such as Videolan and Xiph, among others, who guarantee that the codecs will be implemented following open source software principles and will be available in most players and professional tools in the wild
  • Many other companies, big and small, who follow the group’s development and help to improve the codecs with testing, visual evaluations, and so on

Everyone is joining forces, and the immediate goal of all this expertise is to design the real next-generation video codec, AV1. While the existing VP9 codec has been very successful for some companies, and HEVC is a perfectly fine alternative, a series of unfortunate events has prevented the market from fully adopting either. H.264 remains the number-one codec by matter of implementation cost, pervasiveness in the market, and audience consumption.

AV1, as the first codec designed by the association, has a very good chance of being the true successor of H.264, with the added benefits of having an open source and being completely royalty-free. This codec uses advanced data compression and state-of-the-art prediction techniques. I’ll let someone better suited than me explain this topic:

In simple terms, given the same bandwidth usage, this codec will enable us to improve the overall quality of our streamed videos. Vimeo is excited to be part of this movement.

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