Sorenson Media is entering the cloud-based encoding market with the launch today of its new Sorenson Squeeze Server, targeted to enterprise users. The opportunity for cloud-based encoding has heated up recently as the number of end-user devices and encoding requirements has exploded, dramatically increasing encoding complexity for content providers. Concurrent improvements in cloud infrastructure have made non-hosted solutions more attractive.
Sorenson Media's COO Eric Quanstrom explained to me last week that a key differentiator of the Squeeze Server is dedicated server instances, thereby avoiding potential slowdowns associated with shared servers and also offering unlimited scalability. Squeeze Server uses Amazon's web services infrastructure and guarantees 99.9% uptime.
HTML5 is gaining further momentum today as leading cloud encoding provider Encoding.com is now supporting the WebM and Ogg Theora video codecs, adding to its longstanding support for H.264. As a result, customers can now choose "presets" for these codecs so that all browsers and devices supporting HTML5 will be able to seamlessly playback video.
Encoding service provider Encoding.com is taking the wraps off "Mobile Made Easy" this morning, a collection of pre-configured encoding settings for mobile devices including iPhone/iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and certain Samsung and Nokia phones. With the "presets," Encoding.com customers can now also select which mobile devices they want their video prepared and available for and the appropriate encoding process will be triggered.
Jeff Malkin, Encoding.com's president told me yesterday that the company has studied the video requirements for each of these mobile devices and designed the presets accordingly. Until now, the heterogeneous mobile space has meant that video providers interested in going mobile have had to test and optimize for each device, an expensive and time-consuming process which has deterred many. By simplifying the process Jeff sees many more video providers getting involved with mobile. From a pricing standpoint, files outputted for mobile use are counted the same as other files, under Encoding.com's usage based pricing plan.
While mobile video use still lags online use, it is poised to gain rapidly as the universe of video-capable smartphones and tablet computers like the iPad explode. Just yesterday, UBS forecast that the iPad alone could ship 28 million units next year. We've also seen tablets unveiled by Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and others, based on Android, which will add competition. All that means a huge new addressable market that video providers will find irresistible.
Encoding.com, the cloud-based encoding provider, is debuting a new white-label option of its service today. Jeff Malkin, Encoding.com's president, explained to me yesterday that the company's goal is to expand reach through new customers who have access to many new opportunities. Initial customers being announced today include Cisco Eos, Kaltura, Giant Realm and vzaar. Jeff said there are many additional white-label customers yet to be announced.
Encoding.com is enabling these relationships by introducing new features in its API which allow customers to integrate transcoding into their customers' work flow. In particular, Jeff said the API enhancement means white-label customers can offer the same type of sub-account set-up and trial account creation, plus account and sub-account tracking in real-time. Encoding.com will offer the same service level guarantees for white-label customers.
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