Facebook joins AOMedia to promote Royalty-Free AV1 Video

Facebook joins AOMedia to promote Royalty-Free AV1 Video

As Google’s new open source AV1 video standard nears completion, the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) has announced that Facebook will be joining them to promote the AV1 video compression format.

Facebook joining AOMedia means that, going forward, they will likely be integrating AV1 video technology into their platforms (including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp) for use on compatible devices, allowing for higher quality video, reduced data usage, and more stable video streams.

With Facebook becoming a member of the Alliance for Open Media so late in AV1’s development cycle, they likely will have limited input into the first version of AV1. Facebook’s initial impact on AV1 will be more heavily felt in terms of helping drive widespread adoption of the format. Despite that limited involvement in AV1’s development, Facebook may intend to be more heavily involved in the development of the eventual successor AV2. By joining AOMedia now, they are laying the foundation for their future influence on the standard.

Interestingly, as part of the agreement to join AOMedia, Facebook is being considered a founding member of the organization, despite joining more than two years after its inception. This title comes with increased governance responsibilities compared to what general members see, and in turn gives Facebook a greater say in the Alliance For Open Media’s path forward. Facebook joins Amazon, ARM, Cisco, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, and NVIDIA as a founding member.

It is frankly a bit shocking how quickly AV1’s support is growing. At this point in the development cycle for its predecessor, VP9, essentially only Google had announced support. By comparison, the list of companies that have announced support for AV1 is now at 32 and counting, and the format hasn’t even been finalized yet. Despite that initial lack of support however, VP9 has simply taken the internet by storm, with its royalty-free nature allowing it to be easily integrated into services, software, and hardware, including in places where it would be impossible to use the royalty-encumbered HEVC video compression format. This early support is a fantastic sign for how quickly and extensively AV1 will be adopted once it is released, and will help create a competitive royalty-free future for video compression.

AV1’s early support goes beyond just the sheer number of companies backing it, however. What is really surprising is how many key players in specific crucial industries are involved in promoting and developing it as members of AOMedia. Here is a quick look at a couple industries, and which companies in those industries are already involved in AV1:

A non-exhaustive list of major companies in select industries

AOMedia Members Not Yet Members
OS Vendors Google, Microsoft Apple, Red Hat, Canonical
Browser vendors Google (and all Chromium based browsers, like Opera), Microsoft, Mozilla Apple, Alibaba Group (UC Browser)
Processor designers AMD, ARM, Intel, Broadcom, NVidia Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, Mediatek, Huawei
Video streaming platforms Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Youtube (Google), Facebook, BBC Vimeo, HBO, Snapchat
Video conferencing platforms Skype (Microsoft), Cisco, Adobe, Vidyo, Polycom, IBM Zoom, Citrix

For the full list of members of the Alliance of Open Media, check out their About Us page.

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