The Streaming Video Alliance is Growing Up

The Streaming Video Alliance is Growing Up

road through desert with writing "the future is exciting" on the pavement

Since the Streaming Video Alliance’s formation in 2014, a lot has changed in streaming video. Not only have new streaming technologies come into the market, but new approaches to solving old problems have been proposed (like applying WebRTC to the latency issue with live streaming), and adoption has continued to explode across a myriad of devices. Pureplay OTT companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime have emerged as challengers to the traditional Hollywood status quo. And, of course, everyone is still trying to figure out how to generate sustainable revenue from their streaming services. A lot has happened in four years!

Along with the growth of the industry, the Alliance has evolved as well. What started out as a focus on Open Caching and a unified streaming architecture has blossomed into a number of different working groups and projects ranging from video advertisement QoS best practices to QoE metrics definitions to a VR/360-degree video market assessment. The Alliance working groups and study groups are tackling numerous technical challenges and bringing together companies from across the video ecosystem, even competitors, to the table to collaborate on solutions that can benefit everyone. Some member companies, such as Qwilt, have even created commercial products that adhere to some of the Alliance’s published specifications.

With that growth, though, has come reflection as well. As more member companies, like Amazon and the CBC, join the ranks, it has necessitated a more refined mission to answer the question, “what is the Alliance trying to accomplish?” Obviously, there are lots of existing standards organizations (SMPTE, IETF, VSF, DASH-IF, UHD Forum) turning their sights to solving streaming video technical challenges making it even more critical for the Streaming Video Alliance to have clear direction and intent. With that in mind, we have refined our mission statement to reflect three axes of focus—education, collaboration, and definition:

Comprised of members from across the video ecosystem, the Streaming Video Alliance is a global association that works to solve critical streaming video challenges in an effort to improve end-user experience and adoption. The organization focuses on three main activities: first is to educate the industry on challenges, technologies, and trends through informative, publicly-available resources such as whitepapers, articles, and e-books; second is to foster collaboration among different video ecosystem players through working groups, quarterly meetings, and conferences; third is to define solutions for streaming video challenges by producing specifications, best practices, and other technical documentation.

By better defining our approach to the industry through a very targeted mission statement, we can assure that members have a clear understanding of what the organization is trying to accomplish so they can align their time, interests, and resources. For example, a member company may have some of its marketing folks engage on an educational whitepaper/e-book project while enlisting engineering resources to dig into API or technical specification projects. Companies can tout their involvement in projects with customers and prospects to demonstrate how they are contributing to key industry endeavors.

A mission statement may not seem like much, but it represents significant development by a young association like the Streaming Video Alliance. It signifies maturation. It demonstrates commitment. And it better articulates purpose. These three new axes of intent—education, collaboration, and definition—should help focus the Streaming Video Alliance’s efforts well into the future so that it can make a lasting contribution across the entire streaming video industry.

About the Author

Jason Thibeault

Jason is the Executive Director of the Streaming Video Alliance, a worldwide consortium of companies dedicated to helping shape the future of online video. In this role, he runs day-to-day operations, finances, member recruitment, strategy, and evangelizes the organization at events around the world. He is also the co-founder of a big data startup, datazoom.io. Jason is a contributing editor at Streaming Media Magazine and has written several books.

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