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Video: How Delivering VP9 Can Expand Your Reach and Save You Money

In this excerpt from his keynote at Streaming Media West 2016, Viacom VP of Engineering Jeff Tapper outlines the business case for migrating to VP9 when delivering to platforms that currently support it.

Learn more about emerging codecs at Streaming Media East.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Jeff Tapper, Viacom: I'm really excited about the prospect of VP9, and for a couple different reasons. Aside from the obvious, it is a next-generation codec. HEVC and VP9 are both clearly, going forward, they are the future of codecs. They can take our existing files and make them much smaller. That's great, but the whole industry is behind HEVC and almost nobody is interested in VP9.

I'm very interested in VP9 and the main reason why is there are VP9 decoders in most of the devices I care about. Almost all of the web browsers outside of Apple's have native VP9 decoders. All of the Android devices have native VP9 decoders. I can have a tremendous cost savings in terms of delivery by taking our existing 1080p videos and cutting them with VP9 instead and deliver the same quality with 40% less file size.

While there is a small increase in cost in storing the file twice, it is pretty simple math to figure out that you don't need to serve that file very many times before you've actually saved yourself a tremendous amount of money. Aside from saving the company money, there's an even bigger benefit, which is I'm able to get our end users a higher quality stream on a lower-quality connection.

Remember, we're in over 100 countries around the world. A lot of the emerging markets do not have great internet access. If I'm able to stream in 1080p in Bangladesh where everybody else is still at 320, that's a huge benefit for us. It's a huge benefit for our customers. I'm looking to build out a strategy where, in the short term, today we're HLS/H.264 everywhere. My intention is to stay with HLS and H.264 on the Apple platform because that's what they support and they support it well. I want to be using VP9 in dash for most of the web and for Android, because that's supported well. I want to use HEVC in places where there are native decoders, like Roku. That's my plan.


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