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Cloud Encoder GridVid.me Launches, Competing on Price

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Taking aim at established cloud video encoding services Zencoder and Encoding.com, GridVid.me launched today, created by parent company CPUsage. CPUsage offers grid computing in the cloud, harnessing the processing power of idle computers for specific tasks.

Using what it calls a grid network of thousands of computers across the globe, GridVid.me says it can provide video encoding for far less than the competition -- up to 86 percent less, it claims. It's so sure that potential customers will be impressed by the savings that it put a price comparison chart on its homepage.

Besides offering competitive rates, GridVid.me says the first 1,000 minutes of video encoding each month are free. Pricing starts at $0.02 per minute for 75,000 minutes, then drops down to $0.01 per minute after that.

Customers use GridVid.me via an API which the company says supports over 100 formats and codecs, including HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

CPUsage's grid network comes from individuals and businesses opting in to sell their unused processing power. People can sign up from the CPUsage site, but the company isn't yet saying publicly how much it pays. Portland, Oregon-based CPUsage is in private beta.

"Think of us exactly like Encoding.com and Zencoder, just way cheaper," says CPUsage co-founder Jeff Martens.

Update: Angered over what GridVid.me is saying about his company's pricing, Encoding.com president Jeff Malkin said this:

GridVid's comparison to the Encoding.com pricing on their homepage is completely wrong and I've asked them to remove it immediately. Encoding.com charges customers based on a per gigabyte file size model and not on duration. To make the comparison to a duration-based model like GridVid's would also have to include information about video bitrates, number of output renditions per source, speed requirements, and more. While we focus on the mid and upper-end of the market and therefore don't see GridVid as a new competitor, I'm more concerned that they are falsely advertising our pricing.

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