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Online Video Leaders Join to Create Streaming Video Alliance

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Industry leaders from all areas of the online video ecosystem have joined together to create the Streaming Video Alliance, an incorporated nonprofit organization that will identify future standards and best practices to benefit the future of streaming video. Founding members include executives from Charter Communications, Cisco, Comcast, Epix, Fox Networks, Korea Telecom, Liberty Global, Limelight Networks, MLBAM, Qwilt, Telecom Italia, Telstra, Ustream, Viacom, Wowza, and Yahoo, as well as Streaming Media executive vice president Dan Rayburn.

At launch, the SVA is focusing on three areas: creating specifications for an open architecture that will support the growth of live and on-demand video, identifying best practices that will help online video interoperability and efficiency, and creating a common method for measuring the quality of experience for video.

The SVA's founders plan to bring together an even broader group of members, then elect a board of directors early in 2015. StreamingMedia.com spoke with Mark Fisher, head of marketing and business development at Qwilt, who is an acting spokesperson for the group. Fisher explained that members will divide into working groups, each with its own chair, where the real work of the SVA will be done. Members will identify best practices and propose standards. Once recommendations are ratified by the SVA they'll be published broadly and sent to a standards body, if needed.

The SVA's effectiveness over time will be a function of the contribution of its members, Fisher says, noting that their resolve will set the agenda and allow the group to make progress.

"What I've seen so far is the deeply held belief that we all have that we're just at the beginning, and that a lot of hard work has to be done to scale," Fisher says. "Everybody knows how important this is."

Fisher expects the SVA to issue its first recommendations, on an open video architecture, within its first year.

“Online video is a force of nature and we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg today in terms of consumer demand,” says Dan Rayburn. “The need for an industry alliance is clear, and I am impressed with the caliber and breadth of the members. I’m certain, given the expected contribution of the members, the entire streaming video ecosystem and consumers alike will benefit greatly from this collaboration.” 

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