July 2016

Adaptive streaming
• For HLS on iOS 10, an HLS manifest is still required, but you can use DASH-compatible ISO BMFF/CMAF streams:
  • HLS Now Supports Fragmented MP4 Making it Compatible With DASH
  •  CMAF: What it is and why it may change your OTT future

Plugins
• Safari 10.12 will require click-to-use Flash
The Agonizingly Slow Decline of Adobe Flash Player

VR, AR, 360º
VR Cinematography Studies for Google: VR Cinematography Studies for Google
Project Tango: Lenovo Phab 2 Pro phone has depth and motion tracking cameras, with AR processing incorporated in Snapdragon chip.
Twitter AR/VR team (from Benedict Evans)

Offline media
Facebook will test video downloads for offline viewing

Industry
• Tribune (publisher of LA Times and Chicago Tribune) has rebranded as Tronc, which will serve as a 'content curation and monetization engine'.
Rupert Murdoch to invest millions in video for Sun and Times: News UK plans to make thousands of videos a year for papers’ websites, including advertising and live content
Alicia Keys latest artist to enforce no cell phone policy at concerts
Vice to launch in more than 50 new countries
Nielsen ratings for online viewing: younger audiences than traditional TV (for same shows), viewing figures comparable to cable
Google acquires Anvato: platform for video encoding, editing in the cloud, publishing and distribution
Ofcom report: for 16 to 24-year-olds, live TV viewing has fallen by more than a quarter and a third of all TV watching is via on-demand online services. 'Ofcom said, on average, individuals in the UK watched three hours and 36 minutes of measured broadcast TV a day last year, 26 minutes fewer than five years ago'.
YouTube increasingly popular with children: 35 of the top 100 YouTube channels are aimed at children.
IBM Cloud Video report: Many 'passive cancellations' (16% of total) because of credit card expiration; Netflix least cancelled service. 'When it comes to churn, too many ads and high costs are the most common reasons that subscribers cancel an SVOD service. Not enough content to watch and technical problems are next on the list ….'
How technology disrupted the truth

Web: audio and video
Intent to ship: Media Capture from <audio> and <video>
• Muted video autoplay is supported by Safari 10 and Android Chrome 53 and above (and autoplay is already supported by UC Browser and Firefox on Android)
react-vidz-player: a simple video player built in React, using vidz

WebRTC, messaging, live streaming
Intent to implement and ship: Unprefixed getUserMedia
WhatsApp: 100 million calls per day
Do 12% of WebRTC calls really fail?
Live streaming in China: one-year-old live-streaming app Ingkee hits #1 on Apple’s China app store (from Benedict Evans)

Image Formats
• Partial WebP support in Safari Beta (WebM project)
• WebP adoption growing on mobile: Yelp, Dollar Shave Club on iOS, King Games aka Candy Crush

April–June 2016


WebRTC, live streaming, messaging
• IOC to control live streaming from Olympic events:
Videos of Olympic events and competitions can be taken by accredited persons but must not be shared or posted without the consent of the IOC. Broadcasting images using live-streaming apps such as Periscope is also prohibited.
• WeChat’s global expansion has been a disaster
• M51 WebRTC release notes
• WebTorrent + MediaRecorder

Web audio and video
• New codelab: High performance video for the mobile web

Plugins
• A fond farewell to Flash: 'if it weren’t for Flash there would most likely be no Netflix, no Meerkat or Periscope, no YouTube, no Facebook Live'.

APIs
• The Data Plan API: allows applications to learn about the user's mobile data plan and adapt behavior accordingly

Adaptive streaming
• QoE for DASH streams:
Interestingly, the start-up delay does not necessarily influence the QoE but buffer under-runs or stalls will definitely and also significantly impact the media experience and, thus, shall be avoided at all.
Industry
• Netflix Introduces New Cellular Data Controls Globally
• Netflix to make first original series in India
• VPNs no match for client-side geo-blocking
• Vidyo joins Alliance for Open Media
• In five years time Facebook "will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video … .The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video" — Facebook EMEA VP Nicola Mendelssohn.
• England’s 2-1 Euro 2016 win over Wales was watched live on the BBC Sport website by a record 2.3 million people.

February–March 2016

WebRTC
• WebRTC for WebKit now 'In Development'
• Roadmap update for Real Time Communications in Microsoft Edge
• Plugin-free Skype on the Web a step closer with Edge support
• Google confirms Hangouts will now use peer-to-peer connections to improve call quality and speed
• WebRTC Explained
• Snapchat Chat 2.0
• Holoportation: RTC + 3D capture and recording (thanks Peter Thatcher)
• No matter how you slice it, Apple and WebRTC need each other
• WebRTC Is Not Losing Steam: response to (linked) articles stating the opposite
• Lip-sync Issues: When a Chrome Update Fixes your Application: detailed account of how a complex bug got fixed.
• WebRTC 1.0 now 'under consideration' for Edge (h/t HTML5 Weekly)

Web audio and video
• DASH video player Shaka Player v2.0.0-beta
• Intent to Implement: Storage Quota Estimation API
'Web apps using storage for offline or caching purposes need to answer questions like: Do I have enough storage available to let the user save this media file for for offline use?'
• Unified Media Pipeline on by default in Chrome for Android from version 51:
• Cache audio and video with service workers, since media delivery is now implemented directly within Chrome rather than being passed off to the Android media stack.
• Use Blob URLs for audio and video elements.
• Set playbackRate for audio and video.
• Pass MediaStreams between Web Audio and MediaRecorder.
• Cross-platform development and debugging is easier, since media works the same on desktop and Android.
• Chrome Media publishes white paper on migrating from Flash to HTML5 video

VR and 360°
• YouTube Announces 360-Degree Live Streaming, Spatial Audio
• Mark Zuckerberg Samsung talk at MWC
• a16z Podcast: Mapping the Future of Virtual Reality

Codecs & services
• A Progress Report: The Alliance for Open Media and the AV1 Codec
• BBC R&D: Highest compression efficiency for professional applications now available with H.265/HEVC extensions
• Live Video Encoding and Transcoding Techniques
• VP9 support announced by multiple vendors:
   • WebM, VP9 and Opus Support in Microsoft Edge
   • Amazon Elastic Transcoder Adds Support for VP9
   • VP9 Specification Live on Bitstream
   • Netflix Working on VP9 in an MP4/BMFF Container for MPEG-DASH
   • Brightcove Announces VP9 Support
   • Sorenson Squeeze Announces VP9 Support
   • Media Excel Hero Enables Live VP9 Video
   • Telestream Sets VP9 Coding For Vantage Multiscreen
   • Ittiam Systems Demonstrate VP9 Solutions at NAB 2016
   • Elecard Adds VP9 Support to Stream Eye
   • castLabs adds VP9 support

EME, DRM, protected content

Industry

January 2016

Industry
Can upstarts like Vice and Buzzfeed keep their cool?
• Beatles on Amazon Prime, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Groove, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify and Tidal
•  SoundCloud in licensing deal with PRS: SoundCloud (175m monthly active users) will now pay royalties to songwriters, composers and publishers; ads and subscriptions for European users in 2016
Yahoo Screen shut down
•  Netflix in 130 countries (but not China)
•  Netflix launches in India, plans start at 500 rupees (about US$7.50)
Netflix proxy detection (thanks @slac!)
Netflix re-encoding all titles at multiple bitrates (from December)
Al-Jazeera America to shut down after less than three years on air
•  How often do people watch online videos via their smartphone?: from Google Barometer (thanks @gurupanguji!)

WebRTC, realtime, messaging
The Rise of WebRTC Broadcast and Live Streaming
Facebook Wants to Kill Phone Numbers Forever
Skype to provide group chat
Chrome 49 release notes

Plugins
Facebook moves from Flash to HTML5 video

Codecs, containers, compression
•  Video Compression: 2015 Year in Review: 4K HEVC streaming services, 4K HEVC patent issues, AOMedia, HEVC Advance revise licensing terms, Microsoft and Facebook support for VP9:
'So we can conclude that VP9 has secured a stronger position in 2015, and is likely to gain additional ground in 2016, driven mostly by the remaining HEVC royalty uncertainties, and the desire to view YouTube videos at the highest quality possible.'
VR and 360°
Oculus Rift available for pre-order: $599
Oculus Rift Inventor Predicts Virtual Reality's Future: ' If you're interested in VR, it's going to be an awesome year. But it's not going to be the year that everyone gets interested in virtual reality … .' Oculus Touch controllers coming in 2016
•  The Rise of VR and 360° Video, and why Adaptive Bitrate Streaming is a perfect fit: Bitmovin player (from HTML5 Weekly)

November–December 2015

Industry
• UK most advanced TV-watching country in world, research finds: 'more people using catch-up services and tablets to get their fix of television than in the rest of Europe, Japan, Australia or the US, according to Ofcom research'.
• Measuring the Information Society Report: annual ITU report:
[The] least developed countries (LDCs) are making progress with their connectivity initiatives. However, in 2015, only 6.7 per cent of households in LDCs had Internet access compared with 46 per cent of households worldwide and more than 80 per cent of households in developed countries. The report also reveals that, globally, 46 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women are Internet users.

[The] number of mobile-cellular subscriptions approaches 7.1 billion and mobile network population coverage reaches close to 95 per cent. In LDCs, the mobile-cellular price basket continued to fall, down to 14 per cent of GNI p.c. by end 2014, compared with 29 per cent in 2010.
• The Communications Market Report: International from UK regulator Ofcom:
The communications sector’s total global revenues in 2014 were £1,190bn, growing by 1.5% year on year (incorporating the telecoms, television, postal and radio sectors). Global television industries had the largest increase in revenue in 2014, up by £12bn (5%), to £244bn. Telecommunications revenue, although the largest by a considerable margin, registered slow growth of 0.5% to reach £846bn.
• Reuters Digital News Report 2015 (from June — supplement added in October):
News accessed from smartphones has jumped significantly over the last year with average weekly usage growing from 37% to 46%. 
41% [use Facebook] to find, read, watch, share, or comment on the news each week
• Global broadband pricing study from Google: including mobile data from 157 countries

VR
• Gear VR: $100 Oculus headset for Samsung Galaxy

WebRTC, realtime, communication
• A virtual machine for WebRTC development: automates setup of the development environment for working on adapter.js
• talklessnow.com: Do I talk too much? Ingenious tool from Chris Koehncke. 

<video> and <canvas>

Web Audio
• Monitoring audio volume in Web Audio: using FFT (not RMS)

October 2015

Industry
'Television is just another promotional channel ...'

WebRTC, realtime, communication
• Audio Testing: Automatic Gain Control: in depth technical discussion by Google WebRTC engineer Patrik Höglund 
• MediaDevices: enumerateDevices() flagless in Chrome 47
• What's Next for WebRTC?: article from Chad Hart

Web Audio

Video on <canvas>

Chrome
• Media controls in Android: for notifications, Android Wear and lock screen 

Plugins
• The future of plugins in Firefox: 'Because Adobe Flash is still a common part of the Web experience for most users, we will continue to support Flash within Firefox as an exception to the general plugin policy.'

September 2015

Better late than never! Lots of big stories this month.

Codecs, compression, containers
StreamingMedia survey: 10% of responders plan to support VP9 by 2020 (vs 1% today)
• HEVC Advance reconsidering pricing strategy

Industry
BBC to open up iPlayer to other broadcasters
•  'Any half-remembered bit of TV or radio findable in 30 seconds or less'
Facebook 360 video
Beta HTML5 BBC iPlayer for desktop (using dash.js)
video.js 5.0: major update
FOMS 2015 and Demuxed 2015 in SF
chromiumdev-slack.herokuapp.com: chromiumdev on Slack #media

WebRTC, realtime, communication
Kranky Geek SF: 14 excellent sessions
Delay Agnostic AEC turned on for all Chrome users
WhatsApp Hits 900M Monthly Users, Edges Closer To An Actual Business Model
First ever call between Chrome, Firefox and Edge

Hardware
Video of hummingbird in 240fps slomo on Nexus 6P

Web Audio
Cat purr synthesiser (you may or may not also want to sample the bagpipes)

<video>
Exploring the Crossorigin Media Attribute in HTML5 (from HTML5 Weekly)
• chrome://media-internals: debug media playback

August 2015

Codecs, compression, containers
• Google partners with Amazon, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix on the Alliance for Open Media. Commentary: TechCrunch, The Verge, Developer Tech, Android Police, Mozilla, Streaming Media
Microsoft Edge to support WebM Standard
• JavaScript WebM encoder: webm.js
HEVC Advance wants 0.5% of gross revenue for HEVC


WebRTC, realtime, messaging
•  When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China: 549 million monthly active users, over one billion registered users:
The way it achieves this goal is through one of the most unsurfaced aspects of WeChat: the pioneering model of “apps within an app”. Millions (note, not just thousands) of lightweight apps live inside WeChat, much like webpages live on the internet. 
This makes WeChat more like a browser for mobile websites, or, arguably, a mobile operating system — complete with its own proprietary app store.
...
I cannot emphasize the importance of this Wallet enough. It’s the Trojan horse that allows WeChat to quickly onboard user payment credentials that then unlock new monetization opportunities for the entire ecosystem.
WebRTC for 911: 'The software addresses two major weaknesses within most 911 systems: location accuracy and situational awareness.'
WebRTC in Safari?

Adaptive streaming, DASH, HLS...
• DASH in JWPlayer 7:
   jw7.jwplayer.com/dash.html
   support.jwplayer.com/customer/portal/articles/2020482-about-dash-streaming
support.jwplayer.com/customer/portal/articles/2020483-using-dash-streaming
Google Shaka Player v1.4.1 released
   changelog: github.com/google/shaka-player/blob/v1.4.1/CHANGELOG.mdhosted
   demo: shaka-player-demo.appspot.com

Industry
Amazon reportedly paying $250M to snag former Top Gear stars
Amazon turned on the HTML5 player (using MSE/EME) on Chrome globally
Two-thirds of UK's Netflix and Amazon users don't watch their original shows
Pay TV rate of decline is acceleratingNetflix US not to renew deal with distributor Epix (Hunger Games, Transformers, etc.)
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium: 4K screen, 23 megapixel UHD video camera with position sensor
Elemental acquired by Amazon Web Services (TechCrunch)
Fox UK to launch free-to-air channel YourTV targeting female viewers


July 2015


EME
• Please stop using Microsoft Silverlight, says, err, Microsoft: 'We encourage companies that are using Silverlight for media to begin the transition to DASH/MSE/CENC/EME based designs … .'
• Replacing Flash: Adaptive Streaming and DRM in HTML5

Codecs, compression, containers
Thor: new codec from Cisco announced at IETF93
• New Patent Pool Wants 0.5% Of Every Content Owner/Distributor’s Gross Revenue For Higher Quality Video
• HEVC Advance: What Do the Royalties Mean for Video Publishers?
• New fees cast shadow on next-gen high-quality streaming video

Adaptive streaming, DASH, HLS...
• Hulu's Move to DASH (though not recommended for desktop)
• BBC Video Factory: Updating the creation and distribution systems for on demand video: they provide 30 (!) video delivery variants and are beginning DASH distribution.
• New version of Shaka Player: switching representations faster, live stream seek ranges more accurate, multilingual encrypted content fixed
• High performance video for the Web with Shaka Player
• An Unhappy Surprise: MPEG LA Is Forming a Patent Pool for DASH

Chrome video
• Buttery smooth video rendering in M44 — The design doc for Project Butter

Web Audio
• Building a Realtime Music Sync Collaboration App With PubNub

WebRTC
• Official Chrome extension to limit IP addresses used by WebRTC: extension, announcement
• GarageBand is great but SoundTrap is a collaborative music app for everyone
• Select output audio device, two demos:
   webrtc.github.io/samples/src/content/devices/multi
• Capture a canvas to a MediaStream with captureStream() in Firefox 41: release notes, bug (thanks Christoffer Jansson)
• Groupama 'social network' that connects Auvergne farmers with potential customers (thanks Tsahi)
• Wiresharking Wire — guess who :)

3D

Industry
• Netflix Is the #3 Broadcaster in the U.S., Will Be #1 in 2016
• How public service broadcasting shapes up worldwide (not exactly worldwide: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, US)
• Pearson sold the FT to Nikkei for $1.3bn. Benedict Evans: 'Remember how paywalls wouldn't work? They do if you have good enough content.'
• This Chart Shows Why Comcast Would Be Interested in Vice Media and BuzzFeed: the massive drop in traditional TV viewing
• OTT Could Grow to $12B Industry by 2018, Says Ooyala Report:
Netflix will continue to dominate the field, although its market share will diminish as competitors find an audience. What will emerge, however, is room for niche OTT services. It predicts that 15 to 20 specialized services will acquire 100,000 or more paying customers by 2018. Many other niche services will get by with smaller subscriber bases. Key areas for niche growth include sports, kids, anime, foreign shows and movies, ethnic content, and services created by a single celebrity, such as a politician or comedian.

June 2015

VR
• How to Avoid Real Objects While in a Virtual World

Web Audio
• A Brief History of Synthesis with the Web Audio API

Web MIDI
• Making Music in the Browser – Web MIDI API

WebRTC, realtime, communication
• FaceTime analysis from @HCornflower
• The new Android M App Permissions
• $1999 Chromebox for meetings: hardware support for up to 20 people
• Everyone in Buenos Aires Is Communicating by Voice Memo Now

MSE
• Building A Media Source HTML5 Player With Adaptive Streaming: four part series:
[MSE is a] significant leap forward for media handling in the browser, far superior than the standard HTML5 video tag and, in many ways, an improvement on anything Flash could handle.
 • Media Source Extensions for Audio: gapless playback!

Codecs, compression, containers
• Consumer Reports top 3 must haves in a new smart TV include VP9 support
• Live streaming VP9 with Wowza!
• Allegro VP9 streams

Industry
• Ericsson Mobility Report:
Three quarters of global subscription growth came from Africa and Asia in Q1 2015. This pattern is forecast to continue to 2020. 
By 2020, 70 percent of the world's population will have a smartphone, with an estimated 26 billion connected devices. 
Mobile data traffic in Q1 2015 was 55 percent higher than in Q1 2014.= 
Video continues to be the key growth factor, with 60 percent of all mobile data traffic forecast to be from online video by 2020.
• Apple unveils streaming service Apple Music and 24-hour radio stations
• Google Play Music launches curated music 'radio' service in US: ad-supported, based on Songza.
• News outlets face losing control to Apple, Facebook and Google: 46% access news weekly on mobile (37% 2014) but only 6% have paid for news: 'although 70% of smartphone users have downloaded a news app, only a third actually use them on a weekly basis'.
• Google calls for anti-Isis push and makes YouTube propaganda pledge:
Isis is having a viral moment on social media and the countervailing viewpoints are nowhere near strong enough to oppose them … . The power of community is not lost on Isis and they are using it to great effect. Right now the voice of that community is a lot larger than ours, a lot louder, there’s more out there on the web.
• James Foley: How social media is fighting back against Isis propaganda
• Using the Web from Nairobi:
Twitter is being served from ATLANTA. Georgia. Which it might be worth noting is really really far away from Kenya. Like 300ms distant. HTTPS handshakes mean three full round trip exchanges must be completed before you can even begin your request to a server, so nearly a full second passes before your client is even starting to send its request. DOMContentLoaded is 2.95s, and page load only finishes at 12.85s. Facebook, served from London, has a 4s DOMContentLoaded. 
Google.com has a more reasonable 636ms to DOMContentLoaded due to 'cheating' using a special protocol called QUIC that's different from HTTPS and doesn't require any round trips to initiate communicate once a session has ever been established, which makes latency hurt less. It's clear these kinds of low-overhead protocols could have high impact in these markets. 
… from an end user perception of speed, it only matters somewhat how sophisticated the Kenyan domestic backbone gets or even how many new fiber ports the country gets – as long as peering is poor, content caches are distant, and sites require lots of round trips to build a meaningful experience for users. The Internet will still be slow here. And clearly if some of the most sophisticated startups launching products targeted to the local market aren't doing well at this, it's structurally hard to do.
• Broadly: Vice channel 'For women who know their place'.
• Adobe Online Video Viewing and Browsing Trends – Q1 2015:
• iOS grew its share from 43% to 47% year-over-year.
• Game consoles and over-the-top (OTT) devices saw the biggest jump in share from 6% to 24% YoY – surpassing Android, which remained flat at 15%.
• Browser viewing sank to a new low – now 14%.
• Cell coverage map (Check out India v Australia in relation to potential media consumption on mobile — we're not expecting cell towers in the Simpson Desert, but rural coverage in many countries is terrible.)
• Media is exploding (literally)

May 2015

Industry
• Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers at Comcast: 'At the end of the first quarter, Comcast counted 22.375 million video customers and 22.369 million high-speed Internet customers.' However, video is still much more profitable: ' Video revenue was $5.3 billion for the quarter, compared with $3 billion for high-speed Internet.'
• Verizon Will Acquire AOL for $4.4B, Mobile Video a Central Reason: 'Advertising is central to the deal, as Verizon and AOL will combine to create a scaled, mobile-first platform for ads, Verizon reports. AOL brands include The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, Makers, and AOL.com.'akers, and AOL.com.'
• Ofcom (UK media regulator) report on audience attitudes to the broadcast media
  • Four in ten adult viewers feel there is ‘too much’ violence and ‘too much’ swearing on television, while three in ten feel there is ‘too much’ sex. 
  • Forty-four per cent of UK adults have used connected TV at home in the past 12 months … Broadcaster catch-up services are the most commonly viewed connected TV content. 
  • Almost a fifth of UK adults have used other broadband-connected devices to watch TV live as it is broadcast in the past 12 months, while 29% have used it to watch broadcaster catch-up services.
  • 54% of UK households have a tablet device, 11% of 3–4-year-olds have their own
• Cisco Visual Networking Index: IP video traffic will be 80 percent of all IP traffic (both business and consumer) by 2019
• Deloitte Digital Democracy Survey
U.S. consumers age 14-and-older spend only 45 percent of their TV viewing time watching live programming. For younger millennials (age 14 to 25) that number is 28 percent. That same group spends almost 60 percent of its viewing time watching content on computers, tablets, or smartphones.
• Spotify short-form video and podcasts for US, UK, Germany and Sweden – deals with Comedy Central, ESPN, Adult Swim, BBC and NBC.

Codecs, compression, containers
• 60fps Live Streaming on YouTube in HTML5: 720p60 and 1080p60, 30fps on devices where high frame rate viewing is not yet available.
• Bigasoft Total Video Converter: convert VP9 WebM to MP4, AVI, WMV, ASF, VOB, MOV, FLV, SWF, MKV, RM, WTV, MXF, MVI, F4V, Apple ProRes and other formats – and vice versa.
• Allegro DVT adds VP9 support to its multi-format hardware encoder IP
Marvell Introduces ARMADA 1500 Ultra SoC for 4K STB with Viviane GC7000XS GPU

Audio
• Synthesising Drum Sounds with the Web Audio API: detailed article by Chris Lowis, WG invited expert.
• Intent to implement: per-tab audio focus on Android.

EME
• Firefox 38 support for DRM with Adobe Primetime: Windows 32-bit Firefox only, Vista and above. This the fourth major browser to launch EME (with the fourth DRM system) and the second to launch an unprefixed implementation of the latest version of the spec. Commentary: The Register.

WebRTC
• Facebook Messenger likes WebRTC: Wireshark analysis shows use of webrtc.org libraries, audio codec depends on platform and peer (Opus, iSAC or iSAC LC); VP8 used on Web, iOS and Android.
• Streaming file transfer over WebTorrent
• getUserMedia() now in Microsoft Edge
• Viber for Chrome OS
• Periscope for Android: Periscope for Android: 'I was streaming for about 11 minutes on 4G and I used up in the blink of an eye 250MB'.
• WebRTC could make a better Periscope: it's the latency, maaan...

Web Audio 
• Practical Web Audio: ' you should be considering audio when designing your web application user interface'.
• Web Audio for Microsoft Edge

And finally... 
• Mayweather-Pacquiao fight: box office took $74m on 15,000 tickets, total earnings (just from the event) >$400m, but Periscope and Meerkat may have scuppered pay-per-view.
• Facebook Instant Articles: fast-loading autoplay video.
• Snapchat is 75% of Vodafone UK messaging app traffic
• ITU report on global ICT
  • 3.2 billion online (2 billion in developing world)
  • Broadband affordable (less than 5% GNI) in 111 countries
  • 69% 3G coverage
  • 7 billion mobile device subscriptions
• fallen.io/ww2: interactive WebGL infographics synchronised with media playback.

April 2015

WebRTC
• Why WhatsApp's new voice call feature is bad news for networks:
Calls are robust and the sound quality is genuinely fantastic – better even than the HD audio you get on an intra-network phone call. But while this is great news for us, it's surely bad news for the mobile networks and will likely be the first step in a cosmic shift in the way they structure our tariffs.
• Periscope launches: free iOS app to share live video, Android version in the works. They were acquired by Twitter for $100m.
• Facebook Messenger now does video calls: Facebook announcementTechCrunch.
• SocketPeer: 'as its name suggests, a combination of WebSockets and RTCPeerConnection. This node.js library abstracts away the common pattern of using WebSockets as a signalling server to instantiate a DataChannel over WebRTC.'
• Archive and play back video comms: TokBox tools.
• Twilio Video for iOS, Android and 'JavaScript apps' (first time I've heard that phrase).
• Wire for Web: messaging platform with a tasty UI.
• WebRTC market expanding and maturing, but in unexpected ways: 6.7bn devices forecast to support WebRTC by the end of 2019.
TADHack London: check out the Pi-powered WebRTC robot
• Why WebRTC Will Drive the Next Billion Dollar Company: 'the contextualisation of communications', WebRTC enables communications integrated within other apps, not just standalone.
• Die SIP Die

Web video
• The State of HTML5 Video: JW Player report updated.
• Shaka Player 1.3.0 released: easy-to-use JavaScript DASH client now provides offline playback and live streaming, updated EME support, improved buffering, bug fixes.

Codecs, containers, compression
• VP9: Faster, better, buffer-free YouTube videos (Reddit)
• New HEVC Patent Pool: What Are the Implications?
• VP9 v HEVC/H.265: tests of encoding quality, encoding time and playback CPU. VP9 scores well, but 'While the actual performance of the two codecs is a consideration, it’s generally not the deciding factor—certainly it wasn’t with VP8 and H.264'.

And finally...
• ...and if you like food, you'll love Vice's magnificent Munchies.
• SnapChat launches Local Our Story: video compilations only visible to Snapchatters at a specific event or location
• TV industry faces its ‘ketchup’ moment: ‘Mobile is now the first screen’ (Eric Scherer, director of future media at France Télévisions):
Among the trends picked out by Scherer was the emergence of “a new syntax, a new grammar, a new vocabulary” for news, particularly when delivered through “the new kids on the block” in the form of apps including Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope.
“They are always mobile, they are always social, they are always interactive … and it is more and more live,” he said, before turning his attention to YouTube and the growth of multi-channel networks (MCNs) like Maker Studios, which was bought by Disney in 2014.
“These are the people who are the new big players,” said Scherer, showing a slide of fresh-faced YouTubers. “These are the kids now ruling the entertainment, and it’s just the beginning of it. Again, new grammar, new syntax, new vocabulary.”
...
“You better have a good relationship with your end users. Trust and transparency are considered as new services.”
...
Virtual reality headsets are also on his radar. “VR is a total immersion inside the content, inside the fiction, inside the news, inside the documentary. Of course now it’s often in a very huge and very ugly helmet … but Samsung, Google, Sony, the big guys are all working on that,” said Scherer. “This immersion is the big new media of the next few years.”
• EE offers wi-fi call back-up service
• 75% of Viewers Leave Poor-Quality Video in 4 Minutes: Conviva
• Netflix plans Netflix Global
• Jay Z promotes 'artist-owned' music streaming brand Tidal: estimated combined net worth of the eighteen artists who signed the Tidal pledge is $2,043,000,000
• Media consumption: laptop and desktop still dominant
• How Nigerian blue collar workers use their phones: survey of 6,285 Nigerian blue collar workers with a monthly income of ₦20–40,000 (around US$100–200):
• More than half (51.4%) use mobile internet with monthly data spend between ₦1,000–2,000.
• Nearly two thirds (62.7%) spend ₦100–500 weekly on phone credit bought in ₦200 denominations.
• 61.8% indicated phone calls as the most frequent activity on their phones. Others indicated browsing (19.3%), texting (9%), chatting (7.1%) & gaming (2.8%)
• US IPTV revenues up, cable and satellite down
• Microsoft Azure Media Services: 'upload, store, encode and package video or audio content for both on-demand and live streaming delivery to a wide array of TV, PC and mobile device endpoints', with support for EME and MSE
• Akamai State of the Internet report for Q4 2014 released:

12% of unique ip addresses connecting to Akamai globally had average connection speeds of 15 Mbps or above, up just 0.6% from the third quarter. South Korea remained the country with the highest level of 4k readiness, despite a 7.7% decline to a 61% readiness rate. The remaining countries/ regions in the top 10 all saw quarterly increases, with Lithuania showing the largest jump at 50%. The other increases were more modest, ranging from Latvia’s 1.4% to Romania’s 12%.