Paper for the W3C Video on the Web Workshop, 12-13 December 2007, San Jose, California
Move Networks, Inc. is a leading provider of video services for premier content publishers. Move uses a proprietary adaptive streaming protocol utilizing standard web technologies to provide highly scalable streaming of live and on-demand HD-quality video.
Consumption of video is an increasing component of how users are spending time on the web. This was initially fueled by consumption of short-form video like YouTube, movie trailers, and news highlights. Advances in streaming technology are now fueling rapid increases in consumption of high-quality premium content of television and film assets. Users will consume all types of content and will demand their choice of where and when content can be consumed. This includes the ability to consume content on their computer, in the living room, and while mobile as well as consuming available content at any time of day or night. Publishers need to enable ubiquitous, yet monetizable access to content or users will find other avenues for consuming that same content.
So users are already watching video on the web at rapid growth rates, is there a problem here?
We propose to answer that question by examining the 4 basic steps in delivering video from the camera lens to the eyeball:
We believe consumers will gravitate to the most convenient and high-quality method for consuming the content. The web is the most ubiquitous mechanism for presenting and displaying video experiences to end users. In addition to some of the issues highlighted above we believe the following factors need to be considered :
Consumers want to customize their experience on the web. This means finding and exploring the content that is relative to them. Video content needs to be easily searchable. The attributes that go with an encoded asset should be linked to the asset itself. Meta-data should allow search engines to locate thumbnail images representing video assets. Video should be linkable from web pages and treated as a first class object like images. For example the ability to link to a video asset at a particular time location might look like: <vid src="video.vid">. Unlike images, video has a temporal component and it would be helpful to reference from web pages certain ranges of video, e.g. <vid src="video.vid#30.5"> would play from 30.5 seconds into the video. Such a mechanism would enable anyone to easily create links to any video asset regardless of medium type or player needed to play it. If the ".vid" file also contained meta-data about the asset in a standard format, this would enable users to find the video they want and publishers to attract interested viewers. We believe it is valuable to include mechanisms for rating content so that users do not find content that has been deemed in appropriate (e.g. parental controls) and search engines are able to accurately identify traffic by its content.We see the major work in making the web a video platform to revolve around:
Until the issues above are solved, video is still a second-class citizen, and the full potential of using video on the web won't be realized.