By Sahil Patel
The Streaming Video Alliance, a new industry body comprised of online video and entertainment companies, wants to improve the quality of online video — the problem is, the two biggest bandwidth hogs in the ecosystem, Netflix and YouTube, are not involved.
According to its announcement, the Streaming Video Alliance “will facilitate the creation of architecture, standards, and best practices that will scale the infrastructure for online video and improve efficiency for all providers in the ecosystem while preserving a high quality experience for consumers.”
Member companies at launch include Charter Communications, Cisco, Comcast, Epix, Fox Networks Group, Level 3 Communications, Liberty Global, MLB Advanced Media, Telstra, Ustream, Yahoo, and a few companies you’ve never heard of.
Initially, there will be three key areas of focus at the Alliance.
The organization said it wants to: define specifications for the architecture and functionality of network and cloud-based streaming, for both live and on-demand video; create a common approach to measuring, optimizing, and reporting on the quality of video streaming experiences; and create standards for interoperability and performance.
While launching with a few major players in the content and delivery space on board, the Alliance also wants more companies to join — including, obviously, Netflix and YouTube.
According to a report from Sandvine earlier this year, Netflix and YouTube combine to account for nearly half of all downstream internet traffic during prime-time hours in North America.
So will these two players join? YouTube hasn’t commented on the Streaming Video Alliance. Netflix, though, doesn’t have any plans to. A Netflix spokesperson said: “We aren’t planning to join. Given the scale of Netflix video traffic, we custom-built our Open Connect network to ensure Netflix members have the best viewing experience and we provide it free to ISPs.”