Google Urges Fast Adoption of VP9 Video Compression

Stephen Shankland, for CNet:

“If you adopt VP9, as you can very quickly, you’ll have tremendous advantages over anyone else out there using H.264 or VP8, (its predecessor),” said VP9 engineer Ronald Bultje in a talk here at Google’s developer conference. “You can save about 50 percent of bandwidth by encoding your video with VP9 vs. H.264.”

From what I can find, the only widely-used products with VP8 implemented are YouTube and Skype, but the former also supports H.264-encoded video. The latter must also partially support H.264 because its iOS app appears to use the Core Video framework. Why would VP9 be adopted greater than VP8 has (or, for that matter, get greater play than Theora, Lagarith, OpenAVS, or any of the other free video codecs)?

Furthermore, why doesn’t Google spearhead the adoption of the codecs they proselytize by encoding their Play Store’s movie library in VP8 or VP9 format?1 Why doesn’t Google recommend VP8 or VP9 to their Android developers?

Standards are great; that’s why we have so many of them.

  1. Google doesn’t publicly acknowledge what video format their Play videos use; however, their requirement for Flash Player strongly suggests H.264 encoding. ↥︎