Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Aug 2009 14:02 UTC, submitted by John Mills
Google "Google confirmed today that it plans to buy digital video compression outfit On2 Technologies in an all-stock agreement, valued at $106.5m. Mountain View said On2 shareholders will be handed 60 cents worth of Google class A common shares for each outstanding share they hold in the company. Clifton Park, New Jersey-based On2 employs around 60 staff. It started life as the Duck Corporation in 1992. On2's VP6 codec is licensed by Adobe, for its Flash Player and Flash Lite 3 for mobile phones. Other major customers include AOL, Freescale, Nokia and Sun Microsystems."
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RE: HTML5
by DOSguy on Wed 5th Aug 2009 17:34 UTC in reply to "HTML5"
DOSguy
Member since:
2009-07-27

"it is quite certain that they will make VP6 an open standard and try to make it the HTML5 video codec."

I wonder if Google is really THAT keen on getting rid of flash. I mean... they are potentially gonna pay $106.5m for this. This strikes me as quite a lot of money for just that. Even for Google!
Another possibility might be that they are going to build their own kind of player, spread it free of charge and reap all the benefits of having a widely used player. For example to spread their adds and to gather viewer data.

Edited 2009-08-05 17:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: HTML5
by fretinator on Wed 5th Aug 2009 18:12 in reply to "RE: HTML5"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I wonder if Google is really THAT keen on getting rid of flash. I mean... they are potentially gonna pay $106.5m for this. This strikes me as quite a lot of money for just that.

I would say that is a paltry sum of money to get rid of the Flash virus. I think if that was all it took, many companies/organizations would poney up the cash. I'd chip in!

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: HTML5
by Moredhas on Wed 5th Aug 2009 22:20 in reply to "RE: HTML5"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

Simple, Flash support is shit on Linux, and they now have Android and soon Chrome OS coming. They can make special plugins for their devices for Youtube videos, but their devices will look like crap if Flash is hobbled everywhere else. The solution: make Flash a non-issue.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: HTML5
by Wrawrat on Wed 5th Aug 2009 23:11 in reply to "RE[2]: HTML5"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Not sure about this. It would have been far cheaper to strike a deal with Adobe. Linux support is flaky because they don't make much money from it. Give them a few millions and I'm quite sure that it would become a first-class citizen in no time.

Remember that Flash won't go away as soon as the codec issue with HTML5 is resolved. It might even take years. And Flash isn't only about videos!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: HTML5
by lemur2 on Thu 6th Aug 2009 03:28 in reply to "RE: HTML5"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"it is quite certain that they will make VP6 an open standard and try to make it the HTML5 video codec." I wonder if Google is really THAT keen on getting rid of flash. I mean... they are potentially gonna pay $106.5m for this. This strikes me as quite a lot of money for just that. Even for Google!


Given that YouTube hosts many thousands of videos, and given that YouTube daily serves many thousands of videos uniquely to many thousands of customers, and given also that the licensing language of MPEGLA reads like it will start to charge a royalty per transmission (i.e as if it were television) for h264, Google could be looking at saving perhaps $100 million per month by using their own codecs rather than h264.

Pretty decent rate of return.

The only thing is, Google would need acceptance of their codec (which looks like it will become VP8) by all browsers for this to work.

To do that, Google would have to release the codec under open source terms.

Edited 2009-08-06 03:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: HTML5
by Wrawrat on Fri 7th Aug 2009 05:10 in reply to "RE[2]: HTML5"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Given that YouTube hosts many thousands of videos, and given that YouTube daily serves many thousands of videos uniquely to many thousands of customers, and given also that the licensing language of MPEGLA reads like it will start to charge a royalty per transmission (i.e as if it were television) for h264, Google could be looking at saving perhaps $100 million per month by using their own codecs rather than h264.
There is an enterprise cap of 4.25M $/year for 2008-2009 and 5.0M $/year for 2010.

Right now, fees for free television broadcasts aren't bad: a maximum of 10000$/year for reaching a market of 1M+ households or a one-time fee of 2500$ per encoder. I'm not sure that that services like YouTube would qualify as "broadcasts", though. There's no word on free title-by-title transmissions.

Those fees are not affordable by many websites, but Google could easily afford the maximal fee.

That said, buying On2 for freeing up their technologies might still make sense. It would be a fantastic publicity stunt. They could promote a complete video solution for corporate customers. As I said before, I don't think Google is here for charity!

Reply Parent Score: 2