Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Introducing WebM, an open web media project

A key factor in the web’s success is that its core technologies such as HTML, HTTP, TCP/IP, etc. are open and freely implementable. Though video is also now core to the web experience, there is unfortunately no open and free video format that is on par with the leading commercial choices. To that end, we are excited to introduce WebM, a broadly-backed community effort to develop a world-class media format for the open web.

WebM includes:
  • VP8, a high-quality video codec we are releasing today under a BSD-style, royalty-free license
  • Vorbis, an already open source and broadly implemented audio codec
  • a container format based on a subset of the Matroska media container
The team that created VP8 have been pioneers in video codec development for over a decade. VP8 delivers high quality video while efficiently adapting to the varying processing and bandwidth conditions found on today’s broad range of web-connected devices. VP8's efficient bandwidth usage will mean lower serving costs for content publishers and high quality video for end-users. The codec's relative simplicity makes it easy to integrate into existing environments and requires less manual tuning to produce high quality results. These existing attributes and the rapid innovation we expect through the open-development process make VP8 well suited for the unique requirements of video on the web.

A developer preview of WebM and VP8, including source code, specs, and encoding tools is available today at

We want to thank the many industry leaders and web community members who are collaborating on the development of WebM and integrating it into their products. Check out what Mozilla, Opera, Google Chrome, Adobe, and many others below have to say about the importance of WebM to the future of web video.


Polite, on-topic comments are welcomed on the webm-discuss mailing list. Please link to this post when commenting.