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Report reveals significant momentum for AV1 and artificial intelligence by 2020

SAN FRANCISCO – SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 – Bitmovin, a world leader in digital video technology, announces its annual Video Developer Report, revealing a detailed snapshot of the trends driving the future of video. The research is based on the views of 542 professionals working at broadcasters, streaming providers, publishers and social media companies in 108 countries.

“The Bitmovin Video Developer Report is an inside look at the technology adoption plans of companies that are collectively delivering video to huge global audiences. We’re excited to share the results with the community of video developers,” said Stefan Lederer, CEO at Bitmovin. “The findings show a shift toward new breed technologies such as AV1 and artificial intelligence (AI). We’re also seeing the industry continue to face huge issues with latency and ensuring playback on all devices.”

Latency and ensuring device playback continue to keep the industry awake at night

Latency is the most significant issue faced by over half (54 percent) of video developers. This is closely followed by getting playback on all devices (41 percent). These findings remain remarkably consistent with last year’s report, which recorded responses of 55 and 50 percent respectively. This reflects the fact that the video ecosystem is fragmented, complex and slow to change. For example, achieving low latency requires updates across encoders, content delivery networks (CDNs) and players.

Over half (53 percent) of all respondents said they expect to achieve live streaming latency of less than five seconds. Almost a third (30 percent) had the less achievable goal, in the short-term, of hitting under one second. Almost two thirds (61.7 percent) plan to start using low latency live streaming (such as CMAF) before the end of 2020.

Rollout of AV1 expected to triple within a year

H.264/AVC is still by far the most widely used video codec, used by over nine in ten (91 percent) of all survey respondents. Meanwhile, usage of H.265/HEVC has increased slightly from 42 to 43 percent.

VP9 appears to be stalling. It is currently being used by 11 percent of respondents, with only 12 percent planning to implement it in the next twelve months.

Planned usage of AV1 is set to triple, one in ten (7 percent) of respondents have started to work with it and one in five (20 percent) expect to start using it in the coming year. AV1 looks well placed to overtake VP9 as the leading open-source solution and begin to compete with H.265/ HEVC. This will be fuelled by roll-outs by major device manufacturers, browser vendors and content distributors including Cisco, Mozilla, and YouTube.

Artificial intelligence moves from hype to reality

One in four (24 percent) of video professionals expect to start using AI/ML (machine learning) as part of video workflow solutions before the end of 2019, with almost one in three (32 percent) planning to do so in 2020. Collectively, this means that over half of all survey respondents (56 percent) plan to use AI/ML within the next two years. These technologies are expected to help developers deliver high-quality personalized video while enhancing workflows, accelerating time to market and reducing costs.