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December 10, 2007

The Streaming Revolution

Adobe this morning announced Flash Media Server 3 and some dramatic changes in the product that I believe will change the foundation of streaming media. The changes to Flash Media Server 3 include removal of bandwidth/connection restrictions, improved clustering support, full content protection, streaming support for H.264, and dramatically lower costs. Details here and here. The real key is that Flash Player 8 (98%) and Flash Player 9 (94%) are ubiquitous client runtimes that fully support video streaming from Flash Media Server 3 today. Today's announcements eliminate the barrier to scaling the server-side in terms of connections, bandwidth, and licensing cost.

The explosive growth of web video was ushered in through the use of progressive download and Flash Player. By leveraging the ubiquity of Flash Player, sites like YouTube, VideoEgg, and BrightCove made progressive download the standard for video delivery online. As this market matured so did the demand for higher quality video and content protection. FMS3 provides content protection through encrypting streaming and includes support for streaming HD video online. In lowering the cost of secure HD streaming we will see some amazing growth in the delivery of web video.

Here is the math that has me excited about this release:

Flash Media Server Streaming ($995)
Linux (Free)
Amazon EC2 ($89/mo + $.10/GB)
1 TeraByte of Streaming Media = Licensing of $995 + $265/month

Additionally we will see service providers lower these costs even further in providing free or nominal cost solutions in the market. It is an exciting time for web video, viva la revolution!

Others on FMS3:
Adobe Press Release
Product Page
Stefan Richter
Ryan Stewart
Read-Write Web

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