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Bitmovin: H.264 still the most used codec, but AV1 adoption is coming

Company's annual reveals year-on-year trends, opportunities for innovation and the headwinds the video developer community faces

As part of its annual sixth annual Video Developer Report, Bitmovin has revealed that video developers are still currently using H.264/AVC codecs for both live and VoD encoding, but AV1 adoption continues to gather apace.

The company’s 2021 report found 25 per cent of participants said they would implement H.265/HEVC in the next 12 months.

However, the 2022 report reveals that while H.264/AVC is once again the video codec of choice, ambitions to implement H.265/HEVC in the next 24 months are still strong (43 per cent of respondents said they will look to implement it for live, and 48 per cent for VoD).

AV1 also experienced a significant uptick in planned adoption and is the second codec developers plan to implement in the near future (34 per cent for live, 42 per cent for VoD), said the report.

In previous years, the video developer report saw bitrate delivered and video start time as the key performance metrics but in 2022’s survey, the performance metric of buffering/re-buffering rates climbed to the top of the list, overshadowing all other performance metrics by three times, said Bitmovin.

This year, video developers identified live streaming at scale (33 per cent), low latency streaming (32 per cent), enhanced colour (29 per cent) and advertising functionality (25 per cent) as the areas with the greatest opportunity for innovation.

Speaking about the report’s findings, Stefan Lederer, CEO and co-founder of Bitmovin,said: “The consumer world is demanding high-quality live streaming of the largest events around the globe. Our latest report shows the video developer community still understands consumer demands and is endeavoring to innovate live streaming services at scale. The report also shows just how rapidly the areas for innovation can change in the streaming industry – you only have to look at how important ad-insertion innovation has become to understand this.”

The survey was conducted between July and August 2022, with 424 responses from video developers and industry experts from over 80 countries.

The full report is available to download here.