Is Sorenson Media Betting on VP8 Video?

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Last month’s launch of the iPad marked a period of excitement in which seemingly every online video vendor announced its support for the Apple (s AAPL) tablet. And just as there were a string of vendor announcements around the iPad launch, as companies like Brightcove,, mDialog and others touted the ability to stream H.264-encoded HTML5 video, early indications are that there might be a similar rush among those companies to throw their support behind Google’s (s GOOG) VP8 codec.

One of those firms is encoding and video management firm Sorenson Media, which has apparently bought the domain According to the domain’s WHOIS record, Sorenson purchased the domain on April 16, about a month before Google (s GOOG) is expected to open source the codec it picked up through the acquisition of On2 Technologies earlier this year.

Representatives from Sorenson wouldn’t comment on the purchase of the domain or VP8 in general, but support for the codec makes sense both in its encoding and video management businesses. By adding VP8 to the list of encoding formats that its Sorenson Squeeze encoding software supports — a list that already includes H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2 and VP6 — Sorenson can continue to hit all the major codecs that video publishers want to use. And supporting VP8 through its Sorenson 360 online video platform will allow its customers to distribute their videos to Android-based mobile devices and Google TV consumer electronics devices, which are expected to use VP8.

As mentioned above, we don’t think Sorenson will be the only online video services vendor that announces support for VP8 when it is released — it’s merely the first we’ve found that has bought a domain specifically related to the codec. With the Google I/O developers conference a little more than a week away, we expect a number of other announcements related to VP8 to come out soon from video management, encoding, advertising and other companies that help power online video distribution and monetization.

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