Brightcove President: WebM Will Overtake H.264 in 1-2 Years


Brightcove President and COO David Mendels thinks that it won’t take very long for WebM to overtake H.264, he told me during an interview on the day Google announced its new open source video format last week. Video publishers will be eager to adopt the new format, he said, adding: “It’s open, it’s free and it’s high quality. So what’s not to like?” Check out the complete interview below.


Brightcove is one of a handful of encoding and video platform companies that was part of Google’s official announcement, and Mendels told me that the company already has a demo implementation of WebM up and running. It’s not quite ready for deployment with Brightcove’s customers, especially since most end users don’t have browsers that play back WebM yet, but Mendels said that’s only a question of time. “I think it will happen really quickly,” he told me.

One of the first Brightcove customers to test WebM could be the New York Times. The paper was an early adopter of HTML5 streaming for the iPad, and Mendels said that it has been “consistently progressive” about embracing new trends.

Some commenters doubt whether Google will be able to achieve significant market share for WebM anytime soon, but Mendels didn’t seem too worried about that. The online video world will be fragmented for the next three years, he predicted, but WebM will quickly be able to gain the upper hand. “One to two years… is a pretty reasonable guess,” he said.

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