|Type||Subsidiary of Google Inc.|
|Industry||video codec technology|
|Founded||Clifton Park, NY, USA (1992)|
|Headquarters||Clifton Park, New York|
|Key people||Matthew C. Frost, COO
Tim Reusing, GC
James Bankoski, Senior VP
Paul Wilkins, Senior VP
Wayne Boomer, Senior VP
J. Allen Kosowsky, COTB
|Products||TrueMotion S, TrueMotion 2, TrueMotion RT 2.0, VP3, VP4, VP5, TrueMotion VP6, TrueMotion VP7 and VP8|
On2 Technologies (NYSE MKT: ONT), formerly known as The Duck Corporation, was a small publicly traded company (on the American Stock Exchange), headquartered in Clifton Park, New York, that designed video codec technology. It created a series of video codecs called TrueMotion (including TrueMotion S, TrueMotion 2, TrueMotion RT 2.0, TrueMotion VP3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8).
While known by the name The Duck Corporation, they developed TrueMotion S, a codec that was used by some games for FMV sequences during the 1990s. The original office of the Duck Corporation was founded in New York City by Daniel B. Miller, Victor Yurkovsky, and Stan Marder. Miller became CEO of newly renamed On2 Technologies until Doug McIntyre was hired in late 2000, when Miller resumed his role as CTO. CEO's after McIntyre included Bill Joll and Matt Frost.
After Miller's departure in 2003, newly promoted CTO Eric Ameres moved the primary engineering office to upstate NY's capital region.[clarification needed] Ameres later departed in 2007 to pursue other research as part of the opening of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at his alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). After Ameres' departure in 2007 Paul Wilkins served as co-CTO with Jim Bankoski. Wilkins was founder of "Metavisual" which was acquired by On2 in 1999 to bring the VP3 codec to market. The VP3 codec became the basis of On2's future codecs as well as the basis of the open source Theora video codec.
In 1995, The Duck Corporation raised $1.5M in venture funding from Edelson Technology Partners.
In 1997, they raised an additional $5.5M in a venture round primarily financed by Citigroup Ventures.
In 1999, The Duck Corporation merged with Applied Capital Funding, Inc., a public company on the American Stock Exchange. The merged entity was first renamed On2.Com and then On2 Technologies, trading on the AMEX as ONT. ONT's price peaked at a little over $40 per share, briefly giving the company a market cap in excess of $1B.
Acquisition by Google 
On 5 August 2009, Google offered to acquire On2 Technologies for US$106.5M in Google stock. On 7 January 2010, Google increased its takeover offer to $133.9M. On February 17, 2010, stockholders of On2 Technologies voted to accept Google's increased offer. On 19 February 2010, the transaction was completed, valued at approximately $124.6M.[clarification needed]
After this purchase, the following message was posted on the on2.com website: "The On2 products Flix Pro, Flix Standard, Flix Exporter, Flix PowerPlayers, Flix Live, Flix DirectShow SDK, Flix Publisher and Flix Engine are no longer for sale."
Open source 
In late 2001, On2 released their VP3 compression technology into the open-source community including their patents on the technology. The technology lives on in the form of Theora. In May 2010, after being acquired by Google, the VP8 codec was licensed under a BSD license.
Flash 8 codec 
In 2004, On2's VP6 was selected for use as the Macromedia Flash 8 video codec. This apparently stems from a deal made in the second quarter of 2004 with revenue in that quarter of $US 1.4 million for the licensing agreement. In related news, On2 announced on April 5, 2005 that it had acquired the Flix Flash video encoder technology from Wildform, Inc. On2 added support for Flash 8 video output to the Flix 8 product line that they released on September 13, 2005.
VP7 alternative to H.264 
On March 9, 2005, On2 announced a new codec, VP7. On2 claimed that VP7 is superior to the H.264/AVC standard, based on claims of comparative technical capabilities and licensing costs. This claim has been disputed by a developer of x264, a popular H.264 encoder.
Chinese DVD project 
In late 2003, On2 announced that its VP5 and VP6 codecs were selected by Beijing E-World as a video coding method to be used in a Chinese-developed competitor to the DVD format called the EVD (Enhanced Versatile Disc) format. Then in April 2004, On2 announced that its business relationship with E-World had soured, and that On2 would file multiple breach of contract claims against E-World in arbitration proceedings. The arbitrator reached a conclusion on March 10, 2005, according to SEC filings by On2 on March 14, 2005. The arbitrator dismissed each of On2's claims and ruled that E-World owed nothing to On2 and had not breached the contract. It seems unlikely that On2 will ultimately get any significant payback from the EVD initiative, although some contract relationship remains in effect.
Other deals 
In 1997, Microsoft Corp. licensed The Duck Corp.'s TrueMotion 2.0 video codec technology to bring TV-quality video to the PC platform.
A number of less highly visible deals with other customers and partners seem to have worked out more amicably than the Chinese DVD project. Recent announcements have related to deals with Apex Datacom, IWAPI Inc., Vividas, Digital Witness, XM Satellite Radio, PowerLinx, and LeapFrog Enterprises. In particular, the company indicated that it expected to recognize some revenue from the Leapfrog deal in the third quarter of 2005 and also made optimistic statements about the future with XM Satellite Radio.
On April 4, 2000, On2 buys Quickband, Inc.("Quickband"), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, acquired substantially all of the assets of DVD Mags, Inc. ("DVD Mags"), a California corporation in the business of aggregating and producing short-form entertainment content for distribution across digital and traditional channels (the "Quickband Acquisition"). The Quickband Acquisition was effected pursuant to an Asset Purchase Agreement ("Purchase Agreement") dated as of March 9, 2000 by and among the Company, Quickband and DVD Mags.
In April 2003 AOL has bought broad licensing rights for VP5 and VP6 codecs. More recently,[when?] On2 licensed its technology to AOL for use in an IP-based video telephony product, to Tencent Holdings of China for use in its instant messaging products, and to Saver Corporation of Japan to enable new Flash 8 mobile video applications.
On December 1, 2005, On2 announced that Skype had licensed current and future versions of its video compression software and had integrated it into the Beta version of Skype 2.0. No financial terms were disclosed relating to the deal.
In November 2008, On2 announced that it would partner with Zencoder to create Flix Cloud, a high-capacity online video encoding service using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Flix Cloud launched in April 2009.
- The Duck Corporation On2 Technologies - The Duck Corporation, Retrieved on 2009-08-11[dead link]
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- "On2 Stockholders Approve Merger with Google". PR Newswire. 2010-02-17. "On2 stockholders holding in excess of a majority of the outstanding shares of On2 Common Stock voted in favor of the merger proposal."
- Fulton, Scott. "What does Google gain from having purchased On2?". BetaNews. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
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- Paul, Ryan (2010-05-20), Google pounds the open standards drum during I/O keynote, Ars Technica
- Mackie, Kurt (2010-05-20), Google Goes Open Source With WebM, VP8 Codec, Redmond Channel Partner
- Garrett-Glaser, Jason (2011-10-23). "The first in-depth technical analysis of VP8". Diary Of An x264 Developer. "VP7, for example, was claimed to be 15% better than H.264 while being much faster, but was in reality neither faster nor higher quality."
- About[dead link]
- Microsoft Corp. (1997-04-28) Microsoft Licenses Duck Corp.'s TrueMotion 2.0 To Bring Television-Quality Video to the PC, Retrieved on 2009-08-11
- CNET News (2003-04-04) AOL licenses On2 video codecs, Retrieved on 2009-08-17
- On2 company information page[dead link]
- On2 Technologies and Zencoder Partner to Create On-Demand Video Encoding Service
- On2 Technologies Releases On2 Flix Cloud On-Demand Video Transcoding Service