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Timeline of online video

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a timeline of online video, meaning streaming media delivered over the Internet.


Time period Key developments in online video web sight
1974–1992 Development of practical video coding standards. The development of the discrete cosine transform (DCT) lossy compression method leads to the first practical video formats, H.261 and MPEG, initially used for online video conferencing.
1993–2004 Early days of the World Wide Web. Several container formats for streaming the first videos are released. Some sites, like Newgrounds, heavily rely on these container formats to display online video. Due to quality issues caused by low bandwidth and bad latency, very little streaming video existed on the World Wide Web until 2002 when VHS quality video with reliable lip sync became possible.
2005–2010 Mass-streaming services like YouTube and Netflix become massively popular for streaming online video. Broadband penetration increases, allowing significant fractions of the population to stream online video. Macromedia Flash is the most popular format for displaying online video, as it is used by YouTube and many other sites.
2011–2016 HTML5 starts to displace Flash. Live streaming becomes increasingly popular, especially in the form of services like Twitch. Many social media startups integrate the streaming of short segments of video, like Vine and Keek. These are, in turn, integrated into the most popular services like Instagram and Facebook.

Full timeline[edit]

Year Month and date Event type Details
1993 May 22 Technology Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, originally released in 1991, is the first film to be streamed on the Internet. Due to bandwidth limitations, it is broadcast at 2 frames per second rather than the standard 24 frames per second. It was watched by a number of people at computer laboratories.[1]
1995 September 5 Technology ESPN SportsZone streams a live radio broadcast of a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees to thousands of its subscribers worldwide using cutting-edge technology, using the RealAudio format, developed by a Seattle-based startup company named RealNetworks – the first livestreaming event.[2]
1995 Technology Macromedia releases Shockwave Player for Netscape Navigator, which becomes the primary format of streaming media for the late 1990s and 2000s (along with Flash Player, until it is gradually supplanted by HTML5).[3]
1997 September 5 Technology World Superstars of Wrestling, Inc. partnered with software maker VDO and Webstar (ISP), under Scott Crompton and George Zhen, broadcasting one of the first video based websites. Shot on location in Tampa Bay, Florida, Matsuda and Brody produced six one hour episodes, dubbed the first webisodes with hosts Gordon Solie and Bruno Sammartino. Sir Oliver Humperdink did an interview segment with various wrestling personalities such as Dan "The Beast" Severn, Danny Spivey and others. With the Internet in such an infancy, technology and bandwidth could not support the endeavor so the broadcast only lasted the six episodes. Unofficially, Ring Warriors was the first television show to be broadcast on the Internet.[4]
1997 Companies ShareYourWorld.com, a predecessor to YouTube, is founded by Chase Norlin, and is subsequently shut down in 2001.[5]
1998 Companies Marc Collins-Rector and his partner Jim Shackley founded Digital Entertainment Network, which was to deliver original episodic video content over the Internet aimed at niche audiences. The startup collapsed after Collins-Rector’s legal troubles in 2000.[6]
1998 October Technology MPEG-4, a method of defining compression of audio and visual (AV) digital data, is introduced.[7][8][9][10][11]
1999 Technology Microsoft introduces streaming feature in Windows Media Player 6.4. It introduces the ASF file format, which allows storage of multiple video and audio tracks inside a single file. It also introduces Windows Media streaming protocols that support switching streams during broadcast. This technology is most commonly referred to as Multiple Bit Rate ASF, or simply MBR.[12]
1999 June Technology Apple introduces a streaming media format in its QuickTime 4 application.[13]
2000 Product SpotLife is released for recorded and live video content.[14]
2002 October Technology Adaptive bit rate over HTTP is created by the DVD Forum at the WG1 Special Streaming group.
2003 May Technology The On2 TrueMotion VP6 codec is released.[15]
2004 June Products MindGeek is founded as Too Much Media. Its name is changed to Manwin in 2010, and then MindGeek in October 2013. Its operations are primarily related to Internet pornography, but also include other online properties such as the comedy video website videobash.com and celebrity gossip site celebs.com.[16][17]
2004 September 9 Products First cloud-based video editor launched.
2005 January 25 Products Google Video launches.[18]
2005 February Products Stickam, a live video chatting site is launched.
2005 March 15 Companies Dailymotion, a French video-sharing website, is founded.[19]
2005 April 23 Companies YouTube opens for video uploads, and the first YouTube video uploaded on April 23, 2005, is titled Me at the zoo.[20] Between March and July 2006, YouTube grows from 30 to 100 million views of videos per day.
2006 May 14 Companies Crunchyroll, an American website and international online community focused on video streaming East Asian media including anime, manga, drama, music, electronic entertainment, and auto racing content, is founded.[21]
2006 October 1 Companies Justin.tv, a live-streaming service that is the owner of Twitch, is founded by Justin Kan.[citation needed]
2006 September 7 Products Amazon introduces video on demand service Amazon Video.[22]
2006 October 9 Mergers Google acquires YouTube.[23]
2006 October 31 Companies LiveLeak, a UK-based video sharing website that lets users post and share videos (often of reality footage, politics, war, and other world events), is founded.
2006 December Companies Youku, one of China's top online video and streaming service platforms, is founded.[24]
2007 January 15 Products Netflix announces that it will launch streaming video.[25]
2007 February Technology HTML5 specification introduces the video element for the purpose of playing videos. This allows embedding video to no longer necessitate a third-party plugin, as it can be played natively in the browser. HTML5 would later overtake Flash as the primary mechanism for broadcasting video.[26]
2007 May 25 Companies Pornhub, a pornographic video sharing website, is founded by the web developer Matt Keezer as a website within the company Interhub.[27]
2007 September Companies Vevo is founded. It offers music videos from two of the "big three" major record labels, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.[28]
2007 September 5 Technology Microsoft introduces Microsoft Silverlight, an application framework for writing and running rich Internet applications, similar to Adobe Flash.[29]
2008 February 25 Products DivX announces that it will shut down Stage6,[30] stating that it is unable to continue to provide the attention and resources required for its continued operation.[31]
2008 March 10 Technology Macromedia Flash moves to the H.264 encoding codec.[32]
2008 March 12 Companies Hulu, an online streaming service for TV/movies, launches for public access in the United States.[33]
2009 January Products Google discontinues the ability to upload videos to Google Video.[34]
2009 November Technology Apple first introduces HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), an HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming communications protocol.[35]
2010 March Acquisitions Pornhub is purchased by Fabian Thylmann as part of the Manwin conglomerate, now known as MindGeek.[36]
2010 April 22 Companies iQIYI, an online video platform based in Beijing, China launches.
2010 December Companies Viki, an international video website offering TV shows, movies, and other premium content, is founded and gets Series A round funding.[citation needed]
2011 January Technology Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP – which enables high quality streaming of media content over the Internet delivered from conventional HTTP web servers – becomes a draft international standard.[37] The MPEG-DASH standard is published as ISO/IEC 23009-1:2012 in April, 2012.
2011 April Companies Vudu announces the launch of its online streaming service.[38]
2011 May Acquisitions Manwin/MindGeek acquires the pornographic video sharing website YouPorn.[39]
2011 June 6 Companies Justin.tv spins off its gaming division as Twitch, which officially launches in public beta.[40]
2011 July Companies Keek – a free online social networking service that allows its users to upload video status updates, which are called "keeks" – launches.[41]
2012 January 19 Companies Megaupload (and Megavideo) are shut down by the FBI.[42]
2012 June Companies Vine, a short-form video sharing service where users can share six-second-long looping video clips, is founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll.[43][44]
2012 December Companies Snapchat adds the ability to send video snaps in addition to photos.[45]
2013 June 13 Product Instagram launches video sharing.[46]
2015 January 27 Products YouTube drops Flash for HTML5 video as default.[47]
2015 March Companies Periscope, a live video streaming app for iOS and Android developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein is launched (and acquired by Twitter before its launch).[48]
2015 May Companies Meerkat, a mobile app that enables users to broadcast live video streaming through their mobile device, releases its app for both iOS and Android.[49]
2016 January Companies Facebook launches Facebook Live.[50]
2016 September Products TikTok, a short-form video hosting service, is launched.


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