Timeline of online video

Last updated

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



Time periodKey developments in online video web sight
1974–1992Development 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.
1993–2004Early 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.
2005–2010Mass-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. Livestreaming 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

YearMonth and dateEvent typeDetails
1993May 22Technology 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.


1995September 5TechnologyESPN 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 developed by a Seattle-based startup company named RealNetworks – the first livestreaming event. [2]
1995Technology 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]
1997September 5TechnologyWorld 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.="MyUser_The_Guardian_July_28_2016c">Zambelli, Alex (March 2013). "A history of media streaming and the future of connected TV". The Guardian. Retrieved July 28, 2016.</ref>
1997CompaniesShareYourWorld.com, a predecessor to YouTube, is founded by Chase Norlin, and is subsequently shut down in 2001. [4]
1998LateTechnology MPEG-4, a method of defining compression of audio and visual (AV) digital data, is introduced. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
1999TechnologyMicrosoft 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. [10]
1999JuneTechnologyApple introduces a streaming media format in its QuickTime 4 application. [11]
2000ProductSpotLife is released for recorded and live video content. [12]
2002OctoberTechnology Adaptive bit rate over HTTP is created by the DVD Forum at the WG1 Special Streaming group.
2003MayTechnologyThe On2 TrueMotion VP6 codec is released. [13]
2004JuneProducts 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. [14] [15]
2004September 9ProductsFirst cloud-based video editor launched.
2005January 25Products Google Video launches. [16]
2005FebruaryProducts Stickam, a live video chatting site is launched.
2005March 15Companies Dailymotion, a French video-sharing website, is founded. [17]
2005April 23Companies YouTube opens for video uploads, and the first YouTube video uploaded on April 23, 2005, is titled Me at the zoo . [18] Between March and July 2006, YouTube grows from 30 to 100 million views of videos per day.
2006May 14Companies 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. [19]
2006October 1Companies Justin.tv, a live-streaming service that is the owner of Twitch, is founded by Justin Kan.[ citation needed ]
2006September 7ProductsAmazon introduces video on demand service Amazon Video. [20]
2006October 9MergersGoogle acquires YouTube. [21]
2006October 31Companies 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.
2006DecemberCompanies Youku, one of China's top online video and streaming service platforms, is founded. [22]
2007January 15Products Netflix announces that it will launch streaming video. [23]
2007FebruaryTechnologyHTML5 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. [24]
2007May 25Companies Pornhub, a pornographic video sharing website, is founded by the web developer Matt Keezer as a website within the company Interhub. [25]
2007SeptemberCompanies Vevo is founded. It offers music videos from two of the "big three" major record labels, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. [26]
2007September 5TechnologyMicrosoft introduces Microsoft Silverlight, an application framework for writing and running rich Internet applications, similar to Adobe Flash. [27]
2008February 25Products DivX announces that it will shut down Stage6, [28] stating that it is unable to continue to provide the attention and resources required for its continued operation. [29]
2008March 10TechnologyMacromedia Flash moves to the H.264 encoding codec. [30]
2008March 12Companies Hulu, an online streaming service for TV/movies, launches for public access in the United States. [31]
2009JanuaryProductsGoogle discontinues the ability to upload videos to Google Video. [32]
2009NovemberTechnologyApple first introduces HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), an HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming communications protocol. [33]
2010MarchAcquisitions Pornhub is purchased by Fabian Thylmann as part of the Manwin conglomerate, now known as MindGeek. [34]
2010April 22Companies iQIYI, an online video platform based in Beijing, China launches.
2010DecemberCompanies Viki, an international video website offering TV shows, movies, and other premium content, is founded and gets Series A round funding.[ citation needed ]
2011JanuaryTechnology 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. [35] The MPEG-DASH standard is published as ISO/IEC 23009-1:2012 in April, 2012.
2011AprilCompanies Vudu announces the launch of its online streaming service. [36]
2011MayAcquisitionsManwin/MindGeek acquires the pornographic video sharing website YouPorn. [37]
2011June 6Companies Justin.tv spins off its gaming division as Twitch, which officially launches in public beta. [38]
2011JulyCompanies Keek – a free online social networking service that allows its users to upload video status updates, which are called "keeks" – launches. [39]
2012January 19Companies Megaupload (and Megavideo) are shut down by the FBI. [40]
2012JuneCompanies 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. [41] [42]
2012DecemberCompanies Snapchat adds the ability to send video snaps in addition to photos. [43]
2013June 13ProductInstagram launches video sharing. [44]
2015January 27ProductsYouTube drops Flash for HTML5 video as default. [45]
2015MarchCompanies 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). [46]
2015MayCompanies Meerkat, a mobile app that enables users to broadcast live video streaming through their mobile device, releases its app for both iOS and Android. [47]
2016JanuaryCompaniesFacebook launches Facebook Live. [48]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moving Picture Experts Group</span> Alliance of working groups to set standards for multimedia coding

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is an alliance of working groups established jointly by ISO and IEC that sets standards for media coding, including compression coding of audio, video, graphics, and genomic data; and transmission and file formats for various applications. Together with JPEG, MPEG is organized under ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 – Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information.

MPEG-4 is a group of international standards for the compression of digital audio and visual data, multimedia systems, and file storage formats. It was originally introduced in late 1998 as a group of audio and video coding formats and related technology agreed upon by the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) under the formal standard ISO/IEC 14496 – Coding of audio-visual objects. Uses of MPEG-4 include compression of audiovisual data for Internet video and CD distribution, voice and broadcast television applications. The MPEG-4 standard was developed by a group led by Touradj Ebrahimi and Fernando Pereira.

Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is an audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves higher sound quality than MP3 encoders at the same bit rate.

MPEG-4 Part 3 or MPEG-4 Audio is the third part of the ISO/IEC MPEG-4 international standard developed by Moving Picture Experts Group. It specifies audio coding methods. The first version of ISO/IEC 14496-3 was published in 1999.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding</span> Audio codec

High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC) is an audio coding format for lossy data compression of digital audio defined as an MPEG-4 Audio profile in ISO/IEC 14496–3. It is an extension of Low Complexity AAC (AAC-LC) optimized for low-bitrate applications such as streaming audio. The usage profile HE-AAC v1 uses spectral band replication (SBR) to enhance the modified discrete cosine transform (MDCT) compression efficiency in the frequency domain. The usage profile HE-AAC v2 couples SBR with Parametric Stereo (PS) to further enhance the compression efficiency of stereo signals.

MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-4 Visual is a video compression format developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). It belongs to the MPEG-4 ISO/IEC standards. It uses block-wise motion compensation and a discrete cosine transform (DCT), similar to previous standards such as MPEG-1 Part 2 and H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2.

MPEG-4 Part 17, or MPEG-4 Timed Text (MP4TT), or MPEG-4 Streaming text format is the text-based subtitle format for MPEG-4, published as ISO/IEC 14496-17 in 2006. It was developed in response to the need for a generic method for coding of text as one of the multimedia components within audiovisual presentations.

The Extensible MPEG-4 Textual Format (XMT) is a high-level, XML-based file format for storing MPEG-4 data in a way suitable for further editing. In contrast, the more common MPEG-4 Part 14 (MP4) format is less flexible and used for distributing finished content.

MPEG-4 Part 11Scene description and application engine was published as ISO/IEC 14496-11 in 2005. MPEG-4 Part 11 is also known as BIFS, XMT, MPEG-J. It defines:

QuickTime File Format (QTFF) is a computer file format used natively by the QuickTime framework.

MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding, also known as MPEG-4 ALS, is an extension to the MPEG-4 Part 3 audio standard to allow lossless audio compression. The extension was finalized in December 2005 and published as ISO/IEC 14496-3:2005/Amd 2:2006 in 2006. The latest description of MPEG-4 ALS was published as subpart 11 of the MPEG-4 Audio standard in December 2019.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">MPEG-4 SLS</span> Extension to the MPEG-4 Audio standard

MPEG-4 SLS, or MPEG-4 Scalable to Lossless as per ISO/IEC 14496-3:2005/Amd 3:2006 (Scalable Lossless Coding), is an extension to the MPEG-4 Part 3 (MPEG-4 Audio) standard to allow lossless audio compression scalable to lossy MPEG-4 General Audio coding methods (e.g., variations of AAC). It was developed jointly by the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) and Fraunhofer, which commercializes its implementation of a limited subset of the standard under the name of HD-AAC. Standardization of the HD-AAC profile for MPEG-4 Audio is under development (as of September 2009).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">MP4 file format</span> Digital format for storing video and audio

MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a digital multimedia container format most commonly used to store video and audio, but it can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images. Like most modern container formats, it allows streaming over the Internet. The only filename extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 files as defined by the specification is .mp4. MPEG-4 Part 14 is a standard specified as a part of MPEG-4.

MPEG Surround, also known as Spatial Audio Coding (SAC) is a lossy compression format for surround sound that provides a method for extending mono or stereo audio services to multi-channel audio in a backwards compatible fashion. The total bit rates used for the core and the MPEG Surround data are typically only slightly higher than the bit rates used for coding of the core. MPEG Surround adds a side-information stream to the core bit stream, containing spatial image data. Legacy stereo playback systems will ignore this side-information while players supporting MPEG Surround decoding will output the reconstructed multi-channel audio.

BiM is an international standard defining a generic binary format for encoding XML documents.

The ISO base media file format (ISOBMFF) is a container file format that defines a general structure for files that contain time-based multimedia data such as video and audio. It is standardized in ISO/IEC 14496-12, a.k.a. MPEG-4 Part 12, and was formerly also published as ISO/IEC 15444-12, a.k.a. JPEG 2000 Part 12.

Unified Speech and Audio Coding (USAC) is an audio compression format and codec for both music and speech or any mix of speech and audio using very low bit rates between 12 and 64 kbit/s. It was developed by Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and was published as an international standard ISO/IEC 23003-3 and also as an MPEG-4 Audio Object Type in ISO/IEC 14496-3:2009/Amd 3 in 2012.

MPEG media transport (MMT), specified as ISO/IEC 23008-1, is a digital container standard developed by Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) that supports High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video. MMT was designed to transfer data using the all-Internet Protocol (All-IP) network.

ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29, entitled Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information, is a standardization subcommittee of the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It develops and facilitates international standards, technical reports, and technical specifications within the field of audio, picture, multimedia, and hypermedia information coding. SC 29 includes the well-known JPEG and MPEG experts groups, and the standards developed by SC 29 have been recognized by nine Emmy Awards.

Internet Video Coding is a video coding standard. IVC was created by MPEG, and was intended to be a royalty-free video coding standard for use on the Internet, as an alternative to non-free formats such as AVC and HEVC. As such, IVC was designed to only use coding techniques which were not covered by royalty-requiring patents.


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