Google dips its toes into video compression

Are YouTube file sizes set to shrink?
Are YouTube file sizes set to shrink?

Is Google worried about the amount of space YouTube is taking up on the web? Possibly, as the search giant has just announced it has invested a whopping $106.5 million (well, its equivalent in shares) into On2 Technologies, a video compression company.

Google is being a tad cagey about what it will do with the technology it has inherited, merely stating on its blog that: "video is an important part of many people's everyday activities on the internet and a big part of many Google products.

"Because we spend a lot of time working to make the overall web experience better for users, we think that video compression technology should be a part of the web platform.

"To that end, we're happy to announce today that we've signed a deal to acquire On2 Technologies, a leading creator of high-quality video compression technology."

Space race

Integrating this tech into YouTube makes perfect sense, as the video sharing site uses up a phenomenal amount of space, with each file uploaded allowed to up to 2GB in size. Considering YouTube's bandwidth costs around a $360 million a year and 20 hours of content is uploaded every minute, then it's obvious that Google will be looking for a way to shrink video file sizes.

Add to this the fact that the site is about to venture into full-form video (full episodes) and the acquisition On2 Technologies starts to make a lot of sense.

But then again, it could have something to do with making uploads speedier - as On2 Technologies says on its website it's dedicated to bringing "faster encodes, easier playback, smaller files, faster download times, reduced stream buffer delays and lower bandwidth cost." All of which is sure to pique Google's interest.

Via Mashable

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.