In a letter to on2 Flix customers, Frank Galligan, Vice President of Engineering said that they are thrilled to become part of the Google family and gave the rationale for why Google is acquiring On2. He said:
"Google has indicated to us that they are continually looking to improve video quality and delivery on the web, and that our video technologies will allow them to do even more with their products and initiatives. They have indicated that they are interested in all parts of our video technology. With Google Video, Google Talk and YouTube, among others, they have a substantial interest in developing tools and technology that will better support more high quality video on the Internet. Google has indicated that they believe that our team and technology will help Google make higher quality video available online."While it's too early to discuss specific product plans until the deal closes, Mr. Galligan said that all existing agreements will remain in effect under their existing terms and that they expect that Google would honor its obligations under existing contracts.
So how "disruptive" will this be for the online video industry?
"While one could assume that Google will do something with VP8 and Chrome tying into the new HTML 5 standard, is that the reason to spend $100M to acquire a codec? I don't think so. While many want to automatically assume Google will always be successful in whatever they do, simply because they are Google, they have never done anything well outside of search and advertising, as far as generating revenue goes. If they want to challenge H.264, they'll lose. If they simply acquired On2 for their own use in YouTube and Chrome, ok, could work. But it won't have any major impact on the industry."
UPDATE 8/9/09: Check out Tim Siglin's new blog WORKFLOWED, which he launched following a discussion on Dan's post, Google's Acquisition of On2 Not a Big Deal, Here's Why. Tim says:"Dan listed off a series of reasons why Google may not have been interested in purchasing On2. A fascinating read, and a bit of a different take from the streamingmedia.com news article I'd written early this morning, which outlined the deal. In between writing mine and reading Dan's I had spent some time thinking through what Google might be up to, so I posted the following as a comment on Dan's blog: Google Purchases On2 - Additional Thoughts"
"I would pay special attention to what Google does with On2 on Android, because there is an opportunity for it to outshine rivals such as RIM and Apple. Just look at On2’s mobile video arsenal: It owns technologies for embedded video for mobile platforms (Hantro) and On2 TrueMobile System, a mobile video system designed to send video across the networks — including 2.5G, Edge, 3G and 4G networks — using On2’s VP7 technology."
"... my angle on this acquisition is one that no other commentator I've yet seen has taken: following in the footsteps of the Chrome web browser and the Android and Chrome O/S operating systems, Google's pending direct control over On2 is the company's latest move to wrest control of the Web from companies such as Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla (specifically, the latter's under-siege Firefox web browser)
- Official Google Blog: Innovation in video on the web
- Google's Acquisition Of On2 Not A Big Deal, Here's Why | The Business Of Online Video
- Debunking Some Myths Of The Google/On2 Deal, Questioning VP8's Quality | The Business Of Online Video
- Watch Out, Flash; Google Buys On2
- What does Google see in On2's video tech? | Digital Media - CNET News
- The Associated Press: Video-compress tech could help lower YouTube costs
- A look at On2 Technologies and why Google wants it | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com
- Google Buys On2: The Latest Front In The War Against Adobe, Apple, Microsoft And Mozilla's Firefox, For You - Brian's Brain - Blog on EDN - 400000040
- Streamingmedia.com: Google To Acquire On2
- Google Gets ON2 Video Compression - ReelSEO
- Google's On2 Acquisition Could Revolutionize The Video Industry (GOOG, MSFT, ADBE)
- Decoding the HTML 5 video codec debate - Ars Technica