Hot on the heels of my last post about how web conferencing is jumping as fast as it can from Flash to HTML5 comes today's announcement from ON24. The press release touts expanded HTML5 capabilities including Adaptive Bitrate Capability, which I assume is their name for the more widely used phrasing of adaptive bitrate streaming.
This works by encoding the source content at a variety of bit rates. The software evaluates each recipient's bandwidth and CPU capacity to dynamically step up and step down the bitrate stream to achieve optimal results (best picture without buffering or frame-skipping). This happens over and over again as the video stream is broken into segments for distribution across the network. In HTML5, the implementation is typically through the MPEG-DASH player, although I haven't confirmed that this is what ON24 relies on.
The press release contains an interesting but ambiguous statement that "70 percent of ON24 Webcast Elite accounts are using the HTML5 audience console." I don't know if that means exclusively HTML5 for all attendees, or that 70 percent of accounts have at some point in time broadcast to at least one attendee using the HTML5 viewer.
Along with the HTML5/bitrate news, the press release mentions unspecified enhancements to reporting and email notification features. I'll be interested to learn the details later. There is also mention of a beta release for hooking video conferencing units (VCUs) to ON24's web conferencing to allow high quality video content to be combined with ON24's interactivity features.
ON24 says they had a 43% increase in subscription revenue growth over the past year. Nice to see continued expansion of usage along with continued improvements in quality!