The Streaming Video Alliance (the Alliance), a global technical association developing solutions to address critical technical challenges in delivering a high-quality video experience at scale, has acquired the technical documents from the Open Authentication Technology Committee (OATC). A nonprofit industry association, OATC’s membership includes television programmers/content owners, multi-channel video program distributors (MVPDs), technology companies, and system integrators. Founded in 2011, OATC has been developing open, voluntary technical standards and recommended practices that enable consumers to access subscription TV content via participating internet sites. In 2019, the OATC board of directors agreed its work had come to an end and voted for dissolution. As part of that decision, they recognized the need to find a home for the OATC’s body of work. Given the large crossover of members and the Streaming Video Alliance’s explosive growth over the past few years, the OATC board elected to have the work transitioned to the Alliance for permanent housing. Hence, as part of the merger agreement, the Alliance will acquire and host the OATC’s rich library of technical documentation. OATC members, who are not also current Streaming Video Alliance members, will receive a one-year complimentary membership to the Alliance through July 2022.
“We’re honored and privileged to have been selected by the OATC to provide a long-term home for their technical documents,” said Jason Thibeault, Executive Director of the Streaming Video Alliance. “The OATC’s efforts during its tenure were important as traditional cable operators and broadcasters sought technical solutions to enable their subscribers easy but secured access to content on devices like smartphones, computers, and other components connected to the television. But as the streaming industry has moved from this model to more direct-to-consumer offerings, this kind of authentication for MVPD platforms became less relevant. But it’s very important, for both historical records and future work, that their technical documents be kept available. The Streaming Video Alliance is a perfect home for their output.”
The OATC Objectives Align with Alliance Technical Work
OATC standards facilitate secure data exchanges between content providers and their brands’ websites and mobile apps (such as HBO Go, CNN, NBC) and MVPDs authentication and authorization systems, while ensuring consumer anonymity and privacy. Although there are no immediate plans to continue the OATC’s work, the Alliance has several working groups, such as Privacy & Protection and Players & Playback, which could explore OATC objectives in future projects.
The Alliance works to solve critical streaming video challenges to ensure scalability, resiliency, and interoperability of high quality streaming video technologies. As the Alliance considered which areas to broaden its focus, the OATC’s mission of empowering consumers with a simple, easy-to-use way to access subscription content on the internet aligned well with the current and future needs of the streaming industry and the technical work the Alliance is committed to producing.
“As a board member of both the OATC and the Alliance, I am pleased to see this transition completed and to see the level of collaboration between content owners, MVPDs, and technology service providers continue,” said Glenn Goldstein, Consulting Product Strategist at Lumen Technologies. “At its core, the mission of the OATC was to reduce friction for access to streaming services. The Alliance is well positioned to continue that mission, developing and promoting standards and practices that reduce friction for all parties involved in the delivery of video streams to consumers.”
The OATC library of technical documents is now housed here on the Alliance website: https://oatc.streamingvideoalliance.org/
Members of the Alliance include companies from across the streaming video ecosystem such as network operators, technology providers, service providers, and content owners. Current members are: Adobe, AfrolandTV, Agile Content, allt, Amazon, ATEME, Broadpeak, Buurst, CBC, Charter Communications, Cisco Systems, Citrix, Comcast, CommScope, Compira Labs, ContentArmor, Conviva, Datazoom, Deutsche Telekom, DidjaTV, Disney Streaming Services, Dolby, Eluvio, Equus Compute Solutions, Ericsson, EXFO, Fastly, Friend MTS, Globo, Harmonic, Hughes Satellite Systems, INKA Entworks, Intel, InterDigital, Interra Systems, Irdeto, KIOXIA, Liberty Global, Limelight Networks, Lumen Technologies, Mainstreaming, Nagra, NCTA, Neustar, Nice People at Work, NS1, NTT, Optus, Orange, Panasonic Avionics, Penthera, Plex, Qwilt, ServiceNow, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Sky, SSIMWAVE, ST Engineering iDirect, Stackpath, Starz, Streaming Global, StriveCast, Synamedia, Telefonica, Telekom Malaysia, Telestream, THEO, TNO, Touchstream, Varnish Software, Vecima Networks, Verimatrix, Verizon, ViacomCBS, Viasat Inc., WebKontrol, and Western Digital Corp.
The Alliance also sees participation from other brands owned by, or associated with, member companies which include Globecast, Hulu, NBCSports, Paramount, Peacock, PlutoTV, Prime Video, Twitch, Verizon Media, Viaccess-Orca, and Virgin Media.
About the Streaming Video Alliance
The Streaming Video Alliance is a global technical association addressing critical challenges in streaming video. By educating the industry on the technical nature of the issues, providing a neutral forum for collaboration across the video ecosystem, and publishing documentation that defines technical solutions, the Alliance is helping to improve the streaming video experience at scale. Over 75 companies including network operators, content rights holders, OTT platforms, service providers, and technology vendors – representing some of the biggest names in global streaming – participate in bi-weekly working group activities and quarterly face-to-face meetings. For more information, please visit www.streamingvideoalliance.org.