Streaming Video Alliance Taps First Executive Director

The Streaming Video Alliance (SVA), a cross-industry group formed in late 2014, has tapped Jason Thibeault as its first executive director.  

Thibeault, who is late of content delivery network company Limelight Networks and was a founder and CTO of a mobile-focused company called GoWare, will serve as the SVA’s “chief evangelist and advocate” within the streaming industry, the organization said.

The SVA also announced the appointment of two new board members, Yves Boudreau, CTO of TV and media technology strategy at Ericsson, and Keith Zubchevich, chief strategy officer, Conviva.

In an interview, Thibeault said his top priorities include ensuring that the SVA continues to produce technical requirements, best practices and other documents that could eventually lead to industry-wide standards; to generate more awareness of the org and its aims (he said SVA wants to become a “lightning rod” for streaming video; and to expand the SVA’s membership base, which currently includes a broad mix of tech vendors, ISPs, and content providers.

That group (see the full list below) currently has some big names from the streaming world that’s still absent, including Netflix, Amazon and Google/YouTube, and the SVA wants to change that.

Per the SVA’s Web site, principal membership, which includes engagement in working groups and voting on technical committee proposed specs, and eligibility to be elected to the SVA’s  board, runs $10,000 per year, while supporting membership costs $5,000 per year, and allows for the review or working documents and to audit meetings.

As for deliverables, the SVA has released two approved guideline documents  -- Open Caching Systems Functional Requirements and QoE Industry Guidelines. While some of the SVA’s work could eventually evolve into standards or quasi-standards, most of the current focus is around technical requirements, guidelines and best practices for video streaming.

“We’re not necessarily trying to define what online video is, but to help shape it” by working with a broad cross-section of the industry, Thibeault said.

The SVA’s next quarterly meeting is scheduled for Sept. 7 in London, just ahead of the IBC show in Amsterdam.

The SVA’s membership currently includes Beamr, Cedexis, Charter Communications, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Concurrent, Conviva, Encompass TV, Ericsson, FOX Networks, Hughes Satellite Systems, IneoQuest, Intel, Irdeto, Korea Telecom, Level 3 Communications, Liberty Global, Limelight Networks, MediaMelon, MLB Advanced Media, Mobolize, Nagra, NBCUniversal, NeuLion, Nice People at Work, Nokia, Nominum, PeerApp, Qwilt, Sky, System73, Telecom Italia, Telstra, Ustream (now part of IBM), ViaSat Inc., Verimatrix, Verizon, Vubiquity, Wowza Media Systems and Yahoo.