Today we saw that MLB went live with a video streaming solution that is built using Adobe Flash and the Swarmcast NexDef browser plug-in for their HD streaming video experience. It is an example of how you can deliver higher quality experiences on the Web. It also highlights how users are willing to accept additional browser plug-ins to get those experiences.
While Flash 9 may have high penetration, the Swarmcast NexDef plug-in that helps power MLB's HD experience has virtually no adoption. Ubiquity here is a red herring – what customers really want are high quality solutions. Silverlight has been doing that since its inception and already supports the ability to deliver 1 HD using IIS Smooth Streaming with no additional plug-in required.
Everyday Silverlight penetration is increasing and in some countries has over 50% penetration of all internet connected computers. Take a look at how Silverlight with Smooth Streaming is delivering the highest quality, 1 HD on the web at http://www.iis.net/media/experiencesmoothstreaming and http://smoothhd.com.
Customers are going live every day with great Silverlight solutions that highlight high quality HD experiences. Chris Carper mentioned in his blog yesterday, that this is the first year that CBS is using Silverlight to power the CBS March Madness on Demand (MMOD) experience. They served high quality live video to over 5.6 million unique users and delivered over 6.5 million hours of live streaming content, in just the first 4 days. This is a 71% increase over last year. MMOD this year is one of the most profitable, advertising-funded events in the history of online broadcasting. Be sure to catch the final game tonight on MMOD, Michigan State vs. The University of North Carolina (6:21PM PST tip off). It should be a fantastic game.
Last summer NBC held the most widely viewed sporting event in the history of the internet with the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. For Beijing, NBC delivered 1.3 billion page views, 70 million video streams, and 600 million minutes of content (WOW!) -- making it possible for fans to view every minute of every event from their computer. Users spent on average of 27 minutes watching video on the site (vs 3 minutes on other Olympics experiences) which is unprecedented for Internet video.
Two weeks ago, NBC announced that it once again selected Silverlight to deliver the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics – broadcasting all content in 1 HD with IIS Smooth Streaming including Live and On-Demand (in 3 Mbps). The Vancouver experience will build on the success of Beijing and deliver the greatest sports experience to date.
Later this week, AT&T and Move Networks are using Silverlight in 1 HD (720p) to broadcast the Masters Golf tournament to AT&T's millions of subscribers.
And this is just the beginning – we'll have even more information to share at this year's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Conference in Las Vegas, NV