Netflix Android App Is Now Streaming AV1 Codec for Select Titles

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 5 Feb 2020

AV1 is the latest video codec that offers a slew of advantages over Android’s VP9 standard. Most importantly VP9 offers nearly 30% better compression without any loss in quality. Now Netflix has announced that it will offer AV1 natively on Android devices.

Today we are excited to announce that Netflix has started streaming AV1 to our Android mobile app. AV1 is a high performance, royalty-free video codec that provides 20% improved compression efficiency over our VP9† encodes. AV1 is made possible by the wide-ranging industry commitment of expertise and intellectual property within the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), of which Netflix is a founding member.

Earlier Netflix used VP6 on Android and the new codec should offer better quality streaming while consuming less data. The new codec comes as a boon in regions where cellular networks are not reliable. It is also useful for Android users who are on a limited data plan. Select titles are already available for streaming in AV1 on Netflix. However, the only way to get the codec is by activating “Save Data” feature on the Netflix app.

As codec performance improves over time, we plan to expand our AV1 usage to more use cases and are now also working with device and chipset partners to extend this into hardware.

Netflix is aiming to make AV1 standard across all platforms and is currently working with device and chip partners to implement the same. It is worth noting that Chrome and Android natively support AV1 format.

[via Netflix]