As we all know, Google Android movie rentals were launched yesterday, but people were wondering what format the movies would be distributed in. Well, the answer – if it wasn’t obvious enough is Adobe Flash. Despite Google introducing HTML5 videos for YouTube last year and introducing the open source WebM media format earlier this year – Google won’t be pushing out its own movie service in those formats. Instead, Google will be sticking with Adobe Flash and H.264 – what old YouTube has been using all along.
If you were wondering why Google isn’t pushing advanced technology instead, it’s mainly because of DRM (digital rights management) reasons. Google also mentioned that the Android Market rentals will make use of the YouTube player on PCs. When explaining about DRM, Google said, “YouTube doesn’t own the videos that you watch – they’re owned by their respective creators, who control how those videos are distributed through YouTube. For YouTube Rentals, video owners require us to use secure streaming technology, such as the Flash Platform’s RTMPE protocol, to ensure their videos are not redistributed.”
Since Android devices will have no problem playing Flash, it isn’t going to be a problem, but it looks like HTML5 and WebM just aren’t ready to take over Flash yet. It makes you question why Google would bother pushing another format in the first place if they’ve already got something that works?