Netflix Starts Streaming AV1 On Android To Save Cellular Data

Netflix announced today that it’s beginning to stream video using AV1 on Android. This high-performance, royalty-free codec provides 20% improved compression efficiency over VP9. 9to5Google reports:


Developed by the Alliance for Open Media, founding members include Google, Netflix, and Amazon – all large video providers.

Netflix says its “goal is to roll out AV1 on all of our platforms.” In starting on mobile, the service cites how “cellular networks can be unreliable” and “limited data plans.” That is particularly the case for subscribers abroad, a key growth market. This results in an overall “good fit for AV1’s compression efficiency.”

At launch, the "Save Data" option -- More tab > App Settings > Cellular Data Usage – must be set in the Android client. Netflix only specifies “selected titles” as being available to stream over AV1. Moving forward, Netflix’s AV1 usage will expand to more use cases as “codec performance improves over time.” The service is already working with “device and chipset partners to extend this into hardware.”