October 18, 2023 (2 months ago)

Our next pricing lever: Baseline on-demand assets with free video encoding

Phil Cluff
By Phil Cluff4 min readProduct

Jon's right, video isn't just too hard, it's too expensive.

Over the last 6 months, we've spent a lot of time talking to customers, partners, and prospects about the cost of video. We've heard again and again that some video use cases are just too constrained by the current cost of processing and streaming. At the same time, we've been working hard with the product and engineering teams at Mux to design and build more pricing levers that you can pull to manage your spend on video.

Eight months ago, we introduced our first major pricing lever, resolution-based pricing, which automatically applies discounts to encoding, storage, and streaming based on the resolution of the video that you upload. Today we're announcing the next pricing lever, baseline video assets.

Baseline assets are a cost-effective alternative asset type for on-demand video, with no upfront cost for encoding. They're optimized for simpler streaming video use cases, where a high cost of encoding may be restrictive to your business model.

Nothing's changing in the default Mux Video encoding, which provides a great balance of cost, scalability, and quality. So if you don't change your API request, nothing changes. Going forward, we'll refer to our default encoding and assets as "smart."

As you pick the encoding tier you want to use on each asset, you’ll also be able to mix and match assets within your catalog. This means that, for example, you’ll have the option to use smart encoding for your professionally created content while using baseline encoding for user-generated content.

Baseline assets are great for building video applications like user-generated content platforms or social networks, where you expect that a large amount of content will be uploaded but most videos will have a low number of average views.

While they are more cost-optimized, baseline assets are built on the same Mux infrastructure you already know and love, and include:

However, there are some limitations with baseline assets that you should keep in mind as you're selecting the right encoding tier for your assets:

  • Only available for on-demand assets
  • Fewer renditions, which means some viewers on worse internet connections may not get the highest quality available
  • Lower maximum visual quality when compared with equivalent smart assets
  • Some features are currently unavailable
    • MP4 support
    • 2K and 4K support
    • Multi-track audio
    • Auto-generated captions

While encoding for baseline assets is free, storage is slightly more expensive and is billed for at least 30 days. Be sure to check out the pricing page for full details.

Link42IconUsing baseline assets

Baseline assets are easy to use; you can now set the encoding tier on each asset you upload. This gives you the ability to pick the right encoding behavior for each asset's use case.

Just set the new encoding_tier field to baseline when you create your asset:

Creating a baseline asset
// POST /video/v1/assets { "input": "https://storage.googleapis.com/muxdemofiles/mux.mp4", "playback_policy": [ "public" ], "encoding_tier": "baseline" }

And of course, you can also set the encoding_tier in your new_asset_settings when you create a direct upload too:

Creating a baseline asset from a direct upload
// POST /video/v1/uploads { "new_asset_settings": { "playback_policy": [ "public" ], "encoding_tier": "baseline" }, "cors_origin": "*" }

You can also try out baseline assets right from the Mux Dashboard by selecting the baseline encoding tier from the "Create Asset" screen.

We've also added a new guide for using different encoding tiers to our documentation, check it out for the full details.

Link42IconAvailability and pricing

Baseline assets are available to all pay-as-you-go customers today. If you're a contracted customer, you'll need to contact the team to talk more about baseline assets.

Baseline assets give you the ability to build video applications that otherwise wouldn't have been commercially viable. We'd love to hear your feedback — are there features you'd love to see on baseline assets that we aren't currently offering? Let us know!

More pricing levers are already in the pipeline, if you'd like to learn more, drop us a note at info@mux.com.

Written By

Phil Cluff

Phil Cluff – Director of Product Management - Mux Video Group Product Manager

Phil has spent the last 10 years building some of the biggest AVOD, SVOD, and public service streaming platforms in the world at the BBC and Brightcove. He’s here to chew gum and stream video, and he’s all out of gum.

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