Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The End of Indie Web Browsers: You Can (Not) Compete (samuelmaddock.com)
47 points by smaddock 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments



I for one would love to see new browsers come forward and explicitly state that they are not implementing EME in any way, and see just how that plays out.

My optimistic (maybe too deeply rose colored) vision would be for viewership of EME-locked content to drop off so far that the companies using it have to give up and reopen distribution.


> My optimistic (maybe too deeply rose colored) vision would be for viewership of EME-locked content to drop off so far that the companies using it have to give up and reopen distribution.

They never had open distribution, they just had plug-ins.

All web browsers put together do not have enough market share of video views to make a material difference. Most major video services have less than 10% of views via personal computers at all, and could shift 80% of that to an application without much issue.


If those numbers are reasonably solid, I can see a positive outcome to refusal of EME support. Now I'm even more convinced it's a good idea.


How? I cannot understand that logic at all.


If only 10% of DRMed viewership is through EME in browsers, then dropping EME from browsers is far easier than if it were, say, 50 or 75%.

I could see this having an impact for existing browsers with a larger marketshare. I'd be worried if Firefox were to start and we'd see their influence drop. That would be the unfortunate reality of affecting the user experience of accessing media streaming websites.


Note this only applies to a small number of websites: Netflix, Hulu, etc... And there are plenty of people who do not visit those websites from their primary computer.

So while this is definitely annoying, this is hardly the end for all the indie browsers -- just like EA banning Linux gamers does not mean that all gaming on Linux is dead.


It should be noted that those small number of websites are collectively responsible for most of the internet traffic today:

https://www.ncta.com/whats-new/report-where-does-the-majorit...


(1) Those numbers do not make distinction between Youtube/Vimeo (no DRM) and Netflix/Hulu (DRM). As an anecdote, none of my friends watch Netflix on their desktops, so while they spend plenty of bandwidth, none of them requires Widevine.

(2) Those numbers are bytes transferred, which is hardly a good metric of user importance. If you look at "top 100 websites" reports, like [0], you see there are no DRM-only sites at the top -- Netflix, for example, is on position 25.

[0] https://ahrefs.com/blog/most-visited-websites/


The project I built and mentioned in the article, Metastream [1], is used to sync videos across browsers. It now lives as a browser extension and I'm able to track which web domains are most commonly used by the app.

Based on the usage statistics for the past month (28,711 samples), these are some commonly used media websites:

1. www.youtube.com (69%)

2. www.netflix.com (5%)

3. www.crunchyroll.com (2.5%)

4. www.hulu.com (0.8%)

5. www.funimation.com (0.3%)

6. www.disneyplus.com (0.3%)

7. other (22.1%)

The app is heavily skewed towards anime which already has a problem with piracy. That said, we can at least see that approx. 9% of traffic in my app is for DRM-enabled media.

Personally, I don't think the usage statistics of DRM media matters much. It shouldn't be a requirement to consume any content on the web to begin with.

[1] https://github.com/samuelmaddock/metastream




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: