Published on November 14, 2017 (over 6 years ago)

Announcing Mux Video: a simple API to powerful video streaming

Jon Dahl
By Jon Dahl4 min readProduct

Online video is growing exponentially, but still it's too hard to stream video.

Video is too hard (as we discussed last week). Every area of video infrastructure - encoding, playback, delivery, workflow, ads, metadata - has gotten more, not less, complex over the last few years.

Eight years ago, we started Zencoder to make online video easier. We made two significant contributions. First, Zencoder turned video transcoding into a simple cloud API (replacing big racks of physical servers). Second, we created Video.js, the first open-source HTML5 video player (making it easy to migrate away from Flash).

Mux was created to solve this problem. Last year, we released Mux Data, the best way to monitor your video streaming performance. Mux Data gives insight into video quality of experience with unparalleled accuracy and depth, and is trusted by companies like PBS, Livestream, and Wistia.

Today we are excited to announce Mux Video, a powerful API that makes it easy to work with online video. POST a video; GET back a video URL that plays well on any device in just seconds. Decisions like bitrate selection and CDN routing are driven by data, for better quality, reliability, and speed. Built by video experts and designed for developers, Mux Video allows teams of all sizes to get up and running in minutes.

LinkHow it works

POST a video.

// POST { "input": "", "playback_policy": "public" } // Response { "data": { "id": {ID}, "playback_ids": [ { "key": {PLAYBACK_ID}, "policy": "public" } ] } }

GET a video.


That's it...except for all the other things the Mux Video API will make easy - capture, clipping, stitching, watermarking, captions, metadata extraction, etc. Live video is just as easy, with a single API call giving you an endpoint where you can push a live stream, and an ID to play back the stream.

While this is a simple API (by design), what's happening under the hood is far from simple. Every part of Mux Video is built with optimization in mind, all powered by Mux Data. Decisions like resolutions and bitrate selection, storage locations, and CDN routing are all optimized by data. Encoding is done just-in-time, in parallel across multiple servers. Delivery is done via multiple CDNs for performance and reliability. The system itself is optimized for efficiency to make the product cost-effective while maintaining high video high quality.

LinkEarly Access

We've been working on Mux Video for a while now, and are ready to open it up. We'll be giving early access to select users over the next few months as we scale out the system.

If you're interested in checking it out, request early access.

LinkFrequently Asked Questions

Who is this for? Mux Video is for developers building software that streams video, large and small. If you have an application and you'd like it to stream video in some way, Mux Video is for you.

What about YouTube? YouTube is great but serves a totally different purpose. If you're an individual or an organization and you have some videos that you want to share, use YouTube (or Vimeo, or, or Streamable). If you're a marketing department, use a platform like Wistia. If you're building software and you want an API, use Mux.

What does it do? Video ingest, encoding, storage, and delivery, plus things like editing, captions, thumbnails, and watermarks.

What does it not do? Mux Video is not a CMS, a workflow engine, or a video player. If you're building software, you already have a CMS and you want to make your own workflow decisions.

Why not include a player? Having built one of the most widely used video players in the world, we know that players are never one-size-fits-all. So Mux Video works with any modern video player, allowing you to pick the player that best fits your feature needs, aesthetic preferences, and budget. If you need a player and don't know where to look, we can help you pick one.

What players do you support? Any modern video player that supports HLS or DASH. This includes most web players, iOS devices, Android devices, TV platforms, etc.

How much does it cost? Mux Video is billed by the hour of video, and pricing scales for both large and small use. At low volume, you can use Mux Video for just a few dollars. At scale, Mux Video is cost-competitive with DIY video platforms. (Get in touch to talk more.)

How do I get access? Visit to get started.

Written By

Jon Dahl

Co-founder of Zencoder, acquired by Brightcove, where Jon served as VP Technology. Makes better BBQ than code these days.

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