January 26, 2024 (26 days ago)

The next 6 months: what’s sparking joy in our roadmap

Matthew McClure
By Matthew McClure5 min readProduct

To wrap up this current Launch Week, I was asked to write a quick post about what I’m excited about this year. “You know, as a founder!”

I said yes, of course, but my delayed reaction while staring at this previously blank page was, “well…what am I excited about?”

There’s the obvious:

  • We’re shipping more, faster than we ever have at the company.
  • This means that our original vision for the product is suddenly…there.

Looking at that roadmap and wondering what made me the happiest was a weird feeling. 2016 me, the starry-eyed child consummate professional, was excited about building and shipping the biggest new features. The ones that were technically impressive and, on their own merit, would elicit “oohs” and “aahs” from my nerd friends and acquaintances.

I will always love those releases, but in 2024 I find myself more excited about Mux being people’s superpower for building products with video. It’s acknowledging that we’re infrastructure, and the best infrastructure is built up from the sum of reliable necessities with moments of joy, not That One Feature. Great infrastructure is something you build on, not around.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk, here are a few of the moments I’m most excited about.

LinkPricing, not prices

You may have noticed we’ve been shipping a lot of features related to our pricing shape.

And more of these are coming this year! Our pricing page is going to see a lot of iterations, and yes, that’s making our designer sweat a little, but it’s exciting.

An important note to call out: these features allow developers to make high-quality, feature-rich video infrastructure work for their product. Yes, this will mean many of our current and future customers will see their Mux costs go down, but we aren’t slashing prices and trying to become the low-quality, bargain basement product you (and your viewers) begrudgingly suffer through.

I’m honestly still coming to grips with “billing stuff” being this high on my list of things I’m excited about. Does this mean I’m A Suit now?

LinkClient-side tooling

We’ve built a ton of extremely cool web/React components over the last couple of years, a few of which are currently in public beta like the uploader element and native players.

We’re going to continue to push on ways to make developers’ lives easier in the application layer. The cherry on top is that a vast majority of what we’ve got planned is open source. You’ll see us contributing in other, existing open source projects, as well as more of our own.

Video itself is big. As in, streaming a video is a lot of bits going over the internet. Video is also complex, which means the players that support modern protocols are also big, which often means slow. We’re not immune from that. Our player is comparatively small, but it’s built on a chunky base. The work is still very early, but we’re trying to change that.

LinkAdvanced(ish) video: DRM & SRT

DRM is “Digital Rights Management.” It’s why you can’t take a screenshot of a Netflix video. I’ve been called a heretic for this, but DRM is one of those features that the Orange Site hates but people with content want/need. Am I personally a big fan of the concept of DRM? No! Do I think it’s a foregone conclusion that a lot of us in the video space need to deal with it? Yes.

So, as a developer, if tasked with building it I’m sure as hell going to want to spend as little time on it as I want. DRM is a lot like credit card processing: there’s a whole lot of tedious work to do aside from the actual code, and chunks of it that simply cannot be done without talking to a central entity (looking at you, Apple). Making that a seamless process that Just Works is exciting.

SRT, or Secure Reliable Transport, is a little more of an incremental update, but a big one nonetheless. It’s an alternative protocol to RTMP, which isn’t going anywhere, in our product or the general world, but it isn’t without its headaches. SRT has a ton of benefits, but a big one from my perspective is that the tooling around mobile SDKs is much better. See the above note re: client-side tooling making me happy.

LinkLonger Data retention

I find myself looking at charts at increasingly large time horizons. Instead of this week vs last week, it’s this quarter vs last quarter. This year vs last year is even better, because now you’re able to see critical context like seasonal trends.

Customers have been asking for this for years. Someone’s biggest streaming event might be annual, so being able to compare how this year did vs the last is the only comparison that matters for them. Our previous story involved streaming all of your Mux data into your own data lake, which is important for other reasons, but it was a shame to lose access to all of our amazing dashboards for those longer data periods.

LinkEtcetera

There’s so much more coming. Weird experiments, boring paper cuts fixed, critical customer features… 2024 Mux, y’all. If you’re interested in keeping tabs on what’s in the Mux oven, head over to the new Beta page we just released.

See you out there, devs.

- Matt

Written By

Matthew McClure

Matthew McClure – Co-Founder and VP of Developer Experience

Creator of Demuxed and wrangler of meetup speakers. Used to write a lot of React and Elixir code. Still do sometimes, but used to, too.

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