Wowza History

Server Software to Build a Business Upon

Wowza® Media Systems was founded in 2005 by David Stubenvoll and Charlie Good. They had worked together before and wanted to continue collaborating, so they planned to start a business—any business. They agreed that if they couldn’t make enough money to support a daily Starbucks habit after three months, they had to try a new idea.


They jumped into video blogging first because it just seemed cool. That project started with an existing media server (Adobe Flash Communication Server, it was called at the time), but Dave and Charlie quickly realized it didn’t fit their needs and they weren't confident founding a business on it. With no other solution on the table, they built their own media server.


Three months of video blogging went by, and that daily Starbucks budget was out of reach. They pivoted to video messaging, using that same media server they'd been working on.


They attended trade shows regularly and talked to as many people as they could. They felt that the best businesses grew out of other businesses, and the unique information they gathered from real customers provided insights into what products and services people were really looking for.


After three months of video messaging, there was still no coffee fund. But as people found out Dave and Charlie had their own media server, they kept asking to buy it. A media server software business—soon to be named Wowza Media Systems—was born. It was an immediate success, and coffee concerns evaporated.


Today Fortune 100 companies, small and mid-sized businesses, leading content delivery networks, top educational institutions, and government entities in more than 90% of countries depend on award-winning Wowza software and services to build, deploy, and manage streaming solutions for the highest-quality delivery of engaging live and on-demand content.



Live and On-Demand Streaming to Phones, Tablets, Consoles, and More

From the start, Wowza focused on one goal: deliver a media server on which people can build their businesses. At each step along the way, we have sought to solve customers' problems as they embrace the complex tasks of live and on-demand streaming media, and we'll continue striving for greater accessibility, further flexibility, and the best cost-effectiveness.


The following is a look at Wowza's progression over the years.



Wowza Media Server: 2005–2014


Our first product, Wowza Media Server Pro, was engineered as industrial-strength yet extensible server software for live and on demand video and audio delivery as well as video/audio chat.


Version 1: Flash video and audio only. Flash was the prevailing format, and was the best for business use.


Version 1.5: Supported H.264 and could ingest via multiple protocols and sources. This allowed our customers to leverage the variety of H.264 encoders available.


Version 2: Renamed Wowza Media Server, this version supported multiple protocols in and out; for the first time, the server could deliver to nearly any device. This version also introduced adaptive bitrate streaming to ensure the best audio/visual experience for audiences across various bandwidths.


Version 3: Introduced transcoding, nDVR, and DRM to enhance the functionality of live adaptive bitrate streaming.



Wowza Streaming Engine: 2014

Wowza Streaming Engine (version 4 of Wowza Media Server) was released in early 2014; it provides more control, customization, and management of streamed content via rich APIs, creates better efficiency with hardware infrastructures, and continues to streamline delivery by providing support for MPEG-DASH. The latest evolution is Wowza Streaming Engine Pro, which incorporates the powerful Wowza Transcoder with unlimited channels, nDVR, and DRM as part of the standard license price.



New in 2015: Wowza Streaming Cloud

In April 2015 we introduced Wowza Streaming Cloud, an end-to-end streaming service built on the capabilities of Wowza Streaming Engine. A flexible cloud service for live streaming to audiences of any size on any device—directly from a camera or encoder—Wowza Streaming Cloud eliminates the need to architect, build, and deploy your own solution, regardless of scale, and makes pro-quality streaming accessible for any budget thanks to pay-as-you-go pricing and higher-volume plans.