The Global Emergence of Red5 – A Super Giant in the Making


Here’s something we don’t see very often – the making of a Super Giant, as in a small startup that is going to dramatically change the competitive landscape in a specific market. For the live-streaming market, the era of Red5 is among us. This is the biggest news coming from the video streaming market in the last several years. First, has anyone even heard of Red5’s open-source streaming software? Although few may have noticed, Red5 has been quietly making a lot of traction for years – and it’s about to gain a whole lot more. The team behind Red5 has just released their first-ever commercial product and it’s killer.

Right now, Wowza is the #1 most important component of the video streaming infrastructure globally. There is a fast-growing #2, however, and it’s Red5. Everything else is a commodity. While this may seem like a bold statement, it’s the truth. In the content delivery market, we have Nginx and Varnish, the two dominant caching platforms that everyone uses. The same applies to video streaming infrastructure, with Wowza and now Red5. Red5 will become a global powerhouse in the coming months. Sorry Brightcove, JW Player, Ooyala and, there’s only room for two. Before we continue, who the heck is Red5?

Who Is Red5

 Back in 2005 – before Wowza was formed – a team of developers who reverse-engineered the video delivery process involving RTMP. One of the many tools used in the process was the use of a packet sniffer, similar to Wireshark. In addition, developers from the open source community chipped in and help the development team succeed in doing so. Although their experiment began as a side project, it soon became a full-time job and the result was Red5, an open-source media server used for live-streaming communication. Today, Red5 is used for real-time communication by thousands of companies including Facebook, Akamai, AWS and others.

In an interesting study completed two years ago, the team at Red5 developed a program for testing the market penetration of RTMP among competitors. The results very interesting. The testing program consisted of scanning the Internet for open 1935 ports, thus the RTMP protocol. Based on a sample size of 60,000 servers, they were able to determine the share of servers using RTMP. As shown on this graph, Red5 is being used by 20.37% of the market, as compared to Adobe’s 42.10%.


Currently, the parent company InfraRed5 has launched a  commercial product of Red5 called Red5 Pro, which includes SDK’s for mobile and a bunch of other features. We have a lot more info coming on Red5 shortly.

Company Background

  • Company: Infrared5, Red5, Red5 Pro
  • Started: 2005, 2007, 2016
  • HQ: Boston, MA
  • Employee Count: 11
  • Product: Video Streaming Platform

Platform Features

  • Includes Low Latency Player
  • Auto-scaling Clustering
  • Mobile Streaming SDK
  • Second Screen SDK
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