January 13, 2022 by Romain Bouqueau

After 10 years of existence, GPAC Licensing falls under Motion Spell’s umbrella

Hi, my name is Romain Bouqueau. I am the founder and CEO of Motion Spell, the company behind GPAC Licensing. As we have new exciting projects reaching the market soon, I thought now is the right time to tell you more about the upcoming changes in our branding and to reflect on what we’ve done during the last 10 years.

The mission of Motion Spell, GPAC and GPAC Licensing, is to make multimedia streaming accessible for all. Each entity serves a different target: GPAC is focused on the community side and the universality of multimedia ; GPAC Licensing focuses on the professional users of GPAC ; and Motion Spell brings solutions to complex problems.

The starting point

When I started GPAC Licensing 10 years ago, I wanted to build a cooperative around the GPAC open-source project. I wanted to create a positive loop between the free software passionate contributors - our community - and the professional users who were able to contribute back.

It’s been an incredible journey. GPAC is now used in many professional video workflows. Its use-cases range from production, masters generation, distribution, playback and even archiving. GPAC Licensing customers range from startups to streaming behemoths.

But the activity around GPAC is not a goal by itself. GPAC supports very specific goals. Being a company making open-source only, as virtuous as it is, has forced us to innovate in many ways inside and outside GPAC.

2013 : creation of Motion Spell

That’s why 18 months after starting GPAC Licensing, I created a company called Motion Spell. Motion Spell became the home for GPAC Licensing activities and for other activities.

At first our advisory board thought it would be a good idea to keep the Motion Spell brand away from GPAC Licensing. However, more and more people got confused between GPAC “the OSS”, GPAC Licensing “the commercial initiative around GPAC”, and Motion Spell “the company behind GPAC Licensing and other products which appears on administrative documents”.

The goal of Motion Spell was to cover the other sets of activities that were necessary to make the business sound and complete.

The video streaming market evolves quickly, so do we

Like most of you I’ve joined this industry when moving pictures in a digital way was still a dream. The ideas of GPAC originate from the mid-90s, from an enthusiastic vision that video and the metaverse would soon dominate the world. GPAC has never ceased to adapt both by listening and by proposing new ways. R&D, community efforts, and standardization are in our DNA.

We’ve constantly tried until we found a way. 20 years later GPAC is still the leading MP4 packager out there despite some strong competition.

Conformance and live subtitle insertion - homemade products by Motion Spell

Our nature led us to help other businesses. Our first attribute was to listen. Motion Spell became the accelerator of several new companies launched by employees or freelancers. Around two years ago we decided that more projects could find a home inside Motion Spell itself.

For instance we do conformance. Conformance is useful for specification makers (e.g. standards or proprietary codecs) to gain confidence. This is a strong R&D subject. What we sell is a “solution”, called Abstract, that is in the middle of a service and a product. We rely on a set of foundational tools that we designed. But at this point we still need to adapt to every need. That’s being possible because of the important added value of such an activity. Given the increasing complexity of systems we are convinced that in the future no technology can be reliable enough without any conformance effort. MPEG now mandates conformance tools before publishing standards, that’s a strong signal isn’t it? And on a day to day basis, conformance forces us to stay top-notch.

As another example we have a product on the shelf called SubStance. SubStance is a live subtitle inserter for any existing OTT audio/video stream. That’s an idea that came from some non-profit efforts around accessibility.

We’re getting a makeover for the occasion!

It was obvious: Motion Spell needed a new Identity. The Website was aging, it didn’t bring the right message to the right audience anymore. We had added many things to GPAC Licensing instead of focusing on GPAC professional-related matters. Motion Spell was the natural home for solving our complex problems and for selling the products we've spent a decade to create.

The name Motion Spell came from the magic of animated pictures. I’ve always found fascinating that discrete pictures could trick the brain and look continuous. We had never used this sense of magic in our branding.

The logos have evolved, the colors, the typos… we needed something fresh and new. We needed to choose a logo that would capture the magic I mentioned before. So we chose a owl as a totem animal.

The old Website, gpac-licensing.com, will transition to the new one : motionspell.com, simpler and clearer.

gpac licensing - 2017

GPAC Licensing's website 2017 - becomes:

gpac licensing - 2021


We are looking forward to your feedback.

If things are not that clear, we’d be happy to hear from you :)

If you have questions, we’d be happy to hear from you :)

If you are happy and want to reach out, we’d also be happy to hear from you ;)

Last but not least: if you want to hear from us from time to time, don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list!

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