The Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) was Founded in December 2000, by Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Kasenna, Phillips, and Sun Microsystems. It is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to accelerate the market adoption of open standards for streaming and progressive download of rich media over all types of Internet Protocols (IP). The ISMA is a diverse alliance with representatives from all points of the streaming work-flow.

Standards already exist for audio and video codecs (e.g. MPEG) and for real time streaming transport over IP networks (e.g. RTP) putting these together requires selecting profiles, describing payload formats, and resolving various options. ISMA specifications typically adopt existing specifications in order to form a complete solution. when specifications don’t exist, the ISMA will create them. The ISMA also performs interoperability testing, allowing its members to ensure that their products conform to ISMA standards and interoperate.