RealTime IT News

Brightcove Launches Free Video Service

The clamor in the online video market continued today with Brightcove's launch of a commercial Internet video distribution platform.

The free service allows video programmers to build a commercial Internet television channel, syndicate it to other sites, generate advertising revenue and distribute the video over Brightcove's own distribution site.

"Our vision was to launch both an open platform and a marketplace for national television distribution," Adam Berrey, Brightcove's vice president of marketing and strategy, told internetnews.com.

Content owners who distribute videos over Brightcove's network agree to give the Cambridge, Mass.-based company the right to sell advertising in the videos. The content owner and Brightcove evenly split the advertising revenue.

Brightcove also offers video programmers the ability to sell video downloads through AOL's video portal in exchange for 30 percent of the download price.

"Working with Brightcove ensures that AOL Video will have a constant stream of some of the most exciting and provocative new video flowing from professional content producers and in turn, gives them a high-profile outlet for distributing their videos," Kevin Conroy, AOL's executive vice president, said in a statement.

Online video is one of the hottest Internet market segments today, sparked by Google's $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube earlier this month.

YouTube claims more than 100 million videos are viewed daily on its site.

"There's a much wider world of Internet television out there [beyond YouTube]," Berrey said. "There's a vast array of content and most of it is longer than three minutes [YouTube's limit].

Berrey said Brightcove does not view YouTube as a direct competitor.

"We address another segment of the market," he said. "We're a commercial online, on-demand service."

The privately held Brightcove has backing from Time Warner, Hearst Corp. and IAC/Interactive Corp.

Founded two years ago, the company initially developed a private video distribution platform for clients, such as The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The New York Times, Warner Music Group and cable channels AMC, Bravo, TV Land and the Discovery Channel.

Video programmers who choose to use the private platform pay for it based on the volume of traffic generated each month.

"In the last six months we've seen explosive growth in the online video market, especially in consumer sharing, but this is only the beginning of the Internet TV era," Jeremy Allaire, chairman and CEO of Brightcove, said in a statement.

Allaire said video developers from "serious amateurs to major studios" are looking for an approach to Internet video that gives them commercial opportunities, as well as control over the distribution.

"That's exactly what we're delivering with the launch of the Brightcove Network," Allaire said.

The Brightcove consumer network does allow for further transfer to handheld video players. Berrey said that while Brightcove would offer more support for portable players in the future, the company is focused on a different opportunity: PC-connected televisions.

"Most video is going to be watched on those big, plasma televisions people are buying," he said. "That's the long-term opportunity."