Brightcove, ever since it released the latest version of its white-label video management platform last month, has been busy signing up new customers and adding features to its product set. And one of those features — a software development kit (SDK) that will enable customers to build native apps for Apple’s iPhone — was released last week.
In an interview with NewTeeVee in New York last Thursday, Allaire spoke on a wide range of topics, including his expectations for TV Everywhere, growing industry support for HTTP streaming, and what he predicts will be huge growth of video viewing on mobile devices.
Such a prediction is the motivation behind the iPhone SDK, which was announced in November and rolled out to customers last week. “The year-over-year growth for video on smartphones is going to be significant in 2010,” Allaire said, adding that it will be further boosted by an increase in the monetization of mobile video. As a result, Brightcove is looking to increase its support for native apps on additional smartphone platforms, such as Google’s Adroid and RIM’s Blackberry. Brightcove already allows delivery to mobile web through its unified delivery technology, although Allaire admits that mobile web is still a very small portion of its overall business.
With the launch of Brightcove 4, the company introduced a new self-service, pay-as-you-go pricing model, called Brightcove Express, that enables customers to use its platform for as little as $99 a month with no annual commitment. Allaire said the entry into the lower end of the market is already starting to pay off, as Brightcove has seen more signups since launch than in any other three-week period. It is also seeing higher levels of engagement from customers using new features of Brightcove 4, indicating that the platform is becoming more “sticky” to its existing customer base.
In addition to talking about Brightcove’s business in particular, Allaire had some thoughts about some more general industry trends:
- TV Everywhere — While everyone is abuzz about services like Comcast’s On Demand Online, Allaire doesn’t think that TV Everywhere will be all it’s cracked up to be in 2010. Instead, he sees 2010 as a year in which service providers and content companies will be testing out dozens of different proofs of concept, with some set of standards becoming solidified by 2011.
- HTTP streaming — Allaire expects that the movement towards HTTP streaming will continue, particularly as Akamai and Adobe have both announced support for Flash streaming using HTTP rather than Flash’s proprietary streaming protocol, RTMP. One reason is that HTTP is easier and less costly for CDNs to scale in order to meet growing demand for streaming video.
- Silverlight — While impressed with the technology that Microsoft’s Silverlight team released at launch, Allaire thinks that uptake of the Silverlight platform has been disappointing. Unlike some others, Allaire doesn’t think the problem rests in the Silverlight plugin’s install base — which he believes to be about 50 percent of consumer PCs — but rather in the lack of support from the development community. “It’s a labor market problem,” Allaire said. “You’ve got millions of Flash developers with an entrenched skill set” that don’t want to start over and learn another rich Internet application framework.