Brightcove has struck a deal with LG to bring online video programming to its Smart TVs. As part of the deal, Brightcove will roll out a set of tools to its customers later this year that will enable them to easily build applications and deliver over-the-top videos to be viewed on LG Smart TVs.
The partnership builds on Brightcove’s ambitions to make its platform reach any number of mobile and connected devices. The company has struck deals with Boxee and Roku, and introduced a TV Everywhere solution pack to make it easier for video publishers to authenticate videos being distributed on a number of different devices.
Brightcove’s approach to the connected TV market is similar to its work in extending mobile video through APIs and software development kits that it has introduced for iOS and Android mobile devices. But while the company has worked with multiple small over-the-top players so far, the LG deal provides the biggest opportunity so far for Brightcove customers to reach a burgeoning connected TV market.
In a blog post explaining the deal, Brightcove VP of TV Solutions Eric Elia talked up the opportunity for reaching consumers through connected TVs, referencing the 106 million Internet-ready TVs that Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster forecasts will be sold in 2012. At the same time, Elia notes the limited upside of developing applications for independent broadband set-top boxes like the Roku and Boxee Box:
“Boxee and Roku, the two best open OTT platforms imho, will probably each have over a million units in the market. Boxee software will run on a few different hardware platforms by then. They seem to have some great traction. Google TV wasn’t successful in its first incarnation. But let’s give them a mulligan and assume the next version will be better (or just buy Boxee, guys). And let’s assume Apple TV gets opened up for third-party apps. So overall maybe we get to 5-10mm total OTT boxes shipped by end of 2012. That’s being generous.”
Out of the box, the LG deal should help Brightcove publishers reach more users than are available through its partnership with Roku, for instance. But Brightcove is unlikely to stop with LG; indeed, we expect the white-label video distribution firm to strike more partnerships like it with other consumer electronics manufacturers.
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