Summary:

Brightcove is taking its online video business in to a whole new area with a grand ambition – unifying the task of building apps for phones,…

Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove CEO

Brightcove is taking its online video business in to a whole new area with a grand ambition – unifying the task of building apps for phones, tablets, the web, social networks, TVs and more.

It just launched a new product/service suite, Brightcove App Cloud, allowing developers to write, publish and analyse apps to several such platforms.

This is an attempt to head off platform fragmentation in the age of “appification”, CEO Jeremy Allaire said at the company’s Apple-style Brightcove Play client event on Tuesday. Many content proprietors, for example, have invested plenty in iOS development but are still slow to embrace Android and HTML, despite the clear opportunity presented by recent growth in their adoption.

In many cases, proprietors find that there is not enough capital left over for such developments, one app builder vendor recently told me. “Fragmentation makes reach in this new world expensive,” Allaire said, talking about recent paradigm shifts from proprietary desktop apps, to the open web and back to apps. “Are we going to move back to the open web? An inconvenience stalemate is likely.” We recently wrote about the rise of apps versus the web.

Brightcove has done a good job of becoming one of the main suppliers of web video distribution service for the likes of publishers, broadcasters and others. It has since tried to gain clients in areas other than media.

After rumour about a possible sale of the company, Reuters (NYSE: TRI) last winter reported Brightcove may plan an IPO this 2011 – in which case, Brightcove App Cloud could be looked on as an effort to build a more broad-based business than just video alone.

The new suite is a web-based production tool that allows for ad and multimedia placement, back-ended by analytics software and a distribution aspect which publishes to multiple app stores and lets apps be updated without having to resubmit to app store operators, it claims. Mobile web versions look like their app equivalents.

“The problems we have been solving web video could apply much more broadly,” Allaire said. “All forms of digital media could be published in a cloud-based manner.”

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