Blog Post

Brightcove Gets Personal Before it’s Ready

Brightcove, having just closed $59.5 million worth of funding, is widening its focus from commercial and professional video to chase the consumer side of the space. This week, the company launched Brightcove Personal, allowing users to set up channels to post their own video. But in my initial testing (mostly on Firefox on a Mac), I found this product to be quite raw.

Brightcove Personal is similar to Brightcove’s free channel creation service, which has been targeted mainly at professional media concerns. The Personal version of Brightcove’s service is stripped down and simplified (see a blog post by CEO Jeremy Allaire today breaking down the differences).

I gave it a spin and encountered a few problems — first, it crashed my browser; second, my existing Brightcove account did not apply, so I had to create a new one; third, there’s no instant gratification, and the first video I uploaded is somewhere in the ether being “processed”; fourth, the bookmark collection tools for adding a video to your channel seem to be broken. Hmm.

Here’s a promo video Brightcove included in my account to watch while I’m twiddling my thumbs. Below the jump, an interview with Jeremy Allaire about the consumer video space and Brightcove service issues.

OK, I just got an automated email saying my video just went live, about 15 minutes after I uploaded it. I do appreciate the glossy interface and presentation of the clip. Two features I’d like to see and can’t find are options for setting up ad-revenue share and channel widgets so I can promote my content on other sites.

About a week ago I chatted with Allaire about the video space and how he plans to spend all the money he’s raised. Excerpts follow:

“There’s a pretty good argument to be made that the internet video market is consolidating,” he said. “The Google[-YouTube] deal definitely shook people. And companies that focused on consumer product are folding, seeing their management leave, and are up for sale.”

So would he be plucking up some of those sites to further the Brightcove cause?

“We may be in a good position to consolidate, ourselves,” Allaire responded. “We’re not specifically focused on M&A opportunities now.”

Does that mean he’s disinterested in the consumer space?

“Not at all. The consumer space is, in my mind, still a significant opportunity. Voyeuristic videos and pirated content — that opportunity only existed for a few companies, and that opportunity has closed.”

I also asked Allaire about problems with Brightcove service outages, something we’d heard grumblings about.

“In December, we made a signigicant switch, moved to our own owned and operated data center,” he replied. “Our managed service provider was having issues, but as a result of the switch we’ve seen better [service].”