Blog Post

Brightcove: A Pick for Online Video Pros

Each web video sharing service has its strengths and weaknesses, and each has also developed niches amongst content creators. YouTube is the favorite of your neighborhood camkid; vlog scenesters can generally be found on Revver or Blip.tv.

Brightcove, the Cambridge, Mass.-based online video service started in March of 2004 by Jeremy Allaire, is becoming the preferred choice of professionals, large media companies and politicians. Rudi Guliani, fellow presidential aspirant Barack Obama,The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, and The Washington Post, Newsweek and Elle Magazine are using Brightcove for their video efforts.

The company has raised a total of $81.2 million in funding from the likes of venture funds AllianceBernstein, Brookside Capital, Maverick Capital, Accel, IAC and Morgan Stanley as well as media companies AOL, Hearst and The New York Times.

Brightcove Console

While it is unlikely that Obamas of the world care much about the under-the-hood bells and whistles of Brightcove platform, anyone who is serious about online video publishing should give this service a look. The interface is slick and the tools are geared towards managing lots of content, while making it relatively easy to customize the user experience.

Brightcove Console - Meta Info

The content management features are quite robust, allowing for lots of control over media assets, meta information, broadcast and display mechanics such as home site linking and embedding, and a templating system that makes it relatively simple to pull together backgrounds, logos, multiple episodes and even user-generated content into cohesive branded viewing experience.

Brightcove Console -- Templating

Personally, I’d prefer a more open and customizable architecture using Castfire and a bulk CDN, for instance, but business users seem willing to accept some limitations on customizability in exchange for turnkey ease, which Brightcove certainly supplies.

Brightcove Console - Economics

For those looking to make money off their video efforts, Brightcove shines admirably. Besides the standard ad-supported model, Brightcove also offers a new pay-per-view beta — something that only Brightcove and Veoh are offering, currently. This dovetails with Brightcove’s agreement to offer content to TiVo’s fledgling on-demand service, and long-form shows like Showtime’s The Tudors feel like a natural fit, making a la carte purchases of premium television network shows seem a natural trajectory.

On a scale of one to ten, I’d give this service an eight. Not what I’d recommend for up-and-coming vloggers, but definitely worth considering if you’re a publisher trying to decide between going third-party or developing a video solution in-house.

7 Responses to “Brightcove: A Pick for Online Video Pros”

  1. Fliqz offers a wonderful solution that allows publishers, and websites to fully customize the look, feel and brand of there videos. It is a far less expensive model and still allows the use of ad serving. Any user-generated web 2.0 type site would love the ability to customize and syndicate with the Fliqz platform

    check out http://www.fliqz.com

  2. Thanks for the great coverage here on NewTeeVee…

    Cruxy has been offering pay-per-view/download for all media types well before Brightcove and Veoh. By leveraging Amazon’s EC2 and S3 services, we’ve been able to do this for much less than $81 million.

    While we do admire the power and scope of the Brightcove platform, we feel that it can be a bit overkill for emerging creators. We also feel that creators are moving towards more mixed media needs, and should not be siloed into one content type.

    Some of our best selling creators are the fellas from HowToDoTheRobot.com: http://cruxy.com/howtodotherobot
    the New York-based cooking & culture channel Chic.tv: http://cruxy.com/chic_tv
    and Italian visual designers, The Fake Factory
    http://cruxy.com/thefakefactory