Brightcove: Paid Video Not Worth Our Time

Brightcove is discontinuing an option to have customers pay to rent or buy video, and will tell its publishers about the change on Wednesday. All paid video options will be zapped from Brightcove publishers’ offerings on July 31.

The company explained in an email that less than 1 percent of customers used paid video. The feature had been Windows Media-only and gave publishers 70 percent of all revenue received.

Brightcove has discontinued so many products sometimes I wonder what they sell anymore. Just kidding, guys! But see our previous coverage of the company closing down its consumer site and deciding internal ad sales weren’t worth the effort. We shouldn’t neglect to mention that Brightcove has raised more than $80 million in funding. It recently saw competitor Maven Networks bought by Yahoo for $160 million.

Full email to customers is after the jump, if you’re interested. You can also see our coverage of remaining paid video believers: MindBites, Zipidee, and the Open Television Network. We’ve also written about iTunes a few times.

Dear Brightcove Customer,

On July 31, 2008, we plan to discontinue the Pay Media (Beta) functionality within Brightcove.

The Pay Media functionality allows publishers to rent or sell their content directly to consumers. Since its beta release in January 2007, less than 1% of our customers have tried the feature and an even smaller percentage of our customers use it routinely. Given the minimal adoption of Pay Media and the feedback we have received from the market, we are going to discontinue this beta functionality.

As a result, you will no longer be able to sell or rent downloadable Windows media video files directly to consumers via your Brightcove players as of July 31, 2008. We estimate that final payments for any outstanding revenue earned will be sent to publishers in August 2008. The changes to the Pay Media (Beta) functionality will have no impact on other features and functionality within the Brightcove platform.

The people who purchased or rented media from you will not be affected. They will continue to be able to view the media they purchased or rented from you prior to July 31, 2008 until their rights are expired.

You will not be required to take action or adjust your titles, lineups or players in order for this change to take place. On July 31, 2008, Brightcove will automatically deactivate any of your Pay Media titles which will prevent them from displaying in your Brightcove players.

If you have additional questions, please visit our FAQ.

We’re deeply committed to continuing to provide the best technology and service to our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause you.

Sincerely,

The Brightcove Team

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