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Brightcove Wants a Piece of Move’s Long-Form Market

Brightcove tonight is launching a new version of its platform that “competes directly with Move Networks,” SVP Marketing and Strategy Adam Berrey told us today. Nothing like putting a target on your enemy’s back! Brightcove, which is especially strong with news media customers and their short-form content, is trying to goose growth by modifying its delivery tools and its interface to accommodate long-form content.

The new tools are launching in beta and are to be widely available this fall, though selected Brightcove customers, like Beliefnet, Lifetime Networks, and Showtime are already trying them out.

We were especially interested to hear that Showtime would be introducing long-form content online, but it turns out that the premium network will only offer full episodes from past seasons as a promotional tool. Berrey said some existing Brightcove customers, such as TMZ, also have longer-form content, but the company would also vie to attract unsigned media companies like HBO. Berrey also said, but would not name names, that Brightcove had attracted customers away from Maven Networks following its acquisition by Yahoo.

Move Networks, by contrast, has a valuable (if small) hand of major media properties such as ABC, FOX, the CW, and ESPN as its clients.

Berrey claimed that Brightcove will cost less than Move by charging for the number of streams rather than the cost of service and bandwidth. He said Brightcove’s key new technology is “dynamic delivery,” which doesn’t sound all that crazy innovative: “You upload a master file, then we automatically transcode it to multiple versions in lower and lower quality. Then we choose the version that best fits the bandwidth and size of player as a person is watching it.”

Brightcove will also not require viewers to download a proprietary plug-in, as Move does, but will rather use the widely installed Flash player. If existing implementations are any indication, that means the picture quality will not be as good as Move’s.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Brightcove, which claims its widely distributed network of videos reach 135 million unique visitors per month, has raised $91.1 million in funding. Along with the long-form content tools, Brightcove is also overhauling its platform and opening it up so customers can push and pull data from inside the player to their web pages and back.

When Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire appeared on The GigaOM Show earlier this year, he declined to specify a timeline for his startup to become profitable.

9 Responses to “Brightcove Wants a Piece of Move’s Long-Form Market”

  1. Hey Liz, I don’t doubt that the person you spoke to said it, just does not make a lot of sense. The companies are so different. The marketing person at Brightcove makes the comparison to Move but not the CEO? Does not seem to be a consistent theme across the entire company.

    I take Brightcove’s mention of Move to mean what a lot of companies say when they use Move’s name. They want to be associated with great quality video, which is what Move is known for. But Move and Brightcove have very different customers and offerings.

    Move could be the backend delivery platform for Brightcove’s front-end, but seems Brightcove would benefit from that more than Move would.

  2. Dan, Nice details in your writeup, but the comparison to Move came straight from Berrey’s mouth.

    I did talk to Move today and they said they’d be delighted to partner with Brightcove.

  3. The problem with a complete rewrite is that they’re spending 18 months rebuilding their entire system instead of using that time to innovate and bring more value to their customers.

    If you look at their press releases, they went into commercial preview (whatever that means) in April of 2006. I can’t find any evidence of a Brightcove v3 (as VentureBeat points out), so in the end they’re going to spend almost 2.5 years without adding significant new functionality.

    Alex Castro
    Delve Networks