Interview: Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire: ‘We’re Not For Sale’

Jeremy Allaire

The company is not for sale,” Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire told me in London on Tuesday, despite rumor, tweeted last week, that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) would buy the video platform for up to $700 million.

“We don’t comment on rumor and speculation. All I can say is, we’re focused on building a global, independent company, and that’s the path that we’re on.” The company turned profitable early this year and remains fixed on a still-growing web video opportunity, Allaire said.

“We’re in a fortunate place in that we’ve got a business that we’ve shown can be a sustainable business, it’s in a market that is growing, we have a lot of cash on our balance sheet. We don’t need capital. That puts us in a place to continue to be independent.”

Allaire’s a former CTO of Macromedia, bought by Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) in 2005; so is Adobe swooping for the video service? “We have a very good relationship with them, we’re doing a lot of work together on new product stuff and joint R&D … Adobe is not buying us.”

Profitable after cuts: As the downturn bit last winter, Allaire says, he was “very concerned, to put it mildly” about 2009 prospects – but, after cutting some staff, marketing spend and travel expenses, Brightcove “overachieved” on financial plans, ending up profitable this year, sooner than expected. This year and next, Allaire says he’ll post 50 percent better year-on-year revenue, citing greater forward predictability thanks to its advance subscription model. Despite shedding staff earlier, Brightcove now has 40 job vacancies.

Adjusting for Hulu: Hulu’s success has “helped drive our product agenda, for sure. It’s done a couple of things… The launch of Hulu has driven a lot more investment by professional media companies in video, that’s been helpful overall. They have demonstrated there’s consumer desire for long-form content so we’ve accelerated some of the things that we are doing in long-form in terms of high-quality, HD experiences.”

No skateboarding dogs: Allaire now uses “experiment” to describe the consumer-facing video upload site Brightcove operated for about a year before shelving it to concentrate on its platform vendor service. “It was very clear that we weren’t going to build a significantly scaled business there … There’s only one YouTube. All of our customers were professional media businesses and professional content, but we saw a) YouTube was going to get in to that and b) Hulu was going to be formed … it was, like, ‘are we really going to be successful at that?’.”

Not just about media content: “Our growth will be driven more by the adoption of video on the web (than internet TV) … Every organization that uses the web is going to be investing in video, as a fundamental part of how they market, how they educate, provide information. We look at that and say, as the professional web adopts video, that creates an enormous opportunity for us. It means that the addressable market for us is every professional website on the planet – that’s a big market.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily dependent on internet video to the living room – the more exciting trend is the overall ascendence of video as a medium – there’s a next wave of e-commerce that is focused on video … the way companies communicate internally and externally, that’s a great opportunity.”

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