Blog Post

Brightcove Releases iPhone SDK, Reports Record Signups for Updated Platform

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!
Jeremy Allaire
Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire

Brightcove, ever since it released the latest version of its white-label video management platform last month, has been busy signing up new customers and adding features to its product set. And one of those features — a software development kit (SDK) that will enable customers to build native apps for Apple’s (s AAPL) iPhone — was released last week.

In an interview with NewTeeVee in New York last Thursday, Allaire spoke on a wide range of topics, including his expectations for TV Everywhere, growing industry support for HTTP streaming, and what he predicts will be huge growth of video viewing on mobile devices.

Such a prediction is the motivation behind the iPhone SDK, which was announced in November and rolled out to customers last week. “The year-over-year growth for video on smartphones is going to be significant in 2010,” Allaire said, adding that it will be further boosted by an increase in the monetization of mobile video. As a result, Brightcove is looking to increase its support for native apps on additional smartphone platforms, such as Google’s (s GOOG) Adroid and RIM’s (s RIMM) Blackberry. Brightcove already allows delivery to mobile web through its unified delivery technology, although Allaire admits that mobile web is still a very small portion of its overall business.

With the launch of Brightcove 4, the company introduced a new self-service, pay-as-you-go pricing model, called Brightcove Express, that enables customers to use its platform for as little as $99 a month with no annual commitment. Allaire said the entry into the lower end of the market is already starting to pay off, as Brightcove has seen more signups since launch than in any other three-week period. It is also seeing higher levels of engagement from customers using new features of Brightcove 4, indicating that the platform is becoming more “sticky” to its existing customer base.

In addition to talking about Brightcove’s business in particular, Allaire had some thoughts about some more general industry trends:

  • TV Everywhere — While everyone is abuzz about services like Comcast’s On Demand Online, Allaire doesn’t think that TV Everywhere will be all it’s cracked up to be in 2010. Instead, he sees 2010 as a year in which service providers and content companies will be testing out dozens of different proofs of concept, with some set of standards becoming solidified by 2011.
  • HTTP streaming — Allaire expects that the movement towards HTTP streaming will continue, particularly as Akamai (s AKAM) and Adobe (s ADBE) have both announced support for Flash streaming using HTTP rather than Flash’s proprietary streaming protocol, RTMP. One reason is that HTTP is easier and less costly for CDNs to scale in order to meet growing demand for streaming video.
  • Silverlight — While impressed with the technology that Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Silverlight team released at launch, Allaire thinks that uptake of the Silverlight platform has been disappointing. Unlike some others, Allaire doesn’t think the problem rests in the Silverlight plugin’s install base — which he believes to be about 50 percent of consumer PCs — but rather in the lack of support from the development community. “It’s a labor market problem,” Allaire said. “You’ve got millions of Flash developers with an entrenched skill set” that don’t want to start over and learn another rich Internet application framework.

5 Responses to “Brightcove Releases iPhone SDK, Reports Record Signups for Updated Platform”

  1. Nice post, Ryan. You definitely have a balanced approach with Brightcove, which is appreciated.

    John- Brightcove Express is off to a strong start because of the strong offering and the simplicity for customers in adopting. Customers who are purchasing are making educated purchases. I’d be happy to chat with you more about Brightcove Express to get your insight and feedback as well as observations of the market. Feel free to reach out.

    Gary Lombardo
    Director of Product Marketing, Brightcove
    Twitter: @garylombardo

  2. Good post Ryan. I agree a decent follow question would have been to ask about the competition, especially in the mobile video space.

    When he mentioned he was weak in the mobile video arena it might have been interesting to follow that up.

    Often times the media that follow/fawn over Brightcove treat the CEO as a rock star and just let him speak.

    Always turns out to be as free press release.

  3. John Gallagher

    This will work as well as Microsoft trying to skinny down fat Windows into a smaller platform. Taking a big, complex monster and cramming it down to the low-end often doesn’t work. Sure, because Brightcove is the 900 lb gorilla of this emerging category, it will get some wins as some aren’t bright enough to shop around.

    Ryan: Rather than being Brightcove’s fanboy, why don’t you do some actual reporting and see what their competitors are up to and how they are beating them up and down the market despite much smaller war chests. Is BC really the only one that is doing stuff? I tried out the trials of various players for my mid-sized financial services firm and BC is a train wreck of complexity. I don’t know how anyone other than the big media publishers with large teams can deal with it.

    • Ryan Lawler

      John – Who said I was a fanboy? I think I’m pretty familiar with a lot of the other players in the market, and I’ve been critical of Brightcove in the past. There’s been a lot of innovation in the market, and Brightcove has a long way to catch up. Supporting native iPhone apps is just one example — Kyte’s been doing that for a while.