Brightcove Aims At Small Online Video Producers

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Brightcove, with the launch of the fourth major release of its online video platform, will introduce a package for entry-level sites -- priced at $99 per month -- but is also stuffing in a host of features for large-scale customers.

Brightcove 4's new features include support for native iPhone video application development; expanded live streaming capabilities; advanced analytics; and new resources for video distribution, monetization and custom online video applications.

With the upgrade, Brightcove will phase out the Basic package, introduced a year ago, for which pricing started at $6,000. "The feedback we got was, ‘That's too high,'" Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire said.

Brightcove 4

The company will offer the new Brightcove Express entry-level package in three tiers: $99 per month, which includes 50 hosted videos, 40 GB of bandwidth, and access for one administrator; $199 per month for 200 videos, 100 GB of bandwidth, and two admins; and $499 per month for 500 videos, 200 GB of bandwidth and up to three admins.

"We believe online video is going ubiquitous," Allaire said. "We've seen incredible demand at the entry level for video projects."

Asked whether the entry-level tiers will compete with Google's YouTube -- which provides basic video hosting for free -- Allaire insisted Brightcove will appeal to professional video producers who want to control their own branding. "This is not for individual users or bloggers," he said. "It's for organizations that spend $10,000 to $25,000 on their Web site per year."

Brightcove 4's feature enhancements include: "cloud" encoding, to produce multiple formats and bit rates automatically; rate-adaptive streaming; and "universal" delivery of content over the most appropriate protocol, whether that's to a PC, mobile device, Internet-connected television or set-top box.

For Apple's iPhone, Brightcove now provides a player and software development kit to let publishers create iPhone applications and mobile video Web sites.

On the monetization front, Brightcove 4 can access advertising networks and servers from Google, Yahoo, FreeWheel and OpenX, and supports the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) industry specification.

Social-networking features include tighter integration with Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, and a new media-sharing feature lets publishers share videos across divisions or with affiliates that are also Brightcove customers.

Founded in 2004, Brightcove claims to have more than 800 customers worldwide, including Discovery Communications, A&E Television Networks, Fox Entertainment Group, Rainbow Media, AOL, Showtime Networks, Lifetime Networks and The New York Times Co. It has more than 200 partners in its developer program that have built extensions to or integrate with the platform.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company has 180 employees and is on track to grow revenue this year 50% versus last year, Allaire said.

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