Brightcove Overhauls Web-Video System

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Brightcove this week is launching a third major revision of its Internet video publishing platform, which the company said provides a range of enhanced features including faster video player loading and customizable templates.

“We’ve reconstituted every component of the Brightcove platform over the last year,” CEO and founder Jeremy Allaire said.

The three-year-old company counts 60 television networks as customers, including Showtime Networks, Lifetime Networks, Cablevision Systems’ Rainbow Media and Comcast’s FearNet.com horror-themed on-demand video site. Brightcove’s platform serves 135 million unique visitors per month.

Major new features in Brightcove 3 are the addition of workflow for video publishing; application programming interfaces for contextual content and ad publishing; dynamic adjustment of the video-stream bit rates; and a player framework to let customers create and publish customized video players.

The customizable templates allow Web developers to create reusable elements using a point-and-click interface or simple coding, according to Brightcove.

“Until now, customizing the player required you to hire an interactive developer to basically do a one-off project,” Allaire said. “And people with those talents are scarce.”

The upgraded platform uses Adobe Systems’ Flash Player 9.0, which Allaire said is the main reason the Brightcove 3 player loads more quickly.

Michael Cagnazzi, vice president of product development in Rainbow’s digital media group, said the new version provides a “noticeable difference.” Whereas some video players in the previous Brightcove release might have taken 5 to 10 seconds to load, he said, players delivered with the latest version come up in less than 2 seconds.

Cagnazzi said Brightcove 3’s application programming interface was a key enhancement. That lets Rainbow Media tap into the Brightcove database to generate video playlists on its IFC.com and WEtv.com Web sites while giving each video clip a dedicated landing page for the purposes of search-engine optimization.

“We’ve looked at building some things from scratch, but [using Brightcove] is just a big time saver,” he said. “We couldn’t keep up building in new features in such a short time frame.”

With the new release, Brightcove also is revising the way it sells the system. The company now offers it in three different tiers: Basic, which provides entry-level publishing tools; Pro, which provides additional features for workgroups; and Enterprise, designed for media companies with multiple Web sites.

“One size does not fit all,” Allaire said. “Our customers each have unique brand experiences, unique user demands and unique production processes.”

Cambridge, Mass.-based Brightcove has 160 employees worldwide. The privately held firm has raised $91 million in funding since Allaire founded it in 2004.

“We’re financially independent,” he said, although he declined to provide details or say whether the company is profitable.

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