Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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11/4/2008
10:13 AM
David Berlind
David Berlind
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Brightcove To Shutter The Free Version Of Its Online Video Service

Apparently feeling a pinch (somewhere) and choosing to focus on the paid side of its video hosting and provisioning service, Brightcove issued a notification late last night that it would be shuttering the free versions of its services: The Brightcove Network (where video could be freely published YouTube-style) and Brightcove.TV (the distribution channel where videos published by Brightcove Network users as well as Brightcove's paying customers were featured online).

Apparently feeling a pinch (somewhere) and choosing to focus on the paid side of its video hosting and provisioning service, Brightcove issued a notification late last night that it would be shuttering the free versions of its services: The Brightcove Network (where video could be freely published YouTube-style) and Brightcove.TV (the distribution channel where videos published by Brightcove Network users as well as Brightcove's paying customers were featured online).Brightcove was widely viewed as one of the more innovative video services capable of taking on Google's YouTube. But, whereas Brightcove offers top-shelf Web video technology, its public video distribution channel -- Brightcove.TV -- paled in comparison with YouTube in terms of reach (a.k.a. audience size).

Here at TechWeb (parent to InformationWeek) the Brightcove vs. YouTube discussion is always a vibrant one (Disclosure: Like the New York Times, TechWeb is a paying "platform" customer of Brightcove's but also publishes most of its video to a YouTube channel called TechWebTV). More recently, thanks to viral and social capabilities not found in either YouTube or Brightcove, we're also experimenting with Kyte.TV. An example deployment can be seen on the FaceBook page for Mashup Camp (which starts on Nov. 17).

One reason for our interest in Kyte is the way channels cannot only be embedded into social networks like FaceBook and MySpace, but how any viewer of those "TV channels" can grab the channel and embed it on their own FaceBook, MySpace, and other Web pages as well. One advantage to Kyte's architecture is how any updates we make to a channel are automatically propogated to all the Kyte players on the Web that carry that channel. Updates include everything from content to the configuration and look and feel of the player.

But in the YouTube vs. Brightcove conversation, the sheer size of YouTube's audience offered us a distribution channel that we couldn't find anywhere else. For example, our most watched video (about a device from Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies that turns water into electricity) has been watched nearly 1.3 million times since we published it earlier this year. Brightcove, on the other hand, offers us more flexibility and options when it comes to embedding video across the TechWeb family of Web sites.

According to a FAQ on Brightcove's Web site, Brightcove Network users can, at their option, upgrade their accounts to Brightcove's paid services.

Anyway, here's a copy of the letter that Brightcove's Adam Berrey, SVP of marketing and strategy, distributed on the Internet:

For the past two years, we've offered a free version of the Brightcove service that is supported through advertising sold by third-party ad networks. This version of Brightcove is called the Brightcove Network.

I'm writing because we have decided to discontinue the Brightcove Network, and we plan to shut down Brightcove Network accounts on Dec. 17, 2008. This transition will not affect your Brightcove platform accounts, but we wanted you to know about the change.

If you also have a Brightcove Network account, you will receive a separate e-mail about that account. If you would like to keep that Network account, you should contact your sales representative or account manager to discuss your options.

We are also planning to shut down our video showcase, www.Brightcove.TV, on Dec. 17, 2008. If you created a free consumer account with Brightcove.TV, you may receive additional notification about this change in the coming week. (This change will not affect the Brightcove.com corporate Website.)

For more detailed information, please visit these FAQs:

Brightcove Network FAQ Brightcove.TV FAQ

We are discontinuing the Brightcove Network and Brightcove.TV so we can continue to focus our energy on the Brightcove platform business, which is going very well. Last month, we launched Brightcove 3, a major new release of the platform. In the last few weeks, the New York Times announced that they have deployed Brightcove on their Website, and AOL announced that they have selected Brightcove to power video across their network of sites.

Building on our momentum, we are making more new investments in the Brightcove platform, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with you as a customer. Please contact us directly or visit our Website if you have additional questions about this transition.

Regards, Adam Berrey SVP of Marketing & Strategy

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