When I spoke to Brightcove Chairman and CEO Jeremy Allaire this past June about the third iteration of his company's forthcoming platform, I was a tad frustrated because details on what was in the new software-as-a-service video platform were scant.
Allaire told me there was a new player design and publishing capabilities to let video programmers create custom viewing, including the ability to offer both short clips and long-form shows within the same Web site.
He also said the software is significantly faster, which is predictable at a time when speed is everything on the Web. More speed means programmers are doing their jobs.
Today I learned more about what's new, as Brightcove launched Brightcove 3 to the public Oct. 14 in three flavors: Basic, Pro and Enterprise. Key new features include the Player Framework and Dynamic Delivery, a company spokesperson told me.
The Player Framework lets you click a couple buttons to tailor the look and feel of the Flash-based video player to the needs of your brand and Web site. Dynamic Delivery lets users change the bit rate of the video streams, or move from a small screen to a big screen without downloading extra code.
Brightcove also provides a suite of APIs that help businesses with their contextual publishing model, allowing producers to integrate video with other content and social media for better results on Google, Yahoo and other search engines.
Brightcove is peaking at a heady time in the market for online video. Thanks to the wild popularity of YouTube, online video adoption has picked up not only on consumer-facing media sites, but in businesses that want to use Web video to train employees, or to simply communicate.
Indeed, in September Google added video for businesses to its Apps. Expect Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and other unified communications and collaboration vendors to add video apps to their UCC portfolios. Perhaps Brightcove can work its way into those shops.
Brightcove can leverage both consumer and enterprise outlets, providing crisp video, broad functionality, security and a means to optimize video content for search engines. Brightcove 3 is already playing well in such shops.
The best endorsement comes from Sun Microsystems, which, with all of its Java programming talent, typically creates and uses its own software systems in-house.
Sun now lets its own Web site producers use Brightcove 3 for product education and launches, as well as corporate communication through Channel Sun.
Showtime Networks, which is using Brightcove 3 to launch ad-supported video along with access to its Sho.com site; Lifetime Networks; FEARnet; Canoe; and Rainbow Media are all swearing by the new platform. Other Brightcove customers include Dow Jones, Biography, HBO and Columbia Records.
Geared for small businesses and media outlets, Brightcove 3 Basic costs less than $10,000, although a Brightcove spokesperson was cagey about exact prices. Pro, Brightcove's core product, covers a general range of media, marketing and communications applications.
Brightcove 3 Enterprise, meanwhile, is for businesses that need to pipe terabytes upon terabytes of video across their departments.