Brightcove Nov. 16 refreshed its online video platform with the launch of Brightcove 4, which includes support for native iPhone video application development, Google Analytics and other tools to help Websites publish video and make money from the content.
Brightcove also created Brightcove Express, a version of its platform targeted for small businesses, Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire told eWEEK. When we last spoke to Allaire in June 2008, it was for the launch of Brightcove 3, which targeted contextual video.
The company has grown significantly since. Allaire said in June that Brightcove is profitable and cash-flow positive. Dan Rayburn, a principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said he expects Brightcove to bank $80 million in sales for 2009. While Allaire wouldn’t comment on that estimate, he reaffirmed the company’s profitability position and said Brightcove is on track to grow revenues 50 percent year over year.
Brightcove 4 signals a maturation of the platform at a time when businesses are making video more of the centerpiece of their messaging than a complementary medium. Allaire said that while media and entertainment have been steady Brightcove customers, retailers and e-commerce vendors have shown a strong interest in Brightcove, which now has over 800 customers.
“Video is driving more conversions, better customer retention and key metrics that matter in digital marketing spend,” Allaire explained.
Basically, companies that use the Web to sell products and services have ponied up thousands of dollars in 2009 to take Brightcove’s white-label platform, customize it to reflect their brand and pipe video over the Web to prospective customers.
That platform just got supremely richer, especially with the new Brightcove Player and SDK for the iPhone. Intended for anyone creating a branded iPhone application, the Player and SDK tap into Brightcove’s infrastructure to bring content management and publishing features to programmers who want to serve Brightcove video via the popular smartphone. Allaire said Brightcove is considering doing something similar for Google’s Android platform.
Brightcove 4 also includes Universal Delivery Service, which lets publishers deliver content over the most appropriate device for the viewer, whether it is a PC, mobile device, connected television or set-top box. With one click, users can decide whether to stream content and shuttle it over HTTP.
There is also multibit-rate streaming with the help of Adobe and CDNs. Basically, when users watch content supported with this technology, Brightcove will detect their network connection speed and CPU performance, switching the streams on the fly based on requirements. Brightcove is also offering live streaming, including the ability to mix and match live and video on-demand programming within the same Brightcove players.
Many publishers want to make money from the video they’re serving. Brightcove 4 includes point-and-click media sharing to let publishers share video content across divisions, affiliates and partners to make more money. Brightcove 4 also boasts improved analytics, courtesy of Google analytics, allowing users to better track viewer engagement.
There are plenty more bells and whistles, including a debugger and other developer tools, and enhanced integration with Facebook that allows users to attach Brightcove video to Facebook. When users click to share content to Facebook, video will play in the Facebook News Feed.
A free upgrade for current customers, the Brightcove 4 platform is offered in three packages: Express, Professional and Enterprise. Intended for small businesses with low budgets, the Express version starts at $99 per month with no annual contract.
Allaire said the Pro version tends to range in the low five figures per year, offering unlimited video, transcoding and storage support. Enterprise offers all of that but also lets publishers pipe video across multiple properties and tends to cost in the upper five to low six figures per year.