Brightcove Primes Contextual Video

Among those who benefit from expanded video publishing: Cisco and network equipment providers who lay the pipe to move IP data.

Brightcove, a software as a service video platform provider that is to businesses what Google's YouTube is to consumers, released the third version of its video platform to beta June 17.

The software, coming at a time when the media sites Brightcove caters to are working feverishly to meet the demand for Web video, lets producers integrate videos with other content on their Web site based on context.

The idea of matching video content to site content follows the idea of contextual publishing that Google, AOL and other Internet content providers are trying to hash out.

Contextual publishing helps maximize search engine optimization, which in turn improves click-through opportunities for publishers trying to boost video content with online advertising.

In Brightcove's case, the integration increases the number of video views per Web site visitor and increases user stickiness to video content, Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove chairman and CEO, told eWEEK.

Ideally, this will lead to greater ad opportunities for advertisers and publishers, which will in turn lead to additional Brightcove customers.

Brightcove 3 also features 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. As one might expect, the software is significantly faster.

Additional specifics were scant; Allaire said feature details about the new service will be revealed at launch scheduled for early fall.

Allaire said some 50 Brightcove customers are testing the beta, including Fox Entertainment Group's Beliefnet, Lifetime Networks and Showtime Networks.

What kind of online video explosion can we expect?

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast 2007-2012 released June 16, consumer and business IP networking trends are being driven largely by the increasing use of video and Web 2.0 social networking and collaboration applications.

Cisco said the acceleration of rich online video communications and entertainment, as well as social networking, has greatly increased the impact of online video on the network.

For example, in 2012, Internet video traffic alone will be 400 times the traffic carried by the U.S. Internet backbone in 2000. Video on demand, IPTV, peer-to-peer video and Internet video could account for nearly 90 percent of all consumer IP traffic in 2012.

Allaire noted such growth portends great things for companies such as Brightcove and its consumer cousin YouTube, which Google is working hard to monetize with advertising.

Unlike YouTube, Brightcove has the luxury of charging companies thousands of dollars for licensing its video platform. (Allaire declined to list the entry price, but implementations can surpass hundreds of thousands of dollars based on footprint and capacity requirements.)

Brightcove customers, including Dow Jones, Biography, HBO and Columbia Records, who subscribe to the SAAS (software as a service) service, can sell ads against it.

This is a win-win situation for Brightcove, publishers, advertisers and the network equipment providers such as Cisco, who provide the pipes to help move the IP data to end users.

Brightcove's vendor competition is relatively slim. Allaire noted that Yahoo bought rival Maven Networks, a move he said made life easier for his company. Mostly, Brightcove is weeding out proprietary video players created by Web sites years ago, he added.