But how do you do that without your owning your own video publishing platform?
Simple enough: you use the first user-generated publishing platform that allows you to create your own branded user generated video content site inside your existing web property.
Too good to be true?
Read on as here is some good info about how you can tap into a powerful toolset for the creation and maintenance of your very own user-generated video destination.
Brightcove and consumer generated media
Brightcove, one of the major video publishig houses online today, has managed to differentiate itself from other popular video sharing and publishing destinations by sheer virtue of the professionalism, end-user control and high quality of the service it has set out to offer.
In creating a Internet TV publishing platform, with the ability to select from a range of customization, branding and monetization options Brightcove has proved itself , in my humble opinion, to be an ultimately more rewarding experience for independent video producers of all sizes.
A Brightcove channel's welcome page
The most recent addition to Brightcove's line-up of killer video publishing features is that of a simple means to integrate consumer generated video content into your website or Internet TV channel.
To my knowledge there is not a single other service out there that gives you this ability to create your own user-generated video destination, and this is a very smart, pioneering move on the part of CEO Jeremy Allaire and his team.
What user-generated content can do for you
The ability to embed Internet video into blogs and websites has brightened up the web in the last year or so, bringing an audio-visual element to what was previously a largely static medium.
But it's one thing to use the occasional video on your blog or embedded in your company website, and another entirely to harness the power of your site visitors in a more tangible way.
Brightcove's consumer media capabilities allow you to create what is essentially your very own niche version of YouTube, whereby your site visitors can directly upload video content to your own branded video thematic destination.
Let's say you are a blog specializing in the latest tech gadgets and so far you have been licensing or syndicating video content from elsewhere, alongside with your own video reviews and articles. So far, so good. But to take things to the next level, you could do a lot more to tap into the knowledge and passion of your site visitors.
What if you asked them to send in their own video reviews or feedback and then published it alongside your existing content?
Here you have one simple example of how you could leverage your audience's knowledge while deepening their involvement with your site, and thus their commitment to sticking around or introducing their friends to it.
With Brightcove you have nothing to lose in making the most of this situation, as the service is totally free to anyone with a Brightcove account - be it premium or standard. Given that the system gives you complete moderation control of user-submitted videos, you can even carefully filter what goes live on your site if your concern is keeping everything streamlined and relevant to your site's audience.
In the following video (originally published over at Beet.TV), Brightcove's CEO Jeremy Allaire talks through the idea behind the service, what it can do for you, and a group of examples of how it is being used effectively in a variety of contexts. (A full text transcription of the video is available right below it).
Video Source: Beet TV
Jeremy Allaire: "So we've recently added some new features to the Brightcove service and platform called consumer media features, and the basic idea is to allow any website, any media owner, any marketer to launch their own user-generated video services.
Consumer media features allow people to submit video content - consumers that is - and then integrate that content into an existing website or other environment. Our basic vision is that there's this incredible energy and passion around consumers creating their own media and creating their own videos. And we're trying to create a model where consumers can participate directly in websites and communities of interest, they can participate in media brands and marketer brands, and this creates a valuable mechanism for them to be able to do this very, very easily.
The way that consumer media features works is really simple. Basically, in any Brightcove account a publisher or a website owner can launch what we call a consumer media campaign. And those campaigns can be configured around a theme, a topic, an event, or a time of year - any other framework where you want to get this consumer participation.
These campaigns can have your own brands created around them so that you can have your own branded consumer submission process. Consumers can then come to your site and submit any type of video format from really any kind of output device, and the Brightcove service will automatically transcode that content.
And then, either you can allow that content to go live automatically or you can vet it and approve it - in which case it goes into a submissions queue, where you can look at that content and decide whether or not that it's something you want on your site. Once you approve it, it goes live within players and channels within your own Brightcove players and accounts.
One of the best things about this is that this is free feature, and the way it works is just part of the Brightcove platform. And there are a couple of ways that you can use the Brightcove platform. One is that you can pay for the use of the Brightcove platform with either a very low monthly service cost or premium accounts for larger media owners and marketers. Or you can join the Brightcove network, in which case you have free and unlimited use of the Brightcove platform to launch your Internet TV programming businesses, and then you have the opportunity to generate revenue from advertising sales or the sales of content.
So it's a really great offer, and it really reflects our idea that this consumer generated video is part of the equation of running any kind of Internet TV channel. You might have your own originally created content, that you've put into our system to distribute. You may syndicate content from other parties that you can integrate into your sites and channels, and you may also then accept user submissions. So it's really a vehicle to create better consumer participation, and to have that as part of a mix of content that you might distribute in your Internet TV channels.
We often get asked whether advertising will be included in this content, especially if you use the free Brightcove Network offer. Right now, advertising will not be automatically included within it. If you're a premium publisher or a Brightcove platform user that is selling advertising into your account, you can choose whether you want the titles that come in from consumers to have advertising integrated with them, based on the rules and policies that you're using to sell advertising.
In the Brightcove network, initially we're not having advertising run in this content, but we're going to be introducing something called the performance tier of our advertising network, which brings non-intrusive advertising and performance-based advertising like cost-per-click text ads and banner ads and other things, which we think may be more appropriate to consumer generated media. So over the coming months you may start to see the opportunity to actually have some advertising associated with this content, to generate revenue from that.
There are a lot of great examples of this in action. A week or so ago we turned on the consumer media capabilities for thousands of publishers in our system and we're seeing lots of different publishers launching these user generated video campaigns and services with Brightcove.
User generated content can be branded and integrated into your website
Here a few examples may be worth talking about.
One that was launched this week is from Haagen Dazs, the ice cream manufacturer, that's a large consumer brand. And they've launched a campaign at Scoop.HaagenDazs.Com which is about consumers inventing and creating the next great ice cream flavour. What you can find there are consumers that are passionate about ice cream, passionate about their creative skills with ice cream, who are submitting videos that both illustrate and narrate new flavours of ice cream that they would create and invent. And it really marries that passion with a great national brand.
Another great example is a local news example, I think there are a lot of incredible local examples that can happen, and in this case it's with Boston.com which is the dominant local news portal and local media portal in the Boston area. It's owned and operated by the Boston Globe.
And in this case they're tapping consumers that are out at high school football games - tons of them out at high school football games - and asking them to capture great moments from those games and submit those. And when you go into this part of their site, what you'll find is that they have their own coverage of these football games, which just capture a few moments, but the consumers tend to get more interesting stuff. So you can see submissions from consumers with great plays, or fights, or whatever it is that's really interesting, and it's a way to marry local passion around local sports with a local media brand which consumers can then participate in.
Another local example is the New York Times regional newspapers. The New York Times runs newspapers all over the region and country - in this case in upstate New York they have a set of regional newspapers who have launched a campaign to get consumers to perform holiday and Christmas carols. So what you can find there, consumers that are performing Christmas carols, and it's quite amusing. And they're submitting those, and they get exhibited within the New York Times newspaper sites. It's a great way again to get these local community participants to participate and exhibit themselves within a local media context.
Then a final example is a niche broadband channel called Wheels TV. The Wheels TV channel is part of the Brightcove network, and it's all about automotive enthusiasts and they have already thousands of videos around topics of cars and auto and lifestyle content.
But there's also a lot of passion amongst consumers around cars, so Wheels TV has launched a consumer video submission capability with us, where consumers can submit incredible moments, or incredible automotive moments or other really wacky stuff, and you'll find everything from car crashes to monster trucks driving up cliffs and all kinds of things. It's a great example of where an emerging media programmer niche broadband channel is taking both original content they've created and content they've licensed and marrying this consumer passion for this deep interest - automotive - and allowing consumers to submit their own content.
So, these are I think great examples and illustrate that this is valuable to media owners, it's valuable to website owners, it's valuable to marketers and emerging broadband channels. And it really shows that I think in this age it's not about one large horizontal video sharing site, it's about empowering every website to capture this consumer energy around creating video."
Adding value your to your web presence
Brightcove offers the very real possibility for you to monetize the user-generated content you tap into, whether through the placement of advertising, or by complementing user-generated video with your own higher-tier, paid-to-download videos.
But remember that monetization is only one of the positive aspects of any site based on user-generated content. The value created by opening the doors to your readers interest and ideas, brings so much more credibility, authority and community glue to your online destinations, that the cost-benefits of this alone may be hard to quantify.
So how difficult is it to get up and running?
The Brightcove team has made it very easy for you to start leveraging all of this potential. Within minutes you can configure your Brightcove account to provide your visitors with direct video upload facilities widget that you can plug straight into your blog or website.
From there on, your users will be able to quickly upload, title and tag their videos in a variety of formats, which will then be encoded for smooth playback on your newly created thematic video destination.
But don't take my word for it! In the next short video, Jeremy Allaire personally takes you through the easy process of adding a user-generated video service to your website. (English text transcription right below).
Video Source: Beet TV
Jeremy Allaire: "Okay, so we're going to give you a quick tour of the new consumer media features in the Brightcove service.
I'm just going to log into a Brightcove Network account that I've created, for a fictional website called Wild Edges and Horizon TV, which is a niche broadband channel. And what you'll see in any new Brightcove account is this consumer media tab, and if I go over here, it lets me do a number of things.
One of the first things I'm going to want to do is to set up what we call a 'consumer media campaign'. A campaign is just a structured way for you to start accepting submissions from consumers.
So first I'm going to give it a campaign name, and we'll call it 'Your adventures' - this is an adventure TV channel. I can put some tags in here, which will get created automatically - 'your adventures' - and any new video that comes in will automatically be tagged that way.
And I want to be notified when submissions come in, so I'll just put my email address, and that will then send me a notice every time consumer content comes in.
And then I can choose for this campaign whether I want to approve content that gets submitted, or have it automatically get approved and just go live. I'm going to require approval here because I don't want any obscene content, or content that's not relevant coming in.
The next thing I can do is to customize some of the content that gets shown to users, in this case a thanks, or details on the program - 'thank you for uploading your video, I'll try to review your video within the next day', and maybe it's a contest: 'winners win a free ski trip', or whatever it would be, and you can put some co-branding here as well.
You can then stylize the submission process, with some branding, so let's say I want to have a background image, or a radial gradient background, change the fonts and things like that - I can go ahead and stylize literally every single part of the submission process: creating an account and profile, the upload screen, the confirmation page and so on. I'm just going to leave it with some basic defaults and save it.
I can copy and paste this, and then put it right into my website, and then consumers can submit content to your site. Now, rather than going out to a website to handle this I'm just going to show you a preview here, which this little widget is something that could be embedded in your own website.
So, I'm going to go to preview and it's going to show me the default process here. So consumers that have an account can log right in, and consumers that don't can create an account on the fly, and when they do that they can also create a profile that has some information about them that might be useful to display to consumers.
The simple login/create an account screen
So, when I submit my login, it then just prompts me to pick a video, and in this case I'm going to pick this 'extreme winter', give it a name: 'my ski trip to Veil', and (entering description) 'wicked slopes and rides. Enjoy!' And I can also, as a consumer, give it some tags: 'skiing, winter, veil', which can then be used for search and for automatic programming or whatever.
And then the consumer just hits 'upload video', and that video is just going to get uploaded to the Brightcove system. Once the consumer submits that, they get an email that comes back and describes for them that their content has been submitted, and once it's been approved they'll get an email saying it's live and then they can go and look at it.
Once this upload is complete, what's actually going to happen is the Brightcove system is going to transcode that content on the fly, and within a couple of minutes it will show up in the submission queue, which we'll take a look at in a minute.
Okay, so now we've received the submission from the consumer. I've gotten an email that said it's ready to review and you can now see in the 'manage submissions' tab that we've got this video. It's fifty-one seconds, and I can quickly go over here and preview it - so we see we've got a video of a snowboarder, I can capture images associated with that, and if I'm ready to accept it, I just click 'approve', and all of a sudden, that's now an approved video.
Now the way I've set this up, I had those tags associated with that content, and those tags are automatically getting driven out into a consumer media player. But you can see now in our library of titles, I've got some CGM content 'my ski trip to Vail', as well as some of my own original content in this account. And I've set up a line up to handle all these consumer submissions. What you'll see here is that 'your adventures' is a line-up, and it's automatically added the consumer media submission to it.
Now if I go over to my players, where I've set up where to show this content for consumers, I have a player here which is the Wild Edges player, and if I go and edit this to set it up so that the consumer media will get published automatically, all I need to do is take that line up - the 'your adventures' line up - and add it to the content that's going to be automatically published in this player.
This player's set up with a lot of Wild Edges own original content, but now we're adding user generated content to it. So I just pick the line up 'your adventures', add that here, and I can drag and drop it, so I can order it how I want.
And now, all of a sudden, that consumer media as it gets submitted from any users is automatically going to be published out into this broadband channel, and consumers will be able to watch it.
So just to get a feel for what that looks like I'm going to save it, and preview this player which can be embedded in your own website, or pop-up, or however you want it. And as soon as this loads we'll notice these different tabs of content - there's ad-supported content, pay-download content and then there's 'your adventures', and there's 'my ski trip to Vail', with descriptions and boom - we've got a consumer generated video service that's running contextually with this great set of adventure content."
Brightcove's consumer-generated video publishing facility allows any online publisher to create her new thematic use-generated video channel. The new service allows publishers to easily configure and embed such new video publishing facilities within their very own sites.
The potential and direct benefits of this video publishing platform are huge and Brightcove free offering greatly facilitates online publishers entry into this new arena.
With such tools in place the hard part will remain the identification of the proper niches of interest that can attract passionate audiences and many video contributors, and, most importantly, the education of the end users on the art of video publishing itself, as nonetheless all the good writing about it, remains difficult and frustrating for most.
Brightcove user-generated media platform is a milestone offering for any online publisher wanting to start her own video site without needing to build the whole required infrastructure from scratch.
If you are headed in this direction, I would strongly advise you to give Brightcove a serious try.
Photo credit: Vaida Petreikiene
If you would like to learn more about Brightcove's consumer-generated media service, you might want to take a look at the following websites:
Originally written by Robin Good and first published on MasterNewMedia.Robin Good -