Internet Broadcasting: Brightcove Makes Professional Online Video Publishing And Distribution A Reality
Internet Broadcasting, Online Video, Internet Television: all these buzzwords stand to witness the booming popularity of video publishing and distribution on the Internet.
Theatrical film releases may soon start to see their audiences first online and then through theaters worldwide just as the online movie The Secret seems to anticipate.
Online video sharing and publishing services are giving way to amazing amounts of video-based programming being unleashed online by hundreds of thousands of videomakers, video hobbyists and by many small and large content and film production companies who never had the means and budget to get their contents out to as potentially wider set of audiences.
But among the new resources and tools that may offer significant advantage to online, independent publishers, are certainly those technologies that not only facilitate the recording, editing and publication of these video-based material online, but which also provide the means, the infrastructure and tools to widely distribute, syndicate, package and monetize video content at large.
One of these new services, which are just now moving their first, shy steps, one has suddenly raised the bar of what video publishing and distribution is meant to be while being the first at the gate to provide a well integrated set of publishing facilities to support the effective packaging, delivery / user-experience and wide distribution of video content online.
This company is called Brightcove, and if you have any interest in video publishing and distribution online, you better givce a serious look at what these guys have been putting together. After one year from my interview with Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove founder and CEO, I am back to visit the company that together with Google Video, is closest to enable the online video revolution that will empower and democratize video publishing and distribution across a broad spectrum of authors.
With Brightcove you can create and start using an Internet broadband video distribution channel, literally in a matter of minutes. And your channel maybe a collection of hundreds of videos in different thematic categories, or just one short clip.
Brightcove provides almost all of the tools needed to get your video from your tape to your potential online audience.
Hosting and delivery of your video content is all taken care by Brightcove at no cost for you. You simply upload your video content to Brightcove servers and then package it and enrich it with relevant data and interface components for online distribution.
Signing-up to Brightcove "Commercial Preview" is completely free and requires only the filling out of a simple registration form.
Once registered, you have direct access to a well organized "console" providing access to your key video publishing and distribution key tools:
These are your both video clips, movies, and footage as well as image, stills, graphics, that will be used for your video background, titles and packaging. You have no limitations in uploading in terms of number if clips or size, but the video format accepted is ONLY the increasingly popular .flv (Flash Video) while for the images you need to be uploading JPG files.
Utilize graphics, video footage and promotional text to create custom Titles for your video content. Titles are basically how your videos are going to be presented to your viewers and Brightcove provides all of the basics you need to edit together images, text and video assets to help you promote your video content.
Lineups are video-based playlists that you can pre-design for your online audiences. These channels allow you to pre-determine specific sequences of clips or to manage such ordering in automatic ways such as based on chronological or alphabetical order.
Brightcove outs you in the driver seat also when it comes to customizing the video players that will be used by your viewers to access your content. You can personalize the Brightcove video player, in multiple ways by selecting among a set of predesigned layouts, by adding personalized images to the background and by integrating your company logo into it all.
Once customized, each player you create can be further personalized with your logo, colors, and with whichever "lineup" of content you have decided to associate to it.
Interface controls on the Brightcove video players are rather straightforward and easy to understand, allowing for volume control, pause and play, viewing at a larger size and accessing the Brightcove dedicated menu which offers direct access to your channel RSS feed and to the ability to let others link directly to your video.
And here the snippet of code that can be exposed (it's an option you have as a video publisher) to let others republish your video on their sites).
Here is a real example of a Brightcove player at work.
Brightcove enables you to offer selected specific video "players" you have created (each one could contain a different lineup, or be devoted to a different theme or topic) to other sites, for them to republish at no cost to them. Any "player" created can be made available for syndication to third-party websites while you maintain control on the contents, lineup and updating what all of your video affiliate distribution sites will showcase. You can literally update the video content s that are displayed on hundreds of web sites that syndicate your content at once, right from the Brightcove Console. Thanks to this Syndication facility you can also keep track of the affiliates that are currently syndicating your content while viewing information and contact details for each one of those affiliates currently syndicating your video content.
Brightcove enables also direct distribution partnerships with major online destinations as AOL, allowing you to elect your video content for distribution via such popular web destinations directly through your Syndication facility in Brightcove.
Brightcove also allows you as a content publisher to earn a revenue from the profit that large channels such as AOL may in the future generate around your video.
Reports allow you to find out what video content viewers are watching and when they do so. Through them you can keep track of the more popular among your titles and see whether is most popular on your site is also what is most popular on some of the sites that syndicate your video content too. The facility also allows to download CSV formatted reports that are updated daily.
The reporting facility allows the tracking of multiple indicators, as displayed here below, which facilitate your ability to identify blockbusters, most requested titles, performance of video on affiliate sites and more. Find out how many minutes of each video has been streamed, examine completion rates, track performance over time.
But he goods don't end here.
On the business side, it appears that Brightcove draws some of its revenue by the advertising that is associated in many possible different ways to your video content and likely also from commissions on video content that you will want to charge for, for viewing.
Here is an example of integrated advertising integrated in the Brightcove - Technology Review video player.
Brightcove allows both the large media publishers already managing their own advertising to integrate such automated systems as DoubleClick and others within the Brightcove player experience. Brightcove also supports integration of multiple types of ad formats including video pre-rolls, rich media banners and likely other new, innovative ad formats.
For those smaller online video publishers that do not already have an ad sales department, Brightcove has set-up its own advertising network, which should provide in the near future, the way for any and all of programmers to generate some revenue on their online video content.
Brightcove further enables you to offer your video for direct sale or for rental (time-limited viewing) by providing you with all the tools needed to set prices, policies and the full potential to manage and set-up a complete online video store. Brightcove manages all of the heavy work, including digital rights management, hosting, video distribution, payment processing and customer service while your customers will be able to buy direct-from-you near-DVD-quality videos that can be played back on most any Internet-connected device.
Designed around a very simple, readable and easy-to-use interface, Brightcove does simplify and fully streamline the task of media publishers by providing most anything (outside of an easy-to-use video conversion tool that facilitates getting Windows Media, QuickTime, Real, AVI and MPEG video content to be easily converted) needed to effectively publish and distribute video online.
Brightcove deep integration with major online content delivery networks like AOL is a unique competitive distribution advantage that empowers equally smaller video authors and larger media companies.
On the plus side, Brightcove enables all of this directly from the web, without requiring you to install any specific application.
On the minus side, you can do all that Brightcove allows only from IE and only from a PC. At least for now. Mac support is already on its way.
Overall, Brightcove appears to me as the premier choice for online video publishing and distribution. No other service comes close to the integrated array of features and facilities that Brightcove as put together so far.
Starting this July (2006) video publishers will be able to start charging for commercial viewing of their clips distributed through Brightcove.
If you are an online news or content publisher, an independent video or filmmaker, I strongly urge you to start looking early in the opportunities offered by this company while becoming familiar with the tools and procedures required to make your video gets exposure, visibility, reach and viral distribution you could have never been able to pay for until now.
To learn more:
If you are on a broadband connection you can watch the Brightcove video quick tour, which gives you a very good idea of what this service can do in less than 2 minutes.
Brightcove is a Robin Good's recommended destination.
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