Brightcove Attempts to Straddle Front Line in Mobile Video Wars

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‘Oh, I have a user here that is on a Droid,’ and because you’re on a Droid, rather than sending you a video player, it will just send you an image with a big Play button on top of it. When they click on that, it will bring up a full-screen video player that can take over the whole device…You put that code in your page and you don’t have to deploy a totally separate website [for mobile video consumption].

X: Will you sell this as an added service, or will it just be part of the Brightcove platform?

JW: It’s free to all of our customers as part of the overall platform. This is in beta so it’s not rolled out to all customers, but this template will be rolled out to all customers later this year, and they can take that and customize it, so that if they want to do smartphone-aware embedding in conjunction with player and device detection, they’ll have the option to do that.

X: When will it be ready for all of your customers?

JW: We’re thinking about the summer time frame for general availability. It really depends on when Adobe ships Flash 10.1 in its final form. As soon as Adobe is ready, we’ll be right there with them.

X: What about people who have iPhones, or pretty soon, iPads?

JW: For Apple devices we offer the ability to create an HTML5 experience that calls video from the Brightcove platform in the H.264 format that the Apple device can play back. That’s available today—you can download and install the One Planet iPhone app as a demo. It’s a very straightforward viewing experience, similar to what you’d experience with any other video site on the iPhone. We also have shipped an iPhone SDK [software development kit] that allows developers to build video applications that are connected to Brightcove’s services. We provide the player and the navigation environment. That’s applicable to the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad as well.

X: When the iPhone came out and had a YouTube app pre-installed, Google gradually converted most of the Flash-based videos on YouTube into an H.264 format that would play on the iPhone. Can’t other video publishers do the same thing?

JW: The largest publishers and broadcasters have the resources to do that. If they can make the business case, there is nothing to prevent them. But the long tail of video publishers on the Web can’t imagine developing parallel services. They need help. Brightcove’s focus is … Next Page »

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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