Brightcove 4 Features Support for Native iPhone App Development, Expanded Live Streaming and More
--Brightcove Targets SMB's with Entry-Level Brightcove Express Offering, Priced from $99 per Month
Broadband video publishing solutions provider, Brightcove, on Monday announced the general availability of Brightcove 4, which it describes as a "major new release" of its flagship online video platform that incorporates a range of new features, including support for native iPhone video application development, expanded live streaming capabilities, advanced analytics, and new resources for video distribution, monetization and custom online video applications. The company also launched Brightcove Express, an entry-level version of Brightcove 4, which it says will put the "power and flexibility" of its platform within reach for all Web site projects, and will be priced from $99 per month with no annual contract (note: detailed information on Brightcove Express's tiered pricing scheme is available here). "As video becomes pervasive on the Web, publishers face increasingly complex and demanding requirements that often span multiple use-cases and devices," Brightcove chairman and CEO, Jeremy Allaire, said in a prepared statement. "Brightcove 4 provides a powerful and extensible suite of new services that make it easy for customers to execute three-screen strategies and generate additional value from online video through new distribution and monetization opportunities. And with Brightcove Express, the Brightcove 4 platform is accessible for any size organization and projects of any scope."
According to Brightcove, Brightcove 4--which is available in three pricing and packaging options: Express, Pro and Enterprise (note: Brightcove says that Brightcove 4 is available as a free upgrade to existing customers)--offers various new capabilities designed to facilitate the execution of three-screen distribution strategies:
- Custom cloud encoding offers "fine-grained" control over state-of-the-art encoding technology, the company says, with higher quality default encoding, more formats and more renditions, in order to ensure optimal quality on every connection and device.
- Secure multi-bitrate streaming protects content, the company says, while delivering smooth adaptive streaming over any connection.
- Universal Delivery Service (UDS) enables the delivery of content over the most appropriate protocol for the viewer, the company says, whether via PC, mobile, connected TV or set-top box.
- A Brightcove Player and SDK for the iPhone expand the delivery options available to Web site publishers to include iPhone applications and mobile video Web sites.
Brightcove also bills Brightcove 4 as offering various new features designed to help businesses and organizations generate additional value from their online video initiatives. According to the company, the platform offers:
- Advanced monetization capabilities, including access to new advertising networks and servers from Google, Yahoo!, FreeWheel and OpenX, and support for the new Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) standard, enabling publishers to work with multiple ad servers and networks.
- Enhanced analytics, which the company says "provide in-depth insight into viewer engagement and the overall value of an organization's video content by highlighting the most effective and ineffective initiatives."
- Support for "social sharing" of online video through such services as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
- Support for live streaming, including the ability to mix and match live and on-demand programming within the same Brightcove player. The company says that this feature "brings the compelling immediacy of ad-supported live content within reach for publishers and projects of all sizes and scope."
- Media sharing, which the company says allows publishers to "share videos across divisions, affiliates, and with other partners with a single click."
The company also claims that Brightcove 4 includes a wide array of new cloud services, SDK's and extensibility options that can be easily adapted and scaled for specific deployments. According to the company:
- Enhanced Media API's allow developers to build deep, real-time integrations within their Web applications to drive search engine optimization and support "robust" workflow adaptations that lower the cost of video publishing.
- New Player API's support the development of highly customized user experiences, advanced monetization, analytics tracking and synchronized content placement.
- Brightcove Experience Markup Language (BEML) component skinning makes it easier to create fully branded player controls and in-player design elements without requiring Flash programming.
- An iPhone SDK for Objective C programmers introduces pre-built components for playback, social sharing, and content discovery, and hooks into the Brightcove Media API services.
- An Ad Rules API and SDK offers more control and efficiency in ad operations, in order to enable the easy development of sophisticated ad policies, new business logic and custom ad player integrations.
Features claimed by Brightcove for Brightcove Express, meanwhile, include:
- Easy integration with advertising networks, making it possible to deliver ad-supported video at low cost.
- Google Analytics integration, making it possible to get a unified view of all content interactions at an "extremely low" cost.
- Integration with various popular entry-level and open source CMS solutions, such as Wordpress, TypePad, Drupal, Joomla and Ektron, enabling "Web sites of all sizes to easily integrate professional video into their existing Web publishing workflow."