Brightcove, Jeremy Allaire’s new video-serving company, had lots of big news today: investments from AOL, Barry Diller’s IAC, Hearst, and Allen & Co. They also made a deal with AOL to distribute its video there. (Full disclosure: I think I’m on Brightcove’s board of advisors and I’ve introduced them to some companies.)
What I like about Brightcove — besides Allaire — is that they enable many models: ad-supported video, pay-per-view video, subscription video, and free video (that is, paid for by the producer). They make publishing and playing the video easy thanks to copious Flash (remember that Allaire sold his company to Macromedia and was there for sometime).
What will be interesting is seeing how this works with all the other means of video distribution that are popular: Bittorrent, of course; plus iTunes; plus TiVo to iPods and PCs…. There is no question that there is pentup demand for video among consumers and even more among advertisers, who’ve wanted to turn the internet into TV from day one. They want the motion and excitement of video. They also want the ease of buying TV upfront, but those days are over. Over.
Says Iconoculture‘s newsletter today:
Last month ABC and Apple started offering next-day downloads of major primetime programs. It started with Desperate Housewives and Lost for $1.99 per episode, and sparked a reaction (long in the works) from NBC/DirecTV and CBS/Comcast to offer similar content on demand for only $.99. Then, just this week, AOL/Time Warner decided to up the ante by opening up their back catalog of television content on AOL’s online network for free.
How did this on-demand flash happen? Wasn’t this level of Ã la carte TV consumer control and access supposed to be years off? No; not really. Consumers have already been building their own level of mix-and-match programming and TV personalization with services like BitTorrent and a flood of new independent and user-created content via the web. Learning from the music industry’s late 90’s struggles with Napster and its brethren, broadcasters and studios are offering their content before consumers get too far ahead of them.
From a TV ad and affiliate sales point of view, these developments are like reversing the rotation of the Earth, flipping the script in terms of traditional appointment viewing assumptions. What that means for the next several years is a continued shift toward far more targeted marketing campaigns and a dependence on consumers to invite ads rather than merely accept the ones pushed to them. To get those invitations, advocacy, trust, and customization are the price of entry.
: Frank Barnako writes about this today and is nice enough to link to my exploding-tv posts. The newer ones are here; the older ones (from the old blog platform), starting in June last year, are here.