He founded and sold Web software company Cold Fusion to Macromedia in 2001 for $360 million. He has raised more than $82 million in venture funding for Brightcove. That has allowed his enterprise to expand into Web video syndication, distributing videos across the Web to various portals and sites and to market its services globally.
Brightcove provides the software and tools to enable small and large companies to offer video on the Web, to distribute that video across the Internet and to sell ads against it.
“At the core we are an on-demand platform for operating and distributing Internet television and that encompasses providing all the services that media companies and marketers and others need to operate broadband programming businesses,” Mr. Allaire said.
Industry: Web Video Service
Video play: Brightcove is seeking to outdistance other companies that supply technology to let people and businesses post video on the Web and make money at it.
Strategy: Providing a Web-based application that lets users import video, manipulate it, post it on Web sites, syndicate it and link it with advertising.
Result: Brightcove has established itself as a leading player in the industry.
Brightcove is operating with about 125 employees and counts roughly 4,000 commercial publishers as clients, including more than 40 television networks. In the mix are National Geographic Channel, Speed Channel, The N, Discovery and Lifetime, as well as music labels Sony and Universal Music Group, as well as publishers Time Inc. and Meredith. In the first quarter of 2007, Brightcove usage grew eightfold compared with the fourth quarter of 2006. Mr. Allaire did not share a time frame for profitability, but did say Brightcove expects to triple revenue growth year over year. Brightcove’s revenue is based on license fees and usage.
“We have created a model for an on-demand distribution platform that allows us to get compensated on the scale of that content,” he said.
Brightcove faces competition from a bevy of technology providers such as The Platform, Maven Networks, Extend Media, Roo, WhiteBlox, Narrowstep, Magnify, Reality Digital, Video Egg and others.
Each provider however has aimed to carve out a particular niche of the Web video market. Some cater to big media, some to enthusiasts, and some, like Brightcove, are positioning themselves as a solution for small and large businesses.
Problem: Brightcove client Speed Network was eager to roll out a broadband channel for its network but also wanted to control the distribution to protect its brand. As part of a broad corporate partnership that Fox Entertainment Group struck earlier this year with Brightcove, the Web technology provider set out to help Speed get to market quickly with an Internet TV service.
“They wanted a high quality broadband video product up and running and other rich media to drive usage and traffic and have a way to take advantage of consumers’ passion and interest in user-generated video,” Mr. Allaire said.
Solution: To address those needs, Brightcove created an Internet TV channel for Speed Channel in the spring that includes professional content from the network and users’ own racing videos. In addition, Speed Channel wanted to syndicate those videos as part of an ad-supported distribution strategy, which includes building out video programming on Speed’s own SpeedTV.com Web site, as well as increasing the reach of Internet video distribution through managed syndication and viral promotion.
This gives NASCAR fans, bloggers and other Web sites the ability to embed both Speed TV video players with full video lineups, as well as single video clips available by copying and pasting “embed” codes for single video titles from viral video clips from Speed TV.
Managed syndication means that Speed TV packages lineups of videos for its partners, as opposed to making a single video available at a time through viral distribution. Speed TV reviews and approves affiliates to carry these players.
Brightcove was able to supply the various components because its platform includes a number of user-generated video applications that let consumers upload content, yet allow the media company to select which ones to post.
“They pick the best, vet them and get them into their channels,” Mr. Allaire said. “With this system any publisher can launch their own user-generated service and can contribute and can configure what it is they want. The Web site owner or media owner gets an editorial system, however they can review the content and then integrate that into a stand-alone experience into their sites that are user-generated or a mix with commercial content.”
Evaluation: Fox declined to disclose usage figures for the new Speed Channel site. However, Mr. Allaire said that the site’s traffic has grown since the launch. More important, Speed went from not having a meaningful broadband media product to having one that spans many usage genres.
Across its customer base, Brightcove has demonstrated that it can reduce the time to launch Internet video channels from months to a few weeks. The average Brightcove client spends from five figures to low six figures to get a broadband TV site up and running.
Clients usually pay a set-up fee, ,monthly charges based on usage, and an annual license fee. Brightcove doesn’t sell or share advertising with premium publishers who pay for the platform. However, Brightcove does integrate its service with major ad serving providers and networks, such as DoubleClick and Brightroll. In those cases, there is a revenue share based on advertising placed in exchange for use of the Brightcove Internet TV platform.