Brightcove: End of the free ride – revised

Brightcove Studio 3Latest news: Brightcove TV is dead no longer exists.  Brightcove has stepped out of the consumer arena altogether.  Their core business is now purely professional and beyond the scope of this site.  We will keep previous articles on Brightcove for history sake, though.

Alas, it was written in the stars: on 17 December 2008, the free ride will end for everyone having a video channel on Brightcove. It’s sad news for many of us because the price tag to continue using the service is high. It will be several hundred dollars a month for a basic account. In fact, I think many entrepreneurs will be forced to switch to another video channel because the viral effect on Brightcove’s video network is much lower then on YouTube or MySpace. Therefore, the chance of actually recovering the money is rather small, unless you are very determined and have a popular subject or product.

It is understandable that video channels want to make some money. Ads don’t cover the costs for any video network at this point of writing, so this is a logical evolution. After all, we know that free gifts are only temporary.  I just do not comprehend the ridiculous price tag. Many of us only have 10 to 20 videos running, if they are viewed 800-100 times a year we are lucky indeed. That is not exactly big bandwidth usage, is it?  There are exceptions, but I’m talking about small business here. You can cover the bandwidth easily with a fee of $20/month or so and still make a profit.  So, what could be behind this strategy?

It is certain that Brightcove always flirted with the film- and TV industry because it is a glamorous world and the sector is used to spend large amounts of money.  Video on Demand (VOD) is the next big thing, and Brightcove wants to be the big player in this field.  In short, it will be interesting to see if Brightcove survives this bold transition and I’m sure all the other video networks will follow this with keen interest.

Brightcove Studio 3In any case, I have been grateful for the time I could freely use their service, so I’m not going to kick them from behind, but it would have been nice if they had an affordable solution for everyone.  I really love the quality of the network.  The compression is good, the layout looks great, and the visitors are generally more up market then on YouTube, so it is a sad to know that many businesses won’t be able to keep their video channel.

It’s not all doom and gloom

Networks or organizations with more then 10 members can see this as an opportunity to make money by charging their members for using their channel on Brightcove.  In that way, pricing can be kept to a reasonable level and everybody wins that way. The only problem is that you will lose the identity of your own channel if you join up with such a network.

Perhaps setting up your own independent channel is not such a bad idea.  Here is the introduction on how to set it your channel up, an A to Z tutorial how to accomplish this. You might be surprised how cheap it is.

On 3 December, there will be a webinar organized by Brightcove introducing Studio 3. Everyone who has a video channel on at this point is invited to follow it. I will attend the webinar and report on it. More about this in a couple of weeks.

4 thoughts on “Brightcove: End of the free ride – revised”

  1. Hi JAnd,

    I tried out some of your sample sites, but it appears that the video is not running smoothly. I presume this is still in an experimental stage, so feel free to contact us again when your service is well tested and up to the job.

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