Brightcove Show - Raising the bar on Internet TV quality

Jeremy Allaire's picture
Jeremy Allaire on October 9, 2007

Today we announced a new extension to our service called Brightcove Show, which promises to significantly improve the quality and richness of television on the Internet.  In conjunction with our announcement of Brightcove Show, we also announced a technology partnership with BitTorrent, who also today introduced BitTorrent DNA (Delivery Network Accelerator), a peer-assisted hybrid content delivery model for high-quality media on the Internet. 

Until very recently, the dominant model for video on the Web has been one centered on short-form, and mostly lower quality video experiences.  As thousands of media owners move online with their video product, and as consumer usage of video on the Web continues to explode, there is growing demand to increase the quality of viewing experiences and to enable the seamless delivering of full-screen, up to HD-quality feature length content on the Web.

Brightcove Show brings together all of the pieces needed for content owners to deliver true broadcast-quality experiences online, including:

  • Templates and APIs for delivering full-screen, immersive video browsing and watching experiences.  Think "Joost in a Box" from a user experience perspective.
  • Network acceleration and dynamic quality of service technology to enable seamless delivery of high-quality video (up to HD quality) in an on-demand streaming experience.  This uses BitTorrent DNA as well as additional dynamic quality of service technology Brightcove is introducing with Brightcove Show.
  • Content protection technology (not DRM) that ensures that the various bits of content that are brought down from servers and peers can't be easily copied and shared (if the content owner so chooses to protect content this way).
  • A new suite of advertising products geared towards full-screen and mid-to-long form content, building on our existing innovation in overlays, takeovers and sponsorship units in the Brightcove Platform.

The idea here is to enable content owners and publishers to launch incredibly high-quality TV show experiences instantly, and with a great experience and ultimately great economics.  Unlike other approaches in the market that either only target the largest of content owners with proprietary formats, clients and more complex implementations, or approaches, like Joost, that require a walled-garden and are closed platforms, Brightcove Show aims to make these kinds of experiences ubiquitous and possible for any online publisher.

Our approach to full-length, high-quality shows doesn't stand on its own -- it is coupled to our broader platform for delivering clips and social media online, and layers in all of our web services for content management, programming, advertising, syndication and video analytics.  We believe that the ecology of internet video involves a fundamental interplay between clips and shows --- clips providing contextual integration into sites, blending social commentary and interactivity, and shows providing a deeper and more committed relationship of an audience to the programming.  It's crticial that a platform like ours be able to support the tight interplay between these modes of discoverying, viewing and interacting around rich media content.

For those not familiar with "network acceleration" technology such as BitTorrent DNA, the basic idea is to take advantage of the full pipe that a consumer has on their broadband connection by using multiple sources on the Internet to build and deliver a streaming experience.  This approach uses something called 'multi-source streaming', pulling bits from multiple servers and CDN locations, and where possible, pulling bits from peer computers that are viewing the same content.  This peer-assistance becomes a critical component to ensuring a high-quality experience at a lower cost.  By building on a client technology that is already widely adopted (150M BT clients downloaded), it will help drive adoption of these kinds of experiences more quickly (as compared to closed platforms like Joost who today have extremely limited adoption by comparison).

We'll be making trials of Brightcove Show available from a consumer perspective starting in November, and then moving into beta for publishers after that.

Enjoy the show, and stay tuned for more as we have some additional and exciting things that we're planning to add and announce around this in the coming weeks.

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