Brightcove’s “whole tail” advertising and delivery platform

Brightcove, the company founded by Jeremy Allaire, is disclosing its advertising platform offering in this Clickz piece. This goes a step further from the pre-alpha launch presentation Jeremy gave at the Web 2.0 conference.

The company has developed a platform to allow commercial video publishers of all sizes to distribute their video content over the Internet using Flash. Smaller publishers can use a self-service interface, while larger ones will have access to more advanced tools used by traditional broadcasters. Publishers upload their video, categorize it with metadata tags, choose a design template, create graphic overlays with their brand or an affiliate’s brand, and publish the Flash file.

Publishers will be able to monetize their content either by selling and serving their own ads, by running ads from Brightcove’s ad network, or by selling their content for purchase or subscription. The Brightcove platform allows publishers to create customized video players to distribute on their own site, or on affiliate sites. Brightcove offers the production and syndication tools, and handles the billing and collection for the publisher.

“We’re really trying to find a model that operates across the whole tail,” Allaire said, in reference to the “Long Tail” idea that lower distribution costs of the Internet make it economically viable for smaller producers to be successful, or for someone to offer a product catering to a small niche.

Content owners can specify the ad behavior and policies. They can define policies for where ads appear, how frequently they are shown, and limit the maximum number of ads per session. Publishers can also choose to target ads by daypart, by geography, and contextually based on the metadata they supplied.

It is interesting that Brightcove covers the “whole tail” with its tools, allowing small and large publishers them to package, distribute and manage branded video assets whilst supporting three types of business models (content sale/subscription, publisher ads, brightcove network ads). The “big guys” will most likely look at using the service based on its functionality and its integration capabilities with the rest of their back-end, and will probably leverage their own advertising for the bulk of their inventory. “Small guys” will really benefit from the advertising network. Yet to be announced is the commercial model that Brightcove will adopt – since they are both a tool/service provider and ad network.

This other Clickz piece presented a great overview of the landscape, highlighting the fact that the market is tiny (< 2% of the online ad spending) but it is growing at a very rapid pace, with the combined effect of growing content inventory (user generated, MSM, VOD,…), low cost of delivery (cheap/free bandwidth, “legal” BitTorrent usage) and the multiplication of consuming devices (computers, phones, video iPods, connected TVs).