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Thursday, October 06, 2005

'Smaller Video Producers Seek Audience on the Net'

That's the headline of today's piece by Saul Hansell, which primarily focuses on a new company called Brightcove. Brightcove wants to be an online marketplace for video, allowing any producer - small, medium, or large - to deliver video over the Net and charge money while doing it. The videos in question could be just about anything: mini-documentaries, stand-up comedy routines, "how to" videos, short films, or full-length features.

Hansell writes:

    Video delivered over the Internet, which has been embraced by media and Internet giants like Viacom and Yahoo, is quickly shaping up as a way for smaller producers to reach an audience without having to cut deals with movie studios and the big networks that are the traditional gatekeepers of television.

    As interest in video soars (there are more than a million video clips currently available online), a host of new ventures is starting to cater to the publishing and advertising needs of smaller video creators. One new start-up called Brightcove, for example, has developed a system of online video production tools that makes it easier for small operations to distribute video programs as well as charge for them.

Hansell talks about how Dan Myrick, co-director of "The Blair Witch Project," is planning to use Brightcove to deliver a serial feature film called "The Strand of Venice."

    [Myrick] and other producers are convinced that the low cost of digital production and distribution will allow Internet TV to thrive even with small audiences. "We can get by with 100,000 subscribers," Mr. Myrick said. "Networks are canceling shows on 3 million viewers."

The article says that Brightcove will support advertising, pay-per-view, or free content (which is supported by bandwidth and hosting fees paid by the producer; you can imagine someone like Microsoft perhaps offering a Bill Gates speech for free).

Some more on Brightcove: I wrote about them earlier this year in Release 1.0, and also interviewed founder Jeremy Allaire. I think I was also one of the first people to write about Jeremy's start-up (patting self on back) in my Boston Globe column last December.