As 2012 comes to a close, we are excited to celebrate another tremendous year of change and innovation for our Video Cloud online video platform. With the continued acceleration of fragmentation across devices, platforms and operating systems, we have doubled down on our efforts to make sure our customers can deliver high quality video experiences to audiences on every screen.
As we pointed out in our recent infographic , today’s digital media consumer is vastly different than a few years ago. They own smartphones, tablets, connected TVs, and 80% multitask while watching TV. Additionally, there will be 10 billion mobile connected devices by 2016, exceeding the global population of 7.3 billion people on earth.
To address this, Brightcove made key strategic investments this year on significant innovations that remove the complexity and cost of publishing and distributing online video and help our customers expand the reach of their content, generate more revenue and deepen engagement with their audiences.
We focused on six key areas:
- Next-generation video player framework
- Multi-platform monetization
- Content protection
- Ingestion and encoding
- Analytics and Big Data
Next-generation video player framework
To be successful in today’s multi-device landscape, you need a video player that consistently works across all devices regardless of platform or operating system, and enables reliable cross-platform analytics and integrations with third-party services, such as advertising networks. Fragmentation in browsers and operating systems can often lead to videos that don’t play, broken analytics, ads that don’t load and other issues.
That’s why we’ve continued to innovate with our Video Cloud Smart Players, that now include an abstraction layer that automatically adapts the video experience to account for operating system and browser inconsistencies, allowing for reliable playback, advertising and analytics across both current and future operating systems and browsers.
We continue to see the benefits of our innovative Smart Player approach, as Video Cloud was the only online video platform with a player that worked at the launch of Windows 8 without our customers having to do anything and all while preserving their existing ad integrations, content protection, analytics, etc.
Additionally, as consumers flock to mobile devices, apps have become a prime channel for delivering content and messaging. Extending the Brightcove Video Cloud player family to the most popular platform, we introduced a brand new Video Cloud Player SDK for iOS that makes it simple to create exceptional native app experiences for iPhones and iPads, from stylings to animations to full-screen views. And, an extensible framework makes it simple to add advertising, DRM and paywall capabilities to support your business model.
Whether customers use the Player SDK for iOS to create high-performance apps quickly, or build their own fully customized player from the ground up, it’s never been easier to deliver the perfect experience for their content and audience.
Flexible monetization options for media companies
Online video advertising will be a $9 billion market by 2016. While there is huge potential for media companies to monetize their video content, the requirements for success have evolved in the last year. TV Everywhere and new formats like paywalls have introduced more options, and complexity, for media companies. TV Everywhere could add $12 billion in annual revenue to the U.S. TV ecosystem in the next 3 to 5 years, while the number of users watching pay-per-view video on mobile phones and tablets will almost triple between 2012 and 2017.
This means that media companies need to have confidence that their online video platform can address the ever changing landscape and take advantage of these new monetization opportunities.
Video Cloud currently supports more than 30 ad servers and networks for both HTML5 and Flash, a feat that is unmatched by any other online video platform. In 2012 we announced several new HTML5 advertising partners that have built custom plugins for the Video Cloud player, including Tremor, LiveRail, SAS and Sticky Ads TV. We also have support for pre- and post-roll HTML5 ads, with support for mid-rolls expected by the end of the month.
Video Cloud was also the first online video platform to support Google’s IMA3 SDK on both Flash and HTML5, enabling publishers to take advantage of advanced features in the Doubleclick for Publishers (DFP) video module.
2012 also saw the launch of our Video Paywall Solution Framework to accelerate the introduction of paid video content services for media publishers.
This year we rolled out advanced closed captioning support in response to new FCC regulations in the U.S., including a dedicated metadata field within the Video Cloud Studio for a closed captioning file for each video, as well as significant updates to the closed captioning module within the Smart Players. These updates render and display the captions for the end user and give publishers the ability to customize how captions are displayed.
Brightcove can also host the caption files for our customers. Caption files can be uploaded via the Video Cloud Studio, Media API or through the FTP batch ingest process in either DFXP or SMPTE-TT formats.
We also made significant updates to the parsing and rendering of the captions, which include styling, positioning and multiple languages. Video Cloud also now has full feature-set parity between the Flash and HTML5 video players when it comes to captions.
We’ll be focusing on live stream captions next and we’ll have more to say on that front soon.
Content protection across every screen
45% of adults and 70% of 18 - 29 year olds have bought, copied or downloaded unauthorized music, TV shows or movies. That is a staggering figure, so it’s key that publishers have a reliable content protection solution in place for their premium content, which not only includes Hollywood Studio level content but also exercise, health and wellness, sports, and other types of revenue-generating content.
Earlier this year, Video Cloud became the first online video platform to become a Certified Widevine Implementation Partner, an intensive process that requires training, written certification and hands-on practical testing. Soon after, we became the first online video platform to announce commercial availability of Google’s Widevine DRM platform. With support for Widevine DRM, our customers are now able to leverage Widevine for secure delivery and playback on more than 539 million Widevine-enabled consumer electronics devices worldwide.
Widevine DRM joins the multi-layered suite of Video Cloud content protection capabilities, which includes Adobe Access DRM, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) encryption, domain restrictions, player whitelisting and others.
Since the announcement, we have launched content from multiple Hollywood studios using both Widevine and Access, as well as solutions on connected TVs (e.g. LG and Samsung), blu-ray players, and iOS and Android applications.
Fast, reliable ingestion and encoding
Video Cloud updates in 2012 enabled customers to replace a video or re-transcode a video without losing any of the analytics or re-entering metadata. Now customers can create and edit remote assets using their same remote assets in the UI.
We also launched a new queuing management system to provide more intelligent management of transcoding requests, enabling significant improvements in the speed in which Video Cloud processes requests. Additionally, we are in the process of rolling out a new upload and transcoding platform, which includes parallel processing to create renditions in parallel. This will give us the ability to ingest faster and produce all renditions at the same time.
Additionally, we announced the acquisition of Zencoder, the fastest, most reliable cloud-based encoding service in the industry. Zencoder has been rated 2X - 10X faster than other top commercial cloud transcoding services and has an exceptional track record of technical innovation, operational performance and scalability. Zencoder will be fully integrated into Video Cloud in early 2013, giving Video Cloud customers the fastest content processing online video platform available today.
Next generation analytics and Big Data architecture
As we showed at our PLAY 2012 user conference, we are also in the midst of rolling out a completely new Video Cloud Analytics platform in early 2013 that will offer deeper insights, dramatically faster access to analytics data, powerful API access to analytics information, and a foundation for future innovation in analytics technology.
The Video Cloud Analytics platform is a state-of-the-art, real-time analytics platform built from the ground up by Brightcove using the latest innovations in Big Data technology and architected for massive scale. The new platform offers dramatically faster real-time access to analytics data and includes a powerful open API to allow developers to create custom analytics solutions and reports in addition to those included in the Video Cloud Studio.
More to come in 2013
It’s certainly been an exciting year for our Video Cloud team and our customers. As we head into 2013, we are laser focused on continuing our level of innovation through our continuous release cycles to help our customers futureproof your online video investments and ensure your success no matter the device, destination, operating system or platform.