Meet the Speaker: Holden Comeau

Meet the Speaker: Holden Comeau

In less than seven weeks, we will be gathered at the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston with Brightcove customers and prospects, partners, and industry experts. There will be two Showstoppers on Day 1 and a total of 16 sessions spread across three tracks. One of these sessions is "Keep 'em Coming Back: Video for Customer Loyalty & Retention." This week I spoke to Holden Comeau, Co-founder and COO at SilverLine Athletics, about his participation in this session. Here is what he had to say:

[Britta] Holden, you are co-founder and COO at SilverLine Athletics. Can you tell us what SilverLine Athletics does?

[Holden] SilverLine is a digital media company that focuses specifically on capturing and encouraging the inherent media value that exists between an endurance sports event – like a 5k, 10k, marathon or triathlon – and the participants of those events. Usually, when people think about media value and sports, they might immediately think that the audience is comprised of passionate sports fans. This is where SilverLine is different. Our audience is the actual event participants. The runners, cyclists, triathletes, and obstacle race athletes. Video is at the heart of our platform, and we use it to engage with this audience year-round. For brands, we can deliver standard media campaigns within a very authentic and attractive context, and we also create compelling native content opportunities. We love our industry. Our event partners change people’s lives in positive, meaningful ways. It’s exciting to be a part of that.

[B] You have been a customer of Brightcove for quite some time. How do you use the technology?

[H] We’ve been working with Brightcove for the past 4 years, and we couldn’t be happier with what feels like a true partnership. We’ve evolved in how we’ve used the technology, and Brightcove has supported us every step. When we first started, we were basically leveraging Brightcove’s out-of-the-box configurations. We were originally attracted to the Smart Player mostly because of the way the BEML templates were decoupled from the players. It allowed us to make updates and changes to live players, which was very helpful.

Today, we build products that leverage Brightcove’s APIs which allow our event partners to efficiently get video everywhere they want it. Brightcove made it easy to iterate on our products, and there have been a number of times when we’ve felt as though we’ve been met with a new feature release from Brightcove at precisely the moment when we discovered we needed it! Most recently, it has been the native Facebook player sync and the evolution of the Gallery product, which we utilize heavily. We’ve run a lot of Live video through the Live module. We’re developing a strategy for Once ad injection. We’ve discussed the potential around OTT apps. We also work closely with a number of third-party video tech vendors that seamlessly plug intoin to Brightcove, which allows us to tune the product in a way that uniquely works for SilverLine. We’ve really built a great video ecosystem and Brightcove has made it all work.

[B] At PLAY, you will be part of a panel called "Keep 'em Coming Back: Video for Customer Loyalty & Retention." Can you give us a couple pointers as to what you will be talking about?

[H] I’m thrilled for the chance to be on a panel at PLAY this year. The topic of loyalty and retention is at the core of SilverLine’s business. For SilverLine, our relationship with the viewer is a derivative of an endurance event’s relationship with that viewer. We support the event in their effort to drive loyalty in their own market. We’re vested in the event’s success in that our monetization is completely connected to the event’s ability to foster an authentic, on-going conversation with their athletes. In that sense, video is a means to an end. When we help our event publishers become more video-literate and empower them with an efficient platform to reach their audience, engagement and loyalty to that event grows. The event customer base also grows out of the peripheral audience awareness that great video can create. Then the event’s own business grows. The events are happy with that so they remain loyal to SilverLine, and SilverLine grows. We’ve now built a whole lot of these hyper-local, optimized video networks that are reaching millions of event participants. And we’re standing on the precipice of SilverLine 2.0, which is all about the many ways we can leverage our vast network to go even deeper with this audience. We’re pursuing relationships now on the buy side with brands who value the impact of connecting through SilverLine to help improve the experience of a person who might be running a marathon.  

A lot of opportunity essentially lies on the back of a very intimate conversation between an event director and an audience of one athlete. I think video makes that happen. It can make someone feel as though whatever is being said is being said for them. I think that’s a powerful way to create loyalty.

[B] We are super excited to have you on board. What are you most excited about for PLAY?

[H] I get really excited about discovering new tech. Last year at PLAY, I first met our good friends at IRIS.TV, who I can’t say enough good things about. I’m excited to build more relationships like that. During the opening keynote last year, the new Video Cloud was announced, and I immediately recorded a couple minutes on my phone so I could test mobile upload and share it with my team back in the office. I’m excited for our CTO to be there this year to sponge up the Day 2 sessions way more effectively than I could! I’m always excited for the chance to be close to a lot of like-minded people. Though it’s hard to anticipate what might happen, it always seems like I find a solution to something I hadn’t realized I had been looking for!

Meet Holden and speakers at Brightcove PLAY on May 16th, 2016 in Boston. The event is free for existing Brightcove customers. If you would like to participate, request an invite by emailing us at

Learn more about Brightcove PLAY