Brightcove CEO Says Little Guys Face Challenge in Web Video World

Oct 30, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Monday’s test launch of the Hulu video site from NBC and Fox is the latest evidence that broadcast and cable networks have gotten religion when it comes to Web video, but Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire said he still hasn’t seen as many niche content providers rush into the medium as he expected.
“There are very few examples of long-tail producers who have built businesses,” Mr. Allaire said during a keynote address at the New Video Summit in Boston on Monday. “The niche content producer, the pro-sumer—there certainly are anecdotes of someone who made $50,000 on Revver, but anyone who is doing this well is financed and distributed, and there is no secret unlocking of talent that has created huge wealth for these type of producers.”
Nor does he expect to see the introduction in the next few years of any sort of earth-shattering device that will easily bring Web video content to the TV set.
“I would love to be surprised by the explosion of some consumer electronics devices that everyone adopts, but I just don’t see that. There are some interesting products out there, but they don’t have strong adoption,” he said.


  1. Agree with Jeremy’s comment that there are no superstar new devices coming to deliver Web media to the TV.
    As long as viewers need to invest money and time in buying, integrating and managing additional hardware, Web media on television will never make a noticeable dent in regular Web or TV viewing. Consumers aren’t looking for added complexity or expense, or to invest in a new set-top which might turn into the next BetaMax; what they really want is to see the video they enjoy – Web or linear – become available through the equipment they already use most. At this point the best way to reach viewers unobtrusively is through their existing TV set-top box.
    Web media on TV will reach scale when cable and IPTV operators begin to take advantage of the networks and STB they already have in place to deliver new forms of media.

  2. As the owner of a studio producing specialty content, aka one of the “little guys”, referenced by Mr. Allaire, I agree with him whole heartedly. Web video has no magic that I can find. No secret elixir to unlock hordes of viewers and the resulting advertisers who happily pay to display ads on my sites. Web video is much like – pretty much EXACTLY LIKE – business everywhere else. All the basics are unchanged. Creating awareness, making it easy for people to find you, distribution, popular content – it is all much like the offline world. Not only is it the little guys that are struggling to make it, but based on the slender results that I have seen from the mid-level guys like Brightcove, Revver, Joost, etc. they are struggling just as much with the same basic problems. The big guys YouTube, AOL, etc. are faring little better, possibly worse.
    I think the simple and profound issues are the most important. imo, the #1 issue is viewer environment. The producers and broadcasters seem to think that people will congregate for hours around an uncomfortable chair in the office happily watching a small screen controlled by a mouse and keyboard. This is a HUGE problem. Reality suggests that snack video, viewed during a break at work may be viewed like this. In addition, maybe a few youngish geeks will spend hours scrunched in their office chair watching the small screen and mousing around. These are legit demographics but they are tiny in number and not the sort that advertisers will pay much money for. The big groups are still found in the living room in the Lazy Boy with the remote control COMFORTABLY watching a large screen without mouse access. Web video has done virtually NOTHING to penetrate this vast landscape. This is THE PROBLEM imo.
    Good luck to us all!!
    Jeff Bach
    Quietwater Films

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