I've received a lot of emails in response to my search for disruptive Web 2.0 start-ups. My apologies if I don't respond to your email in a timely manner, but rest assured I am actively reviewing and filtering all of the contenders.
In today's post I'm going to review a disruptive start-up that could change the way we watch TV. Brightcove is "open Internet TV service", founded by ex-Macromedia CTO Jeremy Allaire, that provides a platform for user-generated video content. The NY Times recently profiled Brightcove:
"As with his earlier ventures, Mr. Allaire intends to shake up an industry - this time, the world of television - by allowing all types of video producers, from media giants to anyone who has a camcorder, put their work on the Internet and make money if anyone watches it."
Brightcove has ambitious plans, illustrated by this quote from Allaire: "We are trying to create a new kind of online media distribution business that has the scale of Google, an Amazon or an eBay."
There's been a lot of criticism recently about the business models of Web 2.0 companies. So how will Brightcove make money? It won't be from charging video producers to upload their videos, or for associated services. Brightcove's business model is to take a cut of advertising revenue and fees from the videos.
It's interesting also to look closer at the user-generated content angle, which is something that a lot of Web 2.0 start-ups are relying on to help generate revenue. According to this Business 2.0 blog post, Brightcove's early customers include Viacom's Noggin children's channel, the Oxygen Network, and ShipWreck Central (diving videos featuring shipwrecks). Also some "top video bloggers" have signed up with Brightcove. The Business 2.0 blog quotes Allaire as saying he welcomes amateur user-generated video, but "we are not betting our business on it". So it's fair to say that Brightcove's featured video content will be of professional standard, but could in theory come from anyone - amateur or professional. This is what people like Nicholas Carr just don't get (see my earlier post for more details).
In an article on streamingmedia.com, Allaire writes that we're now at "a tipping point in the convergence of television and the Internet". Allaire's vision is that "the Internet’s forces of openness, global reach, consumer control and participation, and Long Tail economies of scale will create a multimedia universe that no one can fully comprehend."
Brightcove was presented at the Web 2.0 Conference and is what I would class as a disruptive Web 2.0 start-up - one to keep an eye on. Whether or not they meet their ambitious aim of becoming a Google-scale Internet TV business, will play out over time. One thing's for sure, watching their progress will be as entertaining as the many videos uploaded onto their platform.
If you think you have a disruptive start-up that is on a par with Brightcove, and perhaps meets Umair Haque's requirements, then send me an email at readwriteweb AT gmail DOT com. I'd love to hear about it, as I'm sure will ZDNet readers!