I've been reviewing some of the offerings of the new Brightcove Network, and trying to determine how much of a threat this service would be to YouTube and other video sharing sites.
My answer is, it depends on what YouTube-and their presumed eventual owners Google- do.
First, some background. The Brightcove Network lets any content owner build their own commerical Internet TV channel, launch and syndicate it, and also distribute it on Brightcove.com
The free service is monetized by a 50-50 split between Brightcove and the content creator on ad revenue, and a 70-30 split between the user and Brightcove (70% to the user) on videos offered by the rights-holder for download off Brightcove.
While the video quality of the Flash animations possible in Brightcove appears to be quite superior to YouTube, I sense that with the exception of some established media companies sure to be courted by both companies, the Brightcove Network and YouTube will appeal to two different types of users.
The YouTube user is not one to reflexively feel the need to monetize his or her work. But it appears that the Brightcove Network will mostly attract content creators who wish to do this.
The other key difference is the ability to embed YouTube clips on your own web site, or blog so that they readily start up by just a click of that famed right arrow.
While Brightcove offers this embed option as well, a Brightcove Network customer, however,
would probably may want to link to their clips. Yet linking doesn't carry the same built-in attractiveness, or even urgency, of having the player launchable from within a content page on a user's site.
On the other hand, if I want to sell my videos, obviously Brightcove Network is the way to go.
The two don't need to be mutually exclusive distribution alternatives, you know. An aspiring digital filmmaker could aspire to popularity via TouTube and then -after achieving a certain number of loyal fans- use Brightcove to test the market for whether or not people will pay for their stuff.