Brightcove launches cloud-based mobile app platform

It’s official: Brightcove isn’t just about video distribution anymore. After years of catering to media companies and video publishers with a white-label platform for delivering video online, the company is trying to do the same with a cloud-based approach to mobile app creation. That could provide a helpful new revenue stream, just as Brightcove is preparing for an IPO.

Six months after announcing its new App Cloud product, Brightcove is finally making it available to the public, as a way to simplify the creation and distribution of mobile web apps. The App Cloud platform lets developers create multi-device apps for iOS (s AAPL) and Android (s GOOG) mobile devices, using standard HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript to do so.

It provides multiple templates, as well as a cloud-based visual app creation tools, to make development a breeze even for those who aren’t technically proficient. It also allows developers to re-use existing HTML5, CSS and JavaScript code libraries. That can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to build and deploy apps, especially when publishers are employing a cross-platform strategy.

The App Cloud product isn’t just about quickly rolling out new apps, but about optimizing app performance and managing future updates. Because the apps are built in HTML5 with a native app wrapper on top, the platform enables developers to make dynamic updates to their apps without having to resubmit those apps to the respective App stores. It can also provide content optimization — including trimming and compressing text and photos — when end users are in low-bandwidth situations. Brightcove App Cloud also provides detailed analytics to track installations and usage, giving developers a more granular view into how users are interacting with their apps.

App Cloud is free for developers to play around with, and lets them build and test as many apps as they want. However, if developers want to move beyond the testing phase, and actually submit an app to an app store or collaborate with team members on their creation, they’ll need an enterprise license, which runs $15,000. Brightcove has discounted pricing for agencies that build apps, as well as discounts for developers using the platform for multiple apps.

Brightcove’s App Cloud is being launched as the company seeks to diversify its revenue stream ahead of its initial public offering. In August, Brightcove filed an S-1 registration statement with the SEC announcing its intent to go public. In its most recent filing, the company reported $45 million in revenue through the first nine months of 2011. It also reported a net loss of $13.6 million during that period.