Vid-Biz: Brightcove, AT&T, HoneyShed

Conde Nast Selects Brightcove; publishing company will initially use the video platform for content on Wired.com, Portfolio.com, Glamour.com, Parade.com and Self.com. (release)
AT&T Launches Video Search Site; beta version of VideoCrawler, co-developed with Divvio, out now (we weren’t impressed with early version). (CNET)
HoneyShed Needs to Build Bigger Audience; MTV-meets-QVC online shopping site hasn’t been able to attract visitors to the site and is shifting gears to pare down and distribute content (we weren’t impressed with an early version of this either). (AdWeek)
ESPN360 Launches New Video Player; updated versions will allow fans watching a game to chat with each other and will offer synchronized live stats and data. (Multichannel News)
Vudu Adds 1,000 HDX Movies; titles added to the high-def format include Iron Man and Journey to the Center of the Earth; news comes less than a week after the CEO departed. (Video Business)
DVDs4Vets Needs Discs; nonprofit collecting DVDs to send out to medical facilities taking care of wounded vets around the country. (Variety)
Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street (Online); famed kids show kicks off its 39th birthday by putting full-length shows on iTunes and offering clips on YouTube and Hulu. (emailed release)

Brightcove Shuts the Door on Free Access

Brightcove will fully shut down its free service and force all its users to upgrade to its new Brightcove 3 platform by Dec. 17, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company said in an email to users tonight. Users who do not upgrade will see their content deleted.
Brightcove, which has a record of changing its strategy, had previously shut its paid video offering, closed its consumer site, and dropped internal ad sales.
Here’s the key portion of the email. What’s frustrating is Brightcove does not publicly disclose what even the very basic version of its service costs. But there’s an FAQ with other information.

Regretfully, we’ve decided to discontinue the Brightcove Network (the free version of our service). The discontinuation of the free Brightcove Network accounts will not affect Brightcove platform accounts that customers have paid to use.

On December 17, 2008, we will be shutting down Brightcove Network accounts that have not been upgraded to paid Brightcove platform accounts. At the same time, we will be shutting down the Brightcove.TV website (which is separate from the corporate Brightcove website).

Until December 17, 2008, your Brightcove Network account will remain fully functional; the players that you have published will continue to operate; and you can keep using the Brightcove Console as you have been using it to date. At the same time, we are giving you a free trial of Brightcove 3.

Brightcove has raised some $90 million in funding from investors including Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners, AOL, Allen & Company, Maverick Capital, Brookside Capital, AllianceBernstein, The New York Times Company, Transcosmos, Dentsu, J-Stream, and Cyber Communications.

TMZ Drops Brightcove for Digitalsmiths

It’s hard to measure total reach for white-label video providers, but at least in terms of marketplace perception, Brightcove leads the pack. Be it thePlatform, Ooyala, Fliqz — it’s a long list — no enterprise video player comes through our door without mentioning Brightcove as a competitor. And the video platform dogfight gets nastier by the day, with established relationships getting ditched for the competition. We learned recently that big-shot celebrity news site TMZ has ditched Brightcove, its long-time video provider, for the search specialists at Digitalsmiths.

Digitalsmiths only recently started offering its video indexing and ad targeting technology bundled with a white-label video service; in the past it had offered it as a plug-in for other platforms. After it executed a deal to power the new TheWB.com — including using picture (computer vision) and audio analysis to index videos and to figure out dynamically what relevant video to promote — Digitalsmiths got the call to redo its Time Warner (s TWX) sister site TMZ.
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Brightcove Scores AOL

Brightcove, which just saw its investors at the New York Times fully deploy its product, now has fellow investor AOL using its video publishing platform.
Brightcove will take over from AOL’s terrible home-grown video product “beginning in early 2009,” according to an emailed press release. Brightcove will also be integrated into AOL’s Platform-A advertising offering.
This is a pretty big coup for a white-label video service, considering AOL is the ninth-largest U.S. online video property according to comScore.
While AOL’s video player may not have been top of the line, the portal got in early to the web video space race, with its acquisition of Truveo nearly three years ago. It has expanded Truveo as a leading video search destination and tool. It was a launch partner of Hulu and is one of only two sites (the other is Veoh) with whom ABC shares revenue from its video syndication. But it also had failed efforts like a high-definition premium video service that required a download.
Brightcove has raised some $90 million in funding from investors including Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners, AOL, Allen & Company, Maverick Capital, Brookside Capital, AllianceBernstein, The New York Times Company, Transcosmos, Dentsu, J-Stream, and Cyber Communications.

Simon & Schuster Goes It Alone for Original Video

Now this is a bit of a funny one: A book publisher is opening its own online video production studio! Simon & Schuster, after seeing success with Stephen King’s motion comic series N (for which we gave a rave review on NewTeeVee Station), is jazzed about online video. The CBS-owned company said today that’s it has opened an in-house digital production studio for high-definition author interviews, features and other marketing paraphernalia. Upcoming releases include interviews with Arianna Huffington, Blair Underwood, and Philippa Gregory, and will be found on Simonsays.com, which is powered by Brightcove.

But wait a second; Simon & Schuster had a long-term existing relationship with TurnHere to produce original videos about its authors. It’s unclear what will become of that in light of the new studio. When asked for comment about the news, TurnHere’s director of marketing, Morgan Brown said, “We’ll continue to do work for them leveraging our 7,000 strong worldwide filmmaker network, while they originate content from their studios.” And Simon & Schuster said they would try to prepare a comment by later today or tomorrow.

Update: Simon & Schuster comment:

We are continuing with Turnhere in 2009 and are very happy with their work . We like the flexibility of the remote shoots and the quality of the videos we receive. Our goal is to give our publishers a menu of options that are versatile, economical and suite their many changing needs.

Other book publishing video projects include BookVideos.tv and BookTour.

Vid-Biz: YouTube, Brightcove, Live Birth

YouTube Charging for “Promoted” Video Placements? Advertising sources say “promoted” video slots are regularly negotiated into ad deals on the site. (Silicon Alley Insider)

Brightcove Partners with Five and OMS; video platform does separate deals with the UK terrestrial broadcaster to incorporate ad-supported video, and creates online video network for regional German newspapers. (release)

Live Birth Streamed Online; Stephen Heywood broadcasts his daughter Samantha being born over Ustream.tv. Ick. (Valleywag)

TasteofHome.com Creates Video Channel; Reader’s Digest recipe pub rolls out new channel mixing original, professional and user-generated content. (MediaWeek)

DirecTV Getting a New HD TiVo; satellite company and DVR maker are hooking up for a new HD DVR in 2009. (Zatz Not Funny)

Edgeware Announces Reflex 2x; company says the solid-state server technology can reduce the cost of delivering web TV and video services. (release)

DVR Owners *REALLY* Like Their Device; according to NDS, 70 percent say they can’t live without it, and having a DVR makes for a happier home life. (release)

Brightcove Wants a Piece of Move’s Long-Form Market

Brightcove tonight is launching a new version of its platform that “competes directly with Move Networks,” SVP Marketing and Strategy Adam Berrey told us today. Nothing like putting a target on your enemy’s back! Brightcove, which is especially strong with news media customers and their short-form content, is trying to goose growth by modifying its delivery tools and its interface to accommodate long-form content.

The new tools are launching in beta and are to be widely available this fall, though selected Brightcove customers, like Beliefnet, Lifetime Networks, and Showtime are already trying them out.

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