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Brightcove 3 Heralds Further Growth for Online Video Outfit

Brightcove has officially launched the latest version of its online video platform, Brightcove 3, after beta-testing it with customers such as Lifetime and Showtime since June.

The new Brightcove software is designed to provide a higher-quality streaming experience through dynamic bit-rate adjustment. New software APIs (application program interfaces) are intended to make it easier to integrate video with other content, which should generate more traffic for large customers by making video easier to find for search engines.

“The way to monetize online video more effectively is to get video inside the page,” says Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire.

Brightcove 3 also offers new features aimed at small to mid-sized companies who are seeking to address the rapid growth of Web video. Brightcove 3 includes new media management and publishing tools aimed at streamlining the production workflow, and the updated Flash-based video player is designed to be easily customized through templates, which means that a company can achieve a professional look without having an advanced Web developer on staff.

One of the new customers for Brightcove 3 is FEARnet, the on-demand horror network created by cable operator Comcast in partnership with movie studios Sony Pictures and Lionsgate Entertainment, which began using the Brightcove software this month to replace a proprietary platform.

Paulo Lemgruber, Senior Vice President, Digital for Comcast - Emerging Networks, says that Brightcove 3 allows FEARnet to offer a full-screen video player and also makes it easier to place advertising around its content, which consists of movies, original series and behind-the-scenes features. FEARnet offers pre, mid and post-rolls and skins, and is also thinking about experimenting with in-video ad windows.

“It creates a lot of ad inventory we didn’t have before,” says Lemgruber.

FEARnet is using the Brightcove player to deliver streaming video at up to 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) at 720-line-progressive resolution, and has plans to increase the data rate up to 3 Mbps in the future, he adds.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Brightcove has raised $91 million to date and continues to grow. When looking at its entire customer bases, says Allaire, its video players are used by 135 million monthly unique users. Europe and Japan have been targeted as key growth markets, and Brightcove announced today that it has opened an office in Hamburg, Germany, and hired a new vice president, Vanessa Wade, to manage its business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.