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Vudu, Brightcove Team On Ad-Supported Fare

Vudu, which provides on-demand movies and TV shows on a pay-per-view basis through Internet-connected set-tops, is now working with online video specialist Brightcove to deliver ad-supported Web content to TV sets.

Sony Music is the first Brightcove customer to take advantage of the Vudu partnership and will deliver music videos through its MyPlay Video Network affiliate program. The Sony MyPlay application will be available in the “Vudu Labs” section of the Vudu user interface, where Vudu already provides access to online content such as YouTube videos, Pandora Internet radio and Picasa photo albums.

Vudu has been trying to expand the functionality of its set-tops, which range from $149 to $299, to make the service more attractive to both consumers and programmers. The delivery of free, ad-supported Web video such as Sony MyPlay to Vudu boxes is available to all customers of Brightcove’s video platform, which include cable networks like Lifetime, Showtime and FEARnet, though Sony Music is the only programmer committed at this time.

The integration with Brightcove utilizes Vudu's Rich Internet Applications (RIA) platform, which the company unveiled early this year to foster development of third-party applications for its box. RIA allows Vudu to support dynamic ad logic and live ad calls to content owners' existing advertising platforms, while content owners retain control over their inventory

"For the first time, content owners can simply and easily make all of their online video available on the television without changing their monetization strategy,” said Edward Lichty, EVP of Strategy and Content for Vudu, in a statement.  "Through our integration with Brightcove's online video platform, we are combining the selection and control of the online video experience with the visual richness and lean-back satisfaction of the television experience.”

"Expanding online video distribution beyond Websites to the living room television has been challenging,” added Chris Johnston, Director of Technology Partnership at Brightcove. "The partnership announced today with Vudu is a significant step forward for media businesses that want to centrally manage distribution and monetization across the Web while also taking advantage of the high-quality TV experience Vudu enables.”