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Brightcove Beacon needs its own guiding light

Brightcove has eventually channeled the Ooyala assets it acquired earlier this year into a new product launch, which may quell concerns that the purchase of the online video platform business posed severe risks.

The Boston-based video software vendor has unveiled Beacon, a SaaS platform for taking OTT content to multiple devices simultaneously in a pitch straight from 2012.

Like with our conversation at NAB 2019, Brightcove has done a poor job conveying its core message. It takes a few reads of the press release before it becomes apparent what Beacon really is, which is really an extension of the Brightcove Video Cloud – with faster launch times on more devices with additional monetization models such as advertising, freemium and authentication.

In a nutshell, Beacon is built to enable quick multi-device video experience launches, with technology purpose built for robust live video launches, in a more cost effective manner for customers. Beacon gives customers in various industry verticals the tools to launch and monetize content, whether it be mobile, web, connected TV and smart TV – all from one platform. It looks to us as though Beacon has been adapted specifically with mobile and connected TV viewing in mind, moving with the tide while deemphasizing traditional browser-based OVP launches.

Not groundbreaking, admittedly, but apparently an effective use of Ooyala’s technology which includes the OVP business, comprising a CMS and publishing platform, called Backlot, along with its Analytics and Live products, and much of its IP backbone technology too. Faultline has reached out to Brightcove for clarification on the specifics of where and how the inherited Ooyala assets have influenced Beacon, if at all, but the company would not comment via email and so we have a call penciled in with the company in a couple of weeks. Hold tight.

Beacon is a malleable product which Brightcove has adapted around the diverse Ooyala customer base it inherited comprising of somewhere between 150 to 200 customers, including notable names Turner, Audi, Dell, the PGA Tour and Turner Asia Pacific.

Beacon has already attracted a handful of niche customers, with weather information services provider Pelmorex Weather Networks, instructional video streaming platform TN Marketing, and the Christian Broadcasting Network. Scalability is also mentioned as a key selling point of Beacon, with technology designed to work around a customer’s existing technology stack with flexible APIs.

Although again vague, Beacon seems to be focusing strongly on mobile devices, with Brightcove referencing results from its in-house Video Index showing that 53% of global video views occur on smartphone and tablets. Connected TV devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV are also high on the agenda and as we know these viewing habits are driving huge demand in the connected TV addressable advertising space.

As we reported last week, business at Brightcove is looking healthy – growing third quarter revenue 15% year on year to $47.4 million for which it credited unnamed media customer wins in North America and Europe. Gross profit was up by $4.4 million to $29.8 million, a 63% margin, but with a net loss of $3 million for the quarter. Brightcove actually launched Beacon earlier in Q3, with an official release issued later.

Director IPTV & TV Apps at Pelmorex (parent company of The Weather Network & MeteoMedia), Naomi Lipowski, commented, “As we continue to expand our services on more platforms to provide additional value to our viewers and advertisers, having cross-device OTT capabilities is a must. Brightcove Beacon enables us to efficiently provide a high-quality viewing experience on a variety of devices for our viewers, while also creating more opportunities for our advertising partners to reach their audience demographics.”

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