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Brightcove Brings Better Flash Video Experience to Mobile

Brightcove simplifies mobile Flash for viewers and content producers with the announcement of Brightcove Mobile Experience for Adobe Flash Player 10.1. The company is demoing the solution at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, and will make it broadly available after Adobe launches Flash Player 10.1, expected in the middle of 2010.

Brightcove saw an opportunity to improve the features Adobe will offer with 10.1, says Jeff Whatcott, Brightcove's senior vice president of marketing. Adobe's platform offers limited opportunities for advertising and analytics. Brightcove's solution changes that, and also provides increased security, subtitles, social sharing options, and calls to action for the viewer.

"Flash Player 10.1 introduces a powerful suite of capabilities that improve the quality and consistency of video on mobile devices," says Whatcott. "We are excited to extend our online video platform with the Brightcove Mobile Experience, which makes it easy for our customers to publish high quality video across leading smartphones."

By going with Brightcove, content providers also avoid the need to create a specially-optimized site for mobile surfers. Brightcove's system will detect the device being used, whether a standard computer or a mobile device, and will deliver video in the correct format offering mobile-ready H.264 video from any standard source file.

With a variety of smartphones catching on with customers, and with video options becoming even more fractured, media companies that had previously decided to serve their own content are finding themselves increasingly torn by the demands of mobile viewers. Companies are having to ask if they want to be a software company or a media company, says Whatcott."We can come in and help people deal with that and protect them from it," Whatcott says.

The sophisticated Brightcove mobile player offers better user interface controls than Adobe does, with larger, more accessible controls. The player supports gestures and multi-touch commands.

Brightcove's mobile video will work with smartphones that will run Flash 10.1 when it's available, including Google Android, Symbian S60, Palm webOS, Windows Mobile, and RIM Blackberry devices. Missing from that list, of course, is the Apple iPhone, which famously doesn’t support Flash. Whatcott says that customers looking to serve the iPhone and the upcoming iPad could write extra code in JavaScript that directs those devices to an HTML5 plus H.264 video option. While customers would need to create that code now, Whatcott says that the company is looking at ways to make it easier in the future.

Since Brightcove isn't able to make the solution broadly available yet, it's offering it as an invitation-only beta release. The company is working with a small number of customers, including the New York Times, National Geographic, Sun Media, and the Weinstein companies, while it waits for the Adobe launch.

Perhaps the best thing about the release is that it won't cost current customers anything extra. When Adobe's runtime is generally available, Brightcove's mobile solution will simply be rolled out to customers.

"We look at it as one more way to distribute your video," says Whatcott.

Below is a demo video from Brightcove showing the Brightcove Mobile Experience:

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