AOL is abandoning its investment in developing its own online video player and will adopt the Brightcove platform for its video properties. AOL Time Warner became a minority shareholder in the Brightcove startup back in 2005. AOL subsequently sold off most of its internet access businesses in Europe but remains a top ten online video destination. Now a majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner, AOL describes itself as a global web services company.

From early next year, AOL and its partners will use Brightcove to deliver video to visitors to their sites.

“Implementing Brightcove as the video platform across the AOL Network will help us deliver a richer experience for users and more powerful publishing tools to the editors and programmers who are engaging millions of people every day,” said Kevin Conroy of AOL. “Working with Brightcove will accelerate AOL’s ability to bring new consumer product features and advertising capabilities to market.”

AOL Video is the first major portal to take advantage of Brightcove 3, a new version of their service which includes features to address the needs of aggregators, portals, carriers and operators. These include new workflow features, more customisable players and application interfaces.

“AOL’s adoption of Brightcove signals a shift in the market where even the largest online video publishers are using online video platforms to help drive quality, while also reducing costs,” said Jeremy Allaire, the chairman and chief executive officer of Brightcove. “This partnership allows AOL to shift attention away from platform software development and focus instead on core competencies such as aggregating content, creating compelling user experiences, and selling advertising.”

Last month Brightcove announced a deal to provide an online video platform for the commercial broadcaster Five in the United Kingdom.