Brightcove is to discontinue its free advertiser supported video hosting service as it concentrates on premium accounts. Brightcove has given customers of its basic service a matter of weeks to upgrade to a paid plan before their accounts are shut down. In a shrewd move, a competitor called Fliqz is offering customers a migration route, aiming at occupying the space that Brightcove is vacating.

Adam Berrey, who is responsible for marketing and strategy at Brightcove, wrote to customers of the free version of the video service offering them a trial of its latest version, adding that if they did not upgrade to the paid service by 17 December their accounts would be shut down. They have been advised to contact Brightcove for a quote for the new service, which will be “very affordably priced at several hundred dollars a month”.

“We have tremendous respect for the content and sites that Network publishers have produced, so the decision to discontinue the Brightcove Network was a difficult one,” he said. “Ultimately, we made the decision to focus all of our resources on the Brightcove platform business, which has proven to be very successful, with hundreds of active, paying customers worldwide.”

The site will also be closed. Users of paid for services, which include major media customers, will be unaffected.

Fliqz, which also offers an online video platform, has stepped in to offer former Brightcove customers an alternative plan with unlimited uploads and streams for $50 a month for the first year. The offer includes telephone support to assist with the transition, a free customised player and traffic analytics.

“We hope this will provide a lifeline in this challenging time,” Benjamin Wayne, the chief executive of Fliqz told informitv. “We believe this is a product offering that meets the complete needs of this mid market at a price point that they can reasonably afford.”

Fliqz aims to provide an affordable plug and play online video service for web sites of all sizes. Its customers also include larger enterprises, but the company says it aims to be a friend of the small business, which may typically deliver 100,000 streams a month or less. It offers a simple tiered pricing model, allowing users to step up as demand grows.

The Fliqz chief executive also told informitv that the company was planning to release an open source software development kit to assist web developers wishing to add video to their sites. It will be offered as an open standard, which informitv looks forward to having an opportunity to review.