British broadcaster Five is using the Brightcove online video platform to enable viewers to embed episodes of their favourite television shows on their own web sites, blogs and social network pages. It is the first roll-out by a British broadcaster of full-episode online syndication of popular programming for viewing on third-party web sites. So far, it seems that Five is only syndicating to its own online properties, but later this year users will be able to embed players on their own pages.
“Five’s syndicated player initiative significantly extends the reach of our online video programming in a way that is secure, high-quality, and generates additional advertising revenue,” said Paul Thornton-Jones from Five. “With Brightcove, Five has been able to launch the ambitious catch-up online video offering in a very short amount of time, despite the complex distribution and monetization requirements.”
The fifth national network has been largely left out of discussions between the other public service broadcasters. The channel has recently joined in discussions over about the proposed project Canvas joint venture between the BBC and ITV, but for the moment appears to be going it alone with what might appear to be a more pragmatic and probably more cost-effective approach.
Five is using the full capabilities of the Brightcove platform, which is based on Adobe Flash, including customised player design and features, as well as integration with advertising, content management and geo-location functions.
“Five continues to break new ground with innovative online video strategies,” said Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove chairman and chief executive officer. “We are very happy Five has chosen to build its syndicated player and audience network on the Brightcove platform, which represents an important industry first in the UK market.”
The founder of Brightcove, who previously served as chief technology officer at Macromedia, prior to its acquisition by Adobe, was recently speaking at the Delivering Digital Britain conference in London. He advocated the syndication model as a way for broadcasters to maximise their online distribution while retaining control over advertising.
Brightcove also seems to have been having some success in signing up newspaper and magazine publishers, which do not have core competencies in video but want to make more use of the medium. For instance, the London Times, Telegraph and Guardian all make use of the Brightcove platform.