Brightcove Illuminates its Ad Strategy

Internet TV player Brightcove has hired two new advertising executives and struck a high-profile partnership that will help develop its advertising and media strategy.

Former MediaVest Worldwide senior VP Adam Gerber is joining Brightcove to help it develop new ad capabilities and work on standardization in the broadband video ad arena. Dina Roman, who formerly oversaw Discovery Communications’ interactive ad sales efforts, is taking over as VP of national advertising sales.

“The management team has a mix of executives with backgrounds in Internet platforms, digital cable and satellite distribution, broadband distribution, online portals and media, as well as technology focused on this problem area. Now we’re adding some executives from the broadband advertising arena,” said Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove’s founder and CEO.

“The advertising industry is changing rapidly, and the emergence of Internet TV promises to give agencies and marketers major new opportunities to distribute brand messages and marketing content that engage consumers in ways that are impossible in traditional TV,” Allaire said. “The advertising executives joining the company understand the significance of this transformation, and we are incredibly excited they will be working with us to help lead the development of Internet TV as an effective advertising and marketing platform.”

The new hires come as Brightcove takes the wraps off a relationship with Publicis Groupe Media Ventures, which has been helping it develop a business model that would fill the needs of advertisers. The partnership, which began in May, gives Brightcove access to Publicis Groupe media agencies and clients for strategic advice on things like ad formats, metrics, desired features and policies. Timothy Hanlon, senior VP and director of emerging contacts at Publicis Groupe Media Ventures, will represent the company on the Brightcove advisory board.

“In the last six months, we’ve gotten a variety of strategic input into the company. We’ve been working closely with programmers who are preparing to launch these ad-supported broadband channels to understand their requirements, and we’ve been working closely with Publicis to understand what kinds of formats, metrics and policies are going to be meaningful to TV advertisers coming into this medium,” said Allaire.

The company has developed a platform to allow commercial video publishers of all sizes to distribute their video content over the Internet using Flash. Smaller publishers can use a self-service interface, while larger ones will have access to more advanced tools used by traditional broadcasters. Publishers upload their video, categorize it with metadata tags, choose a design template, create graphic overlays with their brand or an affiliate’s brand, and publish the Flash file.

Publishers will be able to monetize their content either by selling and serving their own ads, by running ads from Brightcove’s ad network, or by selling their content for purchase or subscription. The Brightcove platform allows publishers to create customized video players to distribute on their own site, or on affiliate sites. Brightcove offers the production and syndication tools, and handles the billing and collection for the publisher.

“We’re really trying to find a model that operates across the whole tail,” Allaire said, in reference to the “Long Tail” idea that lower distribution costs of the Internet make it economically viable for smaller producers to be successful, or for someone to offer a product catering to a small niche.

Content owners can specify the ad behavior and policies. They can define policies for where ads appear, how frequently they are shown, and limit the maximum number of ads per session. Publishers can also choose to target ads by daypart, by geography, and contextually based on the metadata they supplied.

Brightcove was founded by an all-star team of technology executives, including former Macromedia CTO Allaire, along with execs from Allaire Corp., News Corp.’s BSkyB, Comcast, Lycos, and Art Technology Group (ATG).

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