Update 9/22: Rumors of a merger are apparently only that. Read more.
Is Google trying to buy Brightcove? Mark Glaser of PBS MediaShift tweeted a rumor to that effect this afternoon, saying a source with knowledge of the negotiations pegged the acquisition at between $500 and $700 million.
Such a transaction might make sense for Google on a number of levels. For one, it could help it convince big media companies to trust it with their premium content. Brightcove’s media customers already include many majors, including Fox Entertainment, AOL, The New York Times, and Discovery Communications.
More significantly, it could diversify Google’s video offerings to brands beyond the hosting and video ad vehicles already available through YouTube and AdSense. Companies work with Brightcove not only to manage their video content but also to develop and source creative ideas, and integrate content with their Web sites. GM, Obama’s ’08 campaign, Ticketmaster, Intuit, and HarperCollins have all done so.