Two announcements from Brightcove today got me a thinking about the future. The first hooks TV up to a second screen for simultaneous, additional content display and the second allows you to publish content to that second screen. The bigger picture, no pun intended, is that their product gets content publishers and marketers thinking about full-on, simultaneous, dual-screen strategies, because that's probably the future – stream video to one platform and stream relevant, additional rich media to another for the same viewer.
Double Your Screens, Double Your Fun, Two Screen are Better Than One
Brightcove revealed their new App Cloud Dual-Screen Solution for Apple TV. So while your audience might be viewing specific content on their HDTV they can also view synchronized data on the iPad or iPhone via AirPlay. The only thing I don't really like is that it's tied up in Apple products only but I'm sure there will be far more of these types of offerings in the near future.
Apple's AirPlay obviously allows for this type of interaction between Apple products like the Apple TV and the mobile products. The App Cloud Dual-Screen will allow Brightcove customers to offer, "a variety of enhanced viewing experiences, including the ability to stream programs to an HDTV while enjoying
relevant content on the app such as actor bios, past-season recaps, trivia, photos, and more."
My Thoughts on Dual-Screen
So it's definitely a rich media, dual-screen strategy. But it's restricted only to Apple products. However, seeing this, I bet we start to see some other inroads in this area with other set-top boxes. I can definitely see it working on the Xbox 360 as they just recently announced Smart Glass which will allow tablets to hook into and control the console, so why couldn't they show added information when you're streaming media from Hulu to the console, etc? I can also see a Google TV and Android dual-screen strategy emerging rapidly now that they see this one.
Brightcove App Cloud Updated to 2.0, Offers Core and Pro Editions
Need a quick, easier way to get your content out to the HTML5 compatible devices? That's what the Brightcove App Cloud is all about and now, it's got a new model and new features with the latest update.
App Cloud Pro, the $99 a month version of App Cloud, offers targeted push notifications, real-time analytics, unlimited content sources, image transcoding and caching, dynamic app recofiguration, visual app design and native ad network integration. The Enterprise level offers, well, more of everything for those of you with massive traffic.
My Thoughts on App Cloud 2.0
The thing about it is that even to use the templates now, you've got to pay them. So it throws up a massive hurdle to those who are less tech savvy but want to get an app on the tablets.
Google Producer on the other hand, offers some quick and dirty app creation that will work and can be tested right in the web browser and doesn't offer limitations on things like sources and traffic, yet. In fact, I've even got a portable edition of Gamers Daily News I made with Producer, which is available in Google Currents.
I'm not knocking Brightcove for wanting to make money, I'm just saying there are other alternatives and while they might not be as robust (though you can include Google Analytics tracking), they get the job done. My quick and dirty GDN portable is available now and, while it loses some formatting from time to time, it does open up the content to a new audience. Now, if I could just figure out how to get ads into my apps I'd be extremely pleased. Admittedly, I haven't fooled around with Brightcove's App Cloud that much yet, but I'm going to start doing that straightaway. Great, just what I need, more SDKs to play with and suck up my free time!