Brightcove has announced that they have formalized a content agreement with EMI Music to be the premier provider of online video distribution services for the entire corporation. That adds EMI to the list of major labels already partnering with Brightcove, including Sony, Universal, and Warner.Today
The deal means that EMI will be using Brightcove exclusively for its video initiatives on all of its website properties. Because Brightcove is an enterprise-level service, the move gives EMI a lot of customization and flexibility in creating viewing environments that will cater to its many varied audience types. In addition, they'll be making use of Brightcove's robust analytics package and the killer customization options as well.
It's curious to me that a deal like this breaks not too long after the whole Vevo thing. Remember Vevo? The joint-venture between YouTube and the major music labels that was essentially a music blog embedding YouTube videos? I was skeptical at the time that a "YouTube for just music videos" was a viable business plan in the first place. EMI must agree. It's not that they'll be pulling their content off Vevo. But whenever they embed a video on any EMI site from now on, it's going to be a Brightcove video… not a YouTube one, not a Vevo player… just Brightcove. I thought all the labels were behind Vevo? Why start something, launch it, and then cut it off at the knees a few months later? Makes no sense.
That makes this partnership a pretty big score for Brightcove. And one in a series of scores lately—similar exclusive deals have recently been signed with Virgin Media, the Financial Times, and the other major music labels we mentioned above.
The partnership details will take a little while to fully take effect—for instance this CapitolRecords.com page still links out to YouTube for all the artist video links—but I'm sure they'll get up to speed rather quickly. And with the ability to customize so thoroughly, the label can begin to tailor the video-watching experience to the fans based on the type of music each sub-label caters to.
It's clear that the angle here for Brightcove in the "video portal" marketplace is the enterprise stuff: customization, in-depth analytics, options and features. YouTube may well be the overall king of video for quite some time to come, but there's plenty of room for capable companies like Brightcove to carve out a niche. Viewers may be more familiar with the YouTube brand in terms of video player or overall user experience, but as a developer… the power of Brightcove has got to be alluring.