Now I know why Jeremy Allaire has been so quiet for so long....he's been busy creating a new company, officially launched today - Brightcove.

"The theme of the "democratization of media" is one that goes all the way back to my origin interests in the Internet, and to some of the important ideas that framed and drove ColdFusion, and Allaire's other software franchises.  We're onto the next phase of experiences on the Internet, and the much richer and expressive medium of video.

...we hope to help producers and publishers of video take us into the emerging era of Internet Television."

In a flash movie introducing the new company, it describes a vision where "we'll see as many video channels as websites".  The company looks to be taking advantage of the covergence of a number of technology trends, driving the 'democratization of video production and distribution':

  • mass adoption of broadband internet connectivity
  • adoption of home networks, with attached PCs and PVRs
  • the development of rich media formats enabling high quality video content distribution
  • the growth of portable and mobile devices capable of viewing, storing and receiving internet-delivered content
  • dropping costs in the production of video, enabling far more producers of content

I agree that the web seems to be taking on a new lease of life.

To the list of trends, I'd add:

  • the writeable-web: the growth of blogging participation is set to continue exponentially...and bloggers are driving the next-gen casting-web
  • the casting-web: increased ease of creating and publishing 'consumer'-created content, beyond text and pictures (read: videoblogging. podcasting, screencasting)
  • the discoverable-web: availability of increasingly powerful tools and services enabling the discovery of super-niche content: The Long Tail

Here are couple of insights into the thinking behind Jeremy's new company, the first a snippet is from an article he wrote at paidContent.org in September of 1994 2005 (thanks Sid!):

"...I've tried to explore bigger issues around how video will evolve as a content type on the Internet. Most companies are narrowly focused on what will happen with Big Media in its transformation to digital distribution (yes, this is very important and a huge opportunity), but a more interesting question is what kinds of new video content businesses will emerge or rather thrive in the Internet distribution age, that perhaps could not in traditional retail video distribution (e.g. cable and satellite). Again, a lot of the "old models" for thinking about this -- e.g. aggregation; bundled subscriptions; carriage -- seem inappropriate in the Internet world, which is deeply decentralized, and built from the bottom up on hundreds of thousands of communities of interest, reflected in content and online services. There's a lot to learn from search engines, xml feeds, weblogs, etc. that can apply to how video will be distributed and monetized online."

And a week later...:

"...storage is getting dramatically cheaper, and the right approach and architecture will be one that blends local caches of download media for high-performance, good quality playback with near-real-time delivery over the Internet. Likewise, the portability of video using rights management frameworks combined with enormous storage capacity in mobile devices creates an opportunity for additional convenience for consumers."

Today, here is quote at paidContent.org that gives away a little more:

"The online service will operate with a consumer-facing service that provides access to programming and content published in the service, and will also provide a very rich service to publishers and rights-holders interested in a direct-to-consumer distribution path for video products. The service will also provide tools to website operators generally, who are interested in economically participating in the online video revolution."

I think he's onto something.

There is a Brightcove blog up and running, (RSS here).