Brightcove Optimizes Flash on Android

Brightcove adapts its app SDK and mobile templates to Flash Player 10.1 on Android, but it won’t be playing Web-standard favorites

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

June 22, 2010

3 Min Read
Brightcove Optimizes Flash on Android

Online video platform vendor Brightcove Inc. is adapting its technology for Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) Flash 10.1 on Android today, but it isn't making a case as strong for Flash as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has made against it. (See Jobs Offers 6 Reasons Adobe Sucks , Adobe Fires Back: We Don’t Need Apple, and Adobe Attacks Apple… With Love.)

Rather, Brightcove will continue to support any and all mobile video platforms in what's quickly become a fragmented industry. Jeff Whatcott, Brightcove's senior vice president of marketing, says Brightcove is building for the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) platform because that's what the rest of the industry is doing, but it's not going to be an exclusive relationship.

"We want to make sure our customers aren't collateral damage in the platform wars going on right now," Whatcott says. "There is a lot of fracturing and fragmentation going on in the mobile world today, and it's leaking into the desktop and mobile browsers. Most don't care about the ideological debate; they just want to embrace the widest possible audience."

That means supporting both Apple's standard of choice, HTML5, and the traditional market leader, Flash. Whatcott says developers have no choice in the matter if they want to reach the largest audience possible. (See The iPad: a Threat to Flash's Video Dominance? )

Brightcove already offers an iPhone software development kit (SDK), so it's targeting the Android camp with today's releases: an SDK based on Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and new mobile templates for Web video. Together, these elements let Website publishers address any video use case on Android, according to Whatcott, so long as the phone is running Android 2.2.

Brightcove is also promising one-touch social media integration of videos and the ability to access related and popular video content in the near future. Right now, the platform primarily includes playback, content discovery, and Brightcove's other media API services.

The announcements build on Brightcove's Mobile World Congress promise that it'd support all smartphones with its traditionally PC-focused video optimization platform. Whatcott says he expects most of his customers, which include AOL, The New York Times, and Sun Media, to create both a Web experience and a mobile app, as well as to support the range of video standards out today.

These advances are all part of Brightcove's mobile roadmap, where the company is aiming to abstract the complexity and costs out of online video -- even if that means making things more complex for itself.

"It's a little of a sad irony that we have to rebuild in these other platforms all these things we've built previously in Flash," Whatcott says.

While one standard may eventually dominate on mobile, it won't happen for the next three to five years, Whatcott believes. Instead, he thinks the industry will continue to get more complex as Brightcove helps developers build for platforms in parallel.

"A lot of people like to stand up and make big predictions about how one technology will fade away and something will completely replace it. It almost never happens that way. I think that's true here too. The rhetoric has gotten out of control."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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