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Video/Media

Brightcove CEO braces for the next big shift in streaming

Marc DeBevoise has had a front seat during the video market's streaming revolution.

He was a top exec at CBS when the broadcaster surprised the media world in 2014 with the launch of CBS All Access, a service that has since evolved to become Paramount+ following the merger with Viacom and the eventual formation of what's known as Paramount Global today.

"In 2013, we started to pitch internally that we needed to go over-the-top and disrupt ourselves," he recalls.

He's also been front and center to witness the shift to streaming on mobile devices, the surge of direct-to-consumer streaming services and, more recently, the rise in streaming deals for live sporting events.

DeBevoise joins the Light Reading Podcast about five months after becoming CEO of Brightcove to discuss his vision for the streaming tech specialist and to dig into some key trends that are impacting the broader industry.

In addition to setting a goal to become the "most trusted streaming technology company in the world," DeBevoise is focused on accelerating growth at Brightcove and creating more scale for a business that's evenly split in serving customers in the enterprise and media/entertainment sectors.

"We are a few $100 million [in revenues]," said DeBevoise, the former chief digital officer of ViacomCBS and CEO and president of CBS Interactive. "We want to be not just tens more, but hopefully hundreds more over time."

DeBevoise, an exec also late of Starz and NBCUniversal, believes there's scale to pursue amid a "shift" in the market whereby some of largest media companies around the world are looking to save money on streaming technology and the resources required to support it by hooking up with specialized streaming companies such as Brightcove.

"I do think that's an opportunity for us in streaming technology, generally, as we think about looking up-market in the media side of the business. I think the time has come," DeBevoise said.

DeBevoise also weighed in on several big picture streaming trends, including the rise in sports rights deals and whether the underlying streaming infrastructure is prepared to handle major live events such as Amazon's big deal to live-stream Thursday night NFL games starting the night of September 15.

"I think the technology is there to support it," he said. "I think this week, you'll see the audience come in light versus what the TV audience was, just because it's harder to find and there is a section of the population that just doesn't yet embrace this part of the ecosystem, but it'll get there. I have full faith."

You can download a lightly edited transcript of the podcast here. If you want to skip around and listen, here are a few topics discussed during this podcast:

  • A rundown of DeBevoise's priorities at Brightcove and his vision for the streaming specialist (00:22)
  • How DeBevoise intends to scale Brightcove's business (5:00)
  • How DeBevoise has identified a shift in the marketplace in which large media companies around the world are seeking to save money on streaming tech, opening a possible door for Brightcove to step in (7:00)
  • What's surprised DeBevoise about the way the streaming market has evolved (17:45)
  • Whether today's streaming infrastructure is up to the task of taking on massive, live sporting events amid Amazon's exclusive to stream Thursday night NFL games (24:00)
  • Looking beyond video, an exploration of other apps and services starting to cut into the streaming pie (29:00)
  • Thoughts on why the volume levels for 4K streaming remain relatively small (30:30)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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