Brightcove, the online video hosting company, is widely expected to go public sometime in the next couple of years, if someone doesn’t buy it first.Ahead of that, it’s launching an entire new business today, looking for growth and diversification in the hot mobile app industry.
Brightcove’s new “App Cloud” business is basically an app-building platform for companies that want mobile, tablet, and mobile web apps, but don’t necessarily want to hire and manage an expensive developer team.
After you design the original template and hook in appropriate content feeds, Brightcove will be able to export apps for Apple’s iOS, Google Android, and the mobile web (HTML5). Eventually, they’ll add more platforms, as they become popular. And they’ll be offering a free “developer” version, so anyone can tinker with it, figure out how to integrate it into their systems, etc.
This is, so far, a platform mostly for simple content apps, with good support for text, images, and video. This is not for building games or anything too complicated.
Brightcove hasn’t finalised pricing, but it seems they could do well here. Apps will cost somewhere in the low-5-figure range per year, although Brightcove promises a limited, lower-cost version of the service to launch later.
After spending some time with the apps last week, they seem technically sound, and not cheap and crappy, like apps we’ve seen that are generated by other “app factory” services.
So, will it work?
The company already has good sales contacts and a solid reputation among media companies, who seem the most likely customers for this sort of service. It’s an easy way to cross-sell services, because there’s a good chance many of the apps will need video hosting, and many of Brightcove’s video hosting customers need a cheap way to get mobile apps made.
So this could potentially become a good second business for Brightcove.
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