About.com has teamed with Brightcove Inc. to expand its Web site’s broadband video content and improve the viewing experience by launching a new streaming video player.
The debut of the device is part of a multi-year deal made in February between the New York Times Co. and Brightcove, Cambridge, MA.
“Launching the player was the first step in a larger plan,” said Andrew Pancer, About.com’s chief operating officer, New York.
A future launch of a larger About.com video library was expected later this year, Mr. Pancer said. The company plans to expand its current video library to provide more instruction, demonstration and advice via video.
About.com offers 1.2 million pieces of original content, including video series such as About Gadgets, About Home and About Health, which feature expert hosts providing practical advice. The free broadband programming offers marketers a contextual advertising opportunity for television spots and branded product placements within related video content online.
Meanwhile, Brightcove announced a partnership with Limelight Networks, an Internet content delivery network for digital media. This partnership lets Brightcove use Limelight’s broadband content delivery network to offer video in a variety of formats to a wide range of Internet-connected devices.
“It is too early to comment on the effect that this will have on our partnership with Brightcove,” Mr. Pancer said about the strategic partnership.
About.com is the first New York Times Co. business to take advantage of the Brightcove service. The deal with Brightcove will allow the distribution of broadband video content across all of the Times Company’s online properties, as well as the syndication of content to other sites.
Brightcove was launched in Dec. 2004, when founder Jeremy Allaire predicted the increased need to have video on the Internet. The company anticipated a situation where the number of people who could produce video programming was poised to explode, with inexpensive digital cameras and editing tools. However, the existing distribution systems could not support it.
Since that time, Brightcove has become a leader in Internet TV. Partnering with AOL/Time Warner last year, its services allow publishers to syndicate their video content directly to AOL.com and generate revenue from the advertising and paid media sales.
Earlier this month, Brightcove partnered with TiVo Inc. to offer a method for almost any publisher of broadband video using Brightcove’s services to distribute content to TiVo subscribers.