Brightcove, a large provider of white label video hosting, recently announced the discontinuation of their free video hosting service. They’ll be deleting all videos/accounts that haven’t upgraded to paid hosting, before December 17th. A large number of videos will simply disappear from the web.
This move may make business sense, especially during an economic downturn, but unfortunately it’s leaving a lot folks out in the cold. For example, one angry user says,
I’m so upset with brightcove I have a daily podcast uploaded everyday and I have over 100, Its gona suck to migrate. On another note I called brightcove and they told me if I wanted to upgrade to their basic service it would be 6,000 USD. I was like no thank you.
This may well be just the first domino in a row of trimmings (or closings) of venture funded web video start-ups.
The more important side effect of a wider-scale slimming down, in the video hosting sector, is consolidation in an already thin marketplace. This may be common sense, but diversity is absolutely critical to the internet, as we know it. To put it another way, having internet video dominated by just a few massive players is not so very different from the good old days of cable and broadcast TV.