Brightcove is announcing a clever new cloud-based transcoding service this morning that allows users to begin playing back a video even before its entire file has been transcoded. Dubbed "Zencoder Instant Play" (for the transcoding company Brightcove recently acquired), the service gives content providers with time-sensitive video the key benefit of a faster publishing cycle. In areas like news and sports, this could mean establishing an early lead in viewership and monetization for breaking stories.
Jeff Whatcott, Brightcove's Chief Marketing Officer, explained to me yesterday that while Zencoder and others have been able to begin transcoding before the entire file is received for a while now, he believes this is the first time playback within seconds of the file's upload has been made possible. Instant Play works for adaptive bitrate HLS and RTMP streams. It is available in limited beta for now and Brigthtcove's Video Cloud Player does not yet support it.
Separately, Brightcove announced availability of Google's Widevine DRM technology for its Video Cloud OVP. This means that Brightcove customers can now choose the option to have their content wrapped in Widevine DRM for secure delivery to numerous connected devices. LG Electronics and Television New Zealand are two initial customers identified as using the capability. DRM is going to become increasingly important as content providers seek to leverage multiple business models for their online video.