Before Brightcove, Ooyala, or KIT Digital, there was thePlatform: The online video platform was founded in 2000, long before online video was a thing. Since then, thePlatform has been mainly focused on the upper end of the market, helping cable companies, television networks, and other large media players to get their content online and on a number of connected devices.
To do that, thePlatform has built out its mpx platform, which is basically a content management system for video distribution. It provides more or less everything a client might need, including video ingest, transcoding, storage, authentication, and monetization capabilities. The idea is that publishers can upload their video assets once and have them sent all over the place, based on the platforms, devices, and apps that a content owner might own, or syndication partners that they might have. Now thePlatform is looking to make many features of that platform available to those on smaller budgets, and hopefully to steal some share from competitors Brightcove and Ooyala.
Starting at $499 a month, thePlatform’s mpx Essentials offering gives enterprise customers all they need to get up and running and serving video without uploading those videos online. It’s actually rolling out two new products for mid-market customers: The $499 plan includes 500 videos and 500 GB of storage, 4,200 GB of streaming bandwidth per year, and features that include auto-transcoding, video clipping and scheduling, geo-restriction, delivery via Akamai, social sharing and YouTube integration.
Those who need a more robust product can pay $1,500 a month for 2,000 videos (2,000 GB) of storage, 18,000 GB of data transferred per years, and all the same features as the starter package. They also receive custom media panels, a player development kit, ad policy support, and more advanced access restrictions, among other features.
So this is a bit of a departure for thePlatform. It’s been an independent subsidiary of Comcast since 2006, but most of its clients read like an A-List of the digital media elite: It counts its own parent company, as well as Time Warner Cable, Cox, Cablevision, Liberty Global, Rogers, NBC Local Media, A&E Networks, PBS, Travel Channel, and E!, as customers.
But at the same time, it’s not clear exactly how big the middle market is, in terms of revenue. Brightcove, for instance, had more than 4,200 customers at the end of the first quarter, but less than $20 million in sales during those three months. And Brightcove’s “Express” product — aimed at the small- and medium-sized business market — starts at just $99 a month.
In the grand scheme of things, and in the short term, it’s not a huge market. But thePlatform sees a huge opportunity as online video becomes even more ubiquitous than it already is. And it’s betting that there are a ton of big brands, media agencies, and the like who want to control distribution of their videos beyond just uploading them to YouTube.