Brightcove’s free Play TV OTT service offers expansive streaming experience

Play TV

Brightcove this week launched Play TV, an OTT streaming service that’s focused on all things video, from how retailers and marketers can leverage it, to how enterprises can use it to communicate with employees and, obviously, how content providers can use it to reach viewers.

Brightcove launched the app Monday, after a virtual team from across the company put it together and submitted the Beacon-based app to the Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Stores for approval.

Play TV was ideated, populated with content and launched in about eight weeks, a remarkably short turnaround for any OTT service, especially a service that includes newly created content prepared by a team from across Brightcove working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s a great example of how nimble a media company should be, potentially spinning up and launching an OTT service in a relative blink.

But Play TV is more than that.

COVID-19 changes the video industry

The coronavirus crisis likely has changed the way we do business forever. Brightcove’s Play TV is not just a response to that change, but a leading-edge example of how an enterprise, retailer or media organization can pivot, producing not just a stand-in or replacement for

Play TV includes live and on-demand thought leadership videos, technical know-how, and peer-to-peer video practitioner exchanges that focus on how various companies across diverse industries are using video to help navigate a rapidly changing landscape.

Content can be accessed across an array of devices – via Roku and Apple TV, smartphones, computers and tablets – and new content is being added regularly.

Play TV came about after Brightcove decided that the annual industry conference it hosts in Boston each May, Play, would need to be rescheduled because of the pandemic, like other major industry conferences including Mobile World Congress, the NAB Show, and, most recently, the IBC show in Amsterdam.

As Brightcove CMO Sara Larsen wrote in a blog post: “As the pandemic reality settled in, we quickly realized video is vital, now more than ever. We were fielding calls from our customers and people from across the industry about how video could help companies and people connect in new ways.”

Larsen said it was obvious, at that point, that an iteration of Play was needed.

“We looked internally at what video capabilities we had to reach audiences at scale – and realized that Brightcove Beacon, our new SaaS-based OTT platform to reach people on apps, web, and smart TVs, was the answer,” she said.

High-value content that educates, entertains

The app includes a plethora of content of content available through a straight-forward and easy to navigate user interface.

The electronic programming guide includes featured content, like filmmaker Jimmy Chin talking about how critical empathy and passion is in filmmaking, or journalist Soledad O’Brien talking about how visual storytelling moves hearts and minds.

There’s also Java with Jeff, a regular series of conversations between CEO Jeff Ray and top industry executives. In one, he questions former FCC Chair Tom Wheeler about the impact next-gen 5G wireless technology could have on video delivery. In another, Diane Hessen, CEO of Salient Ventures, talks with Ray about how video has become a powerful force in the sales process.

“Video is everything, it’s the human connection,” Hessen says. “The jury is in…. video is more engaging.”

Other regular series include New and Next in Marketing, where CMO Sara Larsen talks with other execs about the rapidly changing world of marketing, especially the impact of the global pandemic; Futureproof, where Chief Product Officer Charles Chu discusses what we can expect to come from the industry down the road; and In the Spotlight, where Chief Revenue Officer Rick Hansen has candid conversations with video mavericks, technology partners, and industry trend setters.

There are also more pragmatic content, including programming on topics ranging from how to shoot videos at home, to how to identify and tell better stories, and importance of making sure videos are accessible to those with disabilities.

The bottom line

If you’ve ever wondered whether an OTT experience could be on par with a live event, wonder no more. Play TV offers an expansive streaming experience that delivers nearly everything you’d expect from the world’s leading video technology platform.

Play TV is available on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store; it also can be viewed on Apple TV, on Roku and on the web at

Stay tuned and stay well.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn