Brightcove has never really been more than a half-hearted consumer video play, opting instead to function as a content distribution network for a large number of high profile media partners. Today Brightcove informed members of its Brightcove.TV site that it will no longer be accepting direct consumer uploads on December 17, 2007. That signals that the company is apparently giving up completely on any dreams of competing with YouTube (or smaller sites, such as Vimeo) as a direct personal video hub.
Instead, Brightcove.TV will become a hub for the distribution and promotion of its professional and network publishing partners. A quick search through the site suggests that perhaps Brightcove's direct consumer offerings never really gained much traction anyway. I was hard pressed to find any videos not from professional content producers or amateur video bloggers -- both of whom would likely be using either paid publisher accounts or the free, ad-supported network accounts (which will still be available).
Though Brightcove has received a lot of press, especially in the wake of its $59.5 million series C funding round closed last January, it has generally been as a CDN-type service for major content publishers, and not as a consumer facing service. While most Internet surfers have likely run into a Brightcove player or two on the web, it seems unlikely that many users interested in sharing video without embedding it on a blog or web site would choose Brightcove.TV over YouTube or other consumer oriented video sites with far larger audiences.
Today's announcements appears to indicate that Brightcove is finally giving up on the idea that it can compete with YouTube as a consumer video destination and is instead focusing completely on its content delivery and monetization offerings.