The Shocking Cost of Free

get_out_of_jail_free.jpgI’ve been using BrightCove for some months to host video for a number of projects. About a month ago BrightCove emailed its non-paying customers informing them that no longer would it host videos for free but that that minimal cost would be $6,000 per year. This fee is much lower than the money that Discovery and other companies pay to host their videos. This is not a lot of money compared to other services that businesses need, but it’s big enough to give a bit of “pause” and re-check ones budget.
There are many free services based on the ease of which the Internet lets just about any vendor sell any service through the Internet – with relatively minimal over head. The challenge for the user of the free service is wondering why is it free and how long will it be free. If there is a two tiered service of paid (and you get support or more storage) and free (minimal support and storage) that’s acceptable. But if at one point the free service, in which you have invested time and money to use and base your business on, goes away or becomes fee based, you could have a tough choice to make. Do you start paying for the service? Do you move to a new service that’s free? Do you stop offering the service altogether?
Depending on what the service is – not offering the service anymore might not be an option. If you don’t have the money, you’ll have to find an alternative and cheaper solution than paying for it in any case.
In the case of BrightCove, they warned their customers that the free service was going fee based so customers have had time to consider budgets and alternate solutions.
One solution, I’ll use for now is to upload my videos to
To Brightcove’s credit, it created a tool to make it as easy to upload videos as it is to download videos.