It's Always Sunny on Philly.com

Philly.com -- the flagship Web property for The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News -- has tapped Web video company Brightcove to both publish and distribute its video.

The move is expected to help Philly.com expand distribution of its video content, while also introducing new monetization opportunities for advertisers through Brightcove's integration with third-party ad networks.

But, while the site needed a new platform, it has held its own in the video arena for some time, according to Jennifer Musser Metz, manager of projects at Philly.com.

"Video has been a major element of Philly.com for several years now, and we've continued to grow our in-house production staff to support the growing audience for our content," said Musser Metz.

Despite the industry's many ills, online video production among newspapers only appears to be growing. A recent analysis of 187 U.S. newspaper Web sites by Brightcove showed a surge in their video-related activity last year.

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The number of videos uploaded by each newspaper to the Brightcove platform, for example, grew from an average of 186 per month to 638 in 2008. The overall total of uploads increased 1,500%.

On the consumer side, video streams are growing 35% per quarter, nearly tripling to 42.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the year-earlier period. Total video player "loads," or page views containing video, increased 700% -- suggesting that newspaper sites are putting video on more pages.

Philly.com produces news, lifestyle and leisure video programming, including ongoing original video series like Philly Dish, Philadelphia Business Today, Philly Gossip, and Down the Shore, which are hosted by staff reporters or local video talent.

The Brightcove platform is also expected to help Philly.com increase viewer engagement with their video content through features such as displaying the most viewed videos.

Last year, a slew of top Web publishers turned their corporate video content management duties over to Brightcove, including Condé Nast, AOL, and The New York Times.

Overall, The Boston-based Brightcove is now the online video platform of choice for more than 93 magazines across more than 21 publishing families.

It reports working with more than 30 major newspaper groups in the U.S., Europe and Asia including Cox Newspapers, Freedom Communications, Hearst Communications and Media News Group.

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