As more businesses of all sizes embrace online video, there is a growing demand for customizable video platforms.  And while Brightcove has lead the charge in providing branded video solutions, there are many businesses that are still not able to afford their services.  A new service, called 23Video, thinks companies are ready to create their own branded version of YouTube and leverage their clients to build their own community.  It’s from a company called 23.

Launching late last week, 23Video is essentially offering consumers the chance to create their own video site—the way that Pligg lets you create your own branded version of Digg, or Ning lets you create your own branded version of MySpace.  23Video is the same concept, only for video portals.  It’s a CMS to create your own YouTube.

The launch of 23Video seems to be focusing on the price point of their service—and the simplified service-level choices for clients.  They think the big guys like Brightcove are too expensive and too complex for most companies.

23 is also touting the speed with which new video sites can be created, and how simple the system is for users.  They’re marketing to individual companies and reseller agencies alike.

Let’s take a quick peek at the features they’re highlighting, which I’m pulling directly from their Press page:

  • Stunning HD video
  • Full analytics giving you feedback on plays, engagement time and playthrough percentage.
  • Templating and design modules to make designing easy.
  • Distribution of your videos via Facebook, Twitter, Google Video, podcasts and Youtube.
  • Videos playable anywhere on any device from mobile phones and iPads to Apple TV.
  • Global distribution making your videosite quickly accessible from around the globe.
  • Open Upload allowing users to easily upload videos to your videosite.
  • Controlling access to your videosite. For example, making the videosite accessible only to your intranet or for paying visitors.
  • Full API allowing easy integration with other systems such as SharePoint.

Because the pricing plans are part of the point of emphasis on this launch, let’s take a quick look at what 23Video costs:

  • It’s $675 per month to use the base service.  That buys you the use of the CMS to customize your video site, and includes 1 Terabyte of traffic per month, which works out to roughly 165,000 minutes of video.
  • Extra traffic beyond the 1 Terabyte limit is $250 per Terabyte.

Well, the good news is that the pricing structure is, indeed, simple and easy to understand.  However, I have to raise my hand from the back of the room and point out that $675+ per month is still painfully out of reach for an awful lot of people.  Now, it’s entirely possible that this is simply what this kind of thing is going to cost.  Because it’s not cheap to stream video, that much we know.

And, to be fair, most companies that would take advantage of this service would have trouble using up all of their 1TB of data transfer, at least at the start.  Still, $675 is more than most hosting companies charge for standard website hosting—at an annual rate.  Penny-pinching companies are going to balk at the price alone, no matter how attractive the service.  But if companies want to join the video portal game and create their own branded video site, a rude awakening on bandwidth cost is probably coming no matter what service they choose to use.

I took it for a spin and found the process to be surprisingly easy to set up–and lightning fast.  Of course, as with most CMS packages, the template and design options are a bit limiting, but I presume that they will be adding more customization options moving forward.

So… are you in the market for this kind of thing right now?  If so, does 23Video sound like it suits your needs?  If so—and even if you’re not sure—I would encourage you to head over to their website and sign up for a free trial.  And then come right back here to this post and let us know what you think.