Bright Canopy: relaunching Wednesday, Sept 23rd

Bright CanopyAfter experiencing a stormy official launch period at the end of August 2015, which resulted in the service having to be suspended, Bright Canopy have indicated that their streaming service for Second Life and OpenSim users will be re-opening to users on Wednesday, September 23rd.

The official announcement is due to be made at 23:59 GMT (15:59 SLT) on Tuesday, September 22nd via the Bright Canopy website. However, the text of the announcement has been released ahead of this to a number of bloggers including myself, with permission for us to help circulate the news in advance.

The announcement reads in full:

Launch Reboot

Bright Canopy is back!

Bright Canopy has been down now for almost one month. We have done our best to be transparent and communicative during the downtime. Please be sure to read the community meeting transcript for all of the details.

We have been working with Frame on a new pricing plan that will allow us to offer the service immediately. We will continue working on options that will improve our costs on the back-end and allow more  flexibility in the future.

For now, this is what we have:

  • $17 per month includes 20 hours of service.
  • Additional time $0.02 per minute
  • 30 minute minimum for sessions
  • If you use 10 hours or more of additional minutes, that will be charged immediately, otherwise additional minutes are charged at the beginning of the next month.

So if you sign up for Bright Canopy, you will be charged $17. You will receive 20 hours of server time. Once you have used that time, if you continue to use the service, you will build-up overage time at $0.02 per minute with a minimum purchase of 30 minutes ($0.60). If you use less than 10 more hours, your card will be charged for those additional minutes (plus the $17 for the new month’s subscription) at the beginning of the next month. If you use 10 or more hours of additional minutes before the end of the month, those minutes will be charged immediately.

  • So if you use 5 additional hours during the month, you would spend $6 more . This would mean your credit card would be charged $21 at the beginning of the next month.
  • If you use 10 additional hours, you would be charged $12 now and $17 for your monthly subscription at the beginning of the next month.

It is our sincere hope that our community will find value in what we offer and are able to use the service to enhance their time in their virtual worlds. We look forward to being of service to you.

It is important to note that this is an entirely new payment model which supersedes all previous models, and requires users to sign-up to it anew in order to be able to use the service.

The Bright Canopy service allows the viewer and all Second Life content to be streamed directly to a user’s browser. In order to do this, the service relies on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud for the actual service hosting and delivery, and Frame, a company with considerable experience in provisioning optimised Windows applications to users via the cloud, to facilitate that delivery.

As I explained in a recent blog post, unexpected and sustained fluctuations in the Amazon Spot Instance pricing mechanism during August adversely affected Bright Canopy’s ability to offer the service in a financially sustainable manner, forcing the company to suspend the service.

The hope is that will this new pricing plan, the company will be able to re-launch the service in a way that will meet the immediate needs of users whilst also, as the official announcement notes, allowing the company to work with Frame to possibly improve pricing for users in the future.

7 thoughts on “Bright Canopy: relaunching Wednesday, Sept 23rd

  1. The pricing model is something I can live with, as I would use the service only as a secondary entry point. However there is something I don’t like and find totally exagerated: 30 minute minimum for sessions. This seems totally unnecessary for paying server time and might put people off. I have a bit the feeling thay BC is falling from one extreme (“free trial for everyone”) into the next (“lets take no risk whatsoever”). Both extremes are not necessarily a good foundation for a successfull business. But I’ll give them that: They have had a huge media coverage so far…


    1. Thanks for the feedback, Estelle. We do want to find that combination of affordability and sustainability, and we hope to see more options in the future. The 30 minute minimum is based on what we were able to measure in actual server utilization during the launch weighed against the time it takes to swap out users for an instance. Amazon bills in full hour increments on the backend. If we use one minute, we are charged for one hour, so we have settled on half of that as a minimum for our own service and expect it to work it out on average. In the future we may have more options in providers, instance costs and backend billing increments to work with.


      1. Oh, I did not know that Amazon his having such payment schemes and it’s a pity that the market does only provide such unfavorable offers at the moment. I keep fingers crossed that the market will offer better backend billing. And in the mean time, I will try to only sign in for sufficiantly long sessions to Bright Canopy…


  2. “So if you use 5 additional hours during the month, you would spend $6 more . This would mean your credit card would be charged $21 at the beginning of the next month.”

    I am so sorry, it is almost a compulsion to proofread text, but $17 + $6 = $23

    However, I do think this is a great article, thank you M Pey for explaining the pricing system so clearly:)


    1. Good catch! I was quoting the original release, but should have noted that myself and sought to clarify!


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