UPDATED

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If there’s a trend to watch for next year, it may be the breakout of video and audio services on the Web. There’s a ton of activity in the space as everyone tries to position themselves. Consider Google, GoFish, Open Media Network and a host of others.

Now the word on the street today is that Barry Diller’s IAC – owner of Ask Jeeves, CitySearch, Evite, etc., etc. – is investing in Brightcove. That’s the company founded by Jeremy Allaire, the brains behind ColdFusion and who helped develop Flash for Macromedia.

The venture-backed Brightcove wants to play in the “Internet television distribution” space. In other words, its aim is to help people produce, distribute and market video.

From the NY Times last month:

”We are trying to create a new kind of online media distribution business that has the scale of Google, an Amazon or an eBay,” Mr. Allaire, 34, said. Some big companies, including Viacom and A&E Networks, are already experimenting with Brightcove’s service.

The announcement is due tomorrow morning.

UPDATE:
Turns out AOL and Hearst are also investing, we’re told, to the tune of $16 million. It’s also worth noting that San Mateo-based Akimbo is a Brightcove competitor, so there’s your valley connection.

UPDATE2: Paid Content has more.

UPDATE3: Om Malik offers some skepticism: “I did a profile of the company back when it launched, but since then have not heard any new specifics from them. I would have loved to get those answers, and perhaps get a better sense of the progress made over past eight months, instead of rosy picture of the future.”