JW Player November 2018 Product Release

Monthly update on the latest product improvements and offerings. 

 

Closing out 2018 we’re thrilled to announce four new product releases for this month that enable our clients to:

  • Get better ROI from their investment in video content
  • Diversify their revenue portfolio and improve a site’s advertising experience
  • Enrich their insight into an audience’s video consumption
  • Seamlessly publish videos to Facebook and YouTube

 

The products below continue to showcase how video intelligence can power growth and loyalty for any digital-first media company. Quick note, this month’s release represents our final release of the year.

 

Article Matching
Get more ROI from your investment in video content: The pioneering Article Matching (Beta) from JW Player selects the most contextually relevant video from a publisher’s library and embeds it into the article automatically. We have a limited number of invites available for this beta program; if interested, please sign up for the invite list here.

 

Outstream Player

Diversify your monetization and improve your site’s advertising experience: With the release of our new Outstream Player (Beta) that only renders when in-view and ad inventory is sold as well as being closable by users at all times. We have a limited number of invites available for this beta program; if interested, please sign up for the invite list here.

 

Audience Interests
Enrich your insight into your audiences’ video consumption: Data Lab: Audience Interests reveals the video content categories your audience is watching on and off your site. Using these insights can help you to gain a deeper understanding of how your audiences’ video consumption aligns to your content strategy.

 

Publish to Social

Seamlessly publish your videos to Facebook and YouTube: Using Publish to Social in the JW Player dashboard enables you to simplify your content distribution and scheduling on social media.

 

As always, we welcome any feedback that you have.  Please direct all comments or feature requests to jwproduct@jwplayer.com.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and your video needs.

To learn more or schedule time to speak with a video expert.

Contact Us

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Introducing a Player for the Global Future

JW Player today rolled out its automated player localization feature, which translates player functions for non-English language audiences.

We are excited to announce the launch of JW Player’s automated player localization feature, which is now available to customers in version 8.6.0.

With the addition of this feature, the JW Player automatically translates all of its 50 plus functions and their descriptions (i.e. error messages, menus, and play and sound buttons) into the local language based on the surrounding text.

The initial localization feature contains support for 14 different languages, including French, Spanish, German, and Arabic. Additional languages will be added at clients’ requests.

The addition of the localization feature creates one of the first truly global video platforms on the market.

 

 

This automated localization feature allows media companies to use a single player across multiple regions and languages and helps them adhere to accessibility standards and best practices.

Additionally, this feature creates a better viewing experience for non-English speaking audiences by increasing clarity of the player’s full capabilities and ultimately leading to a lower abandonment of your content.

If you have feedback, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out here and let us know what you think!

To learn more about becoming a video-first publisher, schedule time to speak with a video expert.

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JW Player July 2018 Product Release

Monthly update on the latest product improvements and offerings

We are excited to announce the launch of JW Player’s July 2018 product releases, enabling our customers to:

  • Grow audiences by seamlessly publishing videos to Facebook
  • Reduce playback errors and viewer abandonment with standardized playback errors
  • Deliver a broadcast-quality viewing experience on the web
  • Create a consistent viewing experience and improve monetization on mobile

 

Grow your audience by seamlessly publishing videos to Facebook

Streamline your content distribution to Facebook within the JW Player dashboard, including scheduling future posts with Publish to Facebook. This is the first part of our Publish to Social (beta) product; other social networks to follow.

 

 

Reduce playback errors and viewer abandonment with standardized playback errors

Save engineering time and improve your audience’s viewing with plain-English error messages, detailed in-console details, and one-click links to support documentation.

 

 

Deliver a broadcast quality viewing experience on the web

With JW Player’s release of ad preloading, which automatically preloads ads regardless of the viewer’s connection speed, we are delivering on the vision of a Buffer-Free Player — and have seen ad loading time reduced by more than 50%.  

 

 

Consistent viewing experience and improved monetization on mobile

With the JW Player mobile SDK 3.0, we bring the benefits of JW8 to iOS and Android apps to deliver consistent viewer and advertising experiences across desktop and mobile.

 

Finally, registration is now open for our August 14 product highlights webinar  please sign up today!

 

Let us know if you have any questions, and thanks for your continued support of JW Player.

 

Best regards,

JW Player Product Team

 

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90 Days Later: Video Player Bidding Best Practices

Video Player Bidding helps you maximize monetization, provided you’re following these recommendations

After the launch of Video Player Bidding earlier this year, we’ve seen great adoption and some impressive  benefits, including faster time-to-first-frame for ads and a great supplemental boost of ad demand for publishers’ ad stacks. As with any great new product comes great learning experiences. With months of data and the associated on-going analysis, our goal is to educate our customers on best practices to optimize Video Player Bidding setups to maximize revenue potential.

 

 

If you’re unfamiliar with Video Player Bidding (an easy-to-implement version of video header bidding) check out our previous blog post or the great video below of JW Player cofounder Brian Rifkin and SpotX Chief Revenue Officer Sean Buckley discussing the solution, and look here for how to get started.

 

In the last three months, the data we’ve collected from Video Player Bidding has proven a few core advertising concepts we’ve recommended in other blog posts we’ve posted.

Know Your Setup

If nothing else, we’ve realized that many publishers are unclear as to the optimal player setup for their page layout and audience. This is a perfect time to do some analysis and introduce improvements and efficiencies.

 

  • Cloud-hosted vs Self-hosted

For cloud-hosted Players, we’d be remiss to not note that a publisher using a custom JavaScript embed will override any advertising settings put into the dashboard. This includes an advertising block in the Player’s JS setup.

For self-hosted Players, simply set up the advertising block with the “bids” block described in our documentation and examples.

 

  • Custom Header Bidding Solutions

We’ve found that many publishers have pre-existing header bidding solutions in place. This can present an issue with event timing depending on the implementation. Typically, the best solution is to provide the Player with a complete and finalized ad tag prior to setting up the Player. This allows publishers to take advantage of the efficiencies built into the Player’s ad scheduling functionality.

 

The example below describes how to get your custom bidding done and then set up the Player with the appropriate information so as to avoid any timing issues.

 

// Do your custom header bidding here, which should result in a created ad tag

 

var finalTag = baseTag + custParams

 

// Once you’ve built your ad tag with the appropriate key value pairs from your header bidding solution, you can set up the player

 

var playerInstance = jwplayer(“myElement”)

playerInstance.setup({

   “file”: “myVideo”,

   “advertising”: {

       “client”: “googima”,

       “schedule”: {

           “adBreak”: {

               “tag”: “finalTag”,    —— the tag supplied here is a variable, created above prior to player setup

               “offset”: “pre”

           }

       },

       “bids”: {

           “settings”: {

               “mediationLayerAdServer”: “dfp”,

           },

           “bidders”: [

               {

                   “name”: “SpotX”,

                   “id”: “85394”

               }

           ]

       }

   }

});

 

Note in this scenario, the use of the playAd API is not necessary.

 

  • Player and Site Considerations

In general we’ve found certain player setup attributes to perform better or worse with Video Player Bidding.

 

    1. Player size: Believe it or not, Video Player Bidding requires a player height and width on setup. Advertisers want to know the size and type of player their ads will be running on. We’ve found a fairly large number of publishers who are setting up the Player with null, undefined, or 0 height and width, thus giving the Player a formal size too late. This is one of the largest causes of player setup-related failures.
    2. Click-to-play vs ‘autostart:viewable’ vs autostart in view: Given the extra calls that need to be made for the bidding process, allowing the Player more time to set up and for the bidding process to complete increases the chance of success. Autostart in view typically leads to timing issues with all the other network calls on the page, so be prepared for a degradation in performance in this scenario.
    3. Multiple players on a single page: This is generally discouraged even outside of Video Player Bidding. With multiple players, it can lead to extra network requests from both the Player and the bidding process.
    4. Multiple bidding requests: Video Player Bidding is optimized for single prerolls. Bidding for multiple ad breaks, including 3+ midrolls, is not optimal due to the additional network requests it creates.

 

Mediation Options

Video Player Bidding offers multiple mediation options, each tailored to a specific publisher use case.

 

  • JW Player

This is the easiest way to get started with VPB — no additional line items are required in the Ad Server and is the most performant. If the bidder meets the static floor price, then the bidder wins. Otherwise, the Player uses the fallback tag defined in the corresponding ad break slot. Please ensure the floor in SpotX is set at or above the floor in JW.

 

The downside is the JW mediation option is not aware of any other campaigns (including direct sold) so these campaigns can be cannibalized for programmatic/header traffic. Additionally, as the floor price is static, the bidder may over/under bid for that request.

 

  • DFP

With this option, DFP determines the winner in that the bidder competes directly with DFP line items. Corresponding line items are needed in DFP.  SpotX can help with the setup of the corresponding items.

 

In this instance, please ensure that you are competing all demand in Price Priority. Competing Sponsorships and Standard line items in DFP above JWP priority will largely negate the benefits of the JWP integration. Expect very low revenue from the integration if VPB is run at a lower priority than traditional demand in DFP.

 

The downside of this mediation layer is the ads’ time-to-first-frame will be longer as the Player has to send the SpotX bid to DFP to determine the winner.

 

  • JW Player + DFP

This mediation option combines the JW Player and DFP mediation layers in that order. If the floor price isn’t beaten, the key value pairs are added to the DFP tag to compete against DFP line items. This is a good option for publishers who use DFP but want to take advantage of the performance benefits of JW Player mediation. Please ensure the floor in SpotX is set at or above the floor in JW.

 

  • SpotX

You should select this option if your primary Ad Server is SpotX. All Publisher Direct Sold demand should be run in the SpotX ad server, competing along with the Open Marketplace, allowing full control over priorities given to SpotX demand versus Publisher Sourced Demand.

 

Performance Expectations

Depending on the complexities of your setup as well as how your traffic is split between desktop and mobile, performance expectations should be managed. In short, an autostart player on a page with a large amount of other network calls on a mobile device is not optimal for Video Player Bidding.

We’re Happy to Help

We recognize that both normal Player setups and Video Player Bidding setups can be complicated, especially given your other systems and requirements.

 

For more information about improving your monetization with Video Player Bidding, schedule time to speak with a video expert.

 

Contact Us

CONTACT US

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JW Player June 2018 Product Release

Monthly update on the latest product improvements and offerings

We are excited to announce the launch of JW Player’s June 2018 product releases, enabling our customers to:

  • Deliver a broadcast quality viewing experience on the web
  • Anticipate and deliver the content that matters

 

Deliver a broadcast quality viewing experience on the web

As digital leaders cultivate engagement with digital video, quality and load time present ongoing challenges.  With JW Player’s release of ad preloading, which automatically preloads ads regardless of the viewer’s connection speed, we are delivering on the vision of a Buffer-Free Player — and have seen ad loading time reduced by over 50%.  

 

 

Anticipate and deliver the content that matters

There’s deep insight to be gained from every moment a video is played.  And by providing a Content Score for each of your videos, JW Player helps you to tap into that intelligence by providing additional layers of insight into the depth of viewer engagement with your video content — driving content placement, distribution, and strategy.

 

 

Finally, registration is now open for our July 17 product highlights webinar  please sign up today!

 

 

To learn more about how JW Player can support your video business, schedule time to speak with a video expert.

Contact Us

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JW Player May 2018 Product Release

Monthly update on the latest product improvements and offerings

We are excited to announce that JW Player’s May 2018 product releases are now generally available.

 

These latest releases enable our customers to:

 

Enhance viewer experience through video intelligence: Enhancements to our adaptive streaming offering enable you to eliminate tradeoffs between startup quality and speed, as our player will default to the highest quality available. Read more on our blog post on improving ad startup quality.
 

 

 

Improve monetization with playlist and ad performance insights: Our Recommendations and Playlist performance labs feature helps you to quantify the impact of Recommendations on viewer engagement and monetization.  Additionally, our ad errors labs feature isolates the root causes of ad errors — improving fill rates and monetization.
 

 

 

Ensure GDPR compliance: With GDPR regulations around data privacy taking effect on May 25, JW Player is taking steps to ensure that publishers are prepared. Specifically, we are honoring the “Do Not Track” setting for all EU customers and viewers wherever they go, and enabling publishers to request data on behalf of users (surfaced via Client IDs).
 

 

To dive deeper into our May 2018 product launch, please watch our client webinar. Additionally, you can visit our release notes to get more detailed information on any of the enhancements.

 
To learn more about how JW Player can support your video business, schedule time to talk with a video expert.
 

Contact Us

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Improving Video Startup Quality with Adaptive Streaming

With JW 8.3, you won’t have to choose between startup quality and speed

Publishers with premium or co-sponsored content seek both startup speed and video quality.  In the past, this has meant trading off video quality for speed: to maintain fast startup times, our player doesn’t wait for an initial quality estimation before downloading segments and beginning playback. Instead, our player has always defaulted to the lowest quality setting in the manifest, sometimes resulting in negative impacts to viewer experience and brand integrity.

To help customers with these challenges, JW 8.3 improves adaptive streaming, avoiding the lowest quality setting altogether if the viewer’s available bandwidth and the player size can support a higher quality start.

The player maintains the viewer’s bandwidth between videos, allowing the second and subsequent videos to benefit from a higher quality start at the beginning. If the viewer is watching the player embed’s first video, the player can start up at the last known bandwidth when a viewer returns to a site on the same device and browser. All players 8.3.0 and higher will benefit from improved startup quality out of the box.

We often hear from publishers that their own proprietary data suggests that the majority of their viewerbase is accessing content from high-speed connections. As a result, many publishers want to force the player to start their content at the highest quality possible. While we trust our publisher’s judgement, we also want to maintain the “no buffer” experience for which we’re known, and protect viewers on poor connections. Our new configuration option, “defaultBandwidthEstimate” represents a middle ground for publishers. This option can be used with any custom setup block.

This configuration option enables publishers to provide an initial bandwidth estimate (in bits, as is standard for video bandwidth estimation) across all viewers. This estimate can be used when the player has no other information about the viewer’s bandwidth (e.g. in case of a first-time visitor). The player’s saved bandwidth information or the viewer’s manually-selected quality level always takes precedence over the default bandwidth estimate setting.

By default, the player’s initial bandwidth estimate for all viewers is 500000, or 500 kilobytes per second download speed. But if you know your viewers tend to watch your content on broadband connections of at least 5 mb/s, you may want to set your “defaultBandwidthEstimate” to “5000000,” which will tell the player to choose an initial quality level of 5 mb/s bandwidth. Need to convert your estimate into bits? Here’s a handy calculator our engineering team uses!

One important thing to know is that the default bandwidth estimate affects the first estimate only. After the first segment, the player dynamically adjusts the viewer’s quality up or down to avoid viewers experiencing rebuffer events. The algorithm never requests a quality threshold that exceeds the width of the video player, which saves bandwidth and improves viewer experience.

For more information, see our support article about adaptive bitrate streaming, and for implementation details for the bandwidth configuration option, see our configuration reference. JW 8.3.0 is now available on the beta channel and for self-hosting and will be generally available tomorrow. We would love any feedback that you have to share.

 

To learn more about JW 8.3, schedule time to speak with a video expert.

 

Contact Us

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JW Player April 2018 Product Release

Monthly update on the latest product improvements and offerings

We are excited to announce that JW Player’s April 2018 product release is now generally available.

Our April release includes a number of new features, as well as beta programs, that enable publishers to:

 

Power growth through video intelligence: Harness data and machine learning to drive improvements in monetization, identify the audiences that are most valuable to your business, and easily configure reporting on your videos and audiences

 

 

 

Deepen audience engagement with your content: With our beta Facebook Publish offering, seamlessly publish videos to Facebook, directly within the JW Platform. Let us know if you want to get early access to our Facebook Publish beta program.

 

 

Enhanced workflows that save you time: Work smarter in the JW Platform, with one-stop access to video content management and analytics.

 

 

To dive deeper into our April 2018 product release, please watch our client webinar, which takes a deeper dive into our enhancements. Additionally, you can read our release notes to get more detailed information on any of the enhancements.

Finally, registration is now open for our May 15 product highlights webinar — please sign up today! 

 

Thanks for your continued support of JW Player.

 

Allyn Horne is the VP of Product Marketing at JW Player.

 

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JW Recommendations: Captivate Your Audience with Video

Updates that empower publishers to directly enhance engagement with the video experiences viewers want, curated at scale

In light of increased fragmentation and competition, it is no longer enough to simply present content to audiences and expect increased engagement. Viewers today expect to engage with appealing and slick content presentations that work well across all devices. Publishers that fail in this execution suffer from low view counts, high abandonment rates, and fewer return visits. In the second part of our Recommendations blog post series, we will discuss the visual improvements to Recommendations that enhance user interaction with content.

 

An interface that anticipates your user’s needs

 

New Recommendations Shelf Overlay that maximizes content awareness and encourages click throughs.

 

The Discovery Overlay has been updated to help publishers reduce audience abandonment mid-play. A new shelf of recommended content from the publisher’s library will now appear mid-screen when viewers pause, press the ‘More Videos’ button, or scroll to the bottom half of the video. The new shelf feature ensures viewers are always made aware of additional compelling content they could watch without interrupting the playback of the current video. Preliminary tests show that publishers have seen a 22% improvement in click throughs since implementing the new Recommendations Shelf.

 

Intuitive interactions with recommendations on any device

Our Recommendations is fully mobile optimized for engaging viewers on the go!

 

Welcome to the future with JW Recommendations on mobile! The Discovery Overlay is now optimized for all devices by supporting swipe gestures on mobile and keyboard shortcuts on desktop. Interacting with recommended content has never been more seamless—the kind of experience that will keep your viewers coming back for more.

 

Playlist widgets that optimize all pages and content types for video views

 

Get visitors more invested in your written editorial content by matching it with video.

 

Have you ever wondered how you can increase the ROI of your written editorial content with video but don’t have the technical means? JW Recommendations has the solution that many publishers are seeking. Our new developer code examples for Javascript playlist widgets makes displaying and aligning video with written content easy and fast. In doing so, you can capture increased viewer attention by presenting more related content.

 

To learn about how implementing these new visual features can deepen audience engagement and loyalty, please schedule time to talk with a video expert.

 

Contact Us

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