Deconstructing 3 Myths about Licensing Syndicated Video Content

In a joint blog post with our video content syndication partner VideoElephant, we untangle common misconceptions about incorporating third-party videos into your content strategy

Telling visual stories isn’t just about having decent content. It’s also about extending the life of these stories, growing richer narratives, and building a library that is greater than the sum of its parts. Licensing syndicated content plays a key role in helping publishers achieve these goals.

But understanding exactly how content syndication works isn’t always straightforward. We overview the industry problems addressed by licensing content, identify three common misconceptions about incorporating it into your video strategy, and discuss how it can jumpstart your video business.


Challenges in Building an Expansive Content Library

  • Video content is king.

Video is the ultimate medium for storytelling. Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 82% of all internet traffic by 2021.  Web publishers who have successfully implemented a video content strategy have seen improvements in SEO, user-experience and monetization opportunities.


  • Problem #1: Video content is expensive.

There are a lot of hidden costs associated with creating the best video possible, including fees for production staff, hiring talent, equipment, design, sets, food, and insurance. Creating high-quality video content is still a significant investment. As the current online video environment shows, sustaining a heavy production schedule is almost prohibitively expensive.


  • Problem #2: Video content is hard to scale.

Managing and expanding a portfolio of thirdparty content providers can be extremely labor and resource intensive. Video libraries require uniform encoding, metadata, and an over-arching taxonomy to be managed and navigated. Add to this the rights and licensing issues presented by third-party content and very quickly it becomes clear there is a lot of work to be done to scale your video library effectively.

  • Problem #3: Video content is hard to keep uptodate.

There are a number of reasons why it’s hard to keep video content up to date, one of the key being production time. Creating high quality video content is certainly a time-consuming process that requires significant resources. Similarly, it’s tough to keep your videos as current as possible because topics, trends, and breaking news change rapidly. It is necessary to have the ability to refresh your library continuously.

Content syndication is designed to overcome these challenges, but some common misconceptions might stand in the way of making it part of your video strategy. We’re here to address them.


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Myths about Video Content Syndication

  • Myth #1: Only small companies need content syndication.

Traditionally most forms of media have been syndicated and companies large and small have benefitted. It may seem safe to assume that larger publishers would have the resources to produce substantial original content. However, this is often only partially true.

While these companies typically create premium quality videos, they normally want to expand the breadth of their offerings in a way that their production budgets may not always cover. Outsourcing content extends their library and frees staff for additional priorities. The NY Times, for example, syndicates Bloomberg’s content.


  • Myth #2: Content syndication means losing control over your brand and limiting your monetization opportunities.  

Some publishers believe that drawing from multiple content sources could dilute their brand and complicate their monetization models. It’s important to remember that as the publisher, you’re in the driver’s seat, and licensing video content does not result in a loss of control. Premium publishers integrate syndication into their overall content strategy, planning out a strategic mix of both original and licensed content that is consistent with their overarching vision.

Many content syndication solutions offer monetization as well as the player and content (bundled/all-in-one solution). In this case the publisher will not have the ability to control the ads served and hence not have access to the full value of the inventory or the user data associated.

It’s important to have ownership of your ability to monetize video. Opting to work with a content-only solution allows you to access great content while retaining control and ownership of your monetization strategy.


  • Myth #3: Implementing content syndication costs a lot of resources.

Even after building an outstanding content library, delivering that content can seem daunting for many publishers. Conventional wisdom might have you believe that it requires a dedicated engineering team or a complex web of software developer partners. The truth is, advances in technology have not only made it possible to automate much of the processes required, but also ensure that the content being outsourced is relevant and delivered quickly.

A One-Stop-Shop Content Solution from JW Player and VideoElephant

JW Player has teamed up with VideoElephant to offer the best in content syndication for our video publishers. With more than 1 million videos in its library, VideoElephant aggregates content throughout the Web and makes it available through JW Player.

Through our combined solution, you can access complete, premium video from household brands on an efficient and scalable pricing model. The content is all made available through a single platform and linked to your JW Player account for seamless delivery—this means content from VideoElephant delivered through JW Player can fit into your current content strategy, and you retain full control over the advertising. Access the total CPM value of your inventory, gain total control of the ads served to the users, and review all of the data associated.

In the current environment of media consumption, not taking advantage of the premium video content being produced across the digital world would be a missed opportunity. To learn more about content syndication, watch our upcoming webinar, featuring:

  • Rotimi Oyewole, Product Manager, JW Player
  • Johnny O’Neill, Senior Account Manager, VideoElephant
  • Brian Cullinane, Chief Revenue Officer, VideoElephant


Register for the Webinar


Check out VideoElephant’s blog post here.

Schedule time with a video expert to learn more about implementing an excellent video content strategy.

The post Deconstructing 3 Myths about Licensing Syndicated Video Content appeared first on JW Player.

What GDPR Means for JW Player Publishers

How we’re responding to the new European data privacy law

Starting May 25, 2018, Europe will enforce the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a landmark policy to bring greater transparency to the use of personal data by corporations.

Rooted in the idea that individuals should know who is collecting their information and how that data is used, GDPR raises the stakes on data misuse. Offenders can face fines of 20 million euros or up to 4% of global company revenue—making GDPR one of the most significant pieces of legislation in recent years to modernize privacy and security laws across Europe.

If you’re a video publisher wondering how all of this will affect you and your relationship with JW Player, we’ve got answers.


How does JW Player use data?

We collect information like IP addresses, local storage identifiers (cookies), and metrics around viewing behavior. As outlined in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, this data is used to provide our services and continually improve them.


Which video publishers are affected under GDPR?

Any video publisher with European viewers must comply with GDPR, regardless of where that
publisher is based.


How does JW Player comply with GDPR?

We’re committed to the safety and privacy of all our viewers, and we’re putting measures in place to that end. These steps include compliance around issues that concern (but are not limited to) opt-outs, access, portability, and our DPA—a document governing the relationship between JW Player and our publishers.

Because we process data on behalf of our publishers, we rely on publishers to obtain a legal basis for our use of viewers’ personal data. This gives you control over your EU data and allows you to determine what we can do with the information.

If you have more questions, please reach out to us at


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It’s All in the Execution: 5 Tips For Building a Sustainable Video Strategy

JW Player cofounder Brian Rifkin shares advice for becoming a video-first publisher

Digital video was a $13 billion business in 2017 and is forecasted to grow at a double-digit growth rate for the foreseeable future. And given the rise of next generation digital video platforms like mobile, OTT, and even connected home devices, the growth has no end in sight over the long term.

Video simply can’t be ignored by any publisher. However, success in video is not easy. Most websites/publishers built their original business without video, relying on text and images. These publishers are facing the challenges of integrating video into their strategy. Some of the newer breed of publishers launched as video-first and optimized for social platform distribution. With the fallout of Facebook’s recent algorithm change, they are also facing challenges.

The good news is that both of these challenges are surmountable and when implemented correctly, will create a video website experience that is engaging for consumers and lays the foundation of a sustainable advertising business.

Here are  five key recommendations that websites/publishers should focus on for a successful video strategy.

Match your site experience to the user’s expectations.

Experienced and new publishers alike frequently forget that not everyone who arrives on their page will be expecting video content. If you’ve ever x’ed out of a window to avoid an unexpected autoplay video, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

This is why it is crucial to tee up your content in a way that prepares people for video, creating an “intent to watch” experience. Whether the user is arriving from a newsletter, social media, search, or your homepage, you can set this expectation by including a thumbnail image of your video alongside copy with phrases like “watch what happens” or “click here to watch our video review.”


Put money into an effective user acquisition strategy.

When it comes to user acquisition, there’s no such thing as a free lunch anymore. Whether you’re using SEO or social media sites like Facebook, generating organic visits has become an intense competition over a shrinking pool of traffic. If you want to bring high-value video viewers to your site, you’ll need to invest in a paid media budget.  Be sure to promote video in these campaigns to ensure you’re driving users to your site with intent to watch.

Regardless of where you spend your money, it’s important to optimize every post for the highest possible ROI. With the right technology, you’ll be able to run multivariate testing on every piece of video content, as well as the copy and thumbnail image you use to promote it.


Master the science of online video.

Video can be a major source of digital ad revenues, but it only works when media brands take the time to master the unique challenges of the format.

Unlike display, it’s unwise to simply load up on as many demand partners as you can find, as doing so will lead to VAST errors that poison the user experience and decrease your overall yields. Instead, it’s best to be disciplined about who you bring in, whittling down your prospective buyers to the ones who deliver the highest CPMs and fill rates.

And while publishers make most of their automated display revenues from the open auction, the programmatic video money is in guaranteed deals and private marketplaces. Since both of these arrangements require publishers to connect with individual demand partners, you’ll need your in-house sales team to build relationships with buyers. If you don’t have an in-house sales team, ask your exchange partners to help you connect.

Last, but not least, it’s crucial to hire skilled ad-tech professionals who can recognize and troubleshoot any technical problems that arise.


Make it fast, really fast.

In video, the easiest way to uncover hidden revenues is to speed up your website. After all, 53% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes three seconds or more to load.

Whereas display advertising rewards publishers for loading their page with additional banner ads and content recommendations, video publishers must be careful not to distract the user — in essence, less is more. Since video advertising delivers such high yields, the right page configuration will be one that encourages people to go into the video player and watch multiple pieces of content.


Take things one video at a time.

While all of this may sound daunting, it’s important to remember two things: a) there are already publishers who have followed this roadmap to success and b) there’s no reason you can’t take your time finding what works for you and build another page if you need to.

Instead of trying to execute a total pivot to video overnight, it’s best to take things one video at a time, testing and learning as you go. The key is to remain focused on building a video-first content strategy, a speedy, intuitive user experience and an intelligent programmatic stack. If you can do these things, you’ll be well on your way to finding a path that works for you.


Ready to become a video-first publisher? Schedule time to talk with a video expert.


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