How Facebook’s Changes Could Impact Your Video Strategy

Take control of your video business by engaging viewers on your owned and operated site

Ever since Facebook announced that it would feature more content from users than from brands on the News Feed, the web has been buzzing with commentary and reactions, spanning a gamut from alarm to approval.

At JW Player, our viewpoint is that this is an ongoing trend. Facebook changing algorithms isn’t anything new, and this latest change underscores the need for publishers to prioritize their investment in their owned and operated (O&O) video sites more than ever before.

 

Paid traffic isn’t affected

Facebook is certainly driven by improving user engagement, but as a business it’s also focused on increasing paid referrals and profits ($4.7 billion in Q3, a 46% profit margin). One of the first things to remember here is that this change does not affect paid traffic, which has been steadily climbing as a percentage of referrals in the last few years. This trend means that publishers who build on the Facebook platform assuming a free ride via organic traffic or even at predictable marketing costs will continue to be at risk. Think about how the Google Adwords CPC increased over time. Facebook will be no different.

 

Organic traffic is affected

The Facebook algorithm change will impact organic traffic—the volume of visitors coming to a brand through search. Even in this area, the impact hinges on an important factor: the level of audience engagement. Publishers with low user engagement should see a decrease in organic traffic, while those with high user engagement could stand to gain more organic traffic. The question is How good is good enough? The bar may be raised again in the future.

A brand with high user engagement generates more comments, discussions, and likes—all part of what Mark Zuckerberg calls “meaningful social interactions.”

We aren’t critical of this move by Facebook; they are working to create a better Internet. The impact on publishers who rely on organic traffic is clear though, and it’s something that will only continue as time goes on.

 

Creating engaging content on your O&O is key

This trend begs the question: IF you are going to invest in creating engaging content, why wouldn’t you do that on YOUR site?  When Facebook traffic was largely organic, a publisher could debate the value of building on the Facebook platform versus their O&O. But the latest change continues to make that debate less worthwhile.  

By bringing your audiences back to your O&O, you can build a quality experience that exists outside of social media. This move not only fosters more brand loyalty and fills the gaps that Facebook leaves, but it increasingly leads to better monetization due to avoiding Facebook’s revenue share and improving programmatic video options in the market.

So to sum up: Creating engaging content is crucial. Adapting to Facebook’s changes is crucial. But most of all, bringing engagement back to your O&O site is crucial. A video strategy succeeds best when it’s supported by a strong and independent web presence.

 

Bill Day is the COO of JW Player.

 

Take control of your video business today by scheduling time to talk with one of our video experts.

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The State of JW Player

Highlights, data, and fun facts from 2017

As the New Year begins, we’ve put together a snapshot of what JW Player has been up to in the last 12 months. 2017 was a huge year for our company as we sped up our growth, doubled the size of our staff, developed 36+ new features, and brought video to more screens than ever.

The industry’s moving rapidly—and we’re in the fast lane. Here are highlights from our year in video.

AT A GLANCE

Based on all-network data, January-December 2017

 

168 Billion

Total number of plays

 

5,300

Total number of plays per second on average

 

32 Billion

Total number of ad impressions

 

489 Million

Total hours of time watched

 

51

Number of hours a commercial plane takes to fly around the world.

The plane would make 9.6 million trips in the total time that viewers watched JW Player videos.

 

***

PLAYER & PLATFORM

Our lightweight player and customizable platform worked harder, better, faster, and stronger in 2017.

 

5.5 Billion

Number of seconds of video transcoded

 

2.2 Million

Number of dashboard sessions

 

4.8 Million

Number of videos uploaded to JW Platform

 

5 minutes, 54 seconds

Average length of a video uploaded to JW Platform

 

***

JW8 UPDATE

In 2017, we debuted the world’s fastest HTML5 player, JW8.

 

22%

Percentage of customers who adopted JW8 within the first 3 months

 

  ***

RECOMMENDATIONS ENGINE

JW Player is much more than a player. Our video intelligence produced a huge number of incremental plays and monetization opportunities in 2017.

 

2.1 Billion

Number of plays from Recommendations

 

532 Million

Number of ads delivered via Recommendations

 

***

MOBILE

With 53% of mobile users abandoning sites that don’t load within three seconds, we’re invested in supporting a strong mobile experience.

 

41%

Percentage of plays on mobile devices across all networks in December 2017

 

***

FLASH DEPRECATION

2017 saw a continued decline in Flash, and our data is in line with what’s happening throughout the industry.

 

7.23%

Percentage of plays in Flash by end of Q1, JW Platform

 

2.08%

Percentage of plays in Flash by end of Q4, JW Platform

 

***

OUR CUSTOMERS

In 2017, we served publishers in every country in the world. They come from all industries and push the boundaries of success. Our publishers have:

 

Been honored by the United Nations

 

Produced a live event every 18 minutes on average somewhere in the world

 

Used video to promote conservations of Unesco World Heritage Sites

 

Created the first, live surfcam

 

Worked with Derek Jeter to tell first-person athlete stories

 

Promoted healthier eating by bringing calorie counts to restaurant menus

 

Hit 1 billion plays

 

And much more . . .

 

Ready to join this thriving global JW community? 2018 promises to be our biggest year yet, and we invite you to be a part of it.
 

Schedule time to talk with one of our video experts about making the most of an evolving industry as a video-first publisher:

 

Let’s Talk

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Video Will Make Up More than 80% of Online Traffic

Are videos on 80% of your webpages?

According to Cisco, by the year 2021, 82% of all internet traffic will come from video. Yes, 82%. If 2021 seems far off, consider that video already accounted for 73% of all consumer internet traffic in 2016.

 

At JW Player, we don’t take these trends lightly—we see them as game changers. Video isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore; it’s become essential to any publisher’s success. If video consumes about 80% of all internet traffic, then it’s a good idea to put it on 80% of your webpages too. As your video partner, we draw on our industry expertise and data to show you how.

 

What can you do to step up your video game? It starts with understanding the architecture of your site. Just as not all plays are created equal, not all pages are created equal either. Look at your sitemap and review the different pages you have—the sections, the subsections, the various ways you are categorizing content.

 

Then, decide which type of video experience would be best for each page. The most effective videos are tailored to the specific page they’re serving. Rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, think about all the different ways you can integrate video across distinct parts of your site, from desktop to mobile.

 

Let’s look at three common examples:

 

  • The dedicated video page – When it comes to attracting viewers, this is your site’s main draw. You’ll want to select a large player (at least 600×400 pixels), make it the main focus of the page, and support intent to watch.

 

  • The article page with recommended video content – These articles are complemented by videos or video thumbnails. You can use video to support the text or, conversely, use text to set up and comment on video. Recommended videos are related to content and support intent to watch.

 

  • The text-heavy page – This page might feature a much longer article, a dense how-to explanation, or any other piece with significant copy. Unrelated to content, an outstream video ad unit breaks up text-heavy pages and could have the greatest impact here.  

 

The speed of the digital world waits for no one. Don’t get left behind—or rather, stay one step ahead—by incorporating video throughout your website today.

 
To learn more about how to become a video-first publisher, schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

 

Contact Us

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Embedding Vertical Videos? We Got You.

Bring 1:1 videos from Facebook to your owned & operated site

When you’re a video publisher, going viral on Facebook is like hitting the jackpot. Videos with a huge bank of comments, likes, and shares deserve a spot on your website.

Problem is: Facebook videos have a vertical, 1:1 aspect ratio, and your page might only support 16×9. Thinking you’ll have to drop that awesome video because it didn’t fit the specs? Never fear. JW Player supports the vertical video format, allowing you to easily export your videos from Facebook into your owned and operated (O&O) site.

With JW Player’s 1:1 embed, your videos appear as perfect squares. You don’t get those black bars off to the sides, which are inserted to prevent videos from stretching to fit certain aspect ratios.

Use the code below:

<div id=”myElement”></div>
<script type=”text/JavaScript”>
var playerInstance = jwplayer(“myElement”);
playerInstance.setup({
file: “//example.com/uploads/myVideo.mp4“,
width: “50%”,
aspectratio: “1:1”,
});
</script>

An excellent Facebook video shouldn’t just stay on Facebook. Get more mileage out of your social media success by repurposing your vertical videos on your O&O site.

To learn more about becoming a video-first publisher, schedule time to talk with one of our video experts:

 

Contact Us

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What’s Next for Video in 2018?

JW Player Leaders Predict What’s in Store for Video Next Year

As 2017 winds down, we look ahead to the most important trends and opportunities in the future of video. From shorter mobile video ads to the rise of native apps and machine learning, the evolution of the industry is only just beginning.

Get a head start on navigating the landscape with 2018 predictions from our video experts.

 

Brian Rifkin, Cofounder, SVP Strategic Partnerships:

  •   2018 will be the year of less is more.

The most successful publishers will implement faster sites with fewer but more impactful ads.

  •   2018 will be the year of the shorter mobile video ad.

As the 30-second video ad continues its steady decline, the 6- to 15-second ads will dominate mobile.

  •   2018 will be the year of intent to watch.

By creating an “intent to watch” experience, publishers will be rewarded with more loyal viewership and greater monetization.

 

Jeroen Wijering, Cofounder, Chief Product Officer:

  •      2018 will be the year of actual machine learning products.

In 2017, all the big clouds launched audio, video, and language processing systems based on machine learning. However, those systems gave us very inaccurate metadata. That data can’t be scaled to grow audiences and automate workflows. It’s a problem we’ll crack in 2018.

  •      2018 will be the year mobile users will start deleting apps.

In 2017, the majority of mobile users (51%) installed exactly zero apps a month.  Moving forward, we may even see a decline in apps as more users “return to the web” with progressive web apps (PWAs) and HTML5 technologies.

Major indications of this trend came this week from Apple and Microsoft. Apple is enabling Service Workers (an essential API used in PWAs) by default in the next version of Safari, and Microsoft announced it would enable Service Workers and support full-featured PWA experiences in Microsoft Edge and the Microsoft Store.

 

Rob Gill, VP of Product:

  •      2018 will be the year when OTT platform winners emerge.

OTT revenues are climbing (and will reach $120 billion by 2020). Leading the way will be giants like Roku and Android TV.

  •      2018 will be the year when artificial intelligence (AI) improves editorial workflows.

We’ll see more AI automation of the production, editing, and management of video content.

 

John Luther, SVP Product Strategy:

  •      2018 will be the year of WebAssembly.

Everyone will be talking about (and implementing) WebAssembly. The ability to run low-level binary code alongside JavaScript will move the Web further toward a universal “native” app platform. Together with PWAs, WebAssembly will allow users to do more “app-like” things within a browser or embedded web view, while gaining better performance and battery conservation.

  •      2018 will be the year when AVOD (still) reigns.

Despite current anxieties about quality, brand safety, and ad blocking, AVOD (ad-based video on-demand) will continue to grow as the preferred business model over SVOD (subscription-based video on-demand).

The barriers against SVOD include:

  1. Consumer SVOD budgets that are already saturated
  2. Improved ad targeting and SSAI (server side ad insertion) technologies that support AVOD
  3. Clumsy signup and login flows in SVOD
  4. Exorbitant back-end vendor fees in SVOD
  5. High subscriber turnover

To succeed in SVOD, you must have enough cash to make premium long-form content (think giants like Netflix and Hulu) or a very strong niche (Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Shudder).

 

Ready to take advantage of the latest video innovations? Schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

 

Contact Us

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The Future of Automated Video Advertising

5 Takeaways from JW London Insights

On November 29, 2017, some of the brightest minds in media and technology converged on London for the city’s first ever JW Insights event.

In a particularly enlightening discussion led by Digiday senior reporter Lucinda Southern, leaders from JW Player, Facebook, Index Exchange and Minute Media shed light on what we can expect to see in the world of automated, or “programmatic,” video advertising in the times to come.

Here are five things we learned about the future of automated video advertising.

 

  1. Advertisers are following viewers to short-form content.

Recent shifts in video consumption patterns are forcing advertisers to reconsider their historical bias against short-form video.

“Let’s start with how users want to consume content. It’s short-form, largely,” said JW Player COO Bill Day. “If you’re an advertiser, you need to learn how to buy into that format, and if you’re selling, you need to learn how to perfect it.”

In fact, Sherzod Rizaev, global head of commercial ops at Minute Media, noted that he’s already seeing brands migrate from traditional, 30-second pre-roll ads to shorter, 6- to 15-second messages.

 

  1. The optimal video market will see a mix of direct and automated ad sales.

When asked to name the biggest myth in automated video advertising, Facebook Product Marketing Manager Joe Devoy said that many advertisers wrongly believe that programmatic impressions are always inferior to direct-sold inventory.

JW Player’s Day affirmed that many buyers have this misconception, but predicted that programmatic advertising isn’t about to swallow the entire video ad space. Instead, he suggested that “there’s going to be a large chunk of inventory that’s sold on a direct basis” and that a mature digital video marketplace will have a healthy mix of both.  

 

  1. Anti-fraud efforts like ads.txt will increase video CPMs.

According to Index Exchange VP of Publisher Development Luke Fenney, video advertising is currently undervalued due to the fraudulent inventory in the marketplace.

But as anti-fraud initiatives like ads.txt begin to stamp out bad actors, Fenney says he expects to see ad prices increase substantially throughout 2018.

“I think buyers need to realize that a lot of what they’ve been buying today is crap,” Fenney said, not mincing words. “That is ultimately going to change.”

 

  1. When it comes to inventory, transparency will be just as important as quality.

Even if the inventory is legitimate, it may be difficult for advertisers to see exactly what they’re buying.

For instance, a DSP might not have the technology to properly read all the information about an impression that’s being passed to it. As a result, an outstream ad might be misrepresented to the advertiser as a higher quality pre-roll.

In order to increase transparency in the marketplace, Index Exchange’s Fenney said that technology partners should update to the latest version of OpenRTB.

 

  1. Successful publishers will place a greater focus on user experience.

JW Player’s Day was dismayed to learn that outstream video has overtaken pre-roll ads as the dominant format in U.K. video advertising.

Rather than relying on outstream revenues, Day says publishers can generate higher revenues from pre-roll ads by keeping people on-site longer with a better user experience. To this end, he recommends less intrusive ad units, simpler pages, and intelligent content recommendations: “Migrating to an environment where the pages are faster, cleaner, and sold better is the way to go.”

 

To watch the full video:

 

For more on JW London Insights, read our recap of The Drum session and visit our video page.

 

Online video is complex. Our JW Demand team is here to help publishers implement best practices that drive ad revenue. Benefit from expertise you won’t find anywhere else.

Contact Us

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Not All Video Plays Are Created Equal

From JW Player’s “Anatomy of a Video” Series

There’s a common misconception in the world of video: Most people think a video play is just a video play. Click a button and the content begins.

But there’s much more to it.

The definition of a play depends on who you’re asking and what you’re measuring. Here at JW Player, we believe that not all plays are created equal, and it’s important to understand what these differences are. Knowing how to evaluate the quality of a play is key to increasing views and engagement.

 

The definition of a play is tricky. A play might be:

 

  • The moment when the embedded player receives the request to play
    If load times are too long and the viewer bounces from the site, was there a play?

 

  • The three seconds after a pre-roll completes
    If the pre-roll doesn’t work or the video doesn’t run past the three seconds after the ad, did the play count?

 

  • The first frame of a piece of content
    If a loss of bandwidth interrupts the video, did the play occur?

 

  • The autoplay
    If viewers did not intend to watch and aren’t paying attention to content, is it fair to call it a play?

 

Now that we’ve covered different ‘play’ definitions, here’s how we approach them: At JW Player, we’re focused on the quality of plays, not just the quantity. While none of these definitions above are 100% right or wrong, they can make things confusing. We’ve created a way to make sense of the data.

 

Our powerful Segmentation tool aggregates plays across your network, allowing you to slice and dice your data. By grouping plays by location, player, and tags, you can monitor all your “plays” and grow the ones that matter most to you. You can analyze 16 different video metrics, such as completes, time watched, and ad impressions—things that are not usually provided by other video companies or in an overall analytics view.

 

When it comes to building a sustainable video business, the quality of your plays is vital. A publisher might see 1,000 plays for a video. But only 300 of them actually engaged a user or resulted in a viewer completing the video. It’s wise to question how well the plays did rather than assume that all 1,000 plays performed to their fullest.

 

With our Segmentation tool, you can use these insights to dive deeper into how your plays are enhancing Quality of Experience (QOE), which includes factors like whether users are likely to stay on the site, watch another video, or come back again. You can go beyond the surface and make strategic decisions based on your understanding of what kind of content viewers are most engaged with, which devices they’re coming from, and how advertising is performing in different areas.

 

In short, you can figure out which plays are actually working for you—and feature more of these videos to boost CPMs. Advertisers pay more for content that’s widely viewed.

 

So the next time you start a video, remember one of our JW Player “principles.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that not all video plays are created equal, that they are endowed by their Publisher with certain measurable metrics, that among those are completion rate, engagement, and the pursuit of (viewer) happiness. ”  

 

Let our Segmentation tool boost your plays! Schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

 

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Infographic: The Evolution of Video Advertising

Where we’ve been and where we’re going

In the past decade, video advertising has changed a lot. We’ve come a long way from a simpler time when a TV spot could double as a pre-roll placement. Today, publishers are facing questions like: Are your ads click-to-play? Do they reach real humans or just bots? Are they meeting industry standards?

We created this infographic to track key milestones, future challenges, and what you can do to make the most of the video advertising world. It’s complicated out there—we’re here to help!

 

Click to enlarge or to download the infographic

 

Ready to make your videos profitable? Schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

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Viewers and Publishers Need Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is once again under threat.

The new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, has proposed reversing the Commission’s 2015 decision to protect net neutrality under Title II of the Communications Act.

Chairman Pai has scheduled a vote on these revised rules for December 14th.

If the FCC removes the Title II classifications on Internet Service Providers (ISPs), many small- and mid-sized publishers will be at a severe disadvantage—and end-viewers will miss out. Most ISPs are also video content providers, so it’s easy to imagine them prioritizing their own content over others on their IP networks (or even blocking competing content altogether).

JW Player supports independent publishers and video content creators around the world and their dedication to providing the best user experience for their viewers regardless of which network delivers the content.

We encourage everyone to learn more about this important issue at Battle for the Net. If you are as concerned about it as we are, call the FCC (1-888-225-5322) and your members of Congress to tell them you support an open and fair Internet.

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Where Is My Ad Running?

A conversation about trust and transparency in digital video advertising from New York Advertising Week

You’re a media buyer. You’re trying to place a video ad online. It goes into the rabbit hole of agencies, ad exchanges, servers, data aggregators, and a myriad of other agents before it makes it to the consumer. At the end of it all, you’re left wondering, Where did my ad actually run?

At New York Advertising Week’s panel “Programmatic Video in the Converged World,” September 28, 2017, industry experts from across the online video landscape—including JW Player COO Bill Day—explored how the latest trends in digital advertising impact trust and transparency in the ad ecosystem.

      

With the rise of automation through programmatic advertising, marketers have less control over how, when, and where their ads appear. Sometimes these ads end up on sites and placements that compromise brand safety. As Shenan Reed, President of MEC Global, summed up, a chief concern for buyers is: “Are my media dollars really working for me?”

This “whole new world” of digital advertising has “created more questions,” said Phil Cowlishaw, Head of Advertising Cloud Consulting Solutions at Adobe. “Not just about CPM (cost per thousand impressions), but what is the user journey? Did the ad drive conversion or was the person going to convert anyway?”

Middlemen complicate the process. “There are many layers to the onion,” said Day.  When an ad passes through several hands on its way to the publisher, the risk of false impressions increases.

Combating fraud is “everybody’s job,” said Reed. One way that panelists lauded was the recent partnership between Trade Desk and White Ops to block false impressions before purchase and clean up fraudulent ad inventory.

Another key step in combating fraud? A mutual acknowledgement from publishers and advertisers that the problem affects both and not only the buy-side. “If you’re a seller (publisher),” Day continued, “you have to understand you must be vigilant too.”

To dive deeper into digital video advertising and discover how you can maximize your ad fill and CPMs:

 

Visit JW Monetize

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