How to win with video: Player technology

By Philippe Guay

SendtoNews

New York, United States

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In my last submission, I discussed the importance of content. Having high-quality videos contextually relevant to your writing is critical for engaging your audience. But once you have your video content lined up, the next step is figuring out exactly how to get those videos in your articles.

To tackle that issue, we’ll dive into what you should look for in a video player and important things to evaluate to get the most out of your video strategy.

Inserting textually relevant video using the right video player increases pageviews and revenue.
Inserting textually relevant video using the right video player increases pageviews and revenue.

Technical details

Digital video player technology today is fast and lightweight, allowing videos to load in fractions of a second to provide visitors with the best user experience possible. However, not all video players are created equally. It’s important to look for a player that will support a wide range of browsers including mobile browsers.

These are some of the things to look for in a video player:

  • Built with HTML5: Prior to the introduction of HTML5, video players were built primarily using Flash or other proprietary software that regularly needed upgrading to prevent security risks. HTML5 was created to deliver videos and audio in a standardised way over the Internet. Additionally, HTML5 players are generally quicker loading and have a faster response.
  • Responsive design: Much like your Web site, you want your video player to respond to the size of the device used to view it. Considering more than 75% of videos are viewed on a mobile device, you shouldn’t overlook how the player works on mobile.
  • VPAID, VAST, and Google IMA compliant: To monetise your videos effectively, you’re going to want to connect your player to ad-serving networks. By ensuring your video player is already compliant with VPAID (Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition), VAST (Video Ad-Serving Template), and Google IMA (Interactive Media Ads), you will be ready to monetise.

It’s absolutely crucial your video player has all of these functionalities. Many players bring only a few features, like great speed and design, but don’t integrate properly with ad servers. How good is it to deliver great content to your audience if you can’t monetise it?

You also need to review the implementation method so you know just what is required to get the video player on your site. Ideally, adding the player to your articles should be as simple as copying and pasting the embed code. If it takes any more effort than that, think twice; the more difficult it is to get a video in an article, the less likely you are to have videos in your articles.

Managing content

Another major differentiator of video players is how easily you can manage video content. In my previous article, I mentioned how, to have contextually relevant videos, you need to have a large library of videos to pull from. But how do you manage those videos in a way that allows you to find the perfect video every time? Most content management systems (CMS) for video players will allow you to search by keyword, but the best allow you to also filter via certain characteristics such as location or topic.

Another important factor to consider is how the video player handles playlists. Playlists are a vital way to keep visitors on your site and engaged longer, driving more revenue with every video play. It’s important that the videos in a playlist are related to maintain contextual relevance and increase the likelihood visitors will stay to watch more videos. With each video watched, revenue opportunities increase.

The key to supplying those playlists with relevant content is automating content ingestion. When it comes to ingesting more than 1,000 videos per day, automation is key and helps both you and your content providers maintain scalability, whether that is through an MRSS feed or an API. These automated delivery methods also serve as vehicles for delivering the metadata needed to support the videos in your CMS, improving their searchability and supporting other automated systems such as Artificial Intelligence-powered content matching in your CMS environment.

AI to the rescue

One of the most challenging aspects of maintaining a successful video strategy is not missing an opportunity to include a contextual video in an article. However, manually finding each video in your content library and embedding that video into the article can be time consuming and is likely to be forgotten in the rush to publish. Luckily, thanks to AI, much of this process can be automated, enabling you to capitalise on every video opportunity.

So, how does it work?

Innovative video player technology uses AI to instantly determine an article topic and match it with the perfect video from your content library. What’s more, it can also help automatically generate related playlists to keep users engaged long after the initial video is over.

There are a few ways AI can match written content with video content. Some only use manually added tags or small amounts of the metadata to determine the topic of the article, while others essentially read the title and contents of the page to more effectively match videos.

When you assess AI around a video player, take the time to look at your own situation (for example, do you publish in a single or multiple categories) and determine if the player can handle the metadata the content provider supplies with each video. Many video players fail to perform with publishers covering many topics as the AI built on the player cannot process a diverse array of topics. Take time to assess the AI in various contexts to ensure you will get the most of the video player.

There is also a pretty amazing impact on revenue when publishers embrace video players with AI functionality. For example, when The New York Daily News compared its revenue before and after implementing an AI-powered video player, it discovered it increased video ad revenue by 1107% as a result of automatically including better-matching videos into more articles. In addition to increasing revenue, embracing AI included video in more articles, which increased pageviews by 33% and time on page by 44%.

To maximise revenue generated by a video strategy, ensure you are set up to attract the highest CPMs possible with your video advertising.

About Philippe Guay

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