If you’re new to online video and you don’t know where to start, take a few minutes to learn about JW Player Now. Now only will it get your work online quickly, but for less money than you might have thought possible.
The JW Player is a popular open source Flash video player that was created by Jeroen “JW” Wijering and launched in 2005. It’s now owned by LongTail Video, which was co-founded by Wijering.
Developers like the JW Player because it’s free and easy to modify. Approximately 500,000 each month download the components needed to run the JW Player on their own servers.
While it’s an easy solution, it still requires some tech knowledge. That’s why LongTail introduced JW Player Now in beta two weeks ago. This simple wizard will have you streaming video from your site in minutes. We talked about it with Brian Rifkin, a founder and the chief revenue officer of LongTail Video.
JW Player Now
Visit the JW Player Now page on LongTail’s site and you’ll find an easy wizard that steps you through a few basic choices. You first tell the page where your video is stored. If you only have it loaded on YouTube, that will work, although your video will carry a YouTube watermark.
Next, choose one of five skins for the look of your player, decide if you want the control bar fixed at the bottom or as an overlay, choose whether or not to autostart your video on page load, and set the height and width that you want.
A preview on the right side of the page shows the results of your choices, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. When you’re done, the wizard will give you an embed code you can load into any Web page.
While JW Player is in beta now, Rifkin expects it to launch fully in September.
Bits on the Run
JW Player Now makes adding video to your site easy, but you’ll still need to store your videos somewhere and possibly pay for streaming costs. If you host with YouTube that’s all taken care of, but your videos will carry YouTube branding. That’s not professional. To upgrade your look, consider LongTail’s hosting service, Bits on the Run.
As a host, Bits on the Run has a lot going for it. When you upload videos, it will transcode them into the Web-friendly format of your choice for you. Use H.264, FLV, or MPEG4 if you’ll be using JW Player Now. It’s also inexpensive. There’s no monthly or yearly commitment. Instead, you pay for the hosting and streaming that you actually use each month. To give you an idea of costs, Rifkin says you can host 30 minutes of video and get 16 hours of streaming time for $5.95. When your account runs down, you simply add more money to it.
Bits on the Run was also created by Wijering, by the way. The service offers a 30-day/1GB free trial, so you can make sure it works for you before you buy.
If your videos find an audience and you decide you’d like to recoup some costs by serving ads, LongTail has you covered there, as well. Visit the AdSolution page for a simple, self-serve ad platform. Sign up and a LongTail staffer will vet your vids to make sure they’re advertiser-friendly.
Once you’re approved, you can decide whether to serve pre-roll, overlay, or post-roll ads—or some combination of the three. You can decide where on your site they’ll go. An online reporting tool will tally your revenue.
“We have thousands of publishers using our advertising solution, generating hundreds of millions of ad impressions per month,” says Rifkin.
Once you get started with the JW Player universe, you may decide never to leave. And thanks to the new JW Player Now, getting started is incredibly easy.