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What Should You Expect from an Online Video Platform (OVP)?

Jan Ozer is an online video expert, author, and a valued contributor to this site. We’re pleased to present this excerpt from his new book Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5. [1]

You work with an OVP the same way you work with a UGC site: you upload the file to the service; it encodes and supplies a player and embed code. Regarding the player, most vendors offer the ability to create a branded player with all the normal playback controls and embedding and email options, if desired. Another common feature is the ability to embed a single player in a page and create a video library for viewers to click through.

Be sure to check the extent to which you can customize the player and video libraries presented within the page, and note how easy or how difficult these features are to customize. For example, some OVPs offer drag-and-drop widgets that let you easily create players and video content windows in a variety of shapes and sizes, along with a comprehensive programming interface for customization. Brightcove offers four levels of player and video window customization, from simple enabling and disabling of player-related features to a programming interface for custom programming or dropping in third-party plug-ins.

Also determine if you can create different players for various pages on your website and custom players for customers or others to distribute your videos. For example, since Kohler sells solely through distributors, it has produced extensive libraries of streaming content to reach potential customers directly. Kohler makes these libraries available to its distributors with a custom player that reflects both Kohler’s and the distributor’s branding.

Figure 10-9. These “drop-off” analytics tell you when viewers stop watching your videos.


Beyond these basics, many OVPs also present true viewer analytics that allow you to identify patterns within the statistical data. One common and exceptionally useful feature are “drop-off” statistics that identify where viewers stop watching the video (Figure 10-9). For example, if you have massive drop-offs in the first 30 seconds or so, you have the data to back up recommendations such as ditching the CEO’s greeting or the 20-second introductory animated collage. If few viewers make it through to the end of your 4-minute product demo, you know that you need to get to the point more quickly or, perhaps, present that video later in the sales cycle. If you’re displaying advertisements in your videos, you’ll be able to tell where they have the most impact, and where they simply drive viewers away.

Beyond these basics, there are many advanced features that you should consider when choosing an OVP.

Figure 10-10. VideoPress integrates extremely well into WordPress blogs.


Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Doceo Publishing, from Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5, by Jan Ozer. Copyright © 2011 by Jan Ozer.