Introducing Our New, Old Name: JW Player
Today, we have exciting news to share with our community. After months of hard work, we are officially changing our company name from LongTail Video to JW Player. We are absolutely thrilled to make this change, as we think it better captures who we are and what we are trying to accomplish in the future.
As part of our rebrand, we have moved our website from longtailvideo.com to jwplayer.com. In addition to our new graphics and colors, you will notice that we streamlined our site navigation significantly so that users can more easily learn about our products and get video up on their sites. We also renamed our popular online video platform, Bits on the Run, “JW Platform”. When you have a moment, please go explore our new site. It was a massive move for us and we would really appreciate your feedback!
Why the Rebrand?
LongTail Video was founded five years ago when it acquired JW Player, which was in the nascent stages of customer adoption. At the time, online video was very new and presented numerous technical hurdles for publishers. So our goal was simple: to provide publishers with affordable software tools that would allow them to easily and reliably play back video in Flash.
Over the ensuing five years, the world of online video underwent dramatic change: video consumption exploded, HTML5 video emerged on the scene, new devices such as tablets began driving a significant portion of video views, and organizations of all types and sizes started to use online video to drive sales, marketing, and product initiatives. With these changes came increasing technical challenges for publishers – cross-device capabilities for video playback, support for IAB video advertising standards, integrations with CMS systems such as WordPress, live streaming capabilities… the list goes on. Seeing the changing landscape, we quickly iterated on JW Player and it became a critical tool for publishers as they attempted to navigate the technical complexities of video. Today, the popularity of JW Player has grown dramatically and it is now the most widely-used video player in the world. To give you a sense of our footprint, here are a few figures we would like to share:
- Over 2 million websites actively use JW Player to deliver video
- Over 700 million people watch video via JW Player each month
- More than 6 billion video streams are viewed via JW Player each month
Not a day goes by where we are not amazed by the sheer size of our user base. We are truly humbled and grateful to have such amazing support from so many people around the world.
Now, with that as a bit of background, here’s why we chose to rename our company JW Player:
First, JW Player has become synonymous with video player technology. It is a widely recognized and valuable brand in the online video marketplace. By changing our name and branding to JW Player, we closely associate our company name with the product that people know and love.
Second, the term ‘LongTail’ can sometimes be associated with niche content. To some folks, the name ‘LongTail’ implied that we serve only smaller-sized sites or sites with low-quality content The reality is that many of the largest organizations in the world use our products – over 20% of the Fortune 1000 companies have licensed JW Player – and this trend is continuing to grow. We want our company name to reflect who we are and what we do.
What it Means for Customers
While our rebrand introduces several new wrinkles in how we market ourselves, what remains unchanged is our complete commitment to delivering amazing products and support to our customers. Here’s what we are focused on in the coming months:
- Mobile video. During the past year, we introduced many new features, making JW Player the player of choice for mobile video delivery: HLS (Apple HTTP Live Streaming) support, VAST advertising support in HTML5, and responsive design, to name a few. We are continuing to invest heavily on this front and are testing several new offerings including Android & iOS SDKs for native app development with JW Player.
- Video Advertising. JW Player has long been the leader in video ad delivery. We will continue to dedicate significant resources to our efforts on this front. Later this year, for example, we will introduce VAST 3 support into JW Player.
- Video Management Services. Since the release of our cloud JW Player earlier this year, we have added several features in our dashboard to complement the player, including video analytics. In the coming year, we will be rolling out advanced engagement analytics, content syndication and ad mediation, among many other things. One thing worth mentioning is that we will continue to make JW Player modular, meaning if you only want to use the player, you will be able to do so as you do today. However, we do think you will see tremendous value in these additional services.
Needless to say, we are enormously excited to share these and other new offerings with you in the future.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has supported and contributed to the growth and success of JW Player. With your help we have had an unbelievable journey over the last five years. We are incredibly excited about the next phase of our company and look forward to the opportunity to work together with you.
CEO, JW Player