Today we announced the public launch of our latest resource, The State of HTML5 Video Report. For two years our JW Player team has researched and monitored the evolution of HTML5 video capabilities so that we could effectively support it. Beyond our own products, we believe that the community at large will benefit from this work. We are extremely pleased to share our detailed research with the community.
With 2011 behind us and beginning of 2012 well on its way, I thought that it would be a good time to share some of our progress over the past twelve months.
In short, 2011 was an amazing year for LongTail Video. We experienced incredible customer growth across all of our products (more on that below) and successfully released a number of fantastic new products and features. Here are a few of the highlights:
Consolidation has begun in the mobile video space. In early November, Adobe announced it would stop developing its Flash Player for mobile devices (read: Android). Going forward, HTML5 will be the only method to play back videos on mobile phones and tablets. This is a big win for Apple, the company that most strongly opposed Flash in the last few years
Last year, we declared that HTML5 video was not quite there yet. Well, it's nearly 18 months since that post, so what's happened in the intervening time?
Doesn't Flash already support hardware acceleration for H.264?
Last week, the W3C held its Second Web & TV Workshop in Berlin. The workshop focused on the convergence of web technology and broadcasting. In other words, how will web and television work together to eventually merge?
Along with sessions on second-screen scenarios and accessibility, the workshops covered adaptive streaming and content protection. Both sessions were very compelling considering that streaming and protection are two important limitations of today's HTML5 video support.
Adaptive Streaming: DASH
The Google Chrome team recently announced it would drop support for the H.264 video codec. Dropping H264 is beneficial for Google in several ways: it may help Google's WebM format gain additional traction in the market and solidifies Google's stance as a supporter of open media formats in the WebM versus H264 debate, as most of Google's other properties (including YouTube) still support H264.
Shortly after the announcement, a truckload of blog posts popped up, explaining the impact this would have on the adoption of WebM over H264. A couple interesting reads:
As you may know, the JW Player has long included support for playing YouTube videos. We did this by integrating YouTube’s ActionScript 2 chromeless player as a JW Player Media Provider, and it has worked well for a number of years. You can see an example of it below. Recently, YouTube made a change to their AS2 chromeless player that affects our ability to support all YouTube videos. This change was announced last October and just went into effect. In short, if you embed a video that YouTube and/or their partners consider monetizable, then the video won’t play and your users will see an error (see the example below).
Is your goal to increase the total number of video views on your site? Are you having trouble ranking high within search engine results? This blog post will present some basic guidelines for achieving this goal — and building a robust Video Sitemap for your site.
One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your videos, and site in general, is through the use of a sitemap, or in this case, a video sitemap. A sitemap provides search engines with information about your site, and a video sitemap provides information on your videos. In essence, it makes it easier for search engines (i.e. Google) to understand the content of your site, and assign the appropriate rankings.
We are honored to accept the award for Best Streaming Innovation in the 2010 Streaming Media Readers' Choice Awards. LongTail Video's JW Player won the award, with overwhelming support from our community. We'd like to extend a warm thank-you to everyone that has helped us get to this point. Without your feedback and support, our products would not be where they are today!