JW Player Launches Video Thumbnails

First impressions are everything and a thumbnail is the first impression your viewers have of your content. Thumbnails are an incredibly effective way to capture and engage audiences with your videos, enticing them to click play. At JW Player, we strive to develop tools that deepen audience engagement while providing seamless workflows. Making our thumbnail offering stronger is a part of that goal. Thumbnail support is included in our streaming solution, an end to end solution to deliver compelling video experiences across every screen.

Our offering now includes auto-generated Video Thumbnails. This is a preview thumbnail of the first few seconds of a video automatically created when you upload it. Video Thumbnails will be in addition to our current thumbnail support which already includes automatically creating a poster thumbnail or uploading your own custom one.

Why Video Thumbnails?

As the industry moves away from auto play to focus on click-to-play to maintain the best viewing experiences, it’s becoming more and more important to attract viewer attention in other ways. As leaders in video, we strive to provide the best solution to deem the strongest results for our customers and have found that adding motion to thumbnails is the most engaging way to do it, increasing both video starts and viewing time!

How Does It Work?

Once you upload a video, an mp4 will be delivered to the player that displays it as a thumbnail to your audience. These thumbnails autoplay silently whenever the video player becomes viewable (at least 50% in view). Simply turn it on in the dashboard for each property and Video Thumbnails will automatically apply to new video uploads. Once enabled, we will auto generate video thumbnails every time you upload a new video. The first 5 seconds will be used, audio stripped out, and a beautiful thumbnail will play in front of all media 320px and 640px wide. You do, of course, still have the option to upload your own custom thumbnail whether it’s video or a static image.


Putting motion around a thumbnail is a great way to attract clicks while maintaining a great viewer experience. During beta, several customers saw an improvement in CTRs of greater than 15% over static images! More clicks lead to more views and watch time resulting in more monetization opportunities and ad dollars. Plus, no need to spend time manually creating and uploading custom thumbnails for each video in your content library anymore. Take advantage of Video Thumbnails today to easily engage audiences with your video content before they even click play! 

Interested in learning more about Video Thumbnails? Please contact your account manager.