Redefining “Batch” in our Analytics Pipeline

  Much like the legendary Gordian Knot, sometimes when a problem becomes too thorny to solve, you just need to approach it from a different perspective. Especially in the fast-paced world of data, it’s tempting to devise complex systems when a simple one works just as well. A few months ago, the analytics team at JW Player started working on breaking apart the usage computation from our larger daily pipeline. This usage data needed to be more timely to help our customers avoid overage charges or unexpected loss of service. We called this new pipeline Usage-Mini because it would run more frequently on smaller batches of data as they arrive. As part of splitting apart the usage aggregation, we redesigned the pipeline, making one key decision that has led to huge improvements in performance, monitoring, and stability. This change was to reformulate our definition of batch from fixed time to fixed size. What’s the big deal about that? Keep reading to understand the impact of this simple choice.

The Future of Live and Video Everywhere

2016 was a bellwether year for livestreaming, with everything from social networks like Facebook, corporate sites, and the mobile web all offering outlets for real-time video. However, according to analysts, this trend is just starting to gain momentum. 2017 is shaping up to be the year of “live everywhere”, with platforms like JW Live allowing publishers to harness this ubiquity for fresh promotional and revenue opportunities.

From Consumers to Business

To understand the future, it pays to look at the past. In 2007, Justin.tv and USTREAM popularized livestreaming platforms, dedicating entire networks for anyone to broadcast their life in real-time. Similarly, YouTube launched a live video service in 2011. But as mobile devices have gotten smarter and broadband networks have improved, Facebook and a raft of others have followed suit in the last few quarters, resulting in a fragmented set of livestream creation options, especially for consumers. At the same time, major media players, including sports leagues and awards shows, have offered live streams to deepen user engagement. The result of all of this? In 2016, end users began creating video and also watching it in unprecedented numbers.

What to Do Once Your Video Starts Trending

Internet trends arrive fast and disappear even faster. So when your video starts to gain traction, you want to be ready to engage your new viewers and build on momentum. There are applications that allow publishers to see the moment their videos gain traction—like JW Player's Right Now analytics tool—but the question remains: What do you once a video starts to go viral? Sit back and clink glasses? Of course not. In order to keep the trend going and expand your viewership, you'll need to get to work quickly. Otherwise, you might miss a timely opportunity and lose your audience to the next big thing. Here are four actionable steps to take once your video starts trending.

Google IMA Ends Flash in 2017

The end-times are near for Flash! As you know from our last blogpost about Flash, the technology is quickly being pushed out in favor of HTML5 thanks to Google. While the last post covered the deprecation of Flash in browsers, we wanted to let you know about changes with Flash in advertising, specifically Google IMA. If you haven't heard already, Google is planning to deprecate their Google IMA Flash SDK as well as cease support for Flash VPAID ads when using the HMTL5 SDK in 2017.  To top it all off, Google’s DFP will stop serving Flash ads as well. If you haven’t started migrating away from Flash, it’s time to get moving and we’re here to help you through it.

Beyond Social: Complementing your Facebook Live Strategy

Live streaming has emerged as a critical tool for publishers seeking new monetization opportunities and deepened engagement with audiences. Audience consumption of live content on the Internet is accelerating rapidly, and content creators are rushing to make the most of what that promises. Platforms like Facebook Live offer an attractive option for getting started with live streaming for a wide range of publishers. For smaller organizations without video infrastructure experts on staff, it’s a free platform that allows them to reach into potentially millions of members’ daily lives. For larger organizations, including Buzzfeed and The New York Times, Facebook Live’s paid initiative to jumpstart live streaming on the platform has been a compelling way to experiment with the medium. Additionally, Facebook continues to offer new video features and opportunities to reach audiences across devices.       However, media companies and content producers of all sizes should not start and end their live streaming strategies with social platforms alone. Engaging audiences on one’s owned and operated (O&O) sites with live streaming content also offers publishers and broadcasters a number of advantages.

Mobile UI in 2017 – Big Things On Small Screens

Did you know that by some metrics, mobile video plays are becoming more prevalent than desktop? On top of that, some sites have 80% or more of their viewers coming from mobile devices. And while that shouldn’t come as a shock given the huge sales numbers for every new phone and tablet that comes out, the video industry can sometimes be a bit slow to handle mobile web (UI especially) with the care and attention it deserves. As you saw in our Mobile Autoplay blogpost, JW Player is pushing hard to ensure viewer experience on mobile devices (as well as small desktop players) is just as enjoyable as a large desktop player.

Catch JW Player This Thursday at The Product Group Meetup

Those of you in the NYC area will have a chance to hear JW Product Manager Henry Lee present at the upcoming “The Product Group” Meetup this Thursday. He will explore the JW Player product and lead a discussion about many of the lessons learned and opportunities facing the company…

Analytics Segmentation: Ad Impressions

Last August, our data exploration tool Segmentation launched and has helped Advanced Analytics users take control of their data and dig deeper into video performance trends.

This month, we rolled out an important new metric: Ad Impressions!  

 

 

Users can now

Casting and AirPlay Updates in JW 7.9

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 10.11.44 AM JW 7.9 brings a major refactor to Casting support that aims to make integrating with the popular second screen experience even easier. You are no longer required to register with Google and you do not have to set up a custom receiver application. Instead we have integrated directly with the default receiver application provided by Google. This allows more video formats to be supported like MPEG-DASH and provides a much quicker setup time to Cast. JW 7.9 also adds support for AirPlay directly within the player controls, allowing viewers to watch videos on AirPlay-supported devices like AppleTV.

Meet Nicole, Product Designer at JW Player

At JW Player, our Design team is a cross-functional team comprised of Product Designers and UX Engineers focused on user experience, design, and research for all products and company websites. We work collaboratively with other teams to execute on the best experiences for our customers. As we look ahead to…