The Cloud-Hosted JW Player & Why it is the Easiest Way to Go Live

If the term “cloud-hosted”, or “in the cloud” is still news to you, then get ready for the next wave of web-based services and applications. Software as a service is moving to the cloud — and slowly fading are the times where bulky downloads and installs are required to support basic business needs.

Cloud-hosted products are easy to setup, reliable, fast and up-to-date. They also provide alternatives for sharing, storing and collaborating. All the big technology companies are moving their services to the cloud — Google, Adobe, Microsoft — to name just a few. Google’s hosted jquery library is perhaps one of the most popular examples of a colloquially used cloud-hosted tool. The big advantage here is that the library is hosted on Google’s CDN servers — therefore load faster and cache better. Adobe’s Creative Cloud gives users 20GBs of cloud-storage for better sharing of projects and syncing across devices. Microsoft Office 365 supports multiple users per account to compete with the rising popularity of collaborative tools like Google Drive.

 

The Cloud-hosted JW Player

We recently launched a cloud-hosted version of the JW Player. The cloud-hosted player is served from our CDN, which means users no longer have to download a zip file & upload the extracted files to their web servers. Nor do they have to worry about updating the player files with each minor player release. We host & serve the player library for you, but still give you full control over the actual player embed code on your webpage. This means that users can modify the default player embed with all of the same configuration options available for the self-hosted player.

We like to think that this is the most powerful version of our video player. Benefits are vast, including:

  1. Easy setup with our go-live Publish Wizard — no downloads or installations required
  2. Fast & Reliable — AWS hosted player files & browser caching optimize player load time
  3. Always up-to-date, including playback support for the newest devices on the market
  4. Support for multiple users for shared access to cloud-hosted publishing & analytics

Our Users Love It…

Since the soft launch of our cloud-hosted JW Player in March 2013, we have already seen great adoption & growth from our users.

To date, over 12,000 users have signed-up for JW Player Accounts and gone live with the cloud-hosted player, representing 10% of all new JW Player Account users acquired since the cloud-hosted player launch. In the month of May 2013 we saw roughly 1 million streams per day in cloud-hosted JW Players, and this rate is growing rapidly. This is a positive shift away from the traditional download & self-host model the JW Player has historically supported.

But don’t worry, for users who still prefer a more DIY approach, we will always offer & support the self-hosted JW Player download.

Beyond the Cloud-hosted JW Player

We believe in the move to cloud-based services, particularly for online video publishing. As a product team, this is our biggest near-time focus. In addition to our cloud-hosted player, and integrated JW Player Analytics, we will soon be rolling out a series of additional cloud-based video publishing services to both free & licensed JW Player users.

These services include:

  • Media hosting (encoding & streaming)
  • Media management (thumbnails, playlists, metadata)
  • Comprehensive video analytics reporting (by video, page, device & geography)
  • Enhanced point & click publishing tools (go-live publish wizard)

The key here is that these cloud-based services will be optional add-ons (free & paid tiers) to the player, so users can pick and choose from what they need most, optimizing their video publishing experience in a truly modular fashion. This differs from the traditional OVP model, where users are typically faced with an all or nothing solution. Our goal is to offer the best set of services, for each individual user, determined by the user himself.

Each of these services bring our users closer to their end goal: publishing a video in the JW Player, today.

… And stay tuned for future features that will help users drive more video views, measure their video’s social reach, recommend related videos and allow for A/B testing of published content.