When Maker Studios was sold to Disney for a record $900 million (if the final payout holds), the gauntlet finally was thrown down on how much investors and media giants would be willing to spend on multichannel networks, some of the newest disruptors in the online video space. There was only one catch: MCNs are part of YouTube’s website, and not offered anywhere else. While this doesn’t necessarily limit media companies from promoting and creating popular content, some are reportedly balking at the idea of paying big dollars when YouTube gets the majority of views–and a big chunk of the advertising revenue.
YouTube is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla of the video world, but a crop of specialist video tech providers are carving out lucrative niches by giving publishers the tools they need to capture their share of the fast-growing video ad market. Just last week, venture capitalists plowed $20 million into New York-based JW Player, bringing its total backing to $25.6 million. You may not have heard of JW Player, but more than 2 million sites use its player to serve videos to roughly 900 million people every month, according to the company.
JW Player, the company behind the video player of the same name, is announcing that it has raised $20 million in Series C funding. Even if you haven’t heard of the company, you’ve probably watched videos delivered through its player, as its customers include TripAdvisor, IMDB, The Guardian, and EA, among many others. JW Player says it’s used on 2 million sites, and its videos are watched by more than 900 million people each month.
Video startup JW Player has raised a fresh $20 million round of funding to grow beyond its status as one of the most used non-YouTube video players. It’s a SaaS video platform, and it powers one of the largest open-source video players available, so the chances are pretty good that nearly everyone surfing the web has used it at least once before. The company claims that about five percent of all video streamed happens through its JW Player across 2 million sites to 900 million monthly unique viewers. JW Player is significant because it’s a solution for video publishers who find they can’t generate enough revenue through YouTube alone.
YouTube is often synonymous with video marketing. But when silly songwriter Weird Al Yankovic asked multi-platform content creator Nerdist Industries to help produce a music video for his new album release, the brand decided to go against the grain and rely on its own Web video player. Instead of promoting the video on YouTube as it had done in the past, Nerdist decided to invest in its own Web video player. So during the three to four weeks it had to make the video, the company implemented customized video technology from JW Player on its site Nerdist.com.
Ad tag waterfalling becomes much less complex in this version, and publishers gain more precise ad scheduling. The improvements are coming fast for JW Player. Last month the company released version 6.9 of its player, adding Chromecast support for the desktop. Now, it’s released version 6.10, which should be even more useful thanks to two monetization advances.
JW Player has integrated Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chromecast support into its platform, making it possible for viewers to watch content from sites such as Rifftrax and Snagfilms on their TV sets through the device’s cast feature. Other online-video sites that use JW Player as their streaming platform, such as Baeblemusic and GamerSyde, have made the leap to supporting Chromecast as well or could add support soon, according to Gigaom. That’s because JW Player is used by a number of major content providers.
JW Player, a company that has developed an HTML5-based video player, has announced that a number of content providers that use its software are now able to stream their clips on Google’s Chromecast HDMI dongle.
Users of the ad-supported movie streaming site SnagFilms can now cast videos to their TVs, thanks to their use of the popular JW Player video player … a popular HTML5 video player that added Chromecast support in July. JW Player is used by the UFC, Kickstarter, the Washington Post and Popsugar, among others. Altogether, JW Player helps provide more than 7 billion streams to more than 750 million unique viewers every month.
What can brands new to the video space take away from the interest in clips like those from Weird Al? The massive scale that the “Tacky” video accomplished shows that independent video content publishing, particularly the “viral video” phenomenon, without YouTube is possible, and enables publishers to take more ownership over their users’ experience. Using a third-party video technology like JW Player allows brands moving into the content space to create a seamless user experience that is customized and consistent with the brand, not the video technology provider (unlike the case with YouTube, where videos and user experience are branded and controlled by YouTube).
JW Player, a leader in online and mobile video, today announced that its advanced online video platform powered Weird Al Yankovic’s “Tacky” video on Nerdist. JW Player was used for the launch of the first video in the series of Weird Al Yankovic’s eight videos, with exclusive video content created by Nerdist published only at Nerdist for the video’s premiere. As a result, in its first week the “Tacky” video had far more video views on JW Player than on YouTube.