5 Tips for Choosing a Winner Video Player

Posted on

The secret sauce to winning video is finding a complete solution.

When choosing a winning video player, it’s not just about the coolest technology or the slickest design. It’s all about the complete package, the secret sauce. From playing videos to interacting with your audience, having a comprehensive solution that works together is key. Video empowers the delivery of disruptive user experiences, content exploration, and retention. When executed properly, video boosts your site and optimizes your monetization.

You need to approach your evaluation carefully to choose the right player for your site. Choosing the wrong one can have big consequences – decreased engagement, lowered SEO rankings, slowed performance, potential brand safety issues, and higher costs. Not only would you have to restart the whole process, but you could also set yourself back.

Don’t let fear get the best of you! In this blog, I will highlight the five tips to choose the right player for you to win with your video. Of course, I’ll also share how AnyClip can help deliver it all for you with ease.

Tip 1 – Lightweight with High Performance

When looking for a video player, start with the basics. The player must have a marginal footprint on your site load time and overall download size. Make sure it’s standard HTML, has a tiny payload and offers compression. This may seem trivial, but you’d be amazed at how many players don’t comply with all the requirements.

First, start with an HTML5 based player and ensure all of its payloads including the player, the videos and video thumbnails, and the playlist data, are compressed for best network utilization. Then, check to see if your player vendor provides you with a complete solution. This solution must include a CDN service, so videos will be distributed and served close as much as possible to the end users.

The solution should also auto-generate videos at different resolutions and audio bit rates. The player needs to be able to switch video files according to the actual resolution of the client, whether its a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or a TV. This way, not only are the videos served in proximity to users but also the most optimized files are streamed based on users’ resolution. Thus, ensuring instant playback, no playback stops or reduced network utilization.

You don’t have to worry about configuring and integrating all of these if you choose the player provider offering these off-the-shelf as a managed service.

Tip 2 – Designs, Themes, and Flexibility

It may not be a standalone factor, but you definitely want your video player to be slick, look great, and be up to date with the most recent design patterns. A great design has to be off the ready to go right of the shelf though. Your time is too valuable to spend a lot of it customizing your new video player.

Also, make sure that the player supports multiple themes and styles. How you decide to use your player now may be different from how you use it later. Here are a few questions to help you evaluate the flexibility of the solution:

• Does it offer both dynamic and fixed capabilities?

• Does it work as well on mobile as it does on a desktop?

• Will it support various page placements – in-feed, in-column, floating (always on screen), or even a combination of these?

You want your player to allow for this sort of flexibility and more. Your player should allow for style sheets – background, fonts, logos – to deliver what you need now, but also allow you to customize and adapt it on the fly, in a code-free way

Tip 3 – Content Recommendation, Exploration & Editorial

Users turn to publishers for specific content and increasingly want that in video format. Even the biggest publishers cannot fulfill all of the users’ content desires and can benefit from a little outside help. However, you must remember that users’ are coming to your site for specific content, so all videos must be relevant or match the content on your page to succeed. Finding the technology that can deliver the right video content, matched to the existing content at scale, and in real-time is key for a winner video player.

Even with solutions that can automatically deliver this video content for you, you’ll want to make sure you retain (and use) these two editorial controls:

      1. Set AI recommendation guidelines. You can, for example, focus on specific people (actors), categories (football), brands or other keywords. There may also be keywords you want to exclude like alcohol and firearms or competing brands. 
      2. Manage and combine your video library with solution recommendations. If you have created a video to accompany your article, you should set that to be the first in the playlist. Then, you can augment the playlist with ones chosen from the recommendation solution and other relevant videos from your own library.

With this type of technology, you allow for user exploration while promoting your own content. A winning player should promote additional videos based on the user’s preferences such as relevant brands and people in the video.

Tip 4 – Monetization

The player must support a wide range of monetization options to optimize revenue from video ads by default. The flexibility of ad frequency based on content is one thing to keep in mind. For example, an audience geared towards sports may prefer more ads if the clips are short, while people looking at news would prefer longer but fewer ads.

Tip 5 – ROI

The last tip is to make sure your player delivers a return on investment. While video is crucial to staying relevant with your audience, the ROI on a video player can be little to non-existent. Between video streaming, content storage, ad serving, and video syndication fees, delivering video content can run up a hefty tab. A winning video player will tackle these pain points, help drive site optimization for better monetization and balance the investment with the return. Look for the player that lets you focus on what you do, instead of worrying about the tech, support, and maintenance.

Videos are amazing at attracting the user’s attention. Any player can sit on your page and stream videos. However, to truly win at digital, you need to not only attract the users but also keep them engaged. Finding a solution that provides the tools to make your videos more interactive – such as, allowing the user to choose the content, purchase products from the videos, subscribe to your content –  then you have won twice-fold.

Get the Power, Bag the Cost

Today, video players are a commodity and the need to pay high operating fees is an obsolete concept. Previously, the costs of storage, streaming, and ad serving on top of paying for the player itself easily allowed publishers to go way over budget. We saw this with our own player needs, believed we could do better and knew that publishers deserved better too. The result was the release of AnyClip’s first-ever free video player for publishers.

Our video player is the end-to-end solution made with that secret sauce in mind. The highly flexible video player delivers free video-streaming, free content storage, and free ad serving.  The player has immediate access to AnyClip’s patented AI technology that delivers the best content matching from our enormous library of ultra-premium content.

Contact us to learn how AnyClip’s easy-to-use free video player can help you win with video!