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Bringing the Chuckles to HTML5: The Funny or Die Story

The Internet has proven an amazing tool for helping people communicate and for disseminating all kinds of information.  Perhaps nowhere has it been more useful than in propagating funny stuff.  At the vangard of producing and distributing and setting the bar for humor is Funny or Die.  Funny or Die made a big splash when they launched in 2007, marking their debut with "The Landlord", the hilarious video wherein Will Ferrell is berated by his 2 year old landlord, Pearl.
The Landlord from Will Ferrell
In the 6 years since its premier, "The Landlord" has garnered over 70 million views, and the Funny or Die site has grown to 19 million monthly unique viewers, with 62.5 million monthly video views.  By 2012, the technical team realized that they needed to update a their encoding backend to increase scale and efficiency, and rework the site and video player in HTML5 to better support cross-platform web and mobile viewing experiences. They turned to the Zencoder transcoding service and Video.js, the most widely-used open source HTML5 player,which is sponsored by Brightcove. With Zencoder, they found a solution that:
  • Was more cost-effective than their previous solution
  • Enabled API-level integration with existing Content Management System (CMS)
  • Significantly reduced error rate and minimized engineering time devoted to troubleshooting encoding failures
  • Improved video compression, resulting in higher quality at a lower bitrate Automatically scaled to accommodate large spikes in encoding demand
With Video.js they got
  • An open-source player that is free to use and withstrong community contribution
  • Cross-platform support, which simplified development and maintenance, saving developers’ time
  • Extensibility, which made ad network integration and monetization easy
To read more about how Funny or Die utilizes the Zencoder service and Video.js, click here!