Brightcove Blog - The Leading Online Video Hosting Platform en Auto-Captions: Limitations of Automated Speech Recognition Wed, 20 Sep 2023 13:00:00 GMT The rise of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) has taken the world by storm, finding applications in personal and professional spheres alike. In the captioning industry, GAI can be used in the process of automatic speech recognition (ASR), which converts spoken language into written text. While ASR technology has never been more accurate than it is today, our research shows that <a href="" target="_blank" title="Humans are still the key to accessible, AI-driven tech">even the best engines perform below industry standards</a>. This means humans are still a mainstay in producing high-quality, accessible captions. The Accuracy of ASR Engines In the captioning world, accuracy rates are used to gauge the precision and quality of a caption file or transcript. Since accuracy is crucial to providing a truly equitable accommodation for d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences, the industry standard for minimum acceptable caption accuracy is 99%. When measuring the accuracy of an ASR engine, there are a variety of factors to consider. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Closed Captioning Quality Report and Order">As outlined by the FCC</a>, “Accurate closed captions must convey the tone of the speaker’s voice and intent of the content.” Proper spelling, spacing, capitalization, and punctuation are key elements of accurate captions, as are non-speech elements like sound effects and speaker identifications. Because ASR engines are driven by artificial intelligence, their capabilities are limited to what they’ve been taught via their programming. Despite continuing advancements, AI technology doesn’t have the same capacity for logic or understanding context as a human being. In practice, this means <a href="" target="_blank" title="Bizarre Facebook auto-captions from NASA launch">ASR transcripts are notoriously riddled with inconsistencies</a> in spelling and grammar and often completely omit relevant non-speech elements. However, not all ASR engines are created equal. <a href="" target="_blank" title="2023 State of ASR Report">3Play Media’s report on the state of ASR</a> evaluated the performance and accuracy of 10 engines in captioning and transcribing pre-recorded content. We uncovered that some engines are better suited for particular content, which adds nuance to possible use cases for ASR generated captions. Only two out of 10 engines produced output measuring over 95% accuracy, which is impressive, but still not independently sufficient to produce accessible captions. The Impact of ASR Inaccuracy The repercussions of inaccurate captions may reach further than you think. <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Purchasing Power of Working-Age Adults With Disabilities">People with disabilities and their families wield spending power in the billions</a>, but their <a href="" target="_blank" title="Click-Away Pound Survey">willingness to spend drops significantly when online experiences are inaccessible</a>. With the <a href="" target="_blank" title="2023 WebAIM Million Report">2023 WebAIM Million Report</a> finding accessibility failures on over 96% of website home pages, this represents a real gap in potential revenue streams. Not only do low-quality captions make content inaccessible, they can have a negative impact on your user experience across the board. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Why YouTube's Captions Are So Bad">The limitations of ASR make their transcripts more susceptible to substitution errors, hallucinations (text without audio basis), and formatting errors</a>—which can confuse your audience and the algorithm. Further, video transcripts have an impact on SEO, which is an essential aspect of many brand marketing strategies. Search engines rely on text associated with video content in order to index and rank results appropriately. This makes transcripts and caption files some of the strongest contributors to a site’s keyword density and relevant search rankings. If your brand relies solely on automatically generated transcripts, errors could bog down your search strategy. Incorrect long-form queries and keywords create a disconnect between you, your target audience, and their engagement potential. On top of the technical disadvantages, presenting poor-quality captions calls your whole brand into question. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Spelling and Grammar Steer Credibility">In the UK, 59% of consumers report that spelling errors and bad grammar would make them doubt the quality of services being offered</a>. In other words, inaccurate captions undermine your marketing efforts and erode the confidence of your audience. How to Use ASR Wisely ASR is an essential tool for creating closed captions efficiently at scale. ASR-generated transcripts streamline captioning by providing a foundational first step for human editors to review. This eliminates the need for the manual timecode association, which is typically the most time-consuming part of caption production. So the combination of professional human transcriptionists and technology makes for a more efficient quality assurance process, while keeping costs low for customers. <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Training Artificial Intelligence">3Play’s patented process combines the best of both worlds to create highly accurate transcripts and media accessibility services</a>. Our transcriptionists undergo a rigorous certification process to ensure their review and quality assurance is up to par. In tandem with top-of-the-line ASR technology, this allows us to guarantee an average measured accuracy of 99.6%.</p> To make video accessibility easy, we integrate with popular video platforms like Brightcove to make it work where you already do. In addition to making content accessible and keeping up with compliance, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Integrate with 3Play Media on the Brightcove Marketplace">the integration between 3Play and Brightcove</a> increases the value of your video investment with one click. Kelly Mahoney Maximize Your Content With Linear TV Streaming Wed, 13 Sep 2023 13:00:00 GMT Today’s landscape for viewers seeking their next piece of content can be summed up in one word: options. Shows about eccentric art pieces from Africa, the latest cricket match, specific genres of anime, or restoring Gothic Victorian furniture are all just a few clicks away. Whether on mobile, laptop, or the family room TV, the labyrinth of content choices can seem endless (and daunting), with each vying for viewer attention. Despite so many options, the growth of linear TV streaming demonstrates that audiences still long for a curated and passive experience. For example, the revenue associated with <a href="" target="_blank" title="Omdia FAST Channel Revenue Report">Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST) channels—a subset of linear TV—is poised to triple by 2027</a>. Why? It depends on who you ask. For consumers, scrolling through vast libraries can induce decision fatigue, which makes the simplicity of scheduled programming seem refreshing. The curated content of a thematic channel makes for a more relaxing experience, as opposed to seemingly endless browsing for programming that fits their current mood. For media companies, expanding their brands to new audiences and opening up new revenue opportunities can be difficult with a single platform and media catalog. On the other hand, presenting content across multiple channels, whether single IP (genre-specific) or branded mainstream programming, can more efficiently reach audiences across the globe. Advertisers are also very much aware of the opportunity offered by linear TV streaming. Unlike VOD services, which depend on active viewer engagement with individual content assets, linear streaming services deliver content (and ads) until the viewer leaves the channel. In other words, they can reap the same benefits of the traditional broadcast and cable linear model with the advantages of targeted advertising available on digital streaming. Challenges for Linear TV Streaming Building a linear TV service requires expertise in a few key areas that will ensure efficiency and deliver viewer satisfaction. Global reach. Reaching audiences across the globe depends on multi-CDN delivery and content localization, including support for multiple language tracks, subtitles and captions, and options for automated transcription and translation services. Engaging those audiences will vary but should include immersive playback experience on the web, mobile, or CTV platforms, and potentially interactive options like chat and quizzes. Flexible integrations. Since you’ll likely have a variety of content sources and delivery mechanisms, seamless and adaptable integrations will be key for technical success. This may include app framework providers for OTT, ad servers, payment processing, subscriber management, and social media platforms. Optimized workflows. Success in new markets is also dependent on streamlining your operational resources and shortening your time-to-market. But managing a high volume of content through multiple systems will ultimately be cumbersome and inefficient. A single, unified system for all video content can transform your fragmented processes into a smoothly orchestrated, end-to-end streaming engine. Data visibility. Streaming services provide valuable data on audience behavior, content performance, and the streaming experience. But all of that data must be aggregated and harmonized across distribution strategies and services to have value. This could be presented via in-platform reports and dashboards, but it should also be accessible through easily integrated APIs. Revenue visibility. Not only will you need your revenue data integrated across distribution strategies, you’ll need to show results aligned with executive revenue targets. This is where a technology partner isn’t enough; you’ll need a partner with industry expertise. Working closely with media veterans who have built and launched some of the most successful streaming services is essential to competing in burgeoning markets. Solutions for Linear TV Streaming To overcome the challenges of building a linear TV channel, it’s essential that your video platform allows for the appropriate metadata. When it comes to linear TV, metadata isn’t just a nice-to-have to aid organization, discovery, and descriptions. Rather, it’s the linchpin that helps both optimize the viewing experience and extend your reach to other platforms and streaming destinations. For starters, by leveraging the information that metadata offers, users can more easily find the content suited to their taste by simply entering a few keywords. Metadata also plays a crucial role in curating intelligent playlists. Suggestions can now be more personalized and intuitive, creating a smarter playlist based on the movies, episodes, series, and seasons viewers have been watching. Another key benefit of metadata for your linear TV service is deeper analytics and insights. Beyond top-performing content or time spent watching, you’ll be able to break down data by multiple dimensions. Series, seasons, genres, and ratings are just a few of the filters you can use to get more granular intelligence on your content and your audience. Additional reach through syndication rounds out the use cases for linear TV streaming. In fact, Pay TV operators, OTT services, smart device manufacturers, and other providers require detailed video metadata exchanges to ensure seamless integration and discoverability. Furthermore, syndication requires a TV schedule in conjunction with descriptive video data (and imagery) in order to power on-screen guides and discovery. This ensures that audiences can always find and enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies, and sports programs. <font size="3">New Brightcove Solutions</font> For these reasons, Brightcove has extended the metadata associated with the video assets in our platform to include metadata from the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Gracenote Overview">Gracenote schema</a>. Gracenote, a Nielsen Holdings company, licenses a database of editorial and contextual data and imagery that has been widely adopted by streaming services providers. Thanks to this extension, Brightcove users can classify a video asset as a movie or an episode. They can also specify its Display Title, Description, and Release Date, as well as its Genre, Rating, Production Country, and Keywords with Controlled Vocabulary. And most importantly, users can note its TMS ID, which is specifically used by distribution platforms that license Gracenote data to power content distribution and discovery. When an asset is classified as an episode, you can also create a hierarchy and associate it with a series and season. This content hierarchy means a season can inherit missing metadata from its season, and an episode can inherit metadata from its season or its series. To enhance our UX experience, we have introduced typeahead user-assisted entry to relate a video instance to a series or season. And, if a series or season is not present in your database, you can simply create one in the video details, avoiding unnecessary navigation. In addition to extended metadata, we have also introduced a scheduler that enables the creation of a 24/7 channel and an Electronic Program Guide (EPG). This allows delivery to a variety of streaming destinations including your owned-and-operated websites and apps or partner destinations where you want your channels to appear. Thanks to our scheduler, you can manage the programming slots of your week and the necessary ad pods, including pre/post jumper selection. You can quickly add videos, playlists, and series; resolve conflicts by moving, deleting, and swapping content; and configure slates for fallback during program gaps. Once you have defined the destinations that will receive your channel, you can review and publish it to your apps. Opportunities for Linear TV Streaming For media companies with rich VOD libraries, linear TV streaming presents an opportunity to get more value out of those assets and reach a wider audience. Whether your audience wants to focus on a specific piece of content or enjoy the programming on a 24/7 channel, it’s important to cater to their different needs. The right video platform will offer the flexibility needed to manage different experiences while offering the appropriate monetization models to best suit your content and audience. You may even decide to try some solutions for a given timescale to observe your audience behavior and make content decisions, like novelty pop-up channels. You could showcase films from a film festival, play holiday content throughout the season, broadcast past sports events, or even supplement a trade show. Linear TV in a Streaming Media Landscape Maximizing content across multiple platforms can be a logistical nightmare. Each platform may have different requirements, workflows, and analytics tools, making it challenging to optimize your streaming operations. By consolidating your on-demand and linear content on a single platform, you can simplify your content management process and increase efficiency. However, that single platform must have the detailed metadata Pay TV operators, OTT services, smart device manufacturers, and other providers require. And that platform must have the ability to create EPGs through a scheduler so your content can be delivered by those distributors. Media companies know this, and Brightcove Media Studio can not only deliver on those demands, it can bring the incredible value Brightcove is known for. For example, you could enhance your content with Ad Monetization, our fully managed ad-ops service, or add FAST distribution through our partner, Frequency. Solutions like Ad Insights and Subscriber Insights can also provide a more comprehensive picture of the viewer engagement and preferences that lead to audience loyalty and content monetization. The streaming media ecosystem presents both challenges and unprecedented opportunities. While the sheer volume and variety of content will only continue to grow, the potential to nurture a variety of audiences through strategic partnerships and robust media platforms has never been greater. Roberta Cambio Social Commerce: Reaching Niche Audiences with Micro-Video Tue, 29 Aug 2023 13:00:00 GMT If you’ve ever made a purchase via social media, congratulations, you’ve joined the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Social Commerce Report">96 million people who also participated in social commerce over the past year</a>. And while social shopping isn’t particularly new, the amount of growth predicted over the coming years shows that it is far from reaching its peak. In fact, Statista forecasts that the amount of <a href="" target="_blank" title="Value of social commerce sales worldwide from 2022 to 2026">sales via social media will reach nearly $3 trillion by 2026</a>. Of course, the growth in social commerce won’t happen in a silo. Generating brand awareness, influencing purchase decisions, and building trust requires an omnichannel approach. The increased fragmentation across digital channels means there’s a good chance that customers will see your brand on other channels before heading to your social channels for further exploration. Niche audiences especially won’t always respond to broad traditional marketing tactics, due to having more peculiar interests. The key here is to quickly grab their attention, like through short form or micro-video, and then turn that interest into engagement. Imagine browsing social media and getting a suggestion for an Instagram Reel, Facebook Reel, or TikTok video. If you went on to further engage with the original creator, then you already know how effective this approach can be. And most likely, the more the suggested content appealed to a niche interest of yours, the better it was at capturing your attention and engaging you. This scenario plays out across channels, social networks, and the web at large non-stop—24/7. So whether you’re new to social commerce or already have an established presence on several platforms, understanding how to leverage it and incorporate it into your overall e-commerce strategy will pay dividends for years to come. Social Commerce Audiences The good news is that you don’t have to go to the depths of the web to find these niche audiences. It’s more a matter of tapping into already existing audiences and appealing to the members with niche interests within them. Take a look at some of the <a href="" target="_blank" title="What’s behind the social commerce surge">typical social commerce audiences, how to reach them, and where to find them</a>. <style type="text/css"> .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-style:solid;border-width:0px;font-family: articulat-cf;font-size:14px;overflow:hidden; padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-style:solid;border-width:0px;font-family: articulat-cf;font-size:14px;font-weight:normal; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-j8tq{background-color:#a1d1e6;border-color:#a1d1e6;font-family: articulat-cf;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-6vby{background-color:#4ea9d1;border-color:#ffffff;font-family: articulat-cf;font-size:100%;font-weight:bold;text-align:left; vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-o7cb{background-color:#4ea9d1;border-color:#ffffff;font-family: articulat-cf;font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-w9zm{background-color:#c8e4f0;border-color:#c8e4f0;font-family: articulat-cf;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} </style> <table class="tg"> <thead> <tr> <th class="tg-o7cb">Audience</th> <th class="tg-o7cb">Landscape</th> <th class="tg-o7cb">Best Ways to Reach Them</th> <th class="tg-o7cb">Top Platforms</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tg-j8tq">Broad</td> <td class="tg-j8tq">Brands and retailers</td> <td class="tg-j8tq">Establishing a social presence or running targeted ads</td> <td class="tg-j8tq">Facebook and Instagram</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-w9zm">Influencer</td> <td class="tg-w9zm">Less broad than brands and retailers, but seeing astonishing growth</td> <td class="tg-w9zm">Partnering with influencers</td> <td class="tg-w9zm">TikTok</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-j8tq">Niche</td> <td class="tg-j8tq">Audiences looking for specific content based on their interests, regardless of brand, retailer, or influencer</td> <td class="tg-j8tq">Crafting engaging content related to their search queries</td> <td class="tg-j8tq">Pinterest</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> Social Commerce Videos One thing these audiences have in common is that statistically speaking, 84% of each of these groups will be convinced to purchase after watching a related video. However, different types of videos are more effective with different audiences. Below are just a few of the key categories that can support social commerce, depending on which audience you’re trying to engage. <font size="3">Live Video</font> Live streaming allows you to engage with your audience in real time, fostering deeper customer/brand relationships. The spontaneity that can occur during live streams gives viewers a clear, unedited view of the brand which creates a sense of authenticity and trust—both of which are invaluable for social commerce. Live videos generally appeal to broader audiences, especially when they feature an influencer. They tend to work well for creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity, making them ideal for announcements, giveaways, and events. <font size="3">Long-form Video</font> Long-form videos can appeal to every type of audience. The opportunity for robust storytelling makes them appealing for broader audiences, while the opportunity to take a deeper dive and showcase expertise makes them ideal for niche audiences. Keep in mind that in social commerce, purchase decisions are often influenced not just by the product but also by the people, passion, and values behind it. Longer behind-the-scenes videos are a great way to help brands effectively communicate them. For niche audiences, who often have specific interests, how-to videos are particularly effective at visually demonstrating how your product can solve a problem or fulfill a need. <font size="3">User-Generated Video</font> User-generated videos can be a strong asset for your social commerce efforts. The authenticity they bring provides strong social proof that people are buying, using, and loving your product. Oftentimes, content like product reviews will dive deeper into many of the features, benefits, and use cases that might not be mentioned in official brand content. They offer diverse perspectives of your product and typically lead to high engagement as users may be more likely to interact with content from their peers. User-generated video will appeal to a wide range of audiences, whether broad or niche. <font size="3">Micro-video</font> The explosion of short-form or micro-video content is evident by the strong growth of platforms like TikTok and features like Instagram Reels. As digital attention spans seemingly grow shorter and shorter, micro-video helps ensure that your message is concise and can capture attention quickly. They offer a great way to engage the <a href="" target="_blank" title="International Council of Shopping Centers Report">85% of Gen Z who turn to social for shopping</a>, while also spanning generations since the content is so commonly and easily shared. Many platforms now allow your customers to shop directly from the micro-video itself, making them great for flash promotions or teasers that allow users to pre-order. While micro-video appeals to all audiences, you’ll find much higher competition for consumer attention on broad audience platforms. Social Commerce Technology When it comes to leveraging video for social commerce, if you can’t compare performance across channels and platforms, you can’t know how to optimize your campaign and content. Social media platforms can give you an overview of data, but you’ll get deeper insights and richer analytics by integrating your online video player (OVP) with your marketing automation platform (MAP). Combining content data and marketing data can give you a clear picture of what’s truly resonating with your most loyal audiences. Add to that the data social platforms offer and you can start to test which types of content resonate best on which platforms and with whom. For example, not only does Brightcove integrate with Facebook and Instagram, it also integrates with Pinterest business accounts. And Pinterest is notably increasing its foothold as a social commerce powerhouse with their <a href="" target="_blank" title="Something No Social Media Platform Ever Has done">shift to video and recent partnership with Amazon</a>. So, by integrating your OVP and MAP with your social content, you’ll be able to clearly tell whether Pinterest or other platforms are performing best and make strategic marketing decisions based on that insight. For example, you might find that some videos perform well with your customers but don’t seem to perform well on Facebook or Instagram. Perhaps those platforms are too congested for your specific target audience to see them. You can try them on Pinterest, where you might find your target audience has an easier time discovering them. The deep analytics will help you uncover these types of trends. It’s worth noting that if you lack an established presence on Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest is a great first step into social commerce, since you don’t need a big presence to be effective. The strong performance it sees from micro-videos tailored to niche keywords makes it an ideal platform to build your social commerce foundation on. Simply repurpose the content that you know your customers already love into micro-videos that connect your product to specific queries, monitor the analytics, and optimize your approach. In fact, with Brightcove’s Pinterest integration, you can publish video pins directly from the same interface you use to promote the rest of your digital video content. Social Commerce: The Future Happening Now Social commerce has become an undeniable part of a complete e-commerce strategy. And just like the rest of e-commerce, a successful strategy needs a diverse distribution plan that can reach and engage broad and niche audiences alike. Once you understand your audiences and how to best reach them on their preferred social networks, you’ll want to ensure that you have a centralized solution that can manage all of your content. The ideal solution will allow you to integrate your OVP, MAP, and social business accounts into a single platform. Not only will this provide efficiency and consistency, it will offer the deep analytics and segmentation that can help guide your strategy moving forward. You’ll also want to understand which platforms offer which features and stay on top of changes that can further enhance your overall performance, especially on growing platforms like Pinterest. Wherever you’re at in your journey, one thing seems certain: social commerce will see strong growth YoY for the foreseeable future. There’s no better time to start or optimize your approach to engaging customers on the platforms that have become so inextricably interwoven into the way we shop and live our lives. Megan Felz Launching Your Own OTT? Things You Need to Know Mon, 21 Aug 2023 13:00:00 GMT No matter how you measure it, the OTT streaming market is growing across every segment, from D2C brands to broadcasters and publishers. According to Statista, <a href="" target="_blank" title="OTT Video - Worldwide Statistics">the industry will jump from $294 billion in 2023 to $397 billion by 2027</a>—a staggering 35% growth in just four years. As more companies look to capitalize on this growth, launching an OTT service is becoming an increasingly attractive option. But a fundamental question faces those who embark on this endeavor: Buy or build? Some choose to build their own technology stack because it gives them total control over their service, its features, and its road map. However, they're faced with high startup costs and navigating the complex technology requirements to make their service successful. Furthermore, building this technology from the ground up often detracts from their focus on actually growing the service. They find themselves shifting budget and resources to overcome challenges ranging from scaling to security to building an effective, compatible technology stack that serves their needs. Others will choose to simply buy the technology for their service. This approach allows them to avoid much of the risk and complexity and can typically help them see quicker time to market. They're also able to focus on building the business instead of the technology, and will have the proven reliability from an established platform. In short, for those looking to launch a niche, highly customized OTT platform with full control, building from scratch might be worth the time and investment. Conversely, for those looking to quickly penetrate the market and leverage established infrastructure, launching with a technology provider could be the most strategic move. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Have You Outgrown Your OTT Solution?” OTT Technology Is Complex Take a moment to appreciate the complexity of OTT technology. These are impressive systems that have managed to replicate every component along the media supply chain, and each component needs dedicated development and maintenance resources. Just to manage and deliver video content, OTT needs content management systems (CMS), encoding and transcoding capabilities, and content delivery networks (CDN). Additional technology is also needed for both live streaming and live-to-VOD conversions. To generate revenue, the tech needed depends on your monetization model. While Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD) may only require payment processing and customer relationship management tools (CRM), Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) also requires subscriber management software. Ad-supported Video on Demand (AVOD) is even more complex, adding ad servers, demand- or supply-side platforms (DSP, SSP), and client-side or server-side ad insertion options. In fact, we developed our Ad Monetization service to simplify the AVOD model for our customers. Given that it's increasingly necessary to adopt a hybrid monetization model, reducing complexity wherever possible is essential. Consider this advice from Bleuenn Le Goffic, VP of Strategy and Business Development at Accedo: "You need to rely on external vendors to remove that complexity. You shouldn't be spending all your energy and internal investment in finding out what technology will make a video service work well." OTT Is Supposed to Grow Launching an OTT service isn't a casual investment; it's a substantial commitment of time, budget, and resources. This means you should be planning for ongoing growth well in advance of the service's launch. Perhaps the most important aspect of any OTT platform development is the platform itself. If it's unable to scale, you can expect an untimely and disruptive migration. So in the early planning stages, choose a platform that aligns with your initial budget and features but is also easily scalable. Shortcuts and cost cuts may seem enticing, but if your service grows as projected, a tech revamp shortly after is the last thing you'll want. Streaming technology has grown tremendously, to the point where media giants like Yahoo are turning to Brightcove to power their streaming. Having a solution that can grow with you, from D2C fan brands to major media companies and publishers, is key to long-term success. OTT Depends on Content Metrics Unlike traditional media, where metrics like total hours watched were key performance indicators, modern digital audiences require a shift in analytics. New subscribers, viewing frequency, and platform engagement can give a more accurate view of current and expected growth. And while metrics like monthly active users or total hours viewed are important, they shouldn't be the sole barometers of success. As with other digital experiences, OTT is fundamentally about content. And in today's digital landscape where users demand more control over their viewing experience, business decisions must be driven by how they exert this control through consumption of and engagement with your video content. Questions like, "How frequently are users engaging? How effective is the content at retaining audience attention? Does the content attract new users?" can offer valuable insights. Furthermore, machine learning models have shown that the most valuable indicator for any video service is actually frequency of use. For example, if you have a user that watches an hour of content, it’s better for them to watch it in three 20-minute chunks over the course of a couple weeks than as one hour just one time a month. The biggest challenge with getting actionable insights is aggregating content data with audience and service data, then harmonizing and visualizing it. Historically this has required manual data pulls and exhaustive spreadsheets, but today advanced analytics like Brightcove Subscriber Insights can quickly and easily provide a unified view of this type of data. OTT Should Be Unique And Add Value With so many digital content experiences for users to choose from, differentiating your OTT with a unique and valuable identity is table stakes. Le Goffic notes that, "Everyone uses the Netflix experience. This is the benchmark, the experience. But you shouldn't be Netflix. You are this brand. You are someone different." While it's natural to learn from other successful platforms, don't try to replicate them. Your service is unique to your audience, so it only makes sense that your brand is well defined and primarily tested against the context of itself. Rather than comparisons to other services, the focus should be more on what your brand represents and how it creates value for its community. Putting this in the context of a larger brand framework, your OTT should address questions like: How do you differentiate? What's your tonality? What's the personality of the brand? What's the archetype? The answers to questions like these should be reflected throughout the design and experience with your app. In addition to OOTB customization options, developers using Brightcove have access to robust APIs and SDKs that give them even more control over the brand experience. Build A Community, Not An App Deciding whether to build or buy is a critical step that can shape the future of your OTT streaming service in terms of growth and profitability. Moreover, it will determine where you will invest the majority of your resources—in the technology that powers the experience, or in the experience itself. Unlike traditional media, experience is pivotal to an OTT business model. The best services foster a sense of belonging, a gathering place where enthusiasts of a particular content genre or sporting event rally together to become collective fans. It's a shift in perspective from amassing viewers to cultivating a community. Don't think of your customers as subscribers or viewers. They're members of your community. Ask yourself, "How do we nurture a community that eagerly anticipates our content? How can we bind our community in a shared experience? How do we make them want to return time and time again?" Remember, before launching an OTT service, you still have to set your content and distribution strategy, your monetization strategy, and your marketing strategy. The right decision will enable you to craft a high-quality viewing experience that reaches your audience, builds a community, and keeps them coming back for more. Marty Roberts Context-Aware Encoding: Testing for Cost Savings and QoE Thu, 10 Aug 2023 13:00:00 GMT OTT services now reach more devices and platforms than ever, creating a growing demand for higher-quality video content. However, this desire for better quality comes at a cost. Specifically, there are increased infrastructure and operations costs due to additional content storage, higher throughput origin servers, and greater utilization of Content Delivery Network (CDN) bandwidth. The challenge is to lower CDN costs without compromising the viewer’s quality of experience (QoE). The solution is Context-Aware Encoding (CAE). CAE delivers an opportunity to reduce operational complexity while lowering storage and streaming costs. By leveraging machine learning–derived algorithms, CAE automatically improves streaming efficiency without undermining QoE. You can see for yourself, using our CAE Calculator. If it still sounds too good to be true, we tested it on our own OTT service, PlayTV. Click below to see the results, or keep scrolling to get a refresh on how CAE works. <div class="toc"> <p>Table of Contents</p> <ul> <li><a href="#understanding-context-aware-encoding">Understanding Context-Aware Encoding</a></li> <li><a href="#benefits-of-context-aware-encoding">Benefits of Context-Aware Encoding</a></li> <li><a href="#implementation-of-context-aware-encoding">Implementation of Context-Aware Encoding</a></li> <li><a href="#results-of-context-aware-encoding">Results of Context-Aware Encoding</a></li> <li><a href="#summary-of-context-aware-encoding-results">Summary of Context-Aware Encoding</a></li> <li><a href="#estimated-context-aware-encoding-savings">Estimated Context-Aware Encoding Savings</a></li> </ul> </div> Understanding Context-Aware Encoding <font size="3">Traditional Encoding</font> Most video streamed over the internet today uses Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) streaming technologies, such as HLS or MPEG-DASH, to optimize video playback. An ABR stream contains multiple “renditions” of the same video, which are encoded at different resolutions and bitrates according to a pre-defined encoding ladder. When a user presses the play button, the player receives a manifest of the renditions available for playback. The player selects which rendition to play based on several factors, including available bandwidth, buffer fullness, and the size of the playback window. As these factors change during playback, the player can switch to renditions of higher or lower quality, displaying the best possible video quality with minimal buffering. However, static bitrate ladders often produce inconsistent quality for different types of content. High-complexity video content such as sports requires more bits to achieve an acceptable viewing experience than does lower complexity content like animation. Thus, using the same profile to encode different types of content, or content for different channels, often leads to wasted storage and bandwidth. Streaming delivery is one of the single greatest cost centers for an OTT service. Excess storage, inefficient cache utilization, and streaming bandwidth can represent significant money, especially as the content library grows and the service attracts more viewers. <font size="3">Context-Aware Encoding</font> Unlike traditional encoding methods, Context-Aware Encoding utilizes contextual information—like the type of content, device capabilities, network conditions, and viewer behavior—to optimize video streaming. Instead of using one ABR ladder for all content, CAE analyzes each source video and intelligently builds a custom encoding ladder (set of renditions) for each piece of content. In addition, CAE takes into account constraints associated with the delivery network and device being used to view the content. It decides how many renditions are needed and what resolutions and bitrates to use for each, while maintaining a consistent level of quality across all titles. Optimizing assets with CAE can provide significant cost savings that increase the longer they’re published and as the audience size increases. However, cost savings are not the only driver for streaming organizations. Highly engaged viewers are deeply valued, and few things negatively impact viewer engagement as much as QoE impairments. Benefits of Context-Aware Encoding Context-Aware Encoding comes with multiple benefits for CDN delivery costs. Promotes efficient bandwidth utilization, which reduces data traffic and decreases costs Lowers storage requirements by optimizing the ABR ladder for each media, potentially resulting in fewer videos to store Generates more efficient caching, due to needing fewer discrete variants and compression settings tailored to the content (this can result in better perceived picture quality, faster load times, and smoother playback—conditions that drive higher quality of experience) These are real benefits that can be tested and quantified. Below are the steps we took to test CAE’s benefits on our own OTT service. Ingest new content with a standard encoding profile Measure per asset storage requirements Measure audience views and average bitrates streamed per view Measure QoE performance Measure audience engagement score After 30 days of streaming use, reprocess the content library with CAE-optimized ingest profiles Identify differences in ABR ladder Quantify differences in storage costs, streaming rates, QOE performance, and audience engagement Calculate impacts and summarize conclusions Implementation of Context-Aware Encoding PlayTV is Brightcove’s OTT streaming service dedicated to the topic of video, available on web, mobile, and CTV apps. To test CAE on PlayTV, we began by identifying ideal assets for reprocessing. We analyzed which assets were driving views (and by extension, costs), and we measured audience engagement with those assets. Using QoE Insights, we built a snapshot of how the standard encoding ladder was delivered to the audience and how QoE impairments affected the audience. After reprocessing, these were the changes we saw in the Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) streaming configuration. <style type="text/css"> .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; font-weight:normal;overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-i7zr{font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif !important;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-no4j{background-color:#c0c0c0;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif !important;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} </style> <table class="tg"> <thead> <tr> <th class="tg-no4j"><span style="font-weight:bold;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">PlayTV Standard ABR Ladder</span></th> <th class="tg-no4j"><span style="font-weight:bold;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">PlayTV CAE Ladder</span></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">480 x 270 @ 448 kbps</span></td> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">320 x 180 @ 244 kbps</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">640 × 360 @ 699 kbps</span></td> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">480 x 270 @ 464 kbps</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">640 x 360 @ 899 kbps</span></td> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">640 x 360 @ 750 kbps</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">960 x 540 @ 1199 kbps</span></td> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">960 x 540 @ 1406 kbps</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">960 x 540 @ 1699 kbps</span></td> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1280 x 720 @ 2125 kbps</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1280 x 720 @ 1999 kbps</span></td> <td class="tg-i7zr"></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1280 x 720 @ 3500 kbps</span></td> <td class="tg-i7zr"></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:bold;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">STORAGE RATE: 4.5GB/hr</span></td> <td class="tg-i7zr"><span style="font-weight:bold;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">STORAGE RATE: 2.1GB/hr</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> Initially, the asset ABR ladder had seven variants and required 10.4Mbps combined bandwidth. With CAE, the mix of renditions created across different asset types was altered to five variants requiring only 5Mbps. Depending on scene complexity and other attributes, some assets were slightly higher and others slightly lower. But given the commonality of the materials, the noted ladder was typical of most of the assets that were reprocessed. Results of Context-Aware Encoding <font size="3">Storage Costs</font> The introduction of CAE had a significant effect on storage costs. The typical asset storage requirement was reduced from 4.5GB/hr to approximately 2.1GB/hr. Consequently, the cost per content hour dropped from $0.363 to approximately $0.173, leading to an estimated 52% reduction in storage costs. <font size="3">Streaming Costs</font> QoE Insights provided detailed reporting on what stream variants were being delivered by device across the viewing audience. With this data, we could clearly see the streaming bandwidth required to reach the audience as well as what renditions were driving bandwidth consumption. <style type="text/css"> .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; font-weight:normal;overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-abx8{background-color:#c0c0c0;font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-1wig{font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-0lax{text-align:left;vertical-align:top} </style> <table class="tg"> <thead> <tr> <th class="tg-abx8"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">Variant</span></th> <th class="tg-abx8"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">Percent of Plays - Standard</span></th> <th class="tg-abx8"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">Percent of Plays - CAE</span></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent"><540p</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">28%</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">47%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">540p</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">11%</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">7%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">720p</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">54%</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">41%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Other</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">7%</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">5%</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-1wig"><span style="font-weight:bold;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Avg Bitrate Per Play</span></td> <td class="tg-1wig"><span style="font-weight:bold;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">2.25Mbps</span></td> <td class="tg-1wig"><span style="font-weight:bold;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1.8Mbps</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> The chart above highlights how CAE delivered stream variants smaller than 540p more often than the standard ladder. The results show an approximately 20% reduction in streaming bandwidth utilization. Of course, more viewers spending more time with lower resolution variants could result in QoE impairments. While initially it may seem counterintuitive, CAE applied better compression strategies for the content, resulting in encoding settings that didn’t waste bits. CAE had eliminated stream variants that were targeting specific resolutions but not applying sufficient bitrate to deliver a quality stream. In digging into the QoE details, a clear pattern emerged that the CAE stream variants were consistently delivering superior viewer experiences. <font size="3">QoE Performance</font> QoE Insights provided a substantial amount of detail validating that the overall viewer experience was considerably improved after applying CAE. Below are summary views that highlight aggregated details for sample periods before and after applying CAE. QoE Performance Summary - Before CAE Optimization QoE Performance Summary - After CAE Optimization The results show that, for the most impactful QoE measurements, CAE stream variants delivered a better overall experience. <style type="text/css"> .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; font-weight:normal;overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-abx8{background-color:#c0c0c0;font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-9vwv{color:#6AA84F;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-0lax{text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-rhps{color:#F90;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} </style> <table class="tg"> <thead> <tr> <th class="tg-abx8"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">Metric</span></th> <th class="tg-abx8"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">Measured Before CAE</span></th> <th class="tg-abx8"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">Measured After CAE</span></th> <th class="tg-abx8"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000">Percent Change</span></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Video Start Time (Avg)</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">4.586 seconds</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">2.573 seconds</span></td> <td class="tg-9vwv"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#6AA84F;background-color:transparent">44% Improvement</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Rebuffering Rate</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">9:46</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">7:03</span></td> <td class="tg-9vwv"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#6AA84F;background-color:transparent">28% Improvement</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Upscale Time</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">22:53</span></td> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">24:00</span></td> <td class="tg-rhps"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#F90;background-color:transparent">5% Degradation</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> Video Start Time and Rebuffering Rates improved dramatically, allowing the player to get to the first frame faster due to enhanced efficiency. CAE stream variants require smaller segments to load into local player buffers, resulting in better cache utilization and smaller payload sizes. Upscale time measures the amount of time a player is requesting a stream variant that is a lower resolution than the maximum resolution of the display device. The slight increase in upscale time is in line with expected behavior. When connecting to the CAE-optimized ABR ladder, the player has better options for preventing rebuffering events, which is by far the more disruptive QoE impact. <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Understanding the Impact of Video Quality on User Engagement">Studies show that QoE impairments significantly impact viewer engagement</a>. This is clearly shown when looking at engagement funnel details in QoE Insights. For example, the below image shows the relationship between Video Start Time and the likelihood of disengagement before being counted as an engaged viewer.</p> Of 4,092 total play requests, only 164 (4%) became engaged viewers if the video start time exceeded 6 seconds. Contrast that with 987 (24%) engaged viewers when the Video Start Time was less than 2 seconds. Simply improving video start time results in a 600%+ increase in engaged viewers. QoE impairments have an outsized effect on audience engagement. Not only does CAE provide cost savings, it drives viewer engagement through better QoE performance. Summary of Context-Aware Encoding Results Context-Aware Encoding provides numerous benefits, including fewer variants per asset and optimized variants based on scene complexity and viewer context. But after testing it on our own OTT service, those benefits are quantifiable and undeniable. 52% reduction in storage costs 25% reduction in streaming costs 44% faster video load times 28% decreased rebuffering 10% fewer stall events For a small OTT service like Brightcove’s PlayTV, adopting CAE produced cost savings without additional operational complexity. With an estimated 32% combined savings on streaming and storage costs, it has been implemented as the default ingestion profile for all new assets and popular older assets. Estimated Context-Aware Encoding Savings In order to fully understand the savings involved, we averaged a number of mid-tier media companies that Brightcove supports to build a model. The model media company has 14,000 published assets totaling 12,400 hours of video content. Every month, their audience consumes approximately 1,200,000 hours of streaming content. The estimated streaming footprint would be significantly affected by adopting Context-Aware Encoding. <style type="text/css"> .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; font-weight:normal;overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-saat{background-color:#c0c0c0;color:#434343;font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-s49m{color:#434343;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} </style> <table class="tg"> <thead> <tr> <th class="tg-saat"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343">Unit</span></th> <th class="tg-saat"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343">Before CAE Optimization</span></th> <th class="tg-saat"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343">After CAE Optimization</span></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">Storage</span></td> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">56,000GB</span></td> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">27,000GB</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">Streaming Bandwidth</span></td> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">1,166,000GB</span></td> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">933,298GB</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> Applying standard storage and CDN rates to these figures, we can estimate the total savings CAE is providing the model user. <style type="text/css"> .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; font-weight:normal;overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-2zi8{color:#6AA84F;font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-9vwv{color:#6AA84F;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-51av{color:#434343;font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-saat{background-color:#c0c0c0;color:#434343;font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-s49m{color:#434343;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} </style> <table class="tg"> <thead> <tr> <th class="tg-saat"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343">Unit</span></th> <th class="tg-saat"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343">Before CAE Optimization</span></th> <th class="tg-saat"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343">After CAE Optimization</span></th> <th class="tg-saat"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343">Monthly Savings</span></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">Monthly Storage </span></td> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">$4,500</span></td> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">$2,200</span></td> <td class="tg-9vwv"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#6AA84F;background-color:transparent">$2,300</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">Monthly Bandwidth</span></td> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">$52,500</span></td> <td class="tg-s49m"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">$42,000</span></td> <td class="tg-9vwv"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#6AA84F;background-color:transparent">$10,500</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-51av"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">Monthly Total</span></td> <td class="tg-51av"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">$57,000</span></td> <td class="tg-51av"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#434343;background-color:transparent">$44,200</span></td> <td class="tg-2zi8"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#6AA84F;background-color:transparent">$12,800 (23%)</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <br> Our modeled “typical mid-tier media company” can implement CAE ingest strategies that result in substantial savings. Using the modeled data and measured performance metrics, the customer saves approximately $154,000 per year while delivering a more engaged viewer. In the quest to balance cost reduction and quality of experience, Context-Aware Encoding is a robust solution, capable of delivering exceptional streaming experiences at reduced costs. To estimate the costs it could save your organization, use our CAE Calculator. Ken Haren Overcoming the Obstacles of AVOD Tue, 25 Jul 2023 13:00:00 GMT It’s no secret that <a href="" target="_blank" title="Ad-Supported Streaming is Growing Faster Than Subscription Video">Ad Supported Video on Demand (AVOD) is on the rise</a>. Even with the current momentum, many providers are quickly realizing the challenges that exist in this monetization model. Whether pivoting from a subscription model or getting started with streaming video, Caretta Research has noted that AVOD is a major commitment in both technology and resources. Furthermore, maximizing the revenue potential requires a new level of expertise, not to mention continued investment and experimentation as the industry navigates through this transformation. For the unprepared, the obstacles to building a successful AVOD strategy are significant. But for those ready to tackle the technology, data, and operations challenges, AVOD offers more than commensurate benefits. Technology Considerations Having the appropriate technology is necessary, but knowing how to establish an ad tech stack that will empower revenue results without waste is the real challenge. Media companies entering into AVOD should strive for the right mix of flexibility and sophistication while keeping cost and integration efforts in mind. The following principles can help ensure a strategy is both effective and efficient. Select specialists. Focus on the systems and tools that are pivotal to your streaming environment. If FAST is the focus, choose ad servers, channel facilitators, and technology providers specializing in this space rather than those built primarily around the web. Prepare for fraud. Particularly in <a href="" target="_blank" title="CTV Ad Fraud Surges">CTV environments</a>, ad fraud is a growing concern and poses the risk of disruptive user experiences, bad ads, and damaged advertiser relationships. For example, a larger inventory can provide more opportunities for fraudsters to insert fake or low quality ad impressions, leading to wasted ad spend and less effective ad campaigns. Leveraging SSAI can mitigate ad fraud, especially when using a platform that handles SSAI in-house as opposed to a third party. SSAI is also an optimal ad insertion technique for maintaining a seamless viewing experience without excessive ad loading delays. Prioritize load times. Too many intermediaries, a slow content delivery network (CDN), and suboptimal video encoding processes can significantly affect load times. Optimizing for a smooth playback will minimize user frustration and maintain viewer engagement. Data Considerations Unified data paints a holistic picture, which informs accurate projections for future decisions. That’s why interconnected ad tech systems are critical: they need to pass information to and from one another and in similar fashion. Providers investing in smart data tools will be able to see which metrics are most important not just to ad revenue, but the entire viewer experience. In turn, businesses can achieve growth in revenue and engagement without compromising one or the other. It’s equally important to consider the information made available to tech partners. Not only are transparency and privacy a must, so is signaling. Content, audience, and other identifiers allow marketplaces to be selective in their buying and empower packaging for internal sales teams. By harnessing data for targeting, AVOD platforms can enhance user experiences by increasing ad relevance and drive engagement—benefiting viewers and advertisers alike. Operations Considerations Like any other kind of advertising, sales operations in AVOD requires a well thought out structure with the right mix of talent. Inventory management, pricing and packaging, sales support and training, and reporting and analytics are all important factors to be considered. However, due to the unique nature of video content consumption, AVOD differs from web-based operations. Since this is not an area of expertise for traditional ad ops teams, it’s imperative they understand several aspects unique to the video landscape. Video formats. AVOD platforms deal primarily with video content, requiring specific considerations for video ad formats. Ad ops teams need to ensure seamless integration of video ads within the content, maintaining visual and audio quality while optimizing for different devices and screen sizes. Ad insertion and timing. Ad ops teams must strategically determine the placement and timing of these ads to balance user experience and ad revenue. They also need to manage repetitiveness and maintain diversified ad content to curb viewer fatigue and ad avoidance. Content categorization and targeting. Ad ops teams must understand the content taxonomy and audience preferences to accurately target and deliver relevant ads. Unlike web-based ad operations, AVOD platforms can leverage video-specific targeting capabilities. For example, they can utilize contextual targeting based on video metadata or dynamic ad insertion based on user behavior within the video stream. When it comes to sales methods, direct sales and programmatic have their advantages and may coexist within AVOD platforms. Direct sales allows for more control and customization and is well suited for premium ad placements or specific partnerships, providing greater flexibility in pricing and targeting. Programmatic offers automation, efficiency, and access to a larger pool of advertisers. Partner Considerations Monetizing media with a video ad marketplace requires yield management expertise and contracts with DSP and SSP partners. It takes time to implement and produce results, not to mention the need for optimizations over time. Depending on the sales approach, the right alignment of operational support will also need to be put in place. To get the most out of an AVOD strategy, buyers need to beware that not every partner will have the experience or offer the support needed. Before deciding on a partner, make sure they have solutions for the key obstacles, because anything they can’t do is something you’ll need to learn fast to succeed. If that’s too much pressure to take on your own, Brightcove’s Ad Monetization service can manage the entire experience for you from start to finish. Emily Boucher Interactive Video Throughout the Customer Lifecycle Tue, 18 Jul 2023 13:00:00 GMT Over the past several years, we’ve witnessed the transformative effect that interactive video has had throughout the e-commerce customer lifecycle. While online shopping has been around for decades, the shopper’s desire to have a holistic, personalized journey that encapsulates the entire experience has continued to grow. Today’s digital landscape provides opportunities for merchants to stand out by reorienting their e-commerce strategies toward a more interactive customer-centric approach. A crucial part of this approach is leveraging various interactive elements in video to offer immersive experiences that engage customers throughout their lifecycle. And this goes far beyond simply adding a “buy now” button to e-commerce videos. To truly maximize the opportunities interactive video elements hold, we need to understand the modern e-commerce customer lifecycle and—most importantly—how it’s changed. What Is the Customer Lifecycle? The <a href="" target="_blank" title="Customer Lifecycle Marketing">customer lifecycle</a> is the journey a person takes to discover, research, buy, and use a product and transform into a brand advocate. In the past, e-commerce customers would typically take a predictable, linear path to purchase, starting with discovering the product, becoming interested in it, researching pros and cons, and then purchasing the product. Once purchased, the journey would continue with post-purchase activities like using the product and potentially reviewing it and becoming a brand advocate. But with more sources of information available to consumers, like video, social, and, most recently, AI-driven search engines, we’ve seen a shift to a nonlinear journey that is permanently replacing the traditional linear path. It’s now much more common for today's customers to criss-cross through various stages of the buying journey. They’re consuming more information from more sources, discovering new products on social media through savvy ad targeting, and comparing prices across sites. How the Customer Lifecycle Has Changed The shift from a linear customer lifecycle to one that looks more like a pretzel means it’s imperative for merchants to deliver seamless, guided experiences. This includes making it easier to discover products, engage with brands, consume relevant information, purchase quickly and easily, and then build a meaningful post-purchase relationship. As part of this <a href="" target="_blank" title="Nonlinear Customer Lifecycle Journeys">linear to nonlinear shift</a>, merchants are getting better data about consumer interest and preferences that can help shape future content initiatives. For example, let’s say the data shows that half of your viewers watch a video about Topic 1, then jump to Topic 4, and then go back to Topic 2, but totally skip Topic 3. By analyzing these behaviors, we can understand not only which videos are most effective at driving purchases, but perhaps in which order the videos should be presented. When examining this nonlinear buying journey, we see a clear common denominator: Customers now want, and have, more control over their buying journey than ever before. From online reviews to video, social posts to comparison shopping, the connected digital aspect of e-commerce empowers consumers to create their own journey. And they’ve gotten used to this variety of options and level of control. Interactive video elements are particularly effective in giving customers more control over their journey. However, this level of control comes with its own level of responsibility. More choices and options means the post-purchase experience is that much more important to the overall lifecycle. How to Incorporate Interactive Video Features Even as consumers take a nonlinear path to purchase, the stages of the lifecycle have largely remained unchanged. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to incorporate interactive video elements into each stage. The following best practices can help get you started. <font size="3">Awareness and Discovery</font> For customers in this phase of the lifecycle, the goal is to create a positive and memorable impression of your brand and build awareness of your offerings. Shorter videos (1 minute or less) like product sizzles and brand overviews tend to work best here. You want to help them easily discover the many different aspects of your products while also giving them opportunities to explore further. Since potential customers are likely exploring and researching other options, the interactive elements should produce an engaging and succinct video experience. Sentiment. Simple elements like a thumbs up/down, star ratings, or emojis give viewers the power to tell you if they’re enjoying the content or product. In addition to engagement, they offer you valuable insights that can help you adjust your approach based on viewer input. Overlays. When clicked, overlays can lead viewers to webpages with more detailed or logical next-step information. These allow interested customers to learn more without interrupting the flow of the video. Buy-now buttons can also be appropriate at this stage, especially if the product is simple and doesn’t require deeper explanation. Video-to-Video Branching. Like overlays, video-to-video branching offers viewers the opportunity to get more information, but through video and without ever leaving the video experience. Keep in mind that viewers at this stage do more window shopping than in-depth research, so don’t get too aggressive with related info links. By knowing your goals and purposely selecting the interactive elements, you can build a strong foundation that sets up the following phases in the journey. <font size="3">Conversion and Purchase</font> For consumers considering a purchase, the goal is to make it easier for them to make a final decision while delivering a seamless purchase experience. Medium-length videos (2-5 minutes) that provide comprehensive details about your product work best during this phase. Content including product demos, how-to videos, and user reviews should be a primary focus. During this phase, you’ll want to make sure your content is informative and not overly promotional. The following interactive features can help with this approach. Chapters. Viewers at this stage are conducting research. That means they’re skimming and searching for content that answers their questions before making a purchase. And while in-depth videos are better equipped to answer those questions, videos are difficult to skim. That’s where chapters come in. Adding chapters to videos is like adding subheadings to a blog post. They break up the content into bite-size sections, allowing viewers to quickly find what they’re looking for. Video-to-Video Branching. Essentially crosslinking for video, video-to-video branching works even better at this stage. These viewers have higher intent, so they’re more likely to interact, allowing you to collect more data and further refine the experience. In other words, giving more control of the customer journey gives you more insights to make it better. Overlays. Beyond related videos, other relevant content like technical specifics, expanded product uses, user reviews, or customer success stories can be linked to with overlays. This is also where you want to make strategic use of buy-now buttons. A one-click experience to complete the purchase minimizes unnecessary steps and helps avoid potential drop-offs. Knowing your conversion goals, optimizing your video content, and utilizing suitable interactive features are critical for guiding your users from the consideration to conversion phase. They’ll also help deliver a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience, which leads directly into the next phase. <font size="3">Retention and Advocacy</font> With purchase complete, it’s important to begin fostering brand loyalty, laying the foundation for increased customer lifetime value and transforming buyers into brand advocates. Or, simply put, your content should demonstrate why your product works well and why so many people are using it. Medium-long (3-10 minutes), personable videos that offer a behind-the-scenes look, tips and tricks, or unique features and uses of your product work best. Consumers at the post-purchase phase are usually willing to give you more of their attention, which nicely aligns with a few interactive video elements. Personalized Content. Leverage the viewing data and insights you’ve collected to offer personalized viewing experiences. This can mean more than using their name in the video. You could reference their purchase history and offer videos of accessories that complement a recent purchase. By showing customers that you understand their preferences and can cater to them, you’ll help build a deeper bond and drive brand affinity. Polls and Feedback. Show your customers that their opinions matter even after the purchase by embedding polls or custom forms in your videos. These tools can give you valuable insights from some of your most high-value audiences: those who have bought and used your product. Chat Features. Chat will allow you to engage directly with your customers to understand any questions or challenges they may have after purchasing the product. Combined with personalization, this feature especially helps demonstrate their importance as your customer. Interactive Video Best Practices With a solid understanding of how interactive elements can support the different phases of the customer lifecycle, there are some general best practices to be mindful of. Err on the Side of Moderation. While interactivity leads to deeper engagement, too much interactivity can be distracting. Be mindful of the message you want to communicate and that too much interactivity doesn’t detract from that or overwhelm viewers. Align Interactivity with Video Goals. Clearly understand your objectives for each video and ensure that every interactive element supports these objectives. Each point of interactivity should be specifically designed to guide the viewer towards achieving your desired action or outcome. Prioritize Usability. Interactive features are only effective to the extent that people use them. To increase the likelihood of engagement, make sure that each element is: Easily noticeable Intuitive On screen long enough for viewers to recognize it and engage with it Clear about what the intended action should be (for example, if the interactive feature is designed for viewers to schedule an appointment, this should be explicitly stated to eliminate any potential confusion) Gradually Increase Interactivity. As customers move farther along in their journey, their level of engagement usually increases. Match this progression by gradually introducing more sophisticated interactive elements that correspond to their growing attention and involvement. Provide a “Return on Engagement” at Each Stage. Meaningless interactivity or engagements that don’t provide value can be counterproductive. Each one should offer a reward or benefit that is meaningful enough to justify the user’s time and engagement. There are a variety of ways that this can be achieved, from useful information to unique insights to personalized experiences they wouldn’t get elsewhere. Beyond deeper and more meaningful engagements, these best practices can help your interactive elements serve as an invisible guide throughout their journey. They’ll help transform your videos from merely more content into powerful tools in your overall e-commerce strategy. Interactivity for the Modern Shopper The era of linear customer lifecycles and quality-based customer retention is in decline. In its place, the nonlinear approach to buying requires merchants to engage and guide users along their journey. As customers expect more control, engagement, and value from the companies they buy from, interactive video elements can help fulfill these expectations throughout the lifecycle. In short, these consumers want to be active participants as opposed to passive audiences. Interactivity can help bridge this gap while fundamentally reshaping the customer lifecycle to become more sustainable and customer-centric. As you look to incorporate more interactive elements, keep in mind that it’s not just about making e-commerce more convenient. It’s about crafting a more dynamic, personalized, and sustainable customer lifecycle for the modern shopper. Megan Felz How to Repurpose Video Content Mon, 10 Jul 2023 05:00:00 GMT Modern marketers have their work cut out for them when it comes to hitting their goals. Whether they’re focused on demand generation, brand awareness, or other core marketing responsibilities, marketers are contending with a crowded, noisy digital landscape. Numerous tools can help marketers elevate their messages and break through the noise, but video is one of the most effective. For years, digital video consumption has continued to rise. During the pandemic, that gradual increase in viewership accelerated. A few years later, the appetite for video has not waned. And that appetite, as it pertains to marketers, spans all industries and audience segments. While it’s great for marketers to have proven resources like video content to project their messages, that effectiveness also increases demand. Companies and teams now want a video for nearly everything, from social media posts and video ads to videos in email outreach and video blogs. All these requests for videos put a hefty strain on teams that may already be dealing with limited resources and budgets. Keeping up with the demand for video means managing all the resources you have available, including current video content, old content, and even content from other teams. Cut Long Videos into Short Clips A common question marketers ask is, “How do I create more video content without drastically increasing my budget?” When facing resource and budget pressures, it makes sense that many marketers want to optimize. One of the first places to start is your existing media library. Webinars, recorded presentations, customer case studies, and other long-form videos can be repurposed in several different ways. Social media clips. Clip brief segments that can be used in social media posts or quotable snippets that can be used for a variety of promotional purposes. Highlight reels. Cut highlights and use them to tease the full-length video on your resources page or on a landing page. Video Ads. Pull short clips that can be used to promote your brand, like product announcements or customer quotes. Immersive Blogs. Clip sections that can be embedded in a blog post to deliver a more immersive, interactive video experience. Anytime you create a long-form video, look for opportunities to pull shorter clips. A single feature-length piece could turn into a dozen snackable shorts used in a variety of applications. Promote Old Videos in New Ways The most effective content is fit for purpose: customized to its promoting channel and personalized to its target audience. However, this content best practice runs the risk of limiting your video assets to single-use applications and diluting their long-term value. Just think about all the videos and content you’ve created for a specific event or project. What happened to those videos afterward? Were they forgotten in the depths of your media library? Perhaps they’re buried somewhere on your corporate resources page on your website? Chances are you’re sitting on a wealth of materials that can be used with a minimal amount of effort, using the right tactics. Refresh old topics. Webinars get stale and their data outdated, but their themes often remain relevant. Perhaps the presentation featured customers, partners, or team members who have moved on, but the substance of what was covered is still sound. It can be a quick and relatively painless process to update the supporting assets and re-record the video. Test new channels. Knowing where an audience will engage your content isn’t the same as knowing where they won’t. After publishing your video to its primary destination, get creative and try publishing on new channels to see if those audiences engage. For example, embed brand story videos on product pages to build buyer confidence, or include videos in sales pitch decks to make them more dynamic. When you create videos, think about how you can maximize efficiency by meeting a variety of audience needs. Are they trying to understand your brand, researching your products, or looking to make a purchase? Audiences expect content that addresses these things along their journey, so think through the touchpoints you have and what your audience wants at each stage. Leverage Videos Outside Your Team Increasingly, teams outside marketing are tasked with creating, managing, and publishing video content. Whether that’s human resources, talent acquisition, product, customer support, sales, or others, everyone is looking to capitalize on the benefits of video. The upside for marketers is that they can often lean on the materials these teams create to supplement their own video needs. Depending on your business, there may be multiple resources you can tap into for video content. Brand. Brand-centric storytelling produces great content that can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, employee testimonials sourced by corporate comms can be incorporated into brand stories that marketing promotes on social media and the website. They can also be shared with HR to use for other purposes like new-hire orientation and welcome videos. By sharing resources, many teams can maximize their video output. Customer Success. In the B2C space, brands often create content that resellers can use on product listing pages, such as customer testimonials sourced by customer success teams. Training. In B2B, there may be internal teams producing content focused on training or educating customers or users. With some minor edits, that content could be used externally for marketing purposes if it aligns with what a viewer is looking for along their journey. Think outside your team’s library of videos when looking to repurpose content. With the barrier to video creation dropping as new tools and technologies make it easier, more teams are incorporating video into their workflows. By reaching out across the organization, you may find plenty of content you can reuse and repurpose to advance your team’s video initiatives. Get Creative with Repurposing Video As you start to consider how to repurpose your video content and apply it to your campaigns or projects, you’ll think of other creative ways to get more out of your videos. You may even start to approach the video creation process with a new view of how you’ll use that asset for multiple projects well into the future. By adopting some of the tips above, you’ll uncover your own methods for optimizing video. Matt Noyes A/B Testing Video Landing Pages Mon, 26 Jun 2023 13:00:00 GMT Video landing pages are the best of both worlds. Landing pages offer streamlined layouts designed to highlight the call to action (CTA), while video offers better engagement and content consumption data. Together, they create a highly efficient conversion experience that you might be tempted to optimize for search. Indeed, the visibility that search affords your content can be significant. Plus, video SEO has only gotten easier, so not indexing video landing pages can seem like leaving money on the table. But there’s another important use case that can’t be ignored: A/B testing. Why A/B Testing Is Important Testing is a key ingredient in effective marketing strategies. It segments the audiences, refines the messages, and maps content to the right channels. The time investment can be substantial, but the payoff is worth it. Sadly, one of the reasons why proper testing is often neglected is because marketing efforts can generate a lot of data while delivering revenue and leads. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear inexperienced marketers refer to simply running multiple campaigns as testing. If Campaign A outperforms Campaign B, they might say that they tested Campaign B and “it didn’t work.” However, comparing campaign performance should never be mistaken for testing. Performance data can uncover trends and provide corrective insights, but only testing can reveal the factors driving performance and identify the formulas for repeatable success. A/B testing, in particular, is a powerful tool for isolating variables and returning controlled results. A/B testing uses two identical pieces of content with a single variable changed—like a headline. That way, if the control (A) loses to the variant (B) in the test, the loss can be attributed to the headline. Controlling for variables is the goal, but testing is never immune to chance. A single variable should be A/B tested at least three times to confirm the results and the entire process repeated for subsequent variables. This kind of proven data can then be applied to messaging and content to predictably enhance marketing strategies. Why Landing Pages Are Important for A/B Testing Marketers who’ve performed tests know that the more data you have, the more accurate your results will be. This is why optimizing a landing page for search can seem like a valid tactic: a bigger audience should mean better test results. However, the biggest challenge with testing is controlling the audience. No matter what your SEO tool, agency, or consultant tells you, you can never know the breakdown of an organic audience. Between the death of third-party cookies and the prevalence of anonymized browsing, the available data is too spotty to be actionable. Controlling the audience is precisely what unindexed, unlisted landing pages are designed to do. Coupled with email, a high-intent owned channel, they are the perfect testing sandboxes. With a good marketing automation platform (MAP), you can take a selected cohort and split them into equal, randomized segments. Why Video Is Important for A/B Testing Testing headlines and calls to action is relatively straightforward, but if you want to A/B test overall topics and content, you really need video. Despite what web metrics like time on page or scroll depth suggest, measuring the content consumption of written content is notoriously difficult. Between multiple tabs, pop-up ads, and distractions from the family pet, written content simply has too many variables outside the marketer’s control. Video content is different from written content for a few reasons: Video is more engaging. Emails promoting <a href="" target="_blank" title="Average Email Click-Through Rate from Videos">videos generate higher click-through rates</a>. Not only does this represent higher intent, it means more views and more accurate results. Video is more captivating. With higher intent comes increased attention. Video also tends to have a more captive audience simply due to the sensory stimulation of sound and moving images. Video is more calculating. Every second of video that’s viewed is a quantifiable measurement of content consumption. Higher intent and attention imbue this number with more accuracy. To be clear, no content format is completely free of behavioral variables. Viewers can drag a video slider (called “scrubbing”) just as easily as they can scroll a webpage. In fact, the longer the content is, the more likely they are to do so with either format. The difference is this behavior is far less common with video, especially video on landing pages with an engaged email audience. Tips for A/B Testing with Video Landing Pages There are lots of best practices related to A/B testing, but when video is involved, there are some unique things you can do. <font size="3">Select the Best Audience</font> Creating equal, randomized segments is the easy part—most MAPs can do this automatically. Choosing which cohort of customers to segment can be tricky. Thankfully, marketers have lots of data available, particularly content data. Customer Data. If your goal is to test interest in two new products, you should start by segmenting your customer list by purchase history. This would include not only purchases of similar products with similar price points, but purchase frequency as well. Customers with a single purchase are less likely to have an interest in new products than customers with multiple purchases. Marketing Data. Next, you should refine this segment by excluding customers who haven’t clicked through an email within a certain period of time, like the past 90 days. Some people just don’t open marketing emails, so including them dilutes your sample size. Furthermore, they can pollute your test results with outliers who sporadically open emails to rage-click through the content. Content Data. Finally, your segment should account for your customers’ viewing habits. For example, Brightcove offers Audience Insights: a customer data platform that can segment audiences by watch history and other key inputs. This data is then automatically synced with CRM and MAP tools to trigger emails and other targeted communications. With Audience Insights, you can drill down further and select customers who are particularly engaged by product videos. Keep in mind that audience segmentation is a delicate process. A highly refined segment is worthless if the sample size is too small; the results won’t be statistically significant. So don’t make your test parameters too specific, and <a href="" target="_blank" title="How to Determine Your A/B Testing Sample Size">keep your final cohort over 1,000</a>. <font size="3">Create the Best Experience</font> Video landing page experiences should be as easy to consume as they are to create. Employing the following features will improve the customer experience and enhance the test results. Autoplay. This may be the only time in marketing history that an autoplayed video is welcomed by its audience. Unlike the autoplayed video ads and social media videos that can erode engagement with complaints, email users expect videos to autoplay. Your email copy has already made it clear they’re clicking to watch a video, so don’t make them click again. Low-code templates. Some CMSs are easy to use, and even some MAPs offer landing pages, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be optimized for displaying video. Using a low-code landing page template from an OVP like Brightcove, you can quickly design a slick layout that keeps the video experience responsive and above the fold. The templates are easy to customize, but you can also add custom CSS to more closely match your website’s branding and style. Interactivity. A video’s engagement rate tells you more about content consumption than written content ever could. Interactive video is a step further. With interactive features like sentiment or polling, you can get an even clearer picture of which video performed better. Just be sure to limit the interactive elements so they’re not overwhelming. With Brightcove Interactivity, you can easily monitor this with the Interaction Rate. When Not to Optimize Content for Search As generative AI hype pushes into the search engine world, SEO is becoming more of a meme than a best practice. Certainly, it’s a critical tool of the digital age, but some tactics work better without it. A/B testing is one such tactic that is no less valuable and works best when video landing pages are not optimized for search. Alex Bersin Monetizing Your Media through a Video Ad Marketplace Tue, 20 Jun 2023 13:00:00 GMT The opportunity to monetize with an AVOD model has never been greater. In 2022 alone, the growth of AVOD viewers was higher than subscription OTT and free premium video streaming combined (<a href="" target="_blank" title="Q1 2023 Digital Video Forecasts and Trends">Insider Intelligence</a>). Furthermore, traditional pay TV is steadily declining and expected to account for roughly a third of households by 2027. Yet, anyone who’s spent time in the media industry knows that implementing an AVOD service is easier said than done. In fact, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Caretta Research on AVOD">Caretta Research</a> described this process as “fiendishly complicated,” noting that many companies simply ignore this route altogether. While AVOD can, indeed, be challenging, there’s another option for media companies who want a low-risk entry point: video ad marketplaces. What Is a Video Ad Marketplace? In its simplest form, a video ad marketplace is an online advertising platform that allows advertisers to buy video ads and publishers to monetize content. For advertisers, ad marketplaces provide an efficient way to reach their target audience through placements alongside high quality content. For publishers, they provide a convenient way to sell inventory (in-stream ads within their videos) to advertisers. For both, ad marketplaces serve as an intermediary, using a single platform to manage, optimize, and facilitate programmatic video ads. Publishers generate revenue through a programmatic advertising system, which eliminates the time-consuming process of finding individual advertisers and includes features like real-time bidding and unified auctions. Most leading ad services now have integrated supply-side platforms (SSPs), giving publishers the opportunity to quickly set up and control their revenue streams. By tracking and analyzing users, web traffic, costs, and reporting metrics like CPM (cost per thousand impressions), publishers can optimize their approach to maximize potential earnings. There are three key elements to ad monetization solutions. Ad marketplace. The ad marketplace matches buyer and seller preferences via SSPs and DSPs (demand-side platforms) to deliver meaningful impressions for all parties. Ad server. The ad server distributes the ads, facilitates the management of the campaigns, and tracks performance. For advertisers, it offers tools and analytics to help manage and optimize the campaign. This includes quantitative data (video views, clicks, and impressions) as well as qualitative data (information about the audiences engaging with the ads). For publishers, it instantaneously determines which ads to serve with which video, and delivers that ad as a seamless part of the experience. Video player. A high quality player allows publishers to offer a variety of video ad strategies, including floating players, picture-in-picture ads, and header bidding. What Are the Benefits for Publishers? One of the key benefits for publishers on video ad marketplaces is the stable and reliable income they can generate. They offer a fixed payment per click, view, or impression whether or not the ad directly contributes to a sale. This can take a lot of the guesswork out of how much the publisher will be paid. For many publishers, it’s simply a matter of creating great content and leveraging the marketplace’s ability to acquire advertisers that want to fill vacant advertising spots with relevant, high-quality ads. Ad marketplaces can also offset the cost of producing content with the revenue generated from offering advertising opportunities. By opening up these additional streams of revenue, content creators can focus more on creating compelling content and less on finding and negotiating with advertisers. Finally, ad marketplaces give creators peace of mind knowing they are getting the best possible rate for their ads through the automated bidding system. Advertisers tend to prefer this approach as well. According to eMarketer, more than 82% of digital video ad spending is transacted programmatically in the UK, Canada, U.S., Germany, and France. Ad marketplaces assure them that they’re paying the best available market price while getting a high-quality ad delivered on a premium video player to highly targeted audiences. How Do You Know If You’re Ready to Monetize Your Content? Every video ad marketplace has different requirements for publishers, but they primarily involve two aspects of the publishers’ business. Content Library. Publishers must have an established content library. Advertisers expect their ads to reach the audiences they’re targeting, so having a well-curated library allows marketplaces to serve up ads on the most relevant content. Monthly Viewership. Publishers must also meet the demand for views and impressions. Beyond relevance, advertisers expect their ads to perform efficiently, reaching as much of the right audience as possible. What Should You Look for in a Video Ad Marketplace? Every publisher should also have requirements for video ad marketplaces. Features and options can vary dramatically, but the following examples from Brightcove’s Ad Monetization service illustrate what an industry-leading media platform prioritizes. <font size="3">Bidding Options</font> Unsold inventory is a common challenge for media companies, typically due to technical issues, pricing issues, or to avoid the same user seeing the same ad too many times. But as a publisher, your goal is to sell as much of your inventory as possible at the best rate possible. Ad servers do this by bidding out your inventory to advertisers in several different ways. To maximize revenue, a good ad marketplace should include the following options. Fallback bidding. This approach allows bids to be made against unsold inventory, with the highest paying bidder winning that impression. Header or player bidding. This approach allows the player to conduct the auction and pass the winning bid back to your ad server without latency. The highest bidding marketplace will get the inventory, maximizing the revenue potential from your content. <font size="3">Ad Insertion</font> Ad insertion is how your ads are inserted into the video stream through your video player. There are two primary methods for inserting ads. Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI). SSAI inserts ads directly into the content at the server end of the streaming delivery chain. It typically provides the best viewing experience, as the transitions between content and ads are much smoother with less buffering. The tradeoff is that SSAI tends to require more technical expertise to implement, and the overall ad experience isn’t very flexible. It’s also important to note that since SSAI is an integrated part of your content, this method ensures the ads are delivered instead of being blocked by ad blockers. Client-Side Ad Insertion (CSAI). CSAI inserts ads directly into the video player on the user’s device. It offers a more flexible ad experience, as ads can be personalized based on user data like browsing history and inserted at any point in the video. However, since playback is dependent on the user’s device and internet connection, it’s more susceptible to buffering and ad blockers. While the overall viewing experience may not be seamless, the ad experience can be enhanced with other options like the ability to skip, click, or close an ad. <font size="3">Ad Experience</font> Selling ad inventory will only generate revenue if the ad experience is exceptional. This means your video ad marketplace needs to be able to serve ads to your video content regardless of what format it is. For example, while most of your content may be video on demand (VOD) or over the top (OTT), you may still want to monetize a special live event you’re broadcasting. The key is having the flexibility so that you’re able to get the most out of your video content in any format. Furthermore, your video player should offer viewability metrics, so you can track the effectiveness of your ad experience. Advertisers don’t just want impressions anymore; they expect publishers to prove that viewers are actually seeing the ads. Taking Advantage of Video Advertising Opportunities Video ad marketplaces offer publishers a variety of ways to monetize their content in an increasingly competitive landscape. Understanding how video ad marketplaces work can help you reach your goals and position you to seize the opportunities this significant growth market offers. With Brightcove, taking advantage of this opportunity has never been easier. Not only do we offer a full-service ad marketplace solution, we offer industry-leading ad metrics like ad sensitivity. Getting started with AVOD can be hard, but Brightcove Ad Monetization makes it easy to get the most revenue from your media. Michael Dorf Video Metadata: Engaging Audiences with Interactive Video Tue, 13 Jun 2023 13:00:00 GMT For years, the primary goal of publishers and platforms has been viewer acquisition. But with today’s viewers becoming overwhelmed with options, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Driving Profitability with Customer Centricity">engagement has taken center stage in the battle for more viewers, more loyal viewers, and increased revenue</a>. No longer can publishers live by the maxim “build it and they will come.” Rather, it’s about delivering viewing experiences that are transformed from passive to active, broad to localized, and generic to contextual. It’s against this backdrop that interactivity becomes a true competitive differentiator. And metadata has emerged as the key ingredient that drives it. What Is Video Metadata? Before we can understand the potential metadata holds for engaging your audiences, let’s start by understanding what it is. In its simplest form, video metadata is the descriptive information that is embedded within a video file. Essentially, it is data about data. It answers content questions such as: What was created? When was it made? Where was it created? Who made the content? How should the content be shown? Which platforms should the content be shown on? Why was the content made? Why Is Video Metadata Important? For video, there are three crucial roles that metadata plays. <font size="3">Enables Search Engine Indexing</font> Just as with metadata from websites and other uploaded content, video metadata tells search engines what the content is about. It helps them determine which results content should show up in based on a user’s query, and ultimately how it will rank compared to other related content. Three key parts of this metadata to consider in terms of search engines include the title, description, and tags. Title. Make sure your title includes essential keywords that users are likely to search for. However, the title should also accurately reflect the content in the video to help ensure longer viewing times, which lead to higher rankings in the search engine. Descriptions. Since search engines don’t “watch” your content, descriptions are needed to tell search engines what the content is about. These descriptions are often included in search engine results and can help videos rank better on some platforms. Tags. Tags help search engines better understand what the video is about, which will also aid in search engine discoverability. They also play an important role in helping publishers organize content in logical ways that align with how users search. And finally, as your content library grows, they’ll be essential in helping you to internally organize and quickly find content. <font size="3">Improves User Experience</font> Metadata also offers a better experience on video sites and OTT apps. On these platforms, metadata helps viewers better understand what the video is about and whether they should invest the time to watch. It also helps optimize the organization of content and increases discoverability as users browse through genres and episodic content. <font size="3">Increases Audience Engagement</font> Perhaps the most interesting role metadata plays is its potential to increase viewer engagement. It’s the foundation for creating the interactivity today’s viewers want. How Video Metadata Can Drive Interactivity Keep in mind that while interactive video is highly engaging, it should not be incorporated into every piece of video content. It’s important to build the combination of the right video for the right audience and the most engaging interactive experience. That said, there are four use cases where interactive video can be particularly potent, especially when driven by metadata. <font size="3">Sports</font> Sports is a powerful use case because of the huge amount of metadata that is generated during a typical game, match, or season. Combine this with the historical data that can be mined and utilized for both live broadcasts and video on demand (VOD) and you can start to see how it can enrich the viewing experience in a variety of ways. Common areas where it’s used include displaying player and team stats in real time, instant replays, and highlight reels. For example, the German Football League media hub, which stores all video and metadata related to German football matches, has 11 petabytes of data within the hub—the equivalent of 2.75 billion smartphone photos. The metadata generated includes all the official match data, live logging of action types, and data driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. When building out an interactive framework for sports, there are several important questions to consider. How does the metadata you have access to support the game or match? Is the game being broadcast live, or will you only have access to VOD? How often will the metadata be updated during the game? How will you get this data to the content and the audience? How will you show this data to the audience in a way that is meaningful but also doesn’t distract? But the biggest challenge with sports is that the data and interactivity have to sync with what is happening in the game. Audiences will expect scores and points to be updated in a livestream in the same way as in a TV broadcast. Because of the numerous systems involved and gates to pass through in the workflow, this can be quite tricky. <font size="3">Entertainment</font> Metadata can be an effective way to enrich the viewer’s experience during their favorite TV shows. Interactive features like actor bios can provide a new layer of depth and additional context that encourages engagement. It also offers publishers new revenue streams through product placements and targeted and contextual advertising that’s closely aligned with the content itself. Implementing metadata-driven interactivity into entertainment content has its own set of considerations. How will you ensure the metadata supports the content as well as the target audience and their interests? How can you make the interactions seamless and meaningful by adding new layers of context and depth? What will be your approach for ensuring the interactivity aligns with both viewer preference and the overall nature of the content? While metadata-driven interactions are relatively straightforward on web and mobile platforms, there can be challenges when bringing this experience to living room devices—where long-form content is typically consumed. Current operating systems, app frameworks, SDKs, and ad servers may not fully support this as an optimal user experience. However, as these technologies continue to evolve, we’ll see even more engaging metadata-driven experiences on the web, on mobile, and in the home. <font size="3">News and Weather</font> Metadata is already changing the way we consume news- and weather-related content. It provides the opportunity to personalize the viewing experience without disrupting the livestream by adding localized context to live news feeds and weather reports. When implementing metadata-driven approaches for news and weather, you’ll want to consider the sophisticated workflows you’ll need. They should be capable of serving metadata in real time across different locations in order to deliver a personalized, immediate, and local experience. However, this isn’t without challenges. Naturally, viewers expect their news and weather to be both accurate and timely. Given their dynamic nature, having metadata that’s rich enough to add real-time context can be particularly difficult. <font size="3">Education</font> In an increasingly remote world, metadata offers the opportunity to transform traditional university lectures into interactive experiences for virtual students. As professors give live lectures, metadata can allow them to incorporate links and overlays into the content. Common examples could include linking to supplemental materials, related web pages for further research, or additional context to aid the comprehension of a particular lecture. Institutions should take into consideration the detailed level of planning this can entail. Instructors will need to meticulously prepare the links and overlays and preload them into the livestream using timestamps. Otherwise, the metadata-driven interactivity you aim for can actually become counterproductive if there are unnecessary interruptions that distract students from the lecture itself. It’s important to note that incorporating metadata will require a fair amount of technical proficiency from the lecturer or the educational institution since this isn’t a typical workflow. A workaround for this could be utilizing Brightcove’s Simulive Player and pre-recorded lectures to incorporate interactivity. This allows instructors to still benefit from the interactive elements while maintaining the real-time effect of a live session. Setting Up Metadata-Driven Interactivity <font size="3">VOD</font> Creating an interactive player using metadata is very straightforward with Brightcove, as long as the data is well structured and complete. Create a data feed. This can be done using XML or JSON. You can also use WebVTT, which is used for closed captions. You’ll want to create a reusable feed so that it can be leveraged across multiple videos. A sports feed can usually be generated from sports data platforms such as Opta Sports. Upload the feed. Add the data feed to an internet-accessible server or bucket. Alternatively, you can use Brightcove’s Media module and CMS API to ingest the feed to create cue-points within the video. Develop a player plugin. This plugin will control the interactivity users experience. The UX would be built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The plugin can be used to retrieve the feed from the server or bucket and pull down the data to power the UX. It can be hosted on Brightcove within the Player module. Publish your custom player and associated videos. Now you’re ready to embed the player on your webpage. Synchronize the player plugin and the video. During video playback, the player plugin will control the interactivity UX, metadata, and associated timestamps. As mentioned, the plugin can read the data feed to power the UX, or cue-points can be created in Brightcove. For a more robust and complex interactive experience, it would be best to use the plugin method as you have more control over the complexity of the data sets. <font size="3">Live Streams</font> Livestreaming is a little more complex than VOD as you need to ensure that the data is in sync with what is happening in the live broadcast. Use an Encoder with Cue-point Support. This allows you to insert cue-points and markers into the live stream before it’s ingested. An alternative could be adding ID3 tags to the stream using Brightcove’s Live API. Ingest the Live Stream. Using the Brightcove Live API, you can ingest the live stream. The same API allows you to add ID3 tags via a feed to the live stream. Confirm Timed Descriptions. When adding an ID3 tag, ensure it contains a description of what occurred at a specific time. Once the tag is added, the metadata will immediately appear or display at the time specified in the tag. Again, a plugin is built to control the interactivity UX and read the ID3 tags in the live stream. Based on what is present in the tags, the plugin will display the metadata at the right time and in sync with the content. Metadata: The Essential Tool for Interactivity The power of metadata can deliver new levels of interactivity and engagement that’s much needed in today’s ever-competitive content landscape. It offers the perfect marriage of engagement and personalization that’s required to build and maintain a loyal user base. Beyond the interactivity itself, metadata can increase existing revenue by optimizing discoverability both in search engines and within platforms. It can also open new revenue opportunities through avenues like product placement and contextual ads. From delivering rich interactive VOD experiences or enhancing a live broadcast, we’ll continue to see metadata play an increasing role in many different types of content. There’s no better time than now to start exploring the benefits it can bring to your content and your bottom line. While the setup, particularly for live metadata-driven experiences can be complex, the experts at Brightcove Global Services have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your content and revenue goals. Ben Lupton Why Every B2B Video Strategy Needs First-Party Data Mon, 05 Jun 2023 13:00:00 GMT The last few years have tested the agility and adaptation of every marketing team. Physical events went digital. Digital events had to get interesting. Video marketing became more important than ever, and teams had to think about how the sales process worked in both remote and hybrid environments. B2B video marketing is moving beyond awareness and driving engagements and conversions at each touchpoint in the marketing funnel. In fact, when we interviewed marketing leaders, the topic of discussion wasn’t whether video marketing could drive conversions. It was about the strategy and tech stack needed to do it. Learn more in our PLAY episode, "What’s New, What’s Not and What Matters Most to CMOs Today." Rethinking the Hybrid Experience Traditional digital media and video marketing tactics like webinars aren’t keeping people’s attention or driving conversions. That’s what Margaret Franco, CMO of <a href="" target="_blank" title="Finastra">Finastra</a>, realized as she helped her team adapt to a digital-first environment during COVID-19 lockdowns. Part of the reason is that video marketing, for many teams, is still focused on driving top-of-funnel activities like awareness without building the relationship afterwards. Without in-person meetings and industry events, the Finastra team knew that the customer journey across video marketing had to be personal. From brand awareness to conversion and retention, video had to break through a noisy digital environment where everyone was remote and often distracted. For Finastra, the video content strategy started by rethinking the video marketing tech stack. As Finastra’s VP of Marketing, Joerg Kleuckmann, puts it, “It all kicked off from an experience I had when COVID started. I was clicking on an ad from a competitor because they had a digital event, and I thought it was our event, and I got confused.” Not only that, when people did access video content from Finastra, they got distracted by something else on YouTube. Many marketing leaders dealt with similar challenges. Latané Conant, CMO of <a href="" target="_blank" title="6Sense">6Sense</a>, says that every marketer has to be an “octopus.” They have to cover different disciplines and teams in order to understand what type of video is best for the company and the customer. Paige O’Neill, Chief Marketing Officer at <a href="" target="_blank" title="Sitecore">Sitecore</a>, believes that content is still the biggest challenge, whether a hybrid or digital or in-person format: “How do we connect the dots between the two and serve up that experience for customers?” In a hybrid environment where people engage online and offline, marketing teams must provide an ongoing journey customized to what personas need the most. B2B video marketing must be more like events, and events must be more like digital multimedia. Both tactics require a lifecycle strategy that builds a relationship with attendees before, during, and after the experience. To reinvent the team’s B2B video marketing strategy, Finastra launched <a href="" target="_blank" title="Finastra TV">Finastra TV</a> in 2022 to broadcast video content related to the banking industry. The channel allows viewers to find the content most relevant to their industry and engage with it at their own pace. “We’re going to build the Netflix for the financial services industry,” Franco says. “Finastra TV is always promoting. It’s always engaging.” Most importantly, first-party data became the foundation for the new video marketing strategy from the start. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Finastra TV: Building Your Own Company Channel.” Video Marketing with First-Party Data Streaming platforms like Vimeo or YouTube can host video content, but they offer limited analytics tools. The same goes for social channels, where marketers can measure views and understand viewer demographics but not how qualified they really are as prospects. This is why measuring the success of video marketing often only goes as deep as top-of-funnel metrics like views, social shares, and time watched. To create a B2B video marketing strategy with the personalization power of Netflix, marketers must focus on collecting first-party data from viewers. By understanding individual prospect behavior across all video content, marketers can better understand people’s interests and viewing habits and follow up at an individual level. The first step for this kind of video marketing is simple: create video content that your prospects want to view. As Conant explains, teams should organize video production in the same way that “media companies deal with content.” By starting with the market fit for the product—and the content that establishes that market fit—teams can plan content for each persona. At Finastra, the team created a content strategy based on different seasons and topics that consist of 10 to 15 episodes per topic. The goal was to build a digital stage that drove opportunities, not just views. Every viewer who accesses Finastra TV fills out a form once with relevant contact information and then has the freedom to watch all the episodes. This first-party data is automatically routed to Finastra’s CRM, which in turn scores the lead based on viewing activity. “We developed a custom solution on the channel where we dropped a cookie behind the user’s first Marketo registration form,” Klueckmann explains. “Gating is a thing of the past. Forms are a thing of the past.” Finastra TV, which is built with Brightcove, now offers the sales teams an opportunity to follow up based specifically on which videos the lead viewed with a CRM integration that analyzes who is most engaged based—and what conversations may be most relevant to them. Event content is repurposed to make it video-first and, since then, Finastra TV is fully integrated with the customer journey. A Transparent Journey COVID-19 taught teams valuable new digital tactics to persevere through an unprecedented challenge. The next step is to integrate those tactics with real-world events and interactions. This all starts with understanding the tech stack that you need to see each customer touchpoint as it happens, whether online or offline. “We’re in a hybrid journey right now,” says Paige O’Neill from Sitecore. “How do we bring the best of digital but go back to those customer interactions?” By offering Finastra TV, the team saw a 26x increase in ROI from physical events, capturing the potential of a hybrid customer journey in new ways. This wouldn’t be possible without the first-party data integrations that help Finastra understand exactly who is watching what and passing that information to the sales team. As B2B video marketing follows the success of streaming platforms, the importance of customer data is only going to grow. By building a data-first multimedia strategy, you can ensure that video content is fully integrated from the first touch of the customer journey to the last. Theo Hildyard How to Build Interactive Live Streams Correctly Tue, 30 May 2023 13:00:00 GMT While interactive content and shoppable videos are nothing new, the demand for live commerce and live interactivity videos continues to grow. Not only are viewers showing higher engagement rates, brands and retailers are recognizing their potential to drive higher conversions, connect with younger buyers, and boost sales. So it shouldn’t be surprising that live commerce has been shown to generate up to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Live Commerce is Transforming Online Shopping">10x conversion uplift</a>. In fact, the U.S. livestream commerce market is projected to account for <a href="" target="_blank" title="Livestreaming: Debunking 5 Common Myths">$35 billion in sales and 3.3% of all U.S. e-commerce by 2024</a>. However, the technical complexity of live streaming, particularly when incorporating interactive elements, can be daunting. Furthermore, understanding the nuances of interactive videos can be especially challenging for some content creators. In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into the benefits, the technical requirements, and the challenges you’ll need to navigate. You’ll learn how to harness the power of live interactivity and ensure you get it right to maximize its potential. Business Benefits of Live Interactivity For starters, adding interactivity to your live events helps you stand out from the millions of videos that are uploaded to the internet every day. But there are several other ways it can benefit your business. <font size="3">Deeper Community Building</font> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="What is Interactive Live Streaming?">Interactivity plays a crucial role</a> in helping viewers feel as if they are truly a part of your community. This community-building can extend beyond your brand and products by fostering connections between like-minded viewers who are engaged with your video. Allowing them to actively participate in the content facilitates social interaction and creates a more dynamic and enjoyable experience for all.</p> <font size="3">Better Audience Feedback</font> Another key benefit of interactive video is the ability to gather instantaneous feedback and insights. Traditional metrics such as video views are table stakes by now and by themselves are no longer sufficient. Today’s creators must understand which aspects of their livestream resonate best with viewers and incorporate these understandings into future content. Data gained from interactivity, like viewer behavior, preferences, and demographics, will offer insights that can also help achieve other key goals like sales, subscribers, and retention. <font size="3">Enhanced User Experience</font> Moreover, live interactivity can enhance the overall user experience by integrating seamlessly with various technology ecosystems, such as Learning Management Systems (LMSs), e-commerce platforms, marketing technology (martech), HR platforms, and Over-the-Top (OTT) media platforms. Adding interactivity to any of these platforms should be an essential part of the viewer’s overall digital experience. Using that interactivity to deliver greater personalization creates a unique end-user experience tailored to your company and specific to each viewer’s journey. <font size="3">Ideal Cyclical Journey</font> When implemented effectively, live interactivity can propel users into the ideal cyclical journey: content consumption, engagement with your digital experiences, positive response to calls to action, and brand affinity growth. Successful completion of this cycle will encourage users to share their experiences with others. The end result is amplified reach and increased impact of your interactive video content, bringing even more users into the cycle where it can repeat and continue. Technical Requirements of Live Interactivity With a thorough understanding of these benefits, you may be ready to level up your live interactivity but questioning what it takes to start implementation. Short answer: that depends. Why? It may be helpful to break the technical requirements down into two categories: basic setup and advanced setup. <font size="3">Basic Setup</font> A basic setup has a couple main requirements. Online video platform (OVP) for content distribution and playback Platform capable of handling video overlays and calls to action (CTAs) However, this only scratches the surface of live interactivity's potential. <font size="3">Advanced Setup</font> To truly unlock the power of live interactivity, creators need to go beyond the basics and integrate their interactive video platform with other systems, such as e-commerce platforms, LMSs, and marketing technologies. An advanced setup in this sense means more than simply connecting the two. Rather, it should enable interactivity that is personalized and unique based on specific attributes of a user’s profile pulled from the system you’re connecting to. An advanced setup will open up new possibilities, for example: Connecting with e-commerce platforms to allow users to buy a product from within the video without having to navigate to a purchasing page. Personalized calls to action based on previous purchase history. For internal use cases, like training, the LMS system and player working together to create in-player quizzes, establish success criteria, and determine whether the user passed. Create customized content recommendations based on user behavior within the LMS. These scenarios offer a glimpse of the potential, but there are countless additional opportunities for your particular use case. By producing a well-integrated interactive video experience that communicates with other technologies, it greatly enhances the end-user experience and becomes an invaluable asset for creators. How Brightcove Can Help Brightcove Live Interactivity simplifies the advanced setup. With features including surveys, polls, quizzes, real-time chat, and shoppable e-commerce, you’ll be fully prepared to deliver captivating experiences that boost live audience engagement. For example, Brightcove’s proprietary chat technology allows you to incorporate chat into live videos and provides greater control over branding and user experience. With mobile web-first interactive player overlays, you can also create a consistent and visually appealing experience that aligns with your brand while seamlessly integrating with product management platforms. Retail and e-commerce businesses will also appreciate the easy-to-manage events console that gives you the ability to add product information to the livestream in real time. Although live-streaming can be stressful and challenging, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t realize the many opportunities and benefits it holds. If you’re nervous about truly going live but still want to incorporate live interactivity features, Brightcove Simulive and/or Cloud Playout could be the answer. These solutions allow you to pre-record your content, air it as “live” when you choose, and then simulate a live experience complete with live interactivity features. They essentially combine the best of both worlds while mitigating the risks and costs. Additionally, these features will be automatically transitioned from your live event to a video on demand (VOD) asset that can continue to drive value over and over again. For creators looking to take their interactive experiences to the next level, developer events and APIs allow you to customize and build upon these features. With the rich analytics on both a user and aggregate level, you’ll be able to understand which of these interactive elements are driving the most engagement. Challenges of Live Interactive Events Clearly integrating live interactivity into video content offers significant benefits and opportunities. However, it’s important to be aware of the challenges and pitfalls that could occur when incorrectly implemented. First, it’s important to strike the right balance. While incorporating interactive elements is appealing, overuse or poor implementation can distract viewers from your content. It can also inhibit the actions you want viewers to take as a result of viewing the content. You should also keep in mind that interactivity goes well beyond merely incorporating shoppable video within a player. The most effective interactive experiences are those that integrate seamlessly within the user's journey across your digital properties. Interactive elements shouldn’t be jarring or overly apparent, but designed to subtly enhance the user experience and gently guide them towards desired actions on your site. Live Interactivity Done Right Successfully implementing live interactivity requires having the right mindset that focuses on creating a seamless user experience. In addition to the right technology, it also requires that all of the systems work together harmoniously. Brightcove Live Interactivity offers a comprehensive solution that delivers everything you need to enhance audience engagement and create captivating interactive experiences in your live events. By leveraging Brightcove's powerful features and adopting a user-centric approach, you’ll unlock the full potential of live interactivity to help achieve your goals. Mark Lendrum Growing OTT Ad Revenue Without Losing User Engagement Tue, 23 May 2023 13:00:00 GMT Today, we are witnessing the equivalent of cable “cord cutting” when it comes to users forgoing purely subscription-based streaming in exchange for AVOD (Advertising-based Video on Demand). More and more users are increasingly choosing to watch ads in exchange for discounted or free streaming video content. In fact, <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Age of AVOD is Coming">by the end of 2023, over half of all U.S. internet users (50.7%) will be engaging with content via AVOD services</a>. Further, Deloitte Global predicts that <a href="" target="_blank" title="Digital Media Trends">almost two-thirds of consumers in developed countries will use at least one AVOD service monthly by 2023’s end</a>. A year after that, half of major streaming providers are expected to have launched a free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service. As OTT providers adjust to this new reality, ad sensitivity has become front and center in the conversation on how to cater to today’s budget-conscious viewers. The New Challenges of OTT In the rapidly expanding AVOD landscape, Ad Ops teams must find the right balance. On one hand, they need to maximize the opportunity by increasing the frequency of ads and ad pod duration. On the other, they must ensure any changes in ad policy don’t alienate the loyal viewers they depend on to maintain and increase the price of their ad inventory. But striking this balance can present challenges as platforms strive to maximize ad revenue and increase user engagement. For starters, Ad Ops teams are faced with the challenge of navigating non-uniform tech stacks. They’re forced to try to piece together data from a variety of tools like Google Analytics and other measurement tools to get a complete picture from multiple data sets. This lack of uniformity creates inefficiencies and further adds to the operational burden for those in charge of cleansing, normalizing, and actioning the data. Additionally, the OTT advertising landscape is continuously evolving. The specialized technical and business expertise needed to stay competitive creates additional challenges as teams struggle to keep up with the latest developments, tech updates, and best practices. Unfortunately for many, the issues go beyond being challenges and evolve into insurmountable barriers. As noted in <a href="" target="_blank" title="Revenue-as-a-service: ad tech, the right way">research from Caretta</a>, the complexity of ad tech systems and the sales process can cause streaming services to forgo AVOD, and the potential revenue it can generate, entirely. And for those who attempt yet fail to overcome these challenges, the impact can be equally damaging. Poorly executed ad strategies can lead to buffering and excessive ad loading and repetition, causing viewers to abandon the content and potentially the streaming service altogether. The research points to how services like Brightcove Ad Monetization help platform operators transition into ad-funded streaming quickly while minimizing cost and risk. This Revenue-As-A-Service, as they call it, bridges gaps for newer platforms by combining industry expertise with the insights needed to help avoid common pitfalls. A Holistic Approach to Overcoming the Challenges To overcome these challenges and maximize revenue, OTT and Ad Ops teams need a streamlined approach that can provide unified yet robust analytics to optimize and balance their ad strategies. However, the best approach will offer more than normalized data and unified measurement. Actionable insights are needed to understand the effects of ad policies on both revenue and viewer experience. In particular, a clear understanding of ad sensitivity will be critical for ongoing success. In its simplest form, ad sensitivity is a measurement of the optimal number of ad breaks, the quantity and length of ad pods, and various playback conditions that minimize ad abandonment. Clearly, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Are ads the prescription for subscription fatigue?">ad sensitivity will vary across different segments and content</a>, as Deloitte noted way back in 2018. But it nonetheless affects user engagement, loyalty, and, ultimately, potential ad revenue. And with this foundation, the most effective ad policies can deliver a triple win: increased revenue, better ROI for advertisers, and the best experience for viewers. It’s for these reasons that ad sensitivity is a key metric in Ad Insights, a core component of Brightcove’s Ad Monetization service. Ad Insights correlates ad frequency/intensity and session length/session return frequency to help you measure and assess the changes to your ad policies. So, not only can you easily measure ad sensitivity, you can achieve the optimal balance between ad frequency, ad pod duration, and viewer engagement. By consolidating ad measurement, Brightcove Ad Insights simplifies ad strategy optimization and the implementation of timely changes, all from within Brightcove. No more endless and unreconciled spreadsheets. Ad Insights intuitive visualizations show how advertising policy affects audience engagement over time and across dimensions like playback device, content length, viewer region, and more. This enables users to dial in a yield-optimized ad policy tailored to the viewer experience that maximizes engagement. A Better Approach to OTT Incorporating Brightcove Ad Insights into your OTT advertising can bring a variety of benefits, including increased revenues, better user engagement, and more demand from advertisers. By utilizing the insights to optimize your advertising strategies, you’ll have much better visibility into which advertising strategies align best with audience preferences and content types. This delivers a more engaging viewer experience that leads to a higher consumption of content. In turn, you’ll see higher returns on your ad inventory from advertisers who are willing to spend more for an engaged audience. It’s a truly effective way to deliver the triple-win scenario for your advertisers, engaged viewers, and your bottom line. Ian Blaine Managing Employee-Generated Video Content Tue, 16 May 2023 13:00:00 GMT No one knows a company better than its employees. They know the best benefits candidates should know about, which SOPs are the most up-to-date, and which coffee maker won’t ruin your morning. They also know how to use a smartphone and record videos, which makes them the best content creators your company isn’t using. Employee-generated video content (EGVC) is a growing trend, and for good reason. We already know that video gives employees a better experience; four out of five told us so. But did you know that <a href="" target="_blank" title="Why is employee-generated video content valuable?">EGVC can increase your candidate conversion rate by 34%</a>? What are you waiting for? If we had to guess, you’re probably waiting to leverage employee-generated content because you need to manage all those employees—and all that content. Ask any video producer and they’ll gladly tell you all the headaches they’ve encountered. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And with the right technology, EGVC can practically manage itself. What is Employee-Generated Video Content? To be clear, EGVC isn’t hiring a producer to film one of your employees. Employee-generated video content is about unleashing employees as content creators. Just like user-generated content (UGC) features customers sharing what they love about a brand or product, EGVC puts the spotlight on your employees. Whether they’re talking about why they work at your company or just explaining what they do, you’re empowering your employees to be spokespeople. Also similar to user-generated video, no one expects employee-generated video to have a high production value. This kind of content works precisely because it doesn’t look produced. A video shot selfie-style with a smartphone looks like something the person wanted to say, not something a marketing team wrote for them to say. And that authenticity is one of the main reasons why every company needs it. Why You Need Employee-Generated Video Content EGVC benefits more than HR goals; it has a measurable effect on business goals. Regardless of how you use it, employee-generated content is valuable to both the company and the employee. Authentic. This is <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Power of User Generated Video Content">why UGC is so effective</a>. We’re surrounded by advertising messages carefully tested and crafted by marketers (like us) to drive us to take a certain action. Just as hearing directly from customers invites less skepticism about a product, we’re more likely to trust what employees say about their company. Furthermore, video adds to the authenticity because you can see the person speaking their truth without the edits of a clever PR team. Cost effective. High-quality video is expensive. Not only does it cost your marketing team time and resources, producers aren’t cheap and editing takes time. And that’s just for one video. Conversely, most of your employees are already equipped to be video producers by virtue of owning a phone, so there’s no one to hire. Add on the latest in cloud-based technology, and the workflow time can be mere minutes. License-free. Another benefit of EGVC’s lower production value is it doesn’t need the licensed content often used in highly-produced video content. Beyond additional cost, the licenses for stock footage and music beds vary in use and duration. Many providers differentiate between commercial and creative uses, and they often require renewals every year. Employee videos not only save you the cost of this content, they save you the hassle of tracking those licenses. Employee engagement. In the right contexts, giving your employees a voice can be much more effective than any well-crafted piece of marketing content. But it also benefits the employees, as well. Maintaining employee engagement can be challenging, especially with distributed workforces. But encouraging employees to participate in the company’s branding demonstrates an interest in their feedback that many will appreciate. How to Use Employee-Generated Video Content There are several ways your company can effectively use EGVC, but it’s important to recognize why many aren’t using it yet: video management can be complicated. <font size="3">Managing the Video Content</font> When something as beneficial as employee-generated video isn’t widely adopted, it’s usually because the implementation seems intimidating—and indeed, it can be. Content and creative directors know well that video management brings new challenges, primarily due to extraordinary file sizes. Believe it or not, the fastest way to transfer assets from a producer to an editor is by mailing external hard drives (not emailing, going to the post office). Add more than one producer or editor, and now you have drives and files in several physical and digital locations. With EGVC, you’re managing dozens if not hundreds or thousands of video producers. It’s like trying to organize company documents without a secure server or marketing assets without a Digital Asset Management system (DAM). And even if you do have an online video platform (OVP), odds are most of your employees won’t have access to it, let alone know how to properly upload the assets. At Brightcove, we have a simple solution for managing employee-generated video. All you have to do is ask your employees to upload their videos to a Google Drive or Dropbox folder. That’s it. At least, that’s all you have to tell them. On the backend, Brightcove integrates with both Google Drive and Dropbox, allowing you to select a “watched” folder. This folder is synced with your Brightcove account so that any new video file will be automatically uploaded. This is video management made easy. You don’t have to manually gather multiple assets from multiple people and upload them one at a time. Once your employees take a video on their phones and share it to the proper cloud folder, Brightcove will take care of the ingestion. EGVC can be used in lots of different ways. To take advantage of them, you’ll need a workflow that’s as simple and familiar to your employees as possible. <font size="3">Marketing the Video Content</font> Employee-generated video content can be used both internally and externally for the benefit of customers, colleagues, new hires, and job candidates. Below are a few of the more common uses and examples of how to activate them. Recruitment. In addition to job descriptions, ask hiring managers to record a short video introducing themselves and why they’re excited about the position. Managers are one of the most important ingredients in job satisfaction and attracting top talent, so make sure you’re marketing your managers along with the positions. Job listings are much more appealing when you can see who you’d be working for. Similarly, employee testimonials can do wonders for building an employer brand. For example, during Women’s History Month one year, Brightcove distributed a montage of women engineers in support of the #BreakTheBias campaign. You could build on our idea and make distribution as easy as ingest by using our LinkedIn integration. Settings like post info and visibility can all be managed through the integration. Learning and Development (L&D). It’s time for internal communications to leverage your internal subject matter experts (SMEs). Start a list of FAQs and ask them to respond to each one with a short video. They’re probably tired of answering the same questions over and over, and with Brightcove, they’ll only have to do it one more time. Using our portals and Smart Playlists, you can create a secure, internal video experience that manages itself. All you have to do is add tags to your videos, set up a Smart Playlist to auto-populate with those tags, and create a portal that hosts the Playlist. Coupled with a Google or Dropbox integration, this means the only thing you have to do is add the tags; everything else is automatic. For longer term development, you might consider giving your veterans a chance to share their experiences. For example, Brightcove has a series called “Navigating the Cove” featuring career success stories from staff around the globe. Using our solutions, you could easily replicate this idea without too much effort. Connection. At Brightcove, Employee Appreciation Day has turned into Employee Appreciation Week. We like to thank each other publicly (and, obviously, through video) because gratitude is infectious. Sharing how much we appreciate each other is part of what connects us and makes us a great place to work. You can take our idea a step further and, like a training portal, create a gratitude portal. Unlike social media or internal chat platforms, team members could easily return to this content whenever they need to be reminded how much they matter to others. Because portals like this are so easy to maintain, you could create more to wish happy birthdays or congratulate promotions. It won’t cost a lot of effort, but it will go a long way in building your company culture. Implementing Employee-Generated Video with Brightcove The only thing holding most companies back from activating employee-generated video content is knowing how to manage it. We don’t blame you. Without the right tools, it can quickly spiral into a time-consuming hassle or an outright mess. But with Brightcove Communications Studio and the proper video content management processes, you can reap all the benefits of EGVC with an easy-to-manage workflow. Trisha Stiles Video Content Management: Common Mistakes Mon, 08 May 2023 13:00:00 GMT Enterprises are adopting video at a rapid pace. Video advertising and shoppable video are more accessible than ever, and internal applications like training and townhalls are also increasing. At the root of all the flashy features and trendy use cases is an oft-neglected but fundamental component of video marketing: video content management. In fact, this was a recurring theme in The Aragon Research Globe™ for Enterprise Video, 2023: <p style="margin-left: 25px; line-height: 125%">As demand for both produced video content and user-generated video content grows, video content management, which is how this market got its start, is now more important than ever before.</p> The best features will fail without a proper foundation. Before settling on a new or even your first streaming platform, take a moment to review some of the most common video management mistakes. Knowing what to avoid will allow you to get the most out of your platform and set up your video marketing strategy for success. No Taxonomy One of the most common mistakes in video content management is not having a clear and consistent taxonomy. Imagine throwing cables into a pile in the corner of a closet and wondering why they come out tangled and knotted. Without a taxonomy, video storage can be difficult to manage effectively. <font size="3">No Taxonomy Symptoms</font> It’s easy to tell if you have a working taxonomy. You usually won’t hear internal stakeholders say, “Ugh, I would’ve used that video in my campaign if I knew we had it!” Missed opportunities are a telltale sign that marketers aren’t able to find your content and make the most of it. You also won’t hear someone say, “Wait, we already had an asset about that?” Too often, wasted resources are the result of a mismanaged media library. Especially for marketers working against deadlines, it can foster bad habits like producing duplicate content rather than going to hunt and peck for what they need. <font size="3">No Taxonomy Solutions</font> Taxonomy refers to the ways in which content is categorized and organized. For example, AV folks inverse wrap cables (to prevent tangling) and sort them by things like length and connector. In the same way, content managers should structure their media libraries by aboutness and use. Enterprise video platforms like Brightcove offer a couple of different file storage features. Folders. Best used to organize video assets by aboutness, folders are the primary navigation for content managers. External content like products and services, as well as internal content like trainings and townhalls, should all have their own folders. However, not every subcategory needs its own folder. Keep the folders high-level and your library will be easier to navigate. Playlists. Best used to organize video assets by use, playlists are the primary navigation for content activators. Campaigns, channels, and other external and internal initiatives can each have their own playlist. Unlike folders, playlist contents will overlap to accommodate various uses and thus can be more granular. For example, a clip of the CEO from a townhall might fit on both an onboarding playlist and a PR playlist. In addition to manual playlists, a leading platform like Brightcove also offers Smart Playlists that can be generated automatically based on tags, custom fields, descriptions, and dates. Of course, Smart Playlists won’t work if any of the necessary data points are missing. Video tagging, in particular, isn’t an intuitive skill and users are prone to over-tag with useless data or freeze up and avoid tagging altogether. That’s why most platforms also offer required fields that prevent an asset’s activation until those fields are filled in. A rigorously maintained taxonomy is what it will take to stay ahead of the competition in some burgeoning markets. For example, “Aragon feels there will be long-term archival needs for certain types of telehealth use cases (The Aragon Research Globe™ for Enterprise Video, 2023).” In a field prone to legal scrutiny, organizations should strongly consider offering benefits beyond business outcomes. No Ingest Procedure Another common mistake is not having a clear and consistent process for ingesting video content. It’s like expecting a football team to win games with no assigned positions or set plays. Without a proper ingest procedure, it will be difficult to ensure that the right video assets are stored the right way. <font size="3">No Ingest Symptoms</font> One way to tell that your ingest procedures aren’t standardized is by checking your file names. Do they have an <a href=",date%20format%20ISO%208601%3A%20YYYYMMDD" target="_blank" title="Best Practices for Managing Data">ISO-formatted date</a>? Is there any irrelevant information like the producer’s name or the duration? Or are some simply called “project” because someone forgot to title them? Inconsistent naming conventions indicate users are following their own instincts rather than a company-wide standard. Another indicator is duplicate assets. This means users can’t (or won’t) identify which assets are already in the library, so they’re uploading the same file multiple times. Not only is this likely due to the aforementioned naming issue, it also suggests users are trying to fill a vacuum in the ingest process. <font size="3">No Ingest Solutions</font> Ingesting refers to the process of transferring video content from the source to the storage location—in this case, an online video platform or OVP. A taxonomy is an important first step, but alone, it won’t help if no one knows to follow it. Once you outline an ingest procedure, there are several features that can help you maintain it. Role-based access. Just like not every football player has the skills to be a goalkeeper, not every employee should have access to your media library. For example, Brightcove’s platform is divided into different modules and allows you to select which modules are accessible to different roles. Restricting the Upload module to select users will improve process compliance and make it easier to identify responsible parties when errors need to be corrected. Replace source file. Version control often becomes an issue when a product is updated or your brand is refreshed. Brightcove makes this easy by offering a button called “Replace Source File.” Whenever you’re done with an old version of a video, just click this button and you can update every instance of the asset. No duplicate files or naming issues. If that sounds like a simple solution that any web CMS already offers, it is. If you’re mad that your current video CMS doesn’t offer it, you should be. These features will only become more important as microvideo grows. Short (30-second) how-to videos are increasingly popular with customer support use cases. But as media libraries grow, so does the need for businesses to lock down their ingest processes. “Aragon feels that more of them will need a full Enterprise video platform to be able to manage the growing volume of videos over the next five years.” No Publication Procedure A final common mistake is not having a clear and consistent process for publishing video content. A grocery store would never order produce before coordinating with packagers and distributors; it might rot before getting to the table. Likewise, without a proper publication procedure, videos may start growing (figurative) mold in your library. <font size="3">No Publication Symptoms</font> Whenever deadlines are missed or the wrong video gets published to the wrong place, your publication procedure is suspect. Delays and errors indicate there’s no established workflow for a video asset once it’s ingested. Another obvious sign that publishing happens haphazardly is when you try to break out a video’s metrics by audience but can’t find where it’s published. This kind of opaque performance can occur because some may not realize that publication is part of content management. <font size="3">No Publication Solutions</font> Publishing refers to the process of making video content available to the public. And despite the fact that it addresses where a video lives outside of the media library, this is still the content manager’s job. Fortunately, good streaming platforms offer some helpful features to make this job a little easier. Portals. Rather than waiting for links, embed codes, or the webpages needed to host them, a video portal can be set to auto-populate based on certain playlists. For example, Brightcove Gallery offers several responsive, no-code templates that can be populated by Smart Playlists. Meaning, you could add “PR” and “onboarding” tags to that CEO townhall clip mentioned earlier, and upon ingest, it would automatically publish to those respective portals. Players. When Brightcove and other platforms allow you to customize multiple video players, we’re not doing that so you can create wacky designs (okay, maybe a little). Players are an opportunity to organize where your videos are published. For example, landing page audiences behave very differently than homepage audiences. But if you have a video published in both places, how do you break out the performance? If you had a designated player for each location, then you could simply filter performance by player. Anywhere an audience behaves in a distinct way is an opportunity for a designated player. Players are particularly valuable when working with interactive video. According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Aragon Research">Aragon Research</a>, “One of the fast-growing use cases is interactive video, which makes shopping experiences more immersive.” But to keep up with that growth, enterprises will need to know where buyers are watching and interacting with videos. Designated players allow them to break out those audiences and refine their strategies accordingly. Solving Video Management with the Enterprise Leader Managing video content can be a challenge, given video’s cascading growth in volume and use cases. Avoiding the common mistakes can keep your content well organized so your streaming platform can propel your marketing strategy to keep up. <IMG SRC="//" alt="Video Content Management graphic" style="width:410px;height:410px;" ALIGN="left"> To be clear, the solution to poor <a href="" target="_blank" title="Best Video Content Management Systems">video asset management</a> is having a clearly defined and adopted strategy. Tools and features can’t create that strategy, and they only work as well as the people using them understand that strategy. But they can make executing that strategy easier, especially if you’re using an analyst-named leader like Brightcove. For two years in a row, the Aragon Globe has named Brightcove Leader in enterprise video. Download The Aragon Research Globe™ for Enterprise Video, 2023, to learn more about why Brightcove is leading the way in enterprise video. Aragon Research does not endorse vendors, or their products or services that are referenced in its research publications, and does not advise users to select those vendors that are rated the highest. Aragon Research publications consist of the opinions of Aragon Research and Advisory Services organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Aragon Research provides its research publications and the information contained in them "AS IS," without warranty of any kind. Alex Bersin The Evolution of Low-Latency Video Streaming Mon, 01 May 2023 12:00:00 GMT In the past few years, the video streaming industry has seen immense interest in low-latency video streaming protocols. The majority of interest is on delivering videos with a sub-five-second delay, making them comparable with delays in live broadcast TV systems. Attaining such low delay is critical for streaming live sports, gaming, online learning, interactive video applications, and others. Developing the Technology for Low-Latency Streaming The delays in conventional live OTT streaming technologies such as <a href="" target="_blank" title="HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)">HLS</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH)">DASH</a> are much longer. They’re caused by relatively long segments (4-10 seconds) and a segment-based delivery model, requiring complete delivery of each media segment before playback. Combined with the buffering strategies used by the HLS or DASH streaming clients, this typically produces delays of 10-30 seconds, or even longer. To combat delays, recent evolutions of HLS and DASH standards, known as <a href="" target="_blank" title="Enabling Low-Latency HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)">Low-Latency HLS (LL-HLS)</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" title="DASH Low-Latency Live">Low-Latency DASH (LL-DASH)</a>, have introduced two key tools: Chunked video encoding. This is an encoding strategy that produces video segments structured as sequences of much shorter sub-segments or chunks. Chunked segment transfer. This is an HTTP transfer mode that enables transmission of shorter video chunks to streaming clients as soon as they are generated. A streaming client can join a low-latency live stream from any Stream Access Point (SAP) which is made available by the live transcoder on segment boundaries or chunk boundaries. Once joined, a player would only need to buffer the latest video chunk generated by the encoder before decoding and rendering it. Considering that each segment can be split into several chunks (typically 4-10), this reduces the delay significantly. Several open-source and proprietary implementations of low-latency servers and players are currently available on the market, including one by Brightcove. Many of them have demonstrated lower streaming delay when only a single-bitrate stream is used and when they stream over high-speed network connections. However, their performance under more complex and realistic deployment environments has not been well studied. Testing the Performance of Low-Latency Streaming In our paper published in ACM Mile-High-Video 2023 (link forthcoming) as well as a presentation at <a href="" target="_blank" title="Performance of Low-Latency Systems">Facebook@Scale</a>, we reported some results after testing the performance of low-latency video systems. First, we developed an evaluation testbed for both LL-HLS and LL-DASH systems. We then evaluated various low-latency players using this testbed, including Dash.js, HLS.js, Shaka player, and Theo player. We also evaluated several of the latest bitrate adaptation algorithms with optimizations for low-latency live players. The evaluation was based on a series of live streaming experiments. These experiments were repeated using identical video content, encoding profiles, and network conditions (emulated by using traces of real-world networks). Table 1 shows our live video encoding profiles for generating the multi-bitrates, low-latency DASH/HLS stream. <style type="text/css"> .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; font-weight:normal;overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-baqh{text-align:center;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-amwm{font-weight:bold;text-align:center;vertical-align:top} </style> <table class="tg"> <thead> <tr> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Rendition</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Video resolution (pixels)</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Video codec and profile</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Bitrate (kbps)</span></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">low</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">768 x 432</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">H.264 main</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">949</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">mid</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1024 x 576</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">H.264 main</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1854</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">high</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1600 x 900</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">H.264 main</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3624</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">top</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1920 x 1080</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">H.264 main</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">5166</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <font size="2">Table 1. Live video encoding profiles</font> <br> <br> Figure 1 shows the workflows of our low-latency DASH and HLS streaming testbeds. <font size="2">Figure 1. System setup used for evaluation of low-latency players.</font> <br> <br> Figure 2 shows the available network bandwidth of our emulated LTE mobile network. The download bandwidth of the low-latency players is controlled by our network emulation tool and the network traces. <font size="2">Figure 2. Available bandwidth of emulated LTE mobile networks (Verizon and T-Mobile)</font> <br> <br> A variety of system performance metrics (average stream bitrate, amount of downloaded media data, streaming latency) as well as buffering and stream switching statistics were captured and reported in our experiments. These results have been subsequently used to describe the observed differences in the performance of LL-HLS and LL-DASH players and systems. A few plots from our study can be seen in the figures below. <font size="2">Figure 3. Dynamics of bitrate switches reported by LL-HLS and LL-DASH players.</font> <br> <br> <font size="2">Figure 4. Comparison of variations of latency reported by LL-HLS and LL-DASH players.</font> <br> <br> Performance statistics – T-Mobile LTE network <style type="text/css"> .tg {border-collapse:collapse;border-spacing:0;} .tg td{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg th{border-color:black;border-style:solid;border-width:1px;font-family:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:14px; font-weight:normal;overflow:hidden;padding:10px 5px;word-break:normal;} .tg .tg-1wig{font-weight:bold;text-align:left;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-baqh{text-align:center;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-amwm{font-weight:bold;text-align:center;vertical-align:top} .tg .tg-0lax{text-align:left;vertical-align:top} </style> <table class="tg"> <thead> <tr> <th class="tg-1wig"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Player/Algorithm</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Avg. bitrate [kbps]</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Avg. height [pixels]</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Avg. latency [secs]</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Latency</span><br><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">var. [secs]</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Speed var. [%]</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Number of switches</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Buffer events</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Buffer ratio [%]</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">MBs loaded</span></th> <th class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Objects loaded</span></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">DASH.js default</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">2770</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">726</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3.06</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0.21</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">10.4</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">93</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">38</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">7.99</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">352.2</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">256</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">DASH.js LolP</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3496</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">853</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">5.65</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">4.59</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">22.7</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">70</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">53</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">21.96</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">369.4</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">210</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">DASH.js L2all</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3699</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">908</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">4.14</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3.18</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">19.9</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">5</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">19</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">7.99</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">368</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">147</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Shaka player (dash)</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3818</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">916</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">4.92</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">2.06</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">16</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">5</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">4.66</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">360.3</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">155</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">THEO player (dash)</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">4594</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">993</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">6.16</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0.01</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">27</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">418.7</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">152</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">HLS.js default 2020</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1763</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">562</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">10.08</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">10.91</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">8.1</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">26</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">2</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">9.8</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">130.7</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">589</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">HLS.js LolP 2020</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1756</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">560</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">5.97</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0.2</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">6.1</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">24</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">148.1</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">688</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">HLS.js L2all 2020</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1752</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">560</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">6</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0.23</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">5.9</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">34</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">133.1</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">686</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">HLS.js default 2023</span></td> <td class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3971</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">895</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">8.93</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">1.13</span></td> <td class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">8</span></td> <td class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">360.8</span></td> <td class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">613</span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="tg-0lax"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">Shaka player (HLS)</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3955</span></td> <td class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">908</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">7.18</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">2.23</span></td> <td class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">0</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">14</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">7</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">3.8</span></td> <td class="tg-baqh"><span style="font-weight:400;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">230</span></td> <td class="tg-amwm"><span style="font-weight:700;font-style:normal;text-decoration:none;color:#000;background-color:transparent">475</span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <font size="2">Table 2. Performance statistics – T-Mobile LTE network</font> <br> <br> Evaluating the Performance of Low-Latency Streaming While LL-HLS and LL-DASH worked well in unconstrained network environments, they struggled in low bandwidth or highly variable networks (which are typical in mobile deployments). Observed effects included highly variable delays, inability to prevent buffering, and frequent bandwidth switches or inability to use the available network bandwidth. Some players simply switched into non-low-latency streaming under such challenging network conditions. As promising as LL-HLS or LL-DASH are in theory, there is still some room for these technologies to mature. At Brightcove, we are continuing to work on best-in-class implementations of algorithms for low-latency streaming clients as well as encoder and server-side optimizations. We intend to make our support for low-latency streaming highly scalable, reliable, and fully ready for prime time. This blog was originally written by Yuriy Reznik in 2021 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Bo Zhang Getting the Most Out of Interactive Video for E-Commerce Mon, 24 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT Forget “try before you buy.” Today’s consumers are all about watching before they buy. Research from Brightcove shows that 85% of consumers worldwide use video content in some way to inform their online shopping decisions. The next generation of e-commerce video marketing is here now, too: <a href="" target="_blank" title="What Is Interactive Video?">interactive video</a>. More than eight in 10 shoppers who spend the most money online agree that interactive videos with features such as click-to-purchase links are helpful as they shop online. The challenge for brands looking to seize this opportunity is that most video platforms don’t offer interactivity directly in the platform. However, Brightcove is one of the few online video platforms (OVPs) that offers interactivity out of the box (OOTB). For a feature designed to improve the customer experience, the benefits of in-platform interactivity are undeniable. Benefits of OOTB Interactivity There is, of course, one key benefit to using third-party interactivity: It’s platform agnostic. Most vendors work with a variety of OVPs. While switching video platforms might seem like a hassle, the many benefits of OOTB interactivity (like Brightcove) make it worthwhile. Seamless integration. Features are designed to work with the rest of the software, reducing the amount of time and effort required to get the system up and running. Consistent user experience. There is a consistent user experience for interactive elements, reducing confusion and improving customer engagement. Lower costs. Unlike third-party features that require additional licenses for fees, the cost is included in the software subscription, making the rates more transparent and cost-effective. Greater security. There are more robust security features in place to protect systems and data. You can take advantage of them without having to implement additional security measures for third-party integrated features. Easier maintenance. Interactive features are maintained and updated by the OVP, reducing the burden on you to maintain and update it. Plus, feature enhancements aren’t time-consuming or costly for you—they come with the package. Interactive Video Features While OOTB interactivity is still uncommon among OVPs, several features have become standard across interactivity offerings. Overlays, quizzes, chapters, polls, external links, and in-video branching are available on most solutions, including Brightcove. However, Brightcove has the widest interactivity feature set, including several advanced features that many other platforms do not. The standard features are a step in the right direction, but the following advanced features further interactivity’s goal of making video behave more like the web. Sentiment. A high-performing product video clearly demonstrates interest. But without knowing the customer sentiment, you won’t know if that interest is related to purchases or returns. Embedding a video with sentiment options like thumbs up/thumbs down, star ratings, or emoticons can help you discern the difference. Video-to-video branching. If streaming services have taught us anything, it’s that consumers like the video experience. With video-to-video branching, online shoppers never have to leave. Instead of returning to a menu, they can continue browsing similar or related products from the comfort of your video player. Time triggers. One of the most important rules of interactive video is giving the viewer time to react. Opportunities for feedback or browsing different product videos can quickly become opportunities for frustration if the video continues before the viewer can take action. Time triggers allow you to pause the video at certain points, or skip to another part of the video if no action is taken. Personalization. If your website offers a store login, you can further refine your customers’ viewing experience based on the first-party data they submitted. Like the restaurant server who remembers your name and order, your video player could do the same. Chat. In stores, getting your questions about a product answered is easy—just ask someone. Overlaying third-party messaging programs onto your video provides a similar, digital experience. Why lose an immediate sale when you answer questions in real time? Custom content. Embedding custom forms means that RSVPing to a launch party doesn’t have to wait for a follow-up email. Whether you use Google Forms, Mailchimp, Typeform, Calendly, or Eventbrite, feel free to collect form data without asking your customers to click off the video. Interactive Video Playback The most advanced interactive features are worthless if your customers can’t play or properly view the video. Thankfully, interactive video has come a long way; most platforms offer web playback on all the major browsers as well as mobile web playback. Especially with <a href="" target="_blank" title="Mobile Commerce Statistics">almost half (42%) of e-commerce now happening on mobile</a>, it’s critical to ensure the video experience is seamless on every user’s device. Unlike some interactive solutions that only offer lightboxes, Brightcove provides inline experiences. While lightboxes are notoriously unresponsive on mobile devices, inline provides a much more user-friendly experience. Most platforms also allow interactive playback in standard landscape orientation, and some, including Brightcove, allow portrait. Interactive Video Analytics Interactive video not only provides a better video experience for online shoppers, it gives marketers more granular behavioral data about their customers. Most solutions offer this through platform analytics, CSV export, API access, and the ability to integrate with Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. The metrics offered will vary, but you can expect most platforms to include metrics related to activity stream, aggregate performance, conversion, and overlay clicks. However, few offer stop watching/exit metrics like Brightcove. Similar to a video’s engagement rate, these metrics are key to knowing how your audience is responding to your interactive elements. For example, just as too many interactive elements can be distracting, so can the wrong element at the wrong time. Stop watching metrics can help you test and isolate the optimum time in a video to place a Buy Now button or a related product link. Thanks to native MAP integrations, Brightcove also offers user-level reporting like click-through rate, navigation rate, and response rate. If this sounds like an absurd amount of data, it is. This is actually one of the biggest issues with interactivity providers: great data but poor insights. Marketers don’t just need more data; they need the tools to quickly interpret and act upon it. This is why Brightcove also offers Audience Insights, the leading customer data platform (CDP) specifically designed for video. With proprietary metrics as well as fully aggregated user-level data, Brightcove offers more actionable interactive video insights than any other platform on the market. How to Compete with Interactive Video in E-Commerce E-commerce brands know that video can make or break a product purchase. But with so much video content, it’s hard to stand out. And even when you do, it’s often hard to figure out why. It’s not enough knowing that a video was viewed or a call-to-action was clicked. Brands must focus on why a viewer took the next step or dropped off. While other platforms can produce engaging, interactive videos, most aren’t innovative enough to meet the data-driven demands of e-commerce strategies. Brightcove Interactivity offers everything enterprises need to compete in today’s highly personalized, audience-centric market. Patrick Farley Making QoE Actionable for Video Streaming Fri, 14 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT Earning trust is at the core of Brightcove’s efforts to grow our leadership position in the streaming technology industry. That’s why we launched QoE Analytics, a suite of features focused specifically on <a href="" target="_blank" title="Quality of Experience Wiki">Quality of Experience</a> (QoE). There’s no better way to build trust with our customers than helping them monitor our performance in the arena where it matters most: the viewing experience. Why Monitor QoE? Quality of Service (QoS) and QoE are often lumped together, which can seem like a lot for many media companies to take on, both in complexity and cost. However, they are fundamentally different. QoS focuses on key network performance metrics at an operations level, while QoE provides a sense of the viewing experience from a user perspective. We believe that QoE is more meaningful and often more actionable for most media companies, given the direct correlation to user satisfaction. What QoE Metrics Are Important? Brightcove collects a massive amount of data on behalf of our customers. This allowed us to narrow our QoE measurements down to the ones with the most significant correlations. We then cross-checked these findings with our own research team as well as several leading media companies who have studied this carefully. Based on this, we believe the following four metrics are the most important to track over time. <font size="3">1) Video start time</font> Video start time measures the average number of seconds elapsed between the play request and the stream start. High start times correlate with abandonment before streaming even starts and can indicate issues with the CDN, player plug-ins, and initial stream bitrate where intervention makes sense. Low video start times mean your audience is watching video quickly, which is what they expect. <font size="3">2) Stall Rate</font> Stall rate is the average number of stalls per hour, calculated by comparing total stalls to total hours viewed in the selected time range. Unlike other rebuffering events, video stalls directly affect playback. This can manifest as single stalls of significant length or frequent stalls of varying length. Thus, a low stall rate means smoother playback and a better viewer experience. <font size="3">3) Error Rate</font> Error rate is the percentage of all play requests with errors preventing playback (as opposed to background errors the viewer doesn’t notice). These errors typically occur before playback begins, but they can also happen during playback. Low error rates mean that customers are usually able to watch the content they select. <font size="3">4) Upscaling Time</font> Upscaling time measures the average number of seconds per hour of viewing that is spent in an upscaled state. Upscaling occurs when a video rendition is streamed at a lower resolution than the playback device can display, often resulting in fuzziness or pixelation. This is particularly noticeable when a lower resolution stream is played on a large-screen device. Low upscaling time generally means your viewers are enjoying smooth, crisp video playback. While upscaling time is critical in monitoring quality of experience, there are times when it may not affect the viewer. For example, upscaling often happens when high resolution content is streamed to a 4K TV but not encoded at 4K. Since most viewers won’t notice this, it’s important to dig into the data to determine the reasons behind low upscaling times. What Dimensions Affect QoE? QoE metrics can be affected by a number of different factors, from mobile app updates to content delivery network (CDN) changes. Breaking down those metrics by different dimensions makes it easy to compare performance and identify issues and opportunities. <font size="3">Device Type</font> Looking at metrics by device category allows you to see device-specific issues and trends over time. The imaginary example below shows a spike in error rate for Android devices that could be correlated to a recent app update. <font size="3">Stream Type</font> By comparing the QoE metrics of VOD against livestreams, you can isolate mode-specific issues or trends. In the fictional example below, there was a jump in upscaling around a live event that resolved quickly. <font size="3">Player</font> Looking at QOE metrics broken out by player is a great way to isolate player-specific issues. For example, there can be significant differences in load time, depending on the plugins that load at play request. There can also be issues in specific players that result in increased error rates. Seeing these differences makes them easier to isolate and act on. <font size="3">Country</font> For customers who operate internationally, viewing QoE metrics by country can assist in isolating regional issues. Imagine a media company adopted a new content delivery network for their Asian consumers. From the example below, it’s clear that the CDN underperformed when looking at the stall rate. QoE Analytics in Context To properly track trends, it’s also important to see metrics and dimensions in context with each other. For example, Brightcove’s QoE solution not only provides charts for each metric, it includes a table with all metrics for a more comprehensive view. In addition to the key metrics, it also includes view count, video resolution breakdown, rebuffering time, and average bitrate for additional context. The table is sortable by any of the columns and responsive to dimension selection, making it easy to explore and identify outliers. In the fictional example below, the device dimension was selected. Quality of Experience You Can Trust On most days, Quality of Experience reporting will be a testament to the high quality video streaming that Brightcove is known for. However, issues can arise and we want to ensure that we’re helping our customers see them. This is a big step forward in our mission to be the most trusted streaming technology company in the world. Ian Blaine The Dawn of the Producer Economy Mon, 10 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT The internet and streaming have democratized the landscape of video creation and distribution on a broad scale. Creators can produce and distribute video to the masses with little or no cost. Major film, TV, news, and sports producers can reach their audiences much more directly. Even brands are beginning to share their stories with their audiences through video. But something else is emerging and defining itself adjacent to these trends: the producer economy. The Democratization of Video The democratization of video has been facilitated by three things. Mobile evolution. It put a computer connected to the internet in everyone’s hands. Connected TV explosion. It put the internet in our living rooms and has us engaging in a different, mostly passive lean-back capacity. Social media revolution. It connected us all and made it a conversation instead of a monologue. Many-to-many, versus one-to-many. We now have much broader access to all types of content, including content from our friends, from influencers, from creators. All on-demand, all the time, via the internet. As a result, three significant trends have coalesced over the past decade. Creator economy. Anyone could express themselves, share it socially, have an algorithm amplify it, and make money on it via automated advertising on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and more. Streaming wars. As new streaming platforms like Netflix were born, they stepped in between studios and networks and combined those into one. Eventually, every media company followed rather than be disintermediated. Brand wave. Brands and companies initially jumped on board the social media train, some with video. Now they’re beginning to build robust, video-first content strategies to tell their stories. Each of these trends began because democratization allowed them to bypass traditional middlemen and reach consumers more directly. For example, look at the music business and independent musicians like Macklemore or Doja Cat. They honed their craft, created amazing work, released it directly, got discovered, and built a following—all through YouTube. YouTube creates massive amounts of value for many artists and creators, but is it truly democratized? Or did the music industry trade a certain type of middleman, a label, for another one that’s based on algorithms and programmatic advertising? The Twilight of the Creator Economy Creators have had a good run. Millions are out there, and thousands of them are making real money. With most major social platforms, those revenue-sharing agreements come out to roughly half for the creator. This makes sense for small upstarts building their audience. There are no technology costs, no marketing costs—they can just launch it. And if you hit the social graph and the algorithm just right, the money follows. But not everyone can be <a href="" target="_blank" title="MrBeast overtakes PewDiePie as most-subscribed YouTuber">Mr. Beast</a> and build billion-dollar businesses. Further, it’s not clear that those large YouTube audiences can help creators do what Mr. Beast has done and launch other businesses, like his burger chain. It’s more likely that creators will need to diversify. To insulate themselves from changing algorithms, content guidelines, monetization policies, and other fluctuations, what if creators built multi-channel businesses across multiple platforms on social media? What if they created their own direct-to-consumer channels, from apps to FAST channels? The Future of Creating is Producing Here’s where the producer comes in. Producers generally supervise a production and are responsible for raising the money and hiring the artists, technicians, staff, and other resources needed to stage it. But we might expand this a little: Producers are now the creators of the creator economy. They’re the showrunners and creators of major TV shows. They’re the film directors. They’re the CMOs deciding how to represent their brand in videos distributed broadly on social media. And they’re the production team inside your company making videos for internal and external use. What the internet and streaming have done is create the ability for all of these producers to have a voice and real agency in the distribution of their stories. So if you’re a producer with meaningful brand awareness and audience following, what’s holding you back? The audience is there. The technology is there too. Streaming is a robust market, but it can also change quickly. A platform can update an algorithm any time, changing the audience. A funder of content can cancel a show and move on to the next one. (Just ask all those one- or two-season-and-out creators on Netflix). Brands need to tell their stories with video content soon, or they won’t have the customers they have today. Producers can own their content and their distribution and monetization too. It’s not just for Hollywood anymore. Creators can do it. Companies and brands can do it. All of these producers have the opportunity to reach their audiences on multiple platforms, including directly. This is the producer economy, where producers own their own digital future. Watch the full episode on PlayTV. Marc DeBevoise Grow Audience Loyalty with Accessible Video Wed, 05 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT For today’s creators, video accessibility has become much more than a checklist item for regulation and compliance. With diverse audiences of varying abilities, languages, and viewing environments, delivering accessible videos is a clear indicator of your respect and commitment to your viewers. It demonstrates that you are dedicated to championing inclusivity, embracing non-native speakers, and providing the best possible user experience (UX). Content producers understand that these experiences are the core of building a strong sense of loyalty and appreciation among viewers, customers, and the public at large. When viewers feel valued and included, they are more likely to become dedicated fans, engage with the content, and share it with others. What Makes a Great User Experience? But what creates an engaging, yet accessible UX? In Peter Morville’s <a href="" target="_blank" title="User Experience Design">user experience honeycomb</a>, he outlines seven qualities: Useful Usable Desirable Findable Accessible Credible Valuable While he intended it for website experiences, many have used his framework for a variety of user experiences. For example, a number of these qualities can be applied to premium video platforms like Brightcove. Our ad monetization solution is useful, our Player V7 update makes our product more usable, and our industry-vetted ROI makes our platform valuable. In the same way, Brightcove’s partnership with 3Play Media helps our customers make their content more accessible, furthering our commitment to providing the best user experience. In fact, Brightcove customers can achieve true, accessible equivalency by ordering accessible video services from 3Play directly within our platform. Serving over 10,000 existing customers, <a href="" target="_blank" title="3Play Media">3Play Media</a> is the premier media accessibility provider in North America, delivering services with 99% accuracy and SLA-guaranteed turnaround. Content creators with a global audience can also receive localization support through 3Play’s translation and subtitling services in over 45 languages. What are the Key Components of Video Accessibility? Digging a bit deeper into the services you now have at your fingertips, let’s look at four ways you can start today to enhance your videos accessibility. <font size="3">Closed Captioning</font> A key feature that improves accessibility for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, closed captions provide an on-screen transcript of the audio content. Additionally, it increases engagement by allowing viewers in noisy environments, or those watching with the sound off, a way to still experience the video. <center><IMG SRC="//" alt="Closed Captions File Example" style="width:70%"> Example of a Web.VTT Closed Captions File</center> <font size="3">Live Captioning</font> Depending on your use case, you can consider two different types of live captioning: Automatic and Professional. Live Automatic Captioning. This can be a practical approach for providing baseline accessibility when professional captions aren’t feasible. For example, internal video meetings or informal presentations and webinars don't necessarily require human captioning. Live automatic captioning can also be beneficial for social media livestreams to make the content more accessible to a wider and more diverse audience. Live Professional Captioning. This is an ideal approach for important and high-profile live event streams where quality and compliance are priorities. These could include academic videos where accuracy is crucial to ensure students with hearing impairments and non-native speakers can access and comprehend the content. Similarly, Live Professional Captioning can ensure all viewers of large events and conferences or investor and customer presentations can have a high-quality experience. <font size="3">Translating and Subtitles</font> This accessibility feature is important for reaching a global audience of non-native speakers. It not only fosters inclusivity but also expands the potential audience to viewers from various backgrounds. <font size="3">Audio Descriptions</font> For visually impaired audiences, audio descriptions are a valuable tool for making video content accessible. By providing verbal depictions of key visual elements, any viewer can understand the context and follow the narrative effectively. It not only showcases the creator’s commitment to inclusivity, it enhances the overall user experience for those who rely on alternative ways to consume visual media. How Great UX Grows Audience Loyalty In a digital landscape with so many content options, generating loyalty is an investment. And if one thing is clear in the creator ecosystem, it’s that audiences will invest in brands when brands invest in them. This means they are more likely to engage with your brand, share your videos, and become devoted fans or customers. By prioritizing accessibility features, such as captions, audio descriptions, and multi-language subtitles, content creators ensure that their content caters to a diverse range of viewers. And offering them the tools and features they need to fully experience your videos is perhaps one of the most effective demonstrations of your investment in them. Elyse Jenkins 3 Ways Transcripts Elevate Video SEO Mon, 03 Apr 2023 13:00:00 GMT Online video has long been a stronghold of content marketing strategies. <a href=",65%25%20of%20all%20internet%20traffic." target="_blank" title="Sandvine's 2023 Global Internet Phenomena Report">Video accounts for 65% of internet traffic</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Wyzowl's Video Marketing Statistics">91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool in 2023</a>. As the most dynamic content medium, video allows marketers to show off their brand and products in more ways than static web content. Not only does video content have the potential to reach new audiences, it can also drive engagement with your existing audience. By using video on landing pages and blogs or alongside products and services, marketers can delight customers, inform prospects, and drive fresh leads through the funnel. However, for video to have the desired impact, it’s crucial that search engines can find, rank, and serve your content. Accessibility-based solutions like transcripts can promote search engine optimization (SEO) while making your content accessible to any audience. How Video Transcripts Elevate SEO SEO is a digital marketing practice aimed at promoting pagerank and driving overall site visits. The strategy can vary depending on keyword queries, but it’s important to recognize that video transcripts can bolster a site’s keyword density for relative search terms. Search engines can’t “watch” a video the way we do. Instead, they crawl text associated with video files and use this information to index and rank results. Metadata and video tags are good examples of text elements commonly associated with video. But a high-quality transcript provides a more complete textual representation of all spoken content in a video. Of course, marketers should always be wary of “keyword stuffing.” Overusing targeted keywords on site pages to manipulate pagerank has been penalized by <a href="" target="_blank" title="Spam Policies for Google Web Search">search algorithms</a> for many years. Fortunately, placing a transcript below a video is considered a natural way to integrate keywords or phrases throughout a page. It also layers secondary and tertiary search terms, creating a healthier and more diverse SEO strategy. 1) Video Transcripts Match Long-Form Search Queries If you’re working with longer videos like webinar recordings, transcripts can offer the same benefits as long-form blog posts. According to HubSpot, the <a href="" target="_blank" title="How Long Should Blog Posts Be?">ideal blog post length is over 2,000 words</a>. This is because carefully-curated long-form content is more likely to appear higher in search result rankings. Including a transcript on the same webpage as a video increases its chances of appearing favorably in search rankings. Users may only watch the video and not read the text, but the transcript will make it much more visible to search engines. Transcripts contribute to your keyword strategy by naturally incorporating target words or phrases into a landing page, which boosts SEO. When selecting relevant targets, consider what kind of search query a user would enter in order to find your video. Then customize your landing pages so keywords and on-page content are aligned to each specific video. For example, the page's URL, title, H1 and H2 headers, image alt text, and anchor text should all incorporate your keyword or phrase. 2) Video Transcripts Engage Your Audience By using video transcripts to boost SEO and build accessibility into the production process, you also harness the potential of improving engagement with your audience. Transcripts make your video searchable by end users and search engines alike, and more favorable search rankings means more eyes on your content. In fact, <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Video Marketing Playbook">85% of marketers say that video is effective at engaging their audience</a>, with short-form and live video content being the leading formats of choice. In Brightcove’s 2022 survey on the use of video in e-commerce, 84% of consumers are convinced to purchase after joining a livestream or virtual shopping event. Combined with the brand awareness and recall benefits offered by captions and transcripts, accessible video has the potential to boost audience engagement and influence behavioral intent. 3) Video Transcripts Can Boost Target Metrics Searchable content served to an engaged target audience also has a positive impact on engagement metrics like view count and session time. For example, <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Video Marketing Playbook">content showcasing a product or service</a> is one of the most engaging types of video, as well as the most likely to generate leads. From the research phase to the final purchase, video content is useful at any stage of the buying journey. When a user finds a product or service-related video, they’re probably looking for more information related to that topic. If there are reviews, support links, or suggested reading available on the same page as the video, it bodes well for average session duration and engagement. Video Transcripts Only Count if They’re Accurate One major condition of including video transcripts (and reaping the benefits) is accuracy. Just like high-quality transcripts have the potential for positive influence, inaccurate transcripts can negatively affect your standing with search engines. Automatic speech recognition (ASR) engines are typically about 80% accurate, but the industry standard requires a minimum of 99% accuracy. While ASR technology has improved over the years, <a href="" target="_blank" title="State of Automatic Speech Recognition Report">it’s not best practice to rely solely on automatically generated transcripts or captions</a>. Video has become the preferred method of content consumption by digital natives. So much so that 85% of e-commerce consumers find video essential to their online experience. When your brand provides a transcript or captions, you can ensure your content is effectively indexed and searchable to new and existing audiences. Accessibility is more than just a legal requirement. Prioritizing an equitable user experience brings SEO benefits like boosting keyword density and strategy. Want to learn more? Read about the <a href="" target="_blank" title="ROI Analysis of Transcription and Captioning">ROI Benefits of Transcription & Captioning</a>. This blog was originally written by Shannon Murphy in 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Kelly Mahoney The Benefits of Making E-Commerce Video Accessible Mon, 27 Mar 2023 12:00:00 GMT In Brightcove’s 2022 survey on the use of video in e-commerce, 85% of consumers worldwide find videos to be essential as they shop online. That number is too significant to go unnoticed, and it demonstrates just how powerful online video can be. Video marketing is a powerful tool for e-commerce brands, and creating video that is accessible to all audiences has proven to offer even greater benefits. Design For One is Design For All Have you ever heard of the “<a href="" target="_blank" title="How universal design makes things better for everyone">curb cut effect?</a>” Curb cuts are the ramps at the ends of sidewalks, originally designed to enable wheelchair users to independently navigate California sidewalks. But as it turned out, curb cuts also benefited others, like parents pushing strollers or grocery cart toters. Thus, the curb cut effect epitomizes the core tenet of inclusive universal design: to make things as usable as possible for everyone, regardless of ability. Though universal design originally applied strictly to physical spaces, it’s now used just as often in the digital world. For example, closed captions were originally created to make broadcast television accessible to those who are hard of hearing. But the value of including captions with content has continued in the online and streaming video spaces. With captions, online videos are more accessible to those with learning disorders, neurological disabilities, and learners of English as a second language. Captions also help improve focus, comprehension, brand recall, and behavioral intent—all of which are highly sought after in the e-commerce world. The “curb cut effect” is an excellent reminder that providing accessible e-commerce video can benefit anyone. Captions And Transcripts Contribute to Better SEO The primary way that search engines determine rankings is through indexing their metadata, however, metadata doesn’t typically paint a complete picture of the content. Fortunately, making your video content accessible with captions and transcripts is a convenient way to solve this. Attaching caption or transcript files to your videos provides a text version of the content that search engine bots can use to index it more accurately. However, for this to work, it’s crucial that your captions are correct. Inaccurate captions not only devalue the viewing experience, they can flag your videos as spam. E-commerce videos are a powerful marketing tool. And when these assets are accurately captioned, they carry the potential of boosting your brand’s search engine ranking and visibility. Accessible Videos Improve The User Experience According to the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Psychology study examines how brains process and recall sounds">University of Iowa</a>, people can better recall information they have both seen and heard. Part of the reason why videos are preferred by so many is that they provide excellent auditory and visual stimulation. In this way, making video accessible appeals to viewers’ senses even further. When closed captions are available, users can simultaneously watch, listen to, and read the content of a video. This enhances the user experience, but it also <a href="" target="_blank" title="Enhancing television advertising">improves brand recall, behavioral intent, and overall brand awareness</a>. A video marketing presence is crucial for e-commerce, where 76% of users report purchasing a product or service after viewing a video. Closed Captions Provide Viewing Flexibility Internet traffic coming from mobile devices has surged in the past decade, with more than <a href="" target="_blank" title="What Percentage of Internet Traffic is Mobile?">60% of all web traffic coming from mobile in 2023</a>. This is good for e-commerce because it allows viewers to engage with your content in any environment, from public transportation and libraries to gyms and cafes. Given that mobile users often consume content in public or shared environments, one universally unappreciated feature is video autoplay without sound. As much as <a href="" target="_blank" title="Multiple Publishers Report Majority of Video Views Are Silent">85% of Facebook videos are viewed with the sound off</a>. But silent video can still provide meaning or informative value. Three out of five consumers online shop from mobile devices, and captions are the best way for brands to combat silent autoplay on consumer timelines. Captions on e-commerce content allows users to continue viewing videos in sound-sensitive environments without disrupting the preferred consumer experience. Going a step further, <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Ultimate Guide to Audio Description">audio description (AD)</a> offers an even more accessible and flexible viewing experience. AD provides a “verbal depiction of key visual elements in media and live productions”, particularly for people who are blind or low-vision. But it also gives sighted users a hands-free, multitask-friendly viewing experience by narrating what they aren’t actively watching. Localized Content Reaches a Global Audience Online shopping has proven it’s here to stay, and it’s happening around the clock—especially if you cater to a worldwide audience. There’s no question that video empowers organizations to showcase their brand, products, and services to a global audience. But translating this content into multiple languages further extends your reach and range of international consumers. When a video is already captioned, <a href="" target="_blank" title="How 3Play’s Video Translation Service Stands Out">translation becomes an easy next step</a>. Additionally, captions help those who speak English as a second language (or those who are in the process of learning English) to absorb the information better. By prioritizing accessibility, localization becomes infinitely more straightforward, ensuring that your e-commerce content can be viewed around the world. This blog was originally written by Jaclyn Lazzari (Leduc) in 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Kelly Mahoney Enhancing Employee and Customer Experiences with Streaming Mon, 20 Mar 2023 14:00:00 GMT Video dominates our online lives in ways that seemed impossible just a few years ago. The ill-fated “<a href="" target="_blank" title="Pivot to Video Wiki">pivot to video</a>,” based on overinflated viewership numbers from social platforms looking for their next monetization strategy, turned countless media companies away from experimenting with the format. But the pandemic brought video back in new and unexpected ways. Marci Maddox, Research Vice President of Digital Experiences at <a href="" target="_blank" title="IDC">IDC</a>, shared just how true this is in a PLAY Season 1 episode. “By 2024, 80% of the world's population will be online—many of whom are Gen Z with an affinity toward video. In 2024, consumers will spend upwards of $10.5 trillion online, of which video will be a growing factor in influencing those buying decisions.” And it’s reaching people in more places than ever before, too. “The pandemic accelerated the use of video by 32%,” said Maddox. “This was everything from virtual events to personal messages. Video content continues to expand its reach to consumers in their everyday lives, at work, at home, or at play.” As a result, the prevalence of video will require more companies to “think and act like a media company,” Maddox explained. “Video is entertaining. It’s informative. It can also be a way for us to communicate with one another—and try to communicate to our customers, employees or partners in a new, immersive way.” Embracing the Media Company Mindset The time is ripe for companies to start on this journey, because interest in video’s capabilities has expanded beyond marketing teams. “We saw interest in employee recruitment, in learning, in communications, and even in onboarding—some cases for employee onboarding and others for customer onboarding,” said Maddox. “Now, with remote workers, there was a spike in video usage to accommodate executive town halls. And salespeople turn to video to help in their communications in lieu of those traditional in-person meetings.” To manage these growing use cases, companies have new technology at their fingertips. “More personalized video is going to allow us to use machine learning and real-time data to generate specific calls to action and to drive additional emotional connections,” said Maddox. One use case for Maddox is in insurance policy renewal. “The marketing team could create a video with the client’s name, plus include historical claims that were made against the policy,” she explained. “You also may be aware of additional purchases of cars or jewelry that would benefit from additional coverage.” From a customer’s perspective, it’s a no-brainer. “Who wants to go look up the number to call their agent? If we give the users all of that information at their fingertips, now we have not only an instructional video, but we have one that can be a call to action to close a sales deal.” Further, what used to require expensive hardware and grand production studios now only needs a smartphone, a desktop computer, or cloud-based services. “Ten years ago, organizations that produced video, likely for marketing or entertainment purposes, still found it difficult to handle video consistently,” explained Maddox. “How do I find it? How is it searched? Can I stream it? Does it need to be cached? Does it have geographical reach? Today, organizations can work beyond physical boundaries to capture and produce video content faster.” Developing a Video Content Strategy Brightcove’s approach to video content strategy focuses on answering the questions behind “why” and “how” an organization should put video to work. The market tends to get too wrapped up in technology, but our customers ask for advice on how to get more from the video platforms they’re implementing. Our goal is to help organizations realize the business benefits from video, and Maddox offers some helpful tips on where to start. First, companies need to look at who is creating and who is supporting video within their organizations. “The adoption of video content falls to multiple stakeholders within the company,” said Maddox. “C-suite users are in an ideal position to use video themselves to communicate information to external stakeholders, investors, customers, and to their internal employees.” Customer support and education teams can also use video more. “Sales, field workers, and other lines of business can look at replacing email, which has been a common method to communicate with their customers,” Maddox added. Second, review the types of communications that are being sent to customers and to their employees and identify whether or not video would enhance that experience. “It’s just getting into the mindset that these things are possible,” said Maddox. “Think back to the idea of the renewal of the insurance policy. Would I rather have read a lot of documents on what that renewal looks like, or be guided in the renewal and click to buy at the very end? The latter is more immersive, still informative, and at the end of the day, the level of effort on the customer goes down.” What does the future hold for companies who make the leap? According to Maddox, “media-oriented companies will work with a variety of video content, from single messages to full, on-demand streaming delivery. And it’s all for the purpose to engage audiences and to achieve specific business outcomes. As you advance, think about using AI and machine learning to assist.” Creative teams and business users alike will be able to gain insight to customer preferences, said Maddox. “And they will find it just as easy to have a video-based conversation as they did with email, but now with added value for more visual and emotional connection.” Finally, Maddox advised to continue to evolve your content strategy, using insights that further advance a company’s maturity in thinking and acting like a media company. “Push yourself to understand how video can support you and your customers in this next evolving relationship that you’re building between yourselves.” At Brightcove, we help you break through the digital noise. Whether your goals are to build followers, drive brand recognition, create pipeline, grow revenue, or communicate with employees, you need a streaming-first strategy and a streaming-first partner. Julie McClure Driving E-Commerce with Video Streaming Tue, 14 Mar 2023 14:00:00 GMT E-commerce continues to be a major contributor to overall global retail sales, and all indicators point to significant growth over the coming years. From 2014 to 2022 alone, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Global retail e-commerce sales">e-commerce sales grew by 327% to $5.7T</a>. Forecasts show no signs of slowing down and expect that figure to reach $8.1T by 2026. While e-commerce has grown rapidly, it has always faced one significant challenge. Consumers have to purchase from online shops and marketplaces without ever touching, feeling, trying on, or experiencing the product. Thus, it’s critical to communicate the value, features, and benefits of a product so the customer can come as close as possible to experiencing it. When selling through bulletin boards or during times when image quality was low, communicating and creating an experience through words was paramount. As marketplaces took off, getting the perfect set of photos has been a top priority for businesses and independent sellers alike. And now with the explosion in social commerce and the extraordinary growth of platforms like Shopify, video is quickly becoming e-commerce table stakes. Benefits of Video in E-Commerce We regularly discuss the benefits of video marketing, but many of these benefits are amplified when strategically used for e-commerce. According to our research, 84% of consumers are convinced to purchase after watching a video. E-commerce videos bring numerous benefits beyond simply selling a product. They can introduce your brand story to new customers and help build familiarity and loyalty for existing customers. In both cases, there’s a clear emotional connection that video fosters between your businesses and your audiences. Video also provides the closest thing to creating an in-person experience. It gives customers around the world, on any device, up close and personal access to your product and brand. Whether showcasing the product in use, giving a 360-degree view, or broadcasting a live shopping event, video can break down barriers in ways that photos and text simply can’t. For marketers to truly reap the benefits of e-commerce video, they need a video tool that integrates with their existing tech stack and the channels they use to market to their customers. Brightcove has the integrations you need to make this easier than ever. Using Video to Boost Shopify Conversions Shopify is the world’s leading e-commerce platform. Millions of merchants across 175 countries have used the platform to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Shopify Statistics">drive over half a trillion dollars in sales</a>. While these figures show the vast opportunity the platform provides, it also means they face stiff competition from sellers across the web. Luckily, Shopify merchants have several options for using video to boost sales, increase brand awareness, and grow their businesses. From a brand perspective, videos are a great way to introduce new customers to your company while building community and loyalty with existing customers. One of the most obvious benefits is that videos provide an enhanced way to showcase your products. They allow you to go more in-depth about functionality, specifications, and other details that text and images simply can’t communicate. From feature highlights to visual storytelling to showcasing the product in use, an on-demand library of product videos allows users to truly experience the product before purchasing it. Brightcove makes it easy to manage your videos in Shopify. Through our integration, you can connect to your video library and publish your videos directly to your Shopify e-commerce store. The integration eliminates the need for additional tools or apps by allowing you to seamlessly publish and manage your videos all from a single platform. As with all video initiatives, understanding how your videos are being consumed will allow you to continuously optimize and boost performance. Using Brightcove analytics, you’ll be able to better understand which Shopify videos are most effective at engaging customers and driving conversions. Using Brightcove to Power Social Commerce Social commerce has seen its popularity skyrocket in recent years. Between 2020 and 2022, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Social Commerce Market">social commerce grew by almost 70%, and the social commerce market is expected to top $2 trillion by 2025</a>. According to Sprout Social, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Sprout Social Research">68% of people have already used social media to make a purchase</a>. They also report that an astounding 98% of users indicated they planned to make at least one purchase through social shopping or influencer commerce in 2022. You may already be using Brightcove to publish content to social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. With our Instagram integration, you can also leverage video to build brand awareness, increase conversions, and drive advocacy there as well. If you’re not already using Instagram for social commerce, there’s no better time to start than now. According to Instagram, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Instagram Survey">44% of people use Instagram to shop weekly</a>, and as the stats above highlight, you can expect this number to continue to grow. The Brightcove Instagram integration allows you to seamlessly manage, distribute, and track videos with the security and reliability that our platform is known for. In addition to the analytics from Instagram, you’ll also be able to dive deeper into key performance metrics through Brightcove’s native analytics. Leveraging Salesforce to Extend the ROI of E-Commerce Video Beyond boosting sales on Shopify and social media, e-commerce videos can provide you with valuable insights to both increase conversions and attract new customers. For example, when you combine your video analytics with a powerful marketing automation platform (MAP) like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, your approach to e-commerce video becomes much more strategic, honed, and effective. Instead of simply asking which videos get the most engagement, you can take a much more targeted approach with questions like, “From whom specifically are particular videos getting the most engagement?” In a data-driven world, insights from the video performance of key segments or individuals are a competitive differentiator. Extending the value of e-commerce videos through Salesforce Sales Cloud and into Marketing Cloud starts with audience segmentation. Salesforce allows you to segment audiences by a variety of criteria that make the most sense for your efforts. These could include purchase history, location, customer lifetime value, demographics, product pages visited, or any other information you collect on customers and website visitors. Using the Brightcove Salesforce Sales Cloud integration, you can analyze the video viewing behaviors of customers as they engage with your content. All of that data syncs with your instance of Salesforce, allowing you to see which videos resonate with your highest-intent audience and leverage them with other potential buyers. With Brightcove's Audience Insights solution, you can further enrich Salesforce and turn all of this great data into actions: Repurpose top videos. Top-converting videos can be reused in several places: your Shopify or Salesforce Commerce Cloud product pages, your Instagram Story Highlights, email promotion landing pages, or YouTube ads. This approach also works with top-engaged videos by customers with repeat purchases or high customer lifetime value (CLV). Reach more customers. By understanding which videos are most popular with specific segments, you can create lookalike audiences and target them with ads that drive to these same videos. Similarly, you can use the video in email promotions to other members of that same segment who haven’t seen it yet. Retarget or nurture customers. Customers who have viewed specific pages, products, or videos are particularly valuable because you know they are actively in the buying process. By retargeting them with paid promotions or emailing them those promotions, you can encourage them to take the next step in their journey. Re-engage or convert customers. Identifying customers who didn’t complete most of a video (let’s say less than 20%) allows you to offer them a different video that may resonate better. You could also isolate people who watched more than 70% of a video but didn’t purchase. Since they expressed interest, you have an opportunity to offer them additional discounts or promotions to complete the purchase. Centralize Your E-Commerce Video Strategy with Brightcove Marketing Studio Using video for e-commerce offers a wide range of benefits. Not only does it help drive sales, but it supports brand building, community development, and increased conversions. Using Brightcove Marketing Studio, you’re able to manage all of your video e-commerce efforts, from Shopify to Instagram, through a single platform. Combine these with the power of Salesforce, and you’ll have an effective omni-channel approach for your e-commerce video initiatives. The ease of use and additional layer of insights will position you to maximize the opportunities that marketplaces and a quickly growing social commerce landscape provides. Matt Noyes Introducing Brightcove Ad Monetization Tue, 07 Mar 2023 13:00:00 GMT Brightcove’s customers have more opportunities than ever to monetize their content. They can sell subscriptions and rentals, offer influencer campaigns and sponsorships, or generate revenue through video advertising. But tapping into the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Video Advertising Statistics">$210B video ad opportunity</a> has become far too complicated for many of our customers. As we analyzed the billions of video views we manage every month, we found suboptimal data configurations, unfilled ad avails, and CPMs we believe should be better. Between the ad servers, SSPs, DSPs, data clean rooms, header-bidding configs, and a myriad of other system connections, it’s easy to see how the entropy crept in. It’s against this backdrop that we are announcing the Brightcove Ad Monetization service: an end-to-end AVOD solution designed for media companies to stay competitive, earn more money, and grow their businesses. This unique video ad marketplace is supported by our strategic partnership with Magnite, helping Brightcove customers maximize the opportunities that video advertising holds. What to Expect from Brightcove’s Ad Monetization Service Unlike other video ad marketplaces, Brightcove’s Ad Monetization service is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to offer your inventory to advertisers. Brightcove Media Studio customers will receive full white glove service from the start, with an onboarding experience that we’ve designed to be effective yet efficient. While the technology that fuels the video ad service can be complex, we’ll handle the advanced setup, integrations with the direct ad servers, and configuration for filling remnant inventory. Once you’re live on the platform, our in-house industry experts will help you make the best decisions to grow your business. That includes working with you directly to fill ad spots or digging into your data to maximize your CPMs. Perhaps best of all, the nature of Brightcove’s customer base creates a superior platform for monetization to help you truly maximize your earnings. Our robust network of brand-safe clients with their high quality content is aggregated into one ecosystem, providing more opportunities for ad placement and attracting premium advertisers. In other words, Brightcove offers much more than traditional ad marketplaces. There are several key elements to Brightcove’s Ad Monetization service. Ad server. We have chosen SpringServe as our ad server for this service. This includes ad policy management, data and ad routing throughout the ecosystem, and analytics to help manage and optimize the campaign. SSP access. Magnite is our first SSP partner. We’re working with them closely to ensure Magnite’s direct ad sales team and integrated demand-side platforms place a premium value on our clients’ inventory. Ad insertion. Server-side ad insertion (SSAI) creates a seamless user experience with smooth transitions from content to ads and back again. This high-quality ad insertion process provides an effective way for media owners to monetize long-form content without interrupting the viewing experience. Client-side ad insertion (CSAI) gives publishers more flexibility and control of the type of ad experience they offer, including companions, overlays, and sponsorships. Consultation. Our Ad Ops team is committed to supporting our clients and maximizing ad revenue. With decades of experience, they can optimize your data and policies to increase fill rates and return better CPMs. Built on Video Cloud. Our monetization solution is built with the scale, security, and support you can expect from Brightcove. This includes Brightcove Player V7, allowing publishers to offer a variety of video ad strategies and built-in viewability support. The Brightcove Ad Monetization service is our first standalone advertising offering, allowing our customers to stay competitive, earn more money, and grow their businesses. As an end-to-end AVOD solution, we are positioned to support our customers’ ad strategies from onboarding to optimization. Contact your account manager to learn more. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Optimal Strategies for Video Advertising.” Michael Dorf Building a Better Portal for Employee Training Videos Tue, 28 Feb 2023 14:00:00 GMT If there’s one thing that most business owners and managers realize, it’s that happy, engaged employees provide higher quality work. They’re also less likely to quit and, perhaps most importantly, they actively contribute to an overall positive company and workplace experience. It’s also clear that employees want to work for companies that offer both personal and professional fulfillment. Office perks still play an important role, but more and more employees expect companies to offer a robust learning culture. Training Enhances the Employee Experience Learning and development (L&D) has proven to be a key driver of employee engagement. By providing tools and resources to strengthen employee skills and knowledge, companies can build a more capable workforce while showing investment in their employees. Furthermore, addressing skill gaps not only allows the business to grow, it lets employees grow, which improves the employer brand. From an employee perspective, they want to feel like their current job is helping them build their career by preparing for their next role. Many are eager to continue building skills and staying competitive within their fields. In fact, they’re much <a href="" target="_blank" title="Why Learning And Development Is Now A Competitive Differentiator">more likely to stay with companies</a> who they feel are supporting this. From a company perspective, learning opportunities offer a competitive advantage and help them stay ahead in a constantly changing landscape. It helps the organization retain top talent, attract new talent, and maximize the potential of their existing talent. And while there are various learning methods such as instructor-led training, on-the-job training, simulators, job shadowing, and case studies, training videos remain a top choice for employees. Video Enhances Employee Training According to our “<a href="" target="_blank" title="Using Video to Improve the Employee Experience">Using Video to Improve the Employee Experience</a>” study, employees prefer video for policy training (76%), product demos (75%), and product training (68%). Also, 45% say training videos for systems and tools would increase their confidence in their employment decision. There are numerous benefits for companies to deliver their learning and development programs through video. For starters, it can be much more cost-efficient, especially for companies with multiple offices in different cities. In addition to reduced expenses like travel and materials, video also has a longer lifespan. Once produced, it can be reused and viewed by employees around the world in the comfort of their own homes or offices. Finally, video can also help you significantly reduce the amount of overall employee training time and even provide <a href="" target="_blank" title="Build Learning into Your Employees’ Workflow | Create Micro-Learning Experiences">microlearning experiences</a>. There’s also the fact that video is more engaging than other forms of delivery. Multiple surveys have shown that <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Value of Visual Communications">employees prefer video to text</a>, and the visual stimulation helps employees retain the information much longer. For HR teams who have strong learning initiatives, it’s not a matter of if they use video, but rather, what’s the best experience. A Better Portal Enhances Employee Video It’s important to remember that the videos themselves are but one part of a comprehensive training experience. As you develop, update, or optimize your learning initiatives, you’ll want to consider all aspects of the user experience. This ranges from how easily they can find, access, and navigate the training to implementing active learning within the videos. The branding, layout, and functionality will also play an important role. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure your program is as efficient and easily manageable as possible for content managers. A holistic and successful training program must consider the experiences of both the end user and the person responsible for maintaining it. <font size="3">Where will your video training programs live?</font> One of the first steps in creating a video training program is to determine where the videos will live and how employees will access them. There are several common ways that businesses house them. Internal servers or cloud storage. This approach often aligns with a broader internal content management structure, particularly for working files and documents. However, internal drives or collaborative cloud platforms can be less intuitive and lack the branding that adds to the overall experience. Further, navigating folders to find the different training videos and series is designed for digital librarians, not diverse employees with different learning styles. Digital Asset Management platforms (DAMs). DAMs excel at managing high volumes of internal digital content, offering meta-tagging and versioning capabilities that allow for advanced search functions. But they’re not meant for content consumption. Not only do their interfaces lack branding, most can’t support high volumes of concurrent high-quality video streams. Unlisted YouTube channels. YouTube is used by some companies who want to organize training videos by playlists. In theory, the videos can only be accessed by users through an unlisted link. However, most companies want better security, robust video content management, or hosting destinations they own and fully control. For them, YouTube doesn’t quite meet their needs. Company intranet. Company intranets are perhaps the most common destination for training videos. They often combine one or more of the preceding approaches and act as a navigation overlay that users are already familiar with. So users get a much better, branded experience, and content managers get a waking nightmare. They not only have to manage all the places the content lives, they also have to manage the interface—ensuring every link is up to date and in the right place. <font size="3">Creating an effective experience for the user</font> While each of the above systems have pros and cons, let’s look at some of the features and benefits of today’s most effective learning experiences. With tools like Brightcove Gallery’s Immersion template, you can combine the best of the above approaches and create an all-in-one training portal that both the users and content managers will love. The first consideration is the ease with which users can access it. An often overlooked but important part of the experience is a branded, customized URL that takes them directly to the training portal. Once they arrive at the training portal, the layout should be a completely branded, intuitive gallery that features all of the videos in any particular series. With a layout similar to the streaming services they’re already used to, users can easily see, navigate, and watch all of the videos in a given series. Additionally, related series will be easily accessible with a single click—or, if needed, quickly found through a powerful internal search engine. Keep in mind that training videos don’t have to be a one-way experience. To be truly effective, you’ll need to keep your viewers engaged. Through Brightcove Gallery, you’re able to add an interactive experience to any video. For example, quizzes will help to ensure they retain the information. You could also have different paths within each video to give the user a “choose your own adventure” experience. <font size="3">Creating an efficient experience for the content manager</font> Beyond the end user, it’s also important to ensure the content manager has the features and functionality they need to make the program a success. This includes ease of use and efficiency for ongoing use on a long-term basis. Take into consideration things like how quickly you can publish videos and how easily you can organize them. Choosing and adding videos to each collection should be a simple task. For example, through the Brightcove Gallery you can select the videos you want by tags, existing playlists, or custom fields like keywords and search criteria. Similarly, if there are videos you want to exclude, those can be managed by tags as well. Finally, when it comes to creating the full training portal, you’ll want to be able to fully customize the look and feel of the page without the need for a designer or developer. All of these features are easily accessible through the Brightcove Gallery template, Immersion. It’s ideal for companies with significant training and development needs and who want to provide users with the best experience possible. In addition to having an effective and efficient way to create training portals, it also offers insights into employee engagement that you haven’t been able to measure before. By reviewing the video analytics, you’re able to see how often the videos are being watched, the percentage of each one being watched, and which topics employees are most interested in. This information will be vital to use for future training programs to ensure their success. Finally, like all Brightcove Gallery templates, Immersion comes equipped with critical business features like SSO and role-based access to ensure your content stays secure. Brightcove Enhances the Employee Experience Delivering your learning and development programs through video is a simple, yet effective way to remain competitive as a company while retaining and attracting top talent. Brightcove’s Immersion template for Communications Studio makes it easy to customize the experience and create intuitive pages that mimic many of the most popular streaming services. By combining the power of enterprise-leading streaming technology with the interactivity employees want and security organizations need, you can provide the best experience for everyone. Shwetha Anandan Optimizing the Content Life Cycle in the Age of Streaming Tue, 21 Feb 2023 14:00:00 GMT Several things hold organizations back from creating content, according to Lisa Gately, Principal Analyst at <a href="" target="_blank" title="Forrester">Forrester</a>. Siloed content Lack of alignment on audience needs Outdated manual processes or tools that don’t scale Inability to see audience interactions across the full life cycle Content management chaos “These things are holding everybody back in this shift to a digital world,” said Gately during Brightcove’s PLAY Season 1. In her guest episode, she identifies the four major parts of the content life cycle and how to optimize them to overcome these hurdles. Content Planning Content planning is a foundational part of the content life cycle and should be a defined, repeatable approach across the organization. Gately observed, “In reality, this is not happening for most teams.” In <a href="" target="_blank" title="The State of B2B Content, 2022">Forrester’s 2022 State of B2B Content Survey</a>, Gately noted that almost half the respondents said they don’t have a defined approach. “That leads to a lot of siloed, reactive, ad hoc planning. It means things happen on a first-come, first-served basis, or maybe a very reactive basis, that they decide what content to put out in front of an audience.” Marketers should approach content knowing not just what to say to the market, but knowing how audiences search for their products. “What do they call things? What did they use when they talk about issues and topics?” said Gately. This process helps marketers become very precise in their content recommendations: adjusting the content mix, knowing about past content performance, and being intentional about where future investments in content are going. Practically, this means looking across the organization through the lens of a shared content inventory. “Is there existing content you can use? Could you get there faster? Could you reuse, customize some of the content that you have? Or think about repurposing it for some of those audiences?” asked Gately. Content Production “This is really the area when most people think about content,” said Gately. However, content production is more than just making content; it’s about smoothing out workflows and processes. “You’re building content with others, and you need it to go more smoothly.” Furthermore, content is created everywhere, “whether it’s your content team, different parts of the organization, or the relationships you have with agencies and vendors, partners—even your customers,” explained Gately. Therefore, establishing repeatable processes is key. Content Promotion Creating content is exciting, but making sure it’s seen by the right people ensures the hard work is worthwhile. “Don’t leave content promotion to chance,” warned Gately. “We spend so much time thinking about the content we want to build, the creativity and expertise of creating the content, but we really need to focus on how it’s activated or promoted.” To master this, Gately recommends that all marketers be prescriptive. “Think about this in terms of understanding your audience. It is knowing where they go for information, and what kinds of information they are looking for.” The same applies for content for internal audiences as well. “When you make this content available to your internal audience, how are they going about getting this content? You want to make sure you tap into internal communications methods.” Distribution is part of promotion too. Marketers should ask how certain content can be distributed easily for internal customer-facing stakeholders so that they can use it as quickly as possible. “You want to make sure your analytics are right there. You want to notice who is using the content. And go back, take some extra effort. Notice how they set it up, how they customize it or serve it to the end audience,” explained Gately. For both internal and external content, marketers need to make sure that they’re using tagging in metadata to best effect. “This is what helps you in noticing all those things from analytics.” Content Operations Content operations constitute the final stage of the content life cycle. “This is really an area that stands up to a big word like ‘transformation,’” said Gately. And as businesses begin acting more like media companies, this is a skill that sets them up for success. “I’m not understating it,” Gately continued. “Most marketers tell us this is the one area across the content life cycle where they want to get better.” Gately says this is good news: “When you think about the power of content operations, that involves understanding what content you have, your use of metadata, taxonomy, the content technologies and processes in your organization, how you measure things. All of that is what sets you up for success.” Emphasizing metadata, Gately added, “Master the metadata and taxonomy. That really is the key to the kingdom. This will help teams get a handle on content, its value, and whether they’re hitting business objectives with it.” From there, Gately recommended streamlining workflows to make better use of what content a company does have. “Start talking about and rewarding teams for doing that,” she advised. And of course, invest in content operations, specifically by designating some leaders or dedicating resources to this. “They are going to help you build the competencies to go farther and faster.” Julie McClure Bringing an Authentic Story to Life on Video Mon, 13 Feb 2023 14:00:00 GMT Siân Heder’s second feature film shattered Oscar expectations in 2022. A story about a teenage girl’s search for independence as a child of deaf adults, “CODA” won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. In an exclusive interview with Brightcove, Siân walked us through her process for telling stories and why you should never compromise when bringing an authentic story to life. To Heder, great stories transport a viewer: “What makes a great story is something that takes you outside of yourself into someone else’s experience. And different stories speak to you at different points in your life as well.” As a filmmaker, what you produce is a marker of where you are at that particular moment in your life. And that might be different 10 years later, or five years later. Film, cinema, and storytelling are incredible tools for empathy. When Heder evaluates stories, she looks for something that speaks to a bigger conversation about our own humanity. “Not just something that sucks me in and lets me feel what the character’s feeling, but also something that allows me to look at my own experience of the world and reflect on that in a different way.” Alongside this evaluation is a search for catharsis. “There’s a cathartic element for me in storytelling. I think it’s a way of exploring different parts of myself and my own lived experience, and doing that through engaging with someone else’s experience of the world,” explained Heder. Some stories don’t get told immediately. Sometimes creators have to wait, whether it’s due to financing, internal politics, or another limiting factor. “There were a lot of ways that I wanted to make ‘CODA’ that were very important to me,” said Heder. “Having deaf actors play those roles, using ASL onscreen in a big way, having a lot of silence in the film, having subtitles so that I could really let ASL exist on screen in these scenes. Sometimes, the way that you make a thing and the intention with which you make something is as important as what you are making.” When faced with a challenging story, creators can approach it this way: “All of filmmaking is problem-solving,” said Heder. “People do things in movies all the time. You blow up a building. You figure out how you're going to pull something off. For ‘CODA,’ we thought, how is our set going to work? How are we going to communicate? How am I going to call ‘action’ and ‘cut’ in a way that supports my actors? And these problems aren’t any different than what it would take to do a stunt on set.” In the streaming era, the old rules of distribution need not apply. “It’s been beautiful for this movie in particular, because the pandemic forced Sundance to go virtual,” explained Heder. “At the time it felt heartbreaking. We weren’t going to be in person, and I wasn’t going to get to sit in a theater and have this premiere. Well, so many people saw ‘CODA’ at Sundance through streaming. The fisherman whose boat we used and his big Italian family in Gloucester, Massachusetts, my parents and their friends, people in the disability community who might not be able to go to Sundance and get around in the snow. So streaming just opened up the movie to so many more people who got to participate in it and see it.” Learn more in our PLAY episode, “From Great Stories to Best Picture: A Conversation With Siân Heder.” Jennifer Smith Promoting Your Brand Through Video Storytelling Mon, 06 Feb 2023 14:00:00 GMT Storytelling has been a marketing buzzword ever since it first showed up as a <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Rise of Storytelling in Marketing">LinkedIn skill in 2012</a>. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of professional storytellers all competing for page one to tell you the exact same thing: your brand needs storytelling. Especially video storytelling. Yes, we know. As the most trusted streaming technology company, we’ve worked with enough media companies to know that marketers have their work cut out for them. The content landscape isn’t getting any less saturated, and we can only tell marketers to bone up on their media company instincts so many times. In other words, we don’t need another storyteller to tell us what we already know. We need a storyteller to tell us how to do brand storytelling on video (and how not to). That’s why we spoke with former Google and HubSpot marketer, and “Unthinkable” author and showrunner, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Jay Acunzo">Jay Acunzo</a>. During our first season of PLAY, he offered a number of practical tips on how to connect with audiences. Here, we dig a little deeper into how to apply those tips in a measurable way. Learn more in Jay’s PLAY episode, “Re-Thinking Brand Storytelling to Grow Audience & Drive Measurable Results in the Streaming Era.” What are some common mistakes you've seen in video storytelling? First, I don’t think we do a good job keeping people hooked and interested in our stories. Most of us have embraced the need to hook people right away in the opening moments. But then we think we’ve purchased their attention using a clever hook up front and this alone will “get them to the end.” This isn’t true. The real challenge becomes introducing moments of tension or questions on their minds throughout the experience. “I reached for my favorite coffee mug, with the five words that inspire me each morning.” Nothing happened in that “story,” but you want me to keep going, because you’re asking, “What are the five words?” Simply changing how we communicate to raise anticipation each step of the way can grip people and get them to the end. Second, I don’t think we allow our own personality quirks to shine through enough as brands. The media already understands that the talent matters as much as the content. So they staff known names, or at least practiced hosts and communicators, to appear on camera. Over time, you get to know them as people; you connect to their emotions and quirks. We already see this among smaller SaaS brands today. Their people appear on camera, on LinkedIn or Twitter, and on their podcasts as public personalities, even before they’ve reached any micro-fame. We like to say “people don’t trust logos; they trust people.” But we haven’t extrapolated that out far enough. What if, instead of just creating content, we created creators? How do storytelling mistakes affect video performance? Artifice kills the experience in video. Whether you’re trying to be something you’re not or failing to be who you really are, the audience can tell something is off. Audio and video both do the same thing to the voices behind the content: they lay bare your true self. They’re “naked” mediums. There’s nowhere to hide. Your voice, face, inflection, and so forth will all immediately make clear whether or not someone trusts and likes you on camera. It’s a craft to be mastered, and a unique one that’s unlike being charming or likable in person. When the camera rolls, you have to use “yourself” as a feature of the video—a performance element to self-produce and bring forth. How do you know when bad storytelling is responsible for poor video performance? Time spent. Marketers love topline numbers like video views, but if people don’t actually watch the video or spend time with the brand, then none of our results follow. Reach is nice, but resonance is necessary. If you can’t earn trust, you can’t inspire action, and we need audience action to see results. In this way, great marketing isn’t about who arrives; it’s about who stays. So your dropoff rates are one way to tell. Additionally, video requires a time commitment for others to consume. If people finish the video but don’t take further action, that’s a sign the story wasn’t effective and failed to inspire them. Good storytellers can grip us, but effective storytellers move us. If your audience spends time with you but doesn’t act, then the content needs work. Even if the dropoff rate looks strong. How do you avoid poor video performance with new audiences—when you know little about what moves them? Chances are, when something underperforms, it’s not necessarily because we don’t know our audiences. It’s because we’re trying to remove ourselves and create something our brand wants from us. This is a literal impossibility. Creative work necessarily flows through its creators. You can’t separate your own subjective experience of the world from the work. You’re not a bot (which, by the way, also requires inputs to create outputs). So go back to the piece. Would you genuinely love this if you weren’t paid by your organization? Really? Can you create something for a “stadium of you” instead of a marketing persona? The most resonant, most beloved, most successful creators understand it always starts with a simple truth: we have to make the things we wish existed in the world. What are the simplest things brands can do differently that will have the biggest impact? First, we need to embrace that “simple” doesn’t mean “easy.” If you’re looking for the easy path, you’re on the path walked by everyone before you and everyone right now. You can’t have a big impact doing it that way. We as brands don’t have a clue what we believe about our topics. We simply create content about those topics, just like our competitors. So we become commodities. The source of a commodity doesn’t matter much; you can get it anywhere. Wheat is wheat. Iron is iron. How-tos to grow your social following are how-tos to grow your social following. It’s all the same. What we need to do is answer this question: “What is something we believe about our sector or audience which our competitors would freely admit they do not?” For example, I think a podcast is for holding attention, not net-new reach. I have competitors who also make shows for brands and believe a podcast is wonderful for awareness. I firmly disagree. They can look at my work and admit, “Jay believes something we don’t.” That allows me to win better clients and create useful friction that repels bad leads. To be clear, beliefs can’t be things that sound comparative, like “This should be simpler than it normally is.” Of course competitors would agree with that. “X that doesn’t suck” is terrible positioning for your brand. If your beliefs end with the suffix “-er,” they aren’t really beliefs. Alex Bersin Your Digital Mindset: Thriving in the Age of Data, Algorithms, and AI Wed, 01 Feb 2023 14:00:00 GMT The digital revolution continues to transform life all around us. The workplace, our industries, and the way we connect and interact with our colleagues have all been reshaped in ways we never imagined. <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Tsedal Neeley">Tsedal Neeley</a>, a faculty member at the Harvard Business School, appeared on <a href="" title="Stream Tsedal Neeley's Episode on PlayTV">Brightcove’s PLAY Season 1</a> with her unique insights on all of this change and how embracing a digital mindset is the key for success.</p> Neeley is the author of “Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere” and co-author of “The Digital Mindset, What It Really Takes to Thrive in the Age of Data, Algorithms, and AI.” What Is a Digital Mindset? “A digital mindset is our attitudes and behaviors that have to be connected along with data, technology, algorithms, in order to think of new possibilities for the future,” explains Neeley. She adds that when we talk about “digital,” we should really be thinking about the “intersection of data, technology, and algorithms.” The innovation in these areas is creating exponential change, and that in turn fuels our digital mindset, letting us see more possibilities than ever before. The news gets even better: We don’t need to be experts to fully leverage these innovations to serve our customers and grow our business. The 30% Rule “The 30% rule is actually one of the most liberating things that we’ve discovered,” Neeley tells us. “Because we don’t need to be experts. We don't need to be data scientists or computer scientists in order to have the baseline threshold to operate in a digital environment. All we need is 30% fluency.” So, to further develop your digital mindset, it’s important to have a base level of understanding in three key areas. <font size="3">Collaboration</font> Unlike the world before COVID-19, we can’t count on coworkers being just down the hall or ready to meet us in an office if we grab the next flight. This lack of one-on-one, in-person contact can feel like a problem. But Neeley sees it differently. “The good news is that this is an area that’s well known and well developed. And if you select the right digital tools to engage people in the right ways, you can actually be very successful.” Along with human interaction, collaboration with machines such as AI chatbots is becoming increasingly popular. Again, Neeley emphasizes that understanding the basics will help you thrive. “When we treat machines like humans, when we try to add all sorts of nuances and salutations, it slows things down. It's really important to understand what it means to be precise and narrow in our instructions and engagement with machines.” <font size="3">Computation</font> How much do you need to think about data? Do you need to learn how to code? “If you don’t have any kind of background with coding and technical skills, even a short course in Python can help,” says Neeley. “It will give you the exposure for the kind of literacy that's important to ask the right questions and to make the right decisions.” What’s more, with the growing number of digital natives in our society, we can easily collaborate with this fluent generation to move forward with a better understanding of algorithms, data, and AI. A mindset that is more open to data, instead of shying away from the complexities of it, paves the way for better, more creative solutions to many challenges that we face. This applies across the entire spectrum of the digital world, from eliminating inherent biases in technology to highlighting basic steps that can prevent data theft and security issues. <font size="3">Change</font> Tsedal Neeley gets right to the point: “Change has to become a core competency for all of us.” Her entire focus on developing a digital mindset demonstrates that our minds must always be in motion—thinking, challenging, creating, and above all, experimenting. “The idea of experimentation is also the idea of trying things, learning, growing, and having this embedded in all of our departments,” she says. “It must be present in all of our units, in all of our domains.” In fact, recent research suggests that organizations creating a healthy culture of digital experimentation grow at least eight times faster than global GDP. Once again, a digital mindset makes this possible, creating possibilities and removing roadblocks so that the best and brightest ideas can rise to the top. The Future of the Digital Mindset Tsedal Neeley sums it up well: “People often ask, will machines replace us? My conclusion is that machines will not replace us. Humans with a digital mindset will replace humans without a digital mindset.” As the digital revolution continues to evolve, Brightcove will be here with best-in-class streaming technology to further your digital strategies as you expand your mindset and thrive. Jillian Ryan Internal Comms Channels: the Case for Enterprise Audio Mon, 30 Jan 2023 14:00:00 GMT Over the past few years, we’ve all witnessed how the employee experience has become a leading topic of discussion in organizations across the globe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies offered creative accommodations to keep employees engaged while attempting to extend the employee experience into a remote world. Just as those efforts seemed to take hold, “The Great Resignation” began. Employers felt even more pressure to understand what employees wanted and how to best deliver it. Oftentimes, there remains a disconnect between what employers think their employees want and what they actually want. In fact, in a previous survey we conducted, only 1 in 4 of non-executives described the experience they have with their organization as “excellent.” There are a lot of factors that go into how employees view the overall experience, but there are two key areas that stand out: The role and effectiveness of internal communications Understanding the needs and desires of employees and offering flexible options based on them The most effective employee experience initiatives understand that these two are inevitably intertwined. Internal communication is designed to help facilitate the flow and transfer of information across the organization—between offices, departments, and individuals. When it comes to the employee experience, internal comms should seek to create and communicate shared goals and values and reinforce the culture. It helps employees better understand the broader organization and their role in it. Depending on the company and circumstances, internal communications can be spread verbally, on the intranet, or through email, video, or other methods. In addition to these standard forms of internal communications, many companies are now offering various forms of communication in an audio format. In some cases, these are communications specifically created for audio; in others, they could be videos converted into audio format. Why should you consider audio for internal communications? While the benefits of video for internal communications are clear, adding audio as an alternative format provides another layer of flexibility that many employees would welcome. Audio could be a flexible option for many types of communications: Company news Internal reports Product updates Onboarding materials Training materials The possibilities are endless. But do employees want audio as an option? If consumer habits are any indication, the answer is a ubiquitous yes. As <a href="" target="_blank" title="Audio Today 2022 Report">Nielsen</a> reports, radio still has the highest reach of any device among American adults (93%). Add the unduplicated audiences of streaming music, podcasting, and satellite radio, and audio’s reach rises to 99%. The convenience it provides as an option for users to consume content as they go about their day is simply unmatched. Beyond consumer habits, there are also practical reasons to turn to audio as an effective form of internal communication. Reduces screen time. With the average adult spending up to <a href="" target="_blank" title="U.S. Adult Screen Study">17 hours a day staring at screens</a>, audio provides a much needed break and helps relieve digital eye strain. This is especially relevant for long reports or presentations and is particularly helpful to employees with remote or hybrid work arrangements. Allows for multitasking. The truth is that not all content demands full attention. One of the biggest benefits that audio provides is the opportunity to multitask. For repetitive tasks like stuffing envelopes, or physical tasks like setting up in-person events, audio allows us to maximize the value of our time. For field sales reps, executives who regularly travel, or those with a particularly long daily commute, audio is also a convenient mobile format. Furthermore, it gives employees the power to build their own workday that fits their particular style and preference. For example, an employee could listen to updates on demand instead of attending a meeting at a specific time. Provides accessibility. Employees have different learning styles, and some absorb information much better in an audio format. Furthermore, audio gives visually impaired employees better access to key company information. It can also provide employees with neurodivergencies like dyslexia or ADHD a comfortable alternative to consuming long-form written content. Getting Started with Enterprise Audio Getting started with audio doesn’t have to be a massive new endeavor, nor do you need to build a new state-of-the-art podcasting studio. In fact, Brightcove customers already have access to all the tools they need to build an easy-to-use and easy-to-manage audio library for internal comms. <font size="3">Easily create audio from existing content.</font> As more and more companies embrace video for internal communications, repurposing existing video content is the easiest way to begin building an audio library. However, stripping audio tracks is cumbersome, plus it can create version control issues as content gets updated. Instead of letting an audio strategy create more work, you can let Brightcove’s Audio Only player do the work for you. Just change the player type to “audio” and it automatically encodes the video to audio without any additional software needed. Now any video in your Brightcove media library can become a convenient audio asset by simply changing the player. Also, the original file remains unchanged, so you can have the same asset output as video in one player and as audio in another. This means when an asset becomes outdated, changing the source file will update the asset across all players. No new copies, no new versions. You can manage your audio library while you manage your video library, all from the same platform. <font size="3">Organize audio for easy consumption.</font> Once you have a library of audio assets, your employees will need a way to easily find the ones they want. Posting links in Slack channels or embedding players on your company intranet is one solution, but adding audio doesn’t have to create a new workflow. Brightcove customers using the Audio Only player can not only repurpose video content, they can repurpose video tags to create playlists. For example, Brightcove’s Smart Playlists can auto-generate a Product Demo playlist based on all videos tagged “product demo.” These playlists are dynamic, so new videos with the corresponding tags will automatically be added. It’s an audio library that maintains itself. Beyond tags, you can also create a Smart Playlist based on other parameters, like dates. In fact, Smart Playlists can automatically organize the order of the audio tracks with the newest content always showing up first. With your audio library organized into playlists, you can house them in a unique experience designed specifically for employees through Brightcove Gallery’s preset templates. They can either be standalone portals or in-page experiences built into your employee site. <font size="3">Use analytics to understand audio performance.</font> Like any new initiative, you’ll want to be able to gauge adoption and usage of your audio efforts. And just as we’ve outlined the benefits of using analytics to improve the employee experience, the same applies for your new audio assets. By using Brightcove’s Audio Only player, you’ll have access to the same analytics for audio that our customers are already using to increase their video performance. So not only will you be able to tell if employees are listening, you’ll get a better understanding of what topics they’re listening to most and least often. These analytics will also be a powerful tool to help validate your audio initiatives. Simply compare the performance of the same content in video or audio to determine which format your employees prefer for different types of content. Creating a Better Employee Experience with Brightcove Using audio can be an effective way to close the disconnect between employees’ expectations and their experience by offering flexibility to your internal communications. With Brightcove’s Audio Only player, Smart Playlists, and Gallery, you’ll easily be able to create and maintain enterprise audio solutions. Whether you’re converting text, replacing meetings, or offering an alternative to video, you’ll have a valuable tool to efficiently add to your organization’s internal comms initiatives. Jaren Whitfield Solving for Personalization and Privacy with Video Streaming Tue, 24 Jan 2023 20:40:00 GMT By now most marketers understand the role personalization plays in building deep relationships with their audiences. Customers have come to expect a personalized experience from first interaction through post-sale loyalty efforts. They not only expect you to know them, but also to take that knowledge and deliver to them the content, products, and experiences they want. Whether B2B or B2C, your customers and prospects want to feel as if your products, services, and messages are speaking directly to them, one-to-one. They want to do business with companies that understand their problems, challenges, desires, and needs. But as marketers, we’re now caught in the consumer data privacy Catch-22. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Next in Personalization 2021 Report">Seventy-one percent (71%) of consumers demand personalization</a>, yet <a href="" target="_blank" title="Consumer Privacy Study">86% have a growing concern about their data privacy</a>. This has required companies to adopt tools, policies, and practices that enable them to create an effective balance to solve this dilemma. These companies are able to provide the personalization their audiences demand, while also recognizing their responsibility to respect consumer privacy and keep their data safe. And that seems to be the balance consumers want. According to Segment, <a href="" target="_blank" title="The State of Personalization 2021">7 out of 10 consumers are comfortable with personalization</a>, as long as brands are using their own first-party data and using it responsibly. A Changing Regulatory and Technology Landscape In addition to consumer concerns, a number of regulations and technologies are making it harder to get the data needed to provide a personalized experience. Some of the more well known examples include: The <a href="" target="_blank" title="GDPR">General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)</a> crowns itself as the “toughest privacy and security law in the world.” It comprises a complex set of laws and regulations designed to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens. The <a href="" target="_blank" title="CCPA">California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)</a> is the most well known of the US regulations. It aims to give consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect about them. Apple's <a href="" target="_blank" title="App Tracking Transparency">App Tracking Transparency</a> gives users the choice to opt out of tracking by apps on its platform. Google has similar efforts for <a href="" target="_blank" title="Google Restricts App Tracking">Android</a>. Mozilla Firefox uses <a href="" target="_blank" title="Enhanced Tracking Protection">Enhanced Tracking Protection</a> to block trackers from collecting information on users browsing the web. The DuckDuckGo internet browser has built its brand around stringent data privacy policies. In fact, its <a href="" target="_blank" title="DuckDuckGo Usage Stats for 2022">market share increased by over 300% between 2018 and 2021</a>, and is now the #2 search engine for mobile devices in the US. Despite all these privacy tools and regulations, companies are still expected to provide the personalized experiences that make them competitive in the digital age. Fortunately, marketers are overcoming these challenges by better understanding video analytics and applying content consumption behaviors to segmentation. Once integrated with other martech tools, they’re able to deliver the one-to-one personalization expected while respecting their viewers’ privacy. What Data Do You Need for Personalization? Third-party data may be in decline, but marketers can still access three primary categories of first-party data. Customer data. This is data on how your customers engage with your brand and products. It’s collected by your CRM (customer relationship management software). Examples include: Purchase history Time on file Lifetime value to date Marketing data. This is data on how your customers interact with your marketing communications. It’s collected by your MAP (marketing automation platform). Examples include: Marketing journey stage Channel engagement (social likes, email click-throughs, etc.) Number of touchpoints to purchase Content data. This is data on how your customers consume your content. It’s collected by your CMS (content management system) and—if you have one—your OVP (online video platform). Examples include: PDF downloads Webpage scroll depth Video views Personalization is possible with any of these data categories. But the rule with personalization is the more data you use, the more personalized you can get. Customer and marketing data can answer the “who” and the “how,” but only content data can answer the “what.” And nothing answers that question better than video. Compared to all other content formats, only video offers three levels of consumption behavior: Interest. Every viewer that lands on the page or post hosting your video demonstrates interest, which you can measure with impressions. Most content formats, including ebooks and blogs, can also provide this behavioral insight. Intent. Every viewer that presses play on your video demonstrates intent, which you can measure by the play rate (total views divided by total impressions). Only content formats like ebooks, requiring an additional action like downloading, can also provide this kind of insight. Engagement. Every viewer that watches any length of your video demonstrates engagement, which you can measure by the engagement or retention rate (average percentage of the video watched). No other content format provides this insight as accurately as video. Advanced features like viewability can even track whether the viewer has scrolled past your video or clicked away to another browser window or tab. By measuring impressions, play rate, and engagement (not just video views), you have all the content data you need to begin building a one-to-one personalization strategy. How Do You Use Data to Personalize Content? Data-driven personalization is built on audience segmentation. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Defining Market Segmentation">According to Investopedia</a>, segmentation refers to aggregating prospective buyers into groups or segments with common needs and who respond similarly to a marketing action. Without segmenting based on any data, you’re not personalizing at all. You have one list of customers, and they get all of your marketing communications. By segmenting based on different data, your personalization can increase to one-to-many, one-to-few, even one-to-one. You can have multiple segments of customers, each with their own communication plan. However, not all segmentations are created equal, and different methods provide access to different categories of data. By breaking down segmentation into three main methods, we can see what kind of personalization is possible and the tools needed to accomplish it. Manual Segmentation The most basic segmentation is manually created lists based on customer data in your CRM, such as purchase history, time on file, or lifetime value to date. There are no other tools needed; all you need is access to your CRM. Customer data allows you to do things like segment customers by what products they bought so you can promote similar products. Compared to promoting all of your products to all of your customers (one-to-all), this is significantly more personalized (one-to-many). The challenge is that manual segments are time-consuming to pull, especially if you have a lot of them. They also need to be updated every time your customer data changes, such as gaining or losing customers. Automated Segmentation Another method of segmentation comes by integrating your CRM with your MAP, allowing you to automate the list-building process. Not only does it save time, it adds marketing data points from your MAP like marketing journey stage, channel engagement, and number of touchpoints to purchase. With marketing data, you can do things like segment customers by what channels they engage with the most. And because your customer and marketing data are connected, you can create customer content with the products they like on the channels they like. Compared to just using customer data (one-to-many), this is even more personalized (one-to-few). The challenge with automated segments, as well as manual ones, is you’re not creating content based on content data. Buying a certain product doesn’t mean you want to watch a video about it, nor does engaging with a certain channel mean you want to click through to an article. These data points are important, but they don’t tell the whole—or even the most important part—of the story. Advanced Segmentation Like automated, advanced segmentation requires an integrated CRM and MAP but adds the additional integration of your OVP. It’s the path to true personalization because it connects your customer and marketing data with your content data. Adding content data means you can segment customers by what content each one consumes and how they prefer to receive that content. Using all three categories of data, you can achieve every marketer’s dream: one-to-one personalization. The challenge with advanced segmentation is, with all this data, how do you apply it to your marketing strategy? Discovering the content preferences for each customer is valuable information, but you can’t scale individual communications. Is One-to-One Personalization Actionable? To make one-to-one personalization actionable at scale, you need another ingredient beyond data: insights. Most marketing solutions offer plenty of data, but only Brightcove has Audience Insights, the leading customer data platform (CDP) specifically designed for video. Audience Insights offers several meaningful metrics that can help you achieve one-to-one personalization through realistic segmentation. Engagement Status. Just like MAPs allow you to track click rates and frequency, Engagement Status lets you track viewing rates and frequency. It’s a spot check on consumption behavior and can indicate viewers primed to buy and viewers at risk of disengaging. Attention Index. Whereas video engagement averages completion rates, Attention Index subtracts bottom engagement from top engagement—ignoring the middle. The result is a better indication of how much someone will love a video, rather than letting passive viewers influence the results. Entertainment Index. This is the Attention Index but for individual viewers, allowing you to see what does or doesn’t engage them. Combined with Engagement Status, the Entertainment Index can track viewers as they get closer to buying or disengaging. With these metrics, you can create segments based on the content your audience loves. For example, with Audience Insights, you can find a shared audience that has a similar Attention Index for the same videos. Better, you can see other types of videos the shared audience watched and compare their Attention Indices. So not only can Audience Insights create segments based on what your customers already love, it can predict what else they’ll love. The whole point of personalization is to provide the content your customers want without relying on third-party data appends that violate their privacy. While most segmentations are a step in the right direction, analyzing the results is a tedious and iterative process. Audience Insights automates the analysis, allowing you to focus on creating the best content, not figuring out what that content is. Using Video to Personalize Customer Acquisition Personalization doesn’t have to wait till your customers are on file. Third-party platforms, like Google and social media, allow you to build lookalike campaigns by uploading lists of your customers’ contact information. Those platforms then match your list with other users that share similar attributes, allowing you to serve them ads for your products. While lookalike campaigns can improve customer acquisition, they can’t be truly personalized without the predictive power of Audience Insights. Like CRMs and MAPs, Audience Insights can also export lists based on customer, marketing, and content data. With powerful insights like Engagement Score and Attention Index, you can create an accurate list of potential new customers while respecting their privacy. Committing to Personalization and Privacy Setting up your marketing stack for personalization can seem complex, but it’s mostly taking many of the activities you’re already doing and integrating them. Sure, you can capture tons of data and integrate your CRM with your MAP. But achieving the true personalization consumers desire happens when you’ve integrated your video platform and leveraged a customer data platform. Marketers can expect the tools and regulations around data privacy to continue to increase. Yet they’ll still be tasked with providing their audiences with personalized content, communications, and experiences they demand. Combining the right technology with the right strategy, you’ll be able to offer the personalization they want and the respect for their data privacy they deserve. Alex Bersin Tips for Effective Video Communication Thu, 19 Jan 2023 22:00:00 GMT As working from home becomes commonplace for many of us, good video communication will only become more important. And visual cues are the key to creating helpful, entertaining videos. Most people don’t realize that we’re constantly sending each other social signals or cues. We’re doing this with our body language, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and voice. We’re sending these cues every day, and they change how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Understanding cues is imperative for video communication, but getting started with them doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, there are several things to keep in mind as you become more aware of your video presence and perception. Cues affect video engagement. There are five cues that can help increase video engagement. Make sure you’re 18 inches to 3 feet away from the camera. Ideally, you should be showing some of your torso and upper body, not just your face. Show your hands in the first second or two with a wave “hello.” Occasionally make eye contact with the camera—and don’t just watch your face on screen. Use dynamic hand gestures as you speak. When others are speaking, use a head tilt or slow triple nod to show you are listening. There are also three negative cues to avoid. Getting too close to the camera. Angling away from the camera. Make sure your body is right in line with it. Pursing your lips. When you press your lips together, it looks like you’re withholding from the conversation. Cues apply to all videos. All videos benefit from cues, but how and when you use them is key. If you want someone to take action, cues are especially important. The goal is to be purposeful. For crisis communication videos, you should showcase trust and warmth upfront, but also competence when discussing possible solutions. Similarly, a marketing video might have more warmth and trust if it is a first impression video. Cues require charisma. It’s incredibly difficult for our brains to pay attention in person. On video, it’s even harder. But the more charismatic you are, the easier it is for people to listen, feel connected, and remember what you have to say. Charisma takes the friction out of video and makes everything smoother. It removes awkwardness, making conversation easier and helping with sales and engagement. Viewers like to buy from, talk to, and be with people who are charismatic, especially when someone can give this to us on video. Everyone can learn cues. Extroverts often have an easier time trying cues that are out of their comfort zone, while introverts might need some convincing. That’s fine. Practice new cues at your own pace. Introverts should start using new cues in low-pressure environments. Never start using new cues for the first time in a big pitch or meeting. Video is shaping social cues. As communications goes more digital, our social cues are likely to change with it. We might work with people for years without ever having met them in person. This means we have to be able to create strong bonds over video alone. We are also consuming much more information over video, making everything from medical decisions to purchase decisions to romantic decisions through video communication. In this way, we have to know how to show up as our best selves in video every time. Intimacy cues, like physical closeness, touch, and warmth nonverbals, will also likely be only for the people we’re close with. Shaking hands used to be the norm, but now we might reserve touch for people we truly trust and would be OK catching germs from. [Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Cues: Small Signals, Incredible Impact.”]( "Stream "Cues" on PlayTV") Vanessa Van Edwards Industry Experts Speak on 2023's One-to-One Media Landscape Mon, 09 Jan 2023 22:05:00 GMT During the first season of our streaming series, PLAY, we had the opportunity to hear from some of the top minds in the media industry. From new monetization models to the future of sports bundles, these experts offered several insights that can help you prepare for the next generation of streaming. Featured Media Experts Rich Greenfield, General Partner at <a href="" target="_blank" title="LightShed Ventures">LightShed Ventures</a> Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst of <a href="" target="_blank" title="nScreenMedia">nScreenMedia</a> Will Richmond, Editor and Publisher of <a href="" target="_blank" title="VideoNuze">VideoNuze</a> Ed Barton, Research Director at <a href="" target="_blank" title="Caretta Research">Caretta Research</a> Tedd Cittadine, Vice President of Content Partnerships at <a href="" target="_blank" title="Roku">Roku</a> Graham Wright, Director of Content and Digital for the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Boston Symphony Orchestra">Boston Symphony Orchestra</a> More Media Companies Are Offering Ad-Supported Models. In December 2022, Disney+ launched an ad-supported streaming tier as a way to drive new subscriptions at a cheaper price point. The move follows Netflix’s own ad-supported tiers, which offer advertisers access to a coveted audience. According to Rich Greenfield, General Partner at LightShed Ventures, more consumers may be open to advertising within streaming environments due to tighter household spending. This behavioral shift could give advertisers broader access to OTT audiences that were previously unreachable. “Increasingly, the best, most compelling content is only on streaming,” says Greenfield. “I’m more than willing to pay to not have advertising in my content. But two-thirds of people with Hulu seem OK with ads in their content. The lower price seems like a reasonable value trade-off for some people.” As for how streaming ads will differ from linear, Greenfield predicts fewer ad spots as these media strategies need to be integrated across different channels. From streaming and websites to social channels like TikTok, the future will emphasize consumer choice and flexibility. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “What’s New and What’s Coming in Streaming.” The FAST Landscape Is Beginning to Mature. Free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) is reaching an inflection point as consumers become more aware of their options. “Content providers have recognized the opportunity,” says Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst of nScreenMedia. “In early 2022, only 10% of TV time overall was spent on free, ad-supported channels. By the end of the year, that number had increased to 22%.” Viewers are spending more than a fifth of their time watching FAST channels today, but platforms make it difficult to discover them. “They’re typically not included in searches in the platforms, which is ridiculous,” Dixon says. “There is literally no limit to the number of channels you have. The only problem is finding them.” When audiences can find the right content on the right channel, they’re willing to return to the channels they like, just like traditional TV. For Will Richmond, Editor and Publisher of VideoNuze, this is the exciting thing about FAST. Not only does it allow content owners to monetize in a way that is familiar to viewers, it offers the same lean-back experience as traditional TV. FAST also presents an opportunity for specialized “thematic” channels (such as cooking or true crime) according to Ed Barton, Research Director at Caretta Research. By experimenting with content packages tailor-made for specific audiences, media companies can offer new experiences that engage viewers and invite interest from advertisers. As paid service growth plateaus, there is a lot of interest in FAST for smaller, niche audiences. The key will be driving viewers to new FAST channels directly from the various digital spaces they frequent so they’re not difficult to find. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Media Trends and Insights with Industry Analysts.” Performance Marketing Is Lowering Customer Acquisition Costs. According to Tedd Cittadine, VP of Content Partnerships at Roku, we’ve entered a new generation of streaming. With 63 million accounts, Roku sees hundreds of millions of people interacting with its platform every day across streaming services. Cittadine points to the launch of Disney+ as a watershed moment: “Launching a streaming service turned out to be a tough business unless your name is Disney, with that sort of catalog.” Disney+ defined the era of direct-to-consumer streaming, and media companies realized the importance of reaching viewers with advertising for the channel itself. The key is for media companies to invest in performance marketing that can drive more subscriptions to their streaming services. Roku works with media partners to determine how much they want to spend, using Roku’s performance-based marketing tools. “They can look at their subscriber acquisition costs relative to their total lifetime value,” Cittadine explains. “And we can demonstrate that you can acquire a user for this, and their lifetime value is that, and that is a very profitable way for them to invest.” At a time when consumers have more ways and more programs to stream, media companies have started strategically thinking about what makes viewers subscribe and stay subscribed. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “One-on-One with Roku’s Tedd Cittadine.” The Creator Economy Is Going Omnichannel. In the creator economy, the content is often secondary to the creator. Fans discover the creator on specific channels, but from there, they’ll follow the creator rather than the channel. As Rich Greenfield of LightShed Ventures points out, viewers watch YouTube videos based on who made them, not just the topic. YouTube creators are incentivized to make more videos that get more views and more subscribers, because YouTube offers a profit model that really works. Consequently, creators have a much more direct relationship with the audience, and younger viewers are attracted to that one-on-one experience. “They’re there for the creators,” Greenfield explains. The creator model offers a new twist on traditional media, especially as creators expand beyond one primary platform to nurture and grow fan bases. Fans will follow creators, as Mr. Beast demonstrated when <a href="" target="_blank" title="MrBeast Burger Opening">over 10,000 people</a> lined up for the grand opening of his restaurant, MrBeast Burger. Creator models also offer opportunities for media companies to leverage existing creator fan bases. For example, TikTok’s most famous creator, Charli D’Amelio, went from making dance videos to starring in films and a reality TV series on Hulu. “There are so many different ways to monetize a passionate audience,” Greenfield explains. As they move off the initial platform, creators and companies need to nurture that passion across channels to drive new revenue opportunities. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “What’s New and What’s Coming in Streaming.” Sports Is Going Direct-to-Consumer. The philosophy that drives the creator economy can be applied to sports, too. “Sports fans just want to connect more deeply with their teams,” says Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. They want a streaming experience that allows more interaction during games and new ways to engage with the teams and players they follow. However, there are more parties involved in driving those connections, and sports is the category that has benefited from pay-TV in a big way. For example, media rights for the NFL are <a href="" target="_blank" title="Amazon gets exclusive Thursday Night Football rights">valued at more than $11 billion</a>, with Amazon paying $1 billion a year alongside ViacomCBS, Fox, Comcast ($2 billion), and Disney ($2.7 billion). Access to sports streaming, exclusive or otherwise, has a high price point. As Will Richmond of VideoNuze puts it, sports streaming is a “brave new world.” Every innovation will need to take into account players, club owners, rights owners, team owners, coaches, networks, content providers, sponsors, and more. This likely won’t lead to many sports-first streaming services, but it could generate new interest in fan behavior. Understanding when they stream sports, the journey they take before, during, and after the game, and off-season media consumption could present untapped opportunities. Could there be a FAST channel for FIFA in the future that shows old games? Or a streaming provider that works to build out NFL highlights or Super Bowl rewatch experiences? It all comes down to what fans will be willing to watch and, in many cases, purchase. Ed Barton of Caretta Research says that everything starts with streaming data. “We now need to start building up a store of all of the data that our fans generate,” says Barton. “We need to be able to link many of the other parts of our business around this fan engagement data lake. The direct-to-consumer strategy sweeps across many areas of a sports rightsholder’s consumer-facing business.” By understanding how fans stream sports, media companies and sports businesses can build content based on how fans want to connect with their favorite teams. Whether that means exclusive access to replays, archives, or even interactive player interviews. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Media Trends and Insights with Industry Analysts.” In-Person Events Are Adopting Digital Media Strategies. When in-person events closed during COVID-19 lockdowns, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) evolved into a digital media business. “Digital media was already on the radar,” explains Graham Wright, BSO’s Director of Content and Digital. “But the speed and the breadth of that transition were amplified in ways that I don't think anyone could have imagined.” Their number one priority was finding the right strategy to connect loyal audiences with the experiences they already loved. However, a gifting program that gave new users access to the streaming experience was surprisingly effective. “Despite prioritizing our best folks,” Wright says, “we still saw a lot of new patrons getting introduced through video. Over 50% of the viewership for the Holiday Pops came from people who received it as a gift. Media can be such a powerful tool to empower our best supporters to be evangelists for our brand.” Making video content available online proved to be highly effective in driving engagement. And by reaching audiences beyond events, BSO could extend the lifetime value of loyal audiences who dropped off after live events were over. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Transitioning to Digital for an In-Person Events Business.” A One-to-One Media Landscape We are moving into an era where distribution and data are just as important as the personalized content today’s viewers demand. Through direct-to-consumer interactions that build new audiences and retain loyal viewers, media companies are innovating new strategies that drive viewers back to the content they love. Streaming has become an omnichannel experience and media a one-to-one landscape. And that means media content is more valuable than ever. Marty Roberts How to Incorporate Video into Your Crisis Communications Plan Tue, 27 Dec 2022 13:00:00 GMT Many companies today recognize the importance of crisis planning. Nearly <a href="" target="_blank" title="Why You Need a Crisis Management Strategy">7 in 10 business leaders experienced a crisis</a> over a period of five years, and 45% have a documented crisis communications plan. The key principle in crisis plans has always been speed: catch the story before it breaks so you can control the narrative. However, smartphones and social media have changed all of that. Not only will the public often hear about the crisis before you, they’re already discussing it and deciding what you should do before you respond. Today’s crises need more than responsive communication; they need authentic communication. They need video. Unlike written statements and press releases, video affords less room for misinterpretation. Simply adding human elements like voice tone and body language can turn an impersonal statement into a warm message. If the world of anonymous internet trolls has taught us anything, it’s that it’s easier to argue when your opponent doesn’t have a face. Developing a video strategy for crisis communication puts a face to your business. It helps your key message break through the chatter and resonate with your audience. It also doesn’t have to be complicated. If you already have a crisis communications plan, just incorporate video into every stage of your strategy: Plan, Monitor, Act, Debrief. 1. Plan The most important part of planning your video strategy for crisis communications is to first think of primary challenges that companies face: Service disruptions Customer service issues Personnel changes Product issues Legal challenges Code of conduct breaches Along with a documented action plan for each type of crisis, you’ll first need to identify the best spokespeople for each type of situation. With written statements, spokespeople are usually selected based on their title, but for video, delivery is more important. Sometimes the most logical roles in your organization won’t include the most effective communicators. For example, during the Cloudflare service outage that affected millions of websites, network leads were the ones who became the face of the communications with the public <a href="" target="_blank" title="Cloudflare Outage">as they explained what happened and how they were resolving it</a>. In everyday language, they explained the issue and made the company’s next steps transparent. Second, training spokespeople is paramount. When leaders speak on camera, they should deliver the script in an empathetic and genuine way that is reflected both in tone and body language. A camera-ready leader can make all the difference. Finally, make sure your videos will reach the right audiences and not the wrong ones. Once you’ve mapped out your distribution strategy, select a streaming platform that can deliver to the proper channels reliably and securely. Especially when communicating internally, you don’t want confidential messages leaking to the public. Platforms like Brightcove offer a suite of security features including DRM (Digital Rights Management), allowing you to easily encrypt and secure your content. 2. Monitor Monitoring can make or break a crisis because it helps you understand how to adapt your plan. In 2019, <a href="" target="_blank" title="‘Massive Failures’ of Mac Pros running Avid">a browser issue caused Avid’s client systems to crash</a>, halting production on Hollywood movies and popular TV series. After monitoring coverage from journalists while the internal team investigated the cause of the crash, Avid created a video strategy featuring their CEO and CRO. Journalists had mistakenly framed the story around Avid, rather than the browser that had actually caused the crash. By monitoring the crisis and producing easy-to-share video content, Avid was able to pivot its plan from damage control to education. A video strategy must be nimble to navigate the turbulent tides of crisis comms. Especially as the story breaks, responding live can give you the first word and mitigate challenges to your narrative. But don’t limit yourself to livestreaming on social media. Go with a streaming platform that can publish livestreams on all of your digital properties and reach your audience wherever they are. 3. Act In 1993, after 50+ reports of dangerous materials in Diet Pepsi cans, <a href="" target="_blank" title="PepsiCo's can tampering rumors">Pepsi launched an education campaign</a>. Rather than simply release a statement about their manufacturing process, Pepsi produced four different videos with actual footage of their safety procedures in action. When you’re ready to act on your crisis communications plan, the video strategy can be so much more than your CEO reading your press release. Taking your audience behind-the-scenes not only builds customer trust, it taps into video’s real power of showing, not telling. Furthermore, it reinforces your employer brand to your workforce, inspiring company pride and employee retention. Highly produced, multi-camera videos won’t be possible or even appropriate for every crisis. But anything related to your products or services is an opportunity to show your brand promises and commitments in action. In an era when scandals have become a spectator sport on social media, evidence of action has never been more valuable. Thankfully, measuring the success of your video’s delivery has also never been easier. In the ’90s, brands were still relying on ad impressions to measure campaign success. Today, we can target specific audiences on specific channels and make sure “video views” really mean the video was viewed—all the way through. Reaching lots of distinct audiences can be tricky, especially during a crisis when you need to track how well each one engages with your video content. Publishing from a centralized solution is key to proper tracking; however, you’ll need to make sure the platform you use can publish everywhere you need it to. For example, Brightcove has over 100 integrations including popular CMSs, MAPs, and it publishes directly to several of the top social networks. 4. Debrief Debriefing after the crisis is over doesn’t just mean writing a post-mortem. Incorporating video into a crisis communications plan is a commitment to rebuilding confidence. Take a company like JetBlue, <a href="" target="_blank" title="JetBlue's week-long operational breakdown">which suffered a public crisis</a> when 1,000+ flights had to be canceled during a snowstorm. In this case, CEO David Neeleman wrote a public letter of apology and introduced a customer’s bill of rights that included compensation for all affected passengers, again restating the details on YouTube as well as talk shows. In JetBlue’s case, video helped reinforce the company’s plan to its customers by reengaging audiences and rebuilding the brand. A robust video strategy can take this a step further, especially if multiple aspects of the brand’s reputation were damaged. For example, some business steps may be necessary to resolving the crisis, but they won’t resonate with the public or customers. Producing different videos during the crisis that address the different steps can provide invaluable data. By measuring each video’s performance and engagement, you can build brand campaigns based on consumer sentiment. A centralized streaming platform can do more than help you reach internal and external audiences with the key messages they need. It can provide you with the data you need to rebuild confidence in your brand. Lights, Crisis, Action In an age of constant video streaming and social content, written statements have a hard time going viral—or even getting read. Press releases can’t travel in the same way as multimedia. Context gets lost as word spreads. As a more accessible format, video content should be an integral part of your crisis communications that can become a source of truth during a time of crisis. Video gives you the chance to connect with consumers on a personal level at a time when authentic communication is just as critical as responsiveness. No amount of careful wording can compete with a video where a company leader acknowledges and offers solutions to the issue. By incorporating video into your crisis communications strategy, you can connect better with consumers and employees alike and come out stronger than ever. Sara Griggs What Makes a Great Online Video Player? Announcing Brightcove’s Player V7, with 15% Faster Load Times Mon, 19 Dec 2022 13:00:00 GMT Streaming platforms are only as good as their online video players. Research any of the top providers and you’ll find comparisons on everything from pricing and packaging to bells and whistles. But at the end of the day, none of these things have anything to do with a player’s primary purpose: providing a quality viewing experience. Before settling on the best platform for your business, take a look under the hood and make sure the player can deliver a proper experience. The following are some of the player features we think are essential, many of which we prioritized for our new player, Brightcove Player V7. Thanks to meticulous upgrades and internal refactoring, it’s our lightest and fastest player yet. If you’re a Brightcove customer, read our Migration Guide to learn how to upgrade your player. Load Time In the streaming business, you can measure a player’s speed in revenue. From media companies combating churn to enterprises battling bounce rates, video load times can make the difference between happy and frustrated viewers. Yes, internet speeds continue to increase globally, but so has streaming quality. Furthermore, waiting until all your customers have gigabit home internet or 5G cellular service isn’t a business plan. Your streaming platform needs to be committed to maintaining engagement for all types of viewers. A great online video player will be lightweight and regularly updated. Just like apps and operating systems, players need to support the latest technology without getting bloated with legacy code. Great players should not only be lean and efficiently coded, they should be striving to decrease load times (for example, Brightcove Player V7 is 15% faster than Player V6). Viewability For media companies, saving on content delivery costs is just as important as acquiring new customers. This is why Netflix displays its well-known “Are you still watching?” dialog after three auto-played TV episodes or 90 minutes of uninterrupted viewing. By forcing the viewer to engage, Netflix saves on delivering content to viewers who have left the room or fallen asleep. In the same way, the best video players today will offer a feature called viewability. Viewability is an advertising term that also applies to video and refers to whether your content was “viewable” by your audience. A player with viewability enabled can pause the stream when the player isn’t viewable, significantly cutting delivery costs. Beyond the obvious implications for video advertising, viewability can also improve the accuracy of video engagement. For example, when viewers browse with multiple pages open, any videos playing would report having 100% engagement. Players with viewability could account for the unviewed videos and prevent inaccurate engagement from skewing your content strategy. Brightcove Player V7 includes viewability out of the box, with configurable options like pausing playback when not viewable or logging a “video impression event” after two seconds of playback with 50% visibility. Accessibility Digital accessibility has been around almost as long as the internet has been mainstream. The first <a href="" target="_blank" title="Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0">Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were established in 1999</a> by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Today, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1">WCAG 2.1</a> is the international standard to meet the legal accessibility requirements in many countries (ADA in the United States, EEA in Europe, JIS X 8341 in Japan, etc.). Of the three levels of compliance, most businesses try to meet the second (AA), as even W3C recognizes the highest level (AAA) isn’t possible for some content. Because companies are legally required to be accessible, most streaming players—including Brightcove Player V7—are WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. However, platforms provide different levels of transparency on their compliance. Players like Brightcove also provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), a comprehensive analysis of the platform’s adherence to accessibility standards. Though they’re only required by U.S. federal government agencies, VPATs allow businesses to assess the level of accessibility for themselves. Customization Today’s brands recognize the importance of coherent viewing experiences. Markets are saturated, and content is stuffed into seemingly every corner of the internet. Standing out from all the noise and competition means crafting an unforgettable experience that is unmistakably on brand. As HTML5 players became standard, so did player customization. In fact, many online video platforms (OVP) provide easy-to-use options for editing everything from colors to controls. So instead of looking like every other brand with an embedded YouTube player, your OVP can match your brand colors. That said, some brands need next-level customization. They want to completely reskin the player to look like nothing else. Great players like Brightcove Player V7 are built on <a href="" target="_blank" title="Video.js">Video.js</a>, an open-source platform that allows you to build skins completely from scratch using HTML and CSS. Playback Support Thanks to a plethora of devices and manufacturers, digital video playback isn’t a given. From Apple vs. Android to Roku vs. Smart TVs (not to mention web browsers), different devices often require different codecs and streaming protocols. Understanding which streaming protocols support playback on each device is key to reaching your target audience. For example, HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) supports playback on most mobile devices, the most popular web browsers, and many set-top boxes like Roku. However, to reach the entire mobile market, particularly if you're using DRM, you’ll need a player that can also stream MPEG-DASH. DASH is also supported on many of the most popular Smart TV brands (a rapidly growing segment in the CTV market). Players that use the VHS 3 playback engine, like Brightcove, can play both HLS and DASH. Low-Latency Livestreaming One of the biggest challenges with digital video is the immense amount of data it takes to stream. In fact, high-definition digital video came with a hefty price tag beyond storage and bandwidth costs. While cable could broadcast live with less than five seconds of latency, streaming protocols like HLS were often well over 20 seconds. For brands investing in live events like sports, and especially in online betting, high latency was a nonstarter. Some protocols now offer a low-latency version like LL-HLS (low-latency HLS), which offers three to eight seconds of latency. So if livestreaming is an important part of your business plan, make sure the player can play LL-HLS, not just HLS. Like Brightcove. Adaptive Bitrate HLS and DASH are streaming protocols built on adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming technology, meaning they can adapt video quality to available bandwidth. The player encodes several renditions of a video asset to fit different scenarios and uses an ABR algorithm to select one and switch it as needed to reduce buffering. Every player has its own encoding ladder to determine the quality of each rendition, and different ladders can have a dramatic effect on the viewing experience. For example, sports content requires a ladder skewed to higher quality renditions than animated content. So if most of your content is animated, a sports-quality encoding ladder wouldn’t look much better, but it would cost more in storage and bandwidth. Just like a video player’s code needs to be regularly updated, ABR algorithms need to be refreshed to reduce rebuffering while maintaining high-quality playback. Not only does Brightcove’s new Player V7 reduce rebuffering, it’s less wasteful in throwing away already-buffered data, reducing bandwidth usage and delivery costs. Advanced Security Media companies understand the importance of content security. That’s why you don’t see any of them publishing their most valuable content on YouTube (<a href="" target="_blank" title="House of the Dragon Episode 1 Released on YouTube as The Rings of Power Premieres">unless it’s part of a marketing gimmick</a>). The meager security afforded by unlisted or private links can be easily bypassed by accidentally sharing links, emails, or credentials. Whether you’re streaming licensed content, gating product demos, or sharing confidential board meetings with investors, great players like Brightcove offer advanced security features like DRM and entitlements. Digital Rights Management (DRM) provides industry standard AES-256 encryption that blocks hackers from intercepting network traffic. Entitlements restrict access at the user level, preventing your content from leaking because a colleague was too quick on the draw with their email forward. Developer Resources As video players evolved and capabilities improved, it signaled more than a new era of player customization. The digital space was maturing, and with it came more advanced monetization and marketing strategies. Media buying on CTV is much more targeted than broadcast advertising. Interactive e-commerce video provides a streamlined customer experience light years beyond QVC. Even business websites feature tons of custom elements far outside the box any standard CMS can offer. To meet the needs of the latest digital strategies, streaming platforms need more than out-of-the-box features and integrations. They need robust developer resources. Businesses with advanced strategies want to be able to build their players into their own bespoke ecosystems. To do that, OVPs need to have APIs for every component: ingest, player, playback, analytics, etc. Not to mention SDKs for every supported platform. Brightcove not only offers all of these, we have over 1,000 pages of product documentation in several languages. Streaming video has come a long way, and with proper developer support, your business will be ready for where it goes next. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “APIs That Maximize Your ROI.” Si Levitas Video Piracy’s Impact and the Technology to Stop It Mon, 12 Dec 2022 13:00:00 GMT As a content creator, your work is your passion, your art, and in many cases your livelihood. And with faster broadband, the ability to stream across devices, and a greater number of distribution channels, the potential to reach a large audience has never been greater. However, this golden age of video brings challenges as well as opportunities. As we continue seeing barriers to video creation fall while mass distribution opportunities rise, we’re also seeing a spike in video piracy. Whether through illegal downloads, password sharing, or torrent websites, we’ve seen the numbers climb year over year. In fact, from January to August of 2022, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Piracy Data Overview">video piracy spiked by 49%</a>. Much of this spike can be attributed to the nature of advancing technology. Simply put, there are more and easier ways to pirate content as the number of sites dedicated to piracy increases. Add to that the growing normalization of sharing passwords to streaming sites, and you can see how content creators have never been more vulnerable. And it’s not just sophisticated hackers looking to create the next Napster or Pirate Bay. Content piracy has become so normalized that everyday people like your neighbors, colleagues, family, and friends are engaging in it. While many of them wouldn’t consider themselves content pirates, we see stats that show <a href="" target="_blank" title="Password Sharing Costs Streaming Services $2 Billion">25% of people who use streaming services</a> are accessing them through someone else’s login. The Impact of Video Piracy So how big is the problem? It's hard to definitively quantify the impact, especially on a global level. Even the most diligent reports often show different figures or have different methodologies for reaching their statistics. However, several stats paint a sobering picture. Pirated video material gets over <a href="" target="_blank" title="Piracy Statistics for 2022">230 billion views a year</a>. In the U.S. alone, video piracy accounts for between <a href="" target="_blank" title="Pirated Video Gets Viewed Over 200 Billion Times A Year">$47.5 billion and $115.3 billion</a> in reduced gross domestic product per year. <a href="" target="_blank" title="23 Corrupting Piracy Statistics You Must Know in 2022">71,000 jobs</a> are lost in the USA due to online piracy. While the numbers above are eye-opening, the potential damage could have a much greater impact on smaller creators, emerging artists, and up-and-coming videographers. Effective protection for these artists can often be the difference between continuing to pursue their passion and having to abandon their goals to find other ways to support themselves. Left unchecked, video piracy can severely stifle the creative industry. Beyond the economic impact on artists and creators, businesses also suffer heavy losses from the spread of pirated content. In addition to billions of dollars in lost revenue, damages can range from tarnished brand reputation to privacy concerns and even data breaches. Who Does Video Piracy Impact? Who is most susceptible to video piracy? The short answer is anyone who creates and distributes content. However, there are a few categories of content owners that tend to see higher levels of piracy. Streaming services. By far the most common unauthorized access to content comes through illegal streaming, accounting for up to 80% of global online piracy. Beyond voluntarily sharing passwords, accounts can also be hacked and login credentials sold on black-market sites. Businesses. Sensitive company content is constantly under threat from hackers. This could include internal video meetings, private virtual events, or a variety of confidential internal content. As mentioned above, even content that is meant for public consumption can be pirated and show up on unsavory sites, which can create lasting brand damage for the companies. Content creators. From local creators to international producers, pirates threaten their livelihoods by using software to illegally download content or screen recorders to capture content and resell or distribute it. How to Protect Your Content from Video Piracy The good news is that there are a number of anti-piracy measures that can significantly increase the security of your video content. We’re not talking about video DRM and basic content encryption; that should be standard for all content owners. When choosing a video streaming platform, make sure it includes these advanced security features. Playback restrictions. Geo restrictions limit which countries or locations can access your content, allowing you to blacklist or whitelist where your content can be viewed. Entitlements at the video or video library level temporarily restrict access at the user level, preventing the wrong users from requesting licenses and delivering licenses based on terms you dictate (such as duration or device). User limits. Concurrent stream limits help restrict multiple users from sharing the same password or access to your content. Device limits allow you to regulate how many devices a single user can stream on. Forensic watermarking. Forensic watermarking helps you protect your content by preventing activities like screen-recording content, editing content, or recording with other devices. However, this feature also allows you to identify the pirates who may be leaking your content. This feature is particularly valuable for exclusive and embargoed content that you may need to share with a select group of people. Even as piracy and its impact on creators and companies continue to grow, advanced security measures and technology can help protect your content and maximize your revenue. The key is being aware of how widespread piracy is and understanding your options for making sure that security is engrained through your entire process, from creation to distribution. Stefan Miller How to Build a Strong Employer Brand with Video Streaming Mon, 21 Nov 2022 13:00:00 GMT Despite concentrated efforts, managers and HR agree that it can be challenging to attract and retain key talent. The post-pandemic shift in employee priorities, coupled with an uptick in candidates’ access to online job resources, has only intensified the war for talent. Sound familiar? So, how can you win the war for talent? One foolproof strategy: Strengthen and promote your positive employer brand using video. In this blog, we’ll discuss what an employer brand is, why employer branding matters, and how to use video streaming to enhance your employer brand with two key audiences: candidates and employees. What Is an Employer Brand? An employer brand is how your company is seen as an employer: your reputation and what you stand for. It’s how people—employees, candidates, contractors, and even consumers—perceive your company as a place to work. Multiple factors shape your employer brand. Your culture, core values, work environment, management practices, growth opportunities, and employee benefits all influence the extent to which your company is viewed as an attractive employer. It’s important to remember that employer brand is an essential part of your company’s overall brand perception. Think of it this way: Corporate branding is how your company markets itself to customers, and employer branding is how your company markets itself to your prospective and existing workforce. The two brands may be managed by different teams, but they need to work hand in hand. Why is Employee Branding Important? A great employer brand helps attract and keep exceptional employees. In a tight job market, companies that prioritize employer branding have an easier time building a skilled, high-performing workforce. What’s more, <a href="" target="_blank" title="How to Measure the Strength and ROI of Your Employer Brand">96% of businesses</a> believe employer brand impacts revenue—for good or bad. That means employer branding can affect both your talent pipeline and your bottom line. Here are a few of the measurable benefits of employer branding. More candidates. A <a href="" target="_blank" title="Employer Brand Statistics">LinkedIn study</a> found that a good employer brand increases the number of applicants by 50%. Which makes sense: <a href="" target="_blank" title="Employer Branding and Recruiting, Hiring, and Retention">Most workers</a> say they wouldn’t join a company with a bad reputation. Reduced time and cost to hire. Strong employer brands can <a href="" target="_blank" title="Employer Brand Statistics">cut cost per hire in half and fill open positions twice as fast</a>. These improvements in recruiting efficiency can yield millions of dollars in savings. Increased employee retention. A quality employer brand can <a href="" target="_blank" title="Employer Branding and Recruiting, Hiring, and Retention">reduce turnover by 28%</a>. Retaining top talent keeps morale and productivity high and avoids the hefty cost of replacing someone, which can total as much as <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Financial Impact Of Employee Turnover">200% of an employee’s annual salary</a>. Revenue protection. Your employer brand influences customers’ purchasing decisions. Nearly two-thirds of consumers have stopped buying from a company with a reputation for not treating employees well. It’s clear a compelling employer brand pays off. So, how does video fit in? Let’s look at the ways you can use video to build a top-notch employer brand with candidates and employees. Using Video Streaming to Enhance Your Employer Brand with Candidates Did you know that <a href="" target="_blank" title="Employer Brand Statistics">three out of four job seekers research an employer’s brand</a> before applying for a job? When considering employers, candidates want to know what it’s really like to work there. They want to get a feel for the company culture and day-to-day work experience. And they want to understand—and identify with—an organization’s purpose and values. That’s where employer brand videos come into play. <font size="3">Employer Brand Videos</font> Videos that tell your employer brand story are a powerful way to attract and engage in-demand talent. Well-crafted employer brand videos strengthen your position as an employer of choice, prompt job seekers to apply, and result in a bigger pool of qualified candidates. Employer brand videos should showcase the best aspects of your company culture and employee experience. Core values. Build a positive connection with candidates by communicating your company’s mission, purpose, and values. Follow the “show, don’t tell” rule to establish trust and authenticity. Company culture. Highlight your company’s unique personality and work environment to attract like-minded candidates and differentiate your employer brand in a crowded job market. Employee testimonials. Use employee stories to give candidates a credible insider’s take on what it’s like to work for your organization. Job seekers <a href="" target="_blank" title="Employer Brand Statistics">trust employees to give them the straight scoop</a>. Hybrid workplace. Does your company support remote working? Appeal to candidates looking for flexibility and work-life balance by showing how remote work fits into your company culture. Diversity and inclusion (D&I). Share your efforts to make the work experience better for underrepresented groups. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Candidates want to see a commitment to diversity">Sixty-four percent of candidates</a> say D&I is an important factor when evaluating an offer. Job perks. A pet-friendly office. Paid volunteer days. The chance to win a two-week sabbatical. Shine a spotlight on employee benefits that make your company a better, happier place to work. <font size="3">Where to Post Employer Brand Videos</font> Activate your employer brand by pushing video content through the channels most likely to reach target candidates. Your career site. Posting employer branding content on your career site is a no-brainer; it’s the go-to resource for job seekers interested in learning more about your company. Plus, video content can increase the time candidates spend on your site by <a href="" target="_blank" title="How To Use Video Marketing To Increase Engagement With Blog Posts">over 100%</a>. Social media properties. Social media sites are the <a href="" target="_blank" title="29 Surprising Stats on Employer Branding">second-most-visited resource</a> for people researching potential employers. Use sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to broaden audience reach and promote your employer brand organically with relatable, shareable videos. Employer review sites. Nearly <a href="" target="_blank" title="Why Employer Review Sites Are Good For Recruiting">80% of job seekers</a> use review sites when evaluating employers. Show candidates why you’re a great place to work by adding employer brand videos to your company profile on Glassdoor, Indeed, and other popular employer review sites. Job boards. Get your employer brand in front of active job seekers and increase the conversion rate for job postings. Research from CareerBuilder found that job ads with embedded video get <a href="" target="_blank" title="Recruitment Marketing Videos Critical in 2022">800% more engagement and yield 34% more applications</a>. Email campaigns. Market your employer brand to current and past applicants by incorporating video into email nurturing campaigns. Adding video to email can rekindle a candidate’s interest in your company and <a href="" target="_blank" title="How video email marketing will increase engagement and open rate?">improve click-through rates by 300%</a>. Using Video Streaming to Enhance Your Employer Brand with Employees Employees are just as important as candidates when it comes to employer branding. A robust employer brand engages and retains internal talent, which is crucial for sustained business success. Plus, employees are the ones influencing your company’s reputation with comments on social media and employer review sites. The employee experience is full of opportunities to use video to bolster your employer brand. Let’s review three: onboarding, internal communications, and learning and development. <font size="3">Onboarding</font> Onboarding influences your employer brand by setting the tone for the employee experience. An onboarding process that makes new hires feel welcome and engaged, that immerses them in your culture and arms them to excel on the job, will boost your position as a top employer. It can also <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Top Onboarding Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2019">increase retention rates by more than 80%</a>. Here are four ways to improve your employer brand by integrating video streaming into employee onboarding. Strengthen the cultural connection. Use welcome videos to reinforce positive impressions made during the recruiting process. Revisiting your company story, including your values, culture, and mission, ensures that new hires are in sync with who you are and what the company aims to do. Meet the team. Videos introducing colleagues, company leaders, and the CEO help build rapport and are especially valuable in remote or hybrid workplaces. Clips of employees discussing their career trajectories can inspire new hires and establish your company as a place for growth. Systems and tools training. Get new hires up to speed with simple how-to videos on company systems and tools. Employees will feel more at home once they can schedule a conference room, submit an expense report, and access relevant Slack channels. Explain company benefits. In a Brightcove survey, employees said that of all onboarding videos, a video describing employee benefits was most likely to increase their confidence in their employment decision. Relatable employee stories can illustrate the value of your benefits and perks. <font size="3">Internal Communications</font> Your internal communications program significantly impacts the employee experience and, consequently, your employer brand. Effective internal communications can energize your culture and deepen employee engagement. Informed employees feel valued, trusted, and more connected to your company culture—all positive outcomes for your employer brand. Consider these opportunities to use video to maximize the brand-building power of internal communications. Deliver effective executive communications. Company leaders can use video to deliver a steady stream of messages in a more human and transparent way. In our survey, 81% of employees reported feeling more connected with leadership through video communications. Top requests for executive videos included business updates, crisis communications, and policy changes. Connect a hybrid workplace. Bring remote employees together by livestreaming town halls, quarterly kickoffs, and other company meetings. Livestreaming builds a sense of community—a feeling of “we’re all in this together”—that’s impossible to achieve with an email or intranet post. You can also record virtual events for people to stream later so no one’s left out. Activate your employer brand internally. Remind employees why you’re a terrific place to work by keeping your employee brand story at the forefront. The videos that attract candidates to your company can also galvanize current employees and encourage retention. Plus, arming your people with the right messages and anecdotes allows them to be powerful ambassadors for your employer brand. <font size="3">Learning and Development</font> Training programs improve the employee experience—and by extension, employer brand—by giving people a chance to learn and grow at work. Employees feel motivated and supported when they can master new skills and take on new challenges. They’re also more inclined to stay put. According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="What Attracts Top Tech Talent?">Harvard Business Review</a>, the top reason people look for a job elsewhere is a lack of learning and growth opportunities at their current employer. Training programs are critical to employee retention, and integrating video streaming enhances them for several reasons. Employees prefer video learning. Video is how today’s workforce likes to consume information. Our survey revealed that employees prefer live or on-demand video for policy training (76%), product training (68%), and product demos (75%). Video learning is more engaging. Video is more effective than text at grabbing and holding attention, as anyone who’s ever nodded off while reading a manual knows. Adding interactive elements to videos makes learning more memorable and fun for employees. Video learning is more accessible. Video enables learning from any place, at any pace. Employees can stream training videos when and where it’s convenient, whether that’s on a computer at home or on a mobile device during the commute. Video benefits many learning and development programs, including upskilling/reskilling, sales enablement, leadership training, and compliance courses. Of course, an employer brand that celebrates learning and growth also appeals to candidates. People want to join companies where their careers will take off. Seize the Opportunity to Build a Strong Employer Brand with Video Streaming Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to rethink their employment options, an effective employer branding strategy has become a must. Candidates have more information about prospective employers than ever before. And it’s all too easy for frustrated employees to check out other companies on Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Video streaming is a valuable and versatile tool for employer branding, with applications in recruiting, onboarding, training, and internal communications. Using video to strengthen and showcase a positive employer brand can improve how your company attracts, engages, and retains high-quality talent in today’s challenging job market. Sarah Barillaro 3 Reasons for Financial Services to Invest in Video Marketing Mon, 14 Nov 2022 12:00:00 GMT One of the most effective ways for financial services firms to connect with customers is through video. Video is hands down the best medium for engaging, educating, and encouraging consumers to act. Although many banks have integrated some video content into their marketing, changes in consumers’ expectations and banking habits have made a robust, well-conceived video strategy more important than ever. In this blog, we’ll cover: Three reasons why video marketing is so valuable for banks Ideas for harnessing the power of video in your marketing programs Advice for overcoming obstacles to video marketing in the financial services industry 1. Building a trusted, standout brand. Trust is a bank’s lifeblood. For most financial marketers, earning consumer trust involves brand building and offering educational resources on money matters. Video can help you achieve both of these objectives. <font size="3">Elevate Financial Education</font> About <a href="" target="_blank" title="6 Steps to Build a Marketing Strategy Around Financial Education">90% of banks</a> offer educational content to their customers. Helping consumers increase their financial literacy is a way to promote loyalty and achieve a trusted advisor status when people are making critical life decisions. In a study by J.D. Power, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Consumers Expect Financial Advice: Banks Are Falling Short">59% of consumers said they want banks to help improve their financial health</a>. Video is the ultimate medium for creating digestible, engaging content about complex financial topics. A consumer researching budgeting strategies might be turned off by a long webpage of text. But a 60-second video on “5 Steps to a Better Budget”? It’s so much easier to sit back, watch, and learn. With the right content strategy, you can use video to engage consumers at all life stages—from recent graduates to first-time home buyers to retirees. This will keep your brand top of mind as consumers navigate their financial affairs over time. Educational videos are also a smart investment for appealing to Millennials and Generation Z, who are looking to banks for more guidance on how to best manage their money, according to the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Consumer Banking Report">2021 Consumer Banking Report</a>. <font size="3">Strengthen Brand Identity</font> Telling the bank’s story with video is one of the most effective ways to build and differentiate your brand. Video excels at evoking an emotional response. At a time when fewer people are visiting bank branches, video can deepen the connection consumers have with your brand and their understanding of your unique promise. You can establish a strong rapport with consumers by using video to bring to life your bank’s values, personality, and culture. Videos that showcase philanthropic activities—such as employees volunteering at a local food bank—can further strengthen your brand. Today’s consumers want their bank to demonstrate <a href="" target="_blank" title="Consumer Banking Report">strong social responsibility</a>. Video testimonials are also extremely powerful brand builders and very credible. Clips of customers describing how they fulfilled a financial dream—like starting a business or paying for college—inspire trust in a bank’s ability to meet consumers’ needs. 2. Winning more business for the bank. Whether your goal is to attract new customers or cross-sell existing ones, video gets results. Video offers new opportunities to grab consumers’ attention, convert viewers into leads, and leverage rich insights for customized follow-up. <font size="3">Generate More Leads</font> Video is a valuable addition to any campaign selling financial products and services. For starters, <a href="" target="_blank" title="State of Video Marketing 2022">nearly three-quarters of consumers prefer to learn about products and services through video</a>—way more than the 11% who prefer text or the 4% who’d like an infographic. In fact, 56% of consumers reported that video played an important role when purchasing financial or investment products. Second, financial products and services can seem intimidating and complicated to consumers. With video, you can convey a clear product message quickly and convincingly, often in a fun or entertaining manner. Explainer and teaser videos can demystify financial products and vividly illustrate how they fit into the consumer’s financial plan. Finally, you can use interactive video elements to capture prospect data and guide consumers to the next step in the buying process. In-video calls to action increase consumer engagement and conversion rates. For example, a video on investment products can become a lead-generating machine by adding a link to a brokerage account application and a form to sign up for a meeting with a financial advisor. <font size="3">Act on New Customer Insights</font> Video enables a more personalized, data-driven approach to marketing and cross-selling that benefits both the bank and your customers. When consumers click play, they reveal a lot about their needs and interests. Was the video they streamed about building wealth or paying off debt? Did they watch the entire video on auto loans, or did they abandon it after only five seconds? With the right video platform, you can track who watched what video, when, and for how long, and then feed that data into your CRM or marketing automation software. This gives you new information for lead scoring and the ability to make relevant, well-timed product recommendations based on an individual’s viewing history. If a consumer streams several videos on home-buying, it’s a good bet they’d be receptive to a promotional offer on a mortgage loan. In the crowded financial services sector, increasing customer loyalty and lifetime value is the name of the game, and the insights gained from video interactions can help you win. 3. Enhancing the customer experience, day one and beyond. Retaining customers requires your bank to deliver an amazing customer experience from the get-go. While there are many options for customer engagement, video should be at the top of your list when it comes to onboarding new customers, then supporting them over time. <font size="3">Improve Customer Onboarding</font> Onboarding sets the foundation for a lasting customer relationship, and video content can be a valuable building block in that process. Using video, you can welcome new customers in more personal, engaging ways, such as adding a “meet the team” video to a new account email. This creates a positive first impression and helps consumers feel like valued members of your community. Videos are also useful for familiarizing new customers with the features of your products and services. Imagine serving up a 2-minute video on what’s included with a small business checking account or a short clip on how your credit card rewards program works. Videos like these help reinforce the value of your products and give customers the information they need to make the most of them. Informative videos on mobile banking and digital payment apps can increase the uptake of these innovative technologies, moving new customers towards a more cost-effective, digital-first relationship. <font size="3">Streamline Customer Support</font> Support is a huge opportunity area for using video to improve the customer experience. Many <a href="" target="_blank" title="Kick-Ass Customer Service">consumers would rather solve problems on their own</a> than call an 800 number and wait on hold for an agent. How-to videos make self-service support easy and convenient, especially when the content is organized in a knowledge base or online resource center. Help customers find the answers they’re looking for with video tutorials for everyday banking tasks, like how to send a wire transfer or request a stop payment. Videos that address common concerns like fraud and scams are also worthwhile. Sending these out at the first sign of an emerging threat protects your customers’ financial wellbeing and demonstrates the bank’s commitment to security. Modernizing your support experience with video can boost customer satisfaction while reducing the burden on your customer service team. In fact, 93% of video marketers say <a href="" target="_blank" title="State of Video Marketing 2022">video has reduced the number of support calls</a> they receive. Overcoming Obstacles to Video Marketing in Financial Services. Now that you’re sold on the value of video in financial services, it’s time to secure some funding. When presenting your business case, you’ll need to defuse issues raised by budget owners and IT partners. Here is some ammo for countering the most common concerns about video marketing in the financial services industry. In many cases, the answer lies in selecting a video streaming platform that meets the strict requirements of financial institutions. We already use YouTube. Isn’t that enough? Many banks publish videos to YouTube. It’s a solid strategy for extending reach, but you have little control over the customer experience. Viewers have to sit through annoying ads, and your video can appear next to a competitor’s—not a good look for your brand. A video streaming platform lets you create carefully curated customer experiences. You have complete control over branding, with options like customizing the video player with your logo and corporate colors, setting up a branded video portal, or going big with your own streaming channel. Plus, you get richer, more actionable data about your audience and content than YouTube’s basic video views. Any technology the bank adopts must have strict safeguards for content and users. Enterprise-class video streaming platforms provide the security measures and controls needed to comply with the most rigorous regulatory and corporate requirements. Brightcove’s comprehensive, multilevel approach to security protects your video assets, customer data, and brand integrity. On top of that, the company submits to an annual third-party audit of our security protocols. What about ADA video compliance? We don’t want a lawsuit or a PR black eye. Brightcove’s Marketing Studio helps banks meet compliance guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act. Features that increase video accessibility include closed captioning, live captioning, transcription, audio description, and compatibility with screen readers for the blind or visually impaired. We’ve invested heavily in our marketing tech stack. How will a video streaming platform fit in? Solutions like Brightcove integrate with popular marketing automation platforms (MAPs) and CRM systems. Sharing data between these systems is a ROI win-win. You can use video analytics to better segment, target, and convert prospects. On the flip side, you can employ marketing analytics to determine—and increase—video’s contribution to pipeline and revenue. Up-leveling financial services marketing with video. There are many compelling reasons for financial services firms to integrate video more fully into their marketing and customer engagement strategies. Financial services marketers are embracing video to build brand trust and loyalty, increase campaign performance with new consumer insights, and enhance the customer experience from onboarding through ongoing support. Of course, you need the right video platform to address the unique needs of financial institutions. But video marketing delivers results that you can take to the bank. Brian Kaufman Video Streaming Trends to Watch in 2023 Mon, 07 Nov 2022 12:00:00 GMT No quarter of the year moves faster than Q4. By the time you’ve finished next year’s budget and developed your H1 plans, the holidays are upon you. When are you supposed to have time to research future trends that could impact your business? The answer is right now. At Brightcove, we’re always keeping an eye on the changes in the market with a potential effect on our customers. Whether you’re in media, marketing, or communications, below are the trends we expect to change how you do business. If you want to learn how to incorporate them into your plans for next year, start streaming PLAY Season 1. Media Company Instincts In 2007, a marketing research firm estimated that a person living in a city was exposed to up to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Anywhere the Eye Can See, It’s Likely to See an Ad">5,000 ad messages a day</a>. Compared to 2,000 ads per day 30 years prior, one can only imagine how many ads each of us see today. All of this content has resulted in more than wearying the consumer (nearly 70% of adults worldwide actively avoid ads, according to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Consumer Attitudes Toward Digital Advertising 2021">eMarketer</a>). It’s wearying marketers. If your target audience is consuming several thousand ads a day—let alone other content—how are you supposed to reach them? It’s hard enough to stand out among that much content. It’s even harder when most are trying to avoid your efforts in the first place. Marketers are just as frustrated with all the noise as consumers are. Attention is at a premium, and the current best practices and tactics just aren’t cutting it. It’s time for a new approach. It’s time to act like a media company. Media companies learned the secrets to retaining audience attention long ago, and they did that through video. If you want to grow your business, you need to follow the example set by the media giants and embrace the power of streaming. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Why Every Company Needs to Act Like a Media Company”. Adaptive Codec Switching Remember film cameras? There was a time when no one thought digital cameras would ever be able to compete. The data and storage needed were too great for a consumer device. And that was just for stills, not video. Look at how far we’ve come. Digital cameras are taking billboard-sized photos. <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Oscar Contender Made With a Smartphone">Smartphones are making Oscar-contending films</a>. Even 4K video can be streamed almost anywhere in the world without a cable. Indeed, many of us have come to expect the same level of visual fidelity on our phones as we do on big screens. But all of our technological advancements haven’t changed the fact that streaming high-quality content involves an immense amount of data. Delivering content that meets viewers’ increasingly high expectations isn’t cheap. In fact, the cost of streaming often means that scaling up your business will require you to scale down your quality. In an age where quality is a selling point, growing your business is quickly becoming a catch-22. Bandwidth costs aren’t coming down anytime soon, so waiting out the market isn’t an option. If you want to scale your business without compromising the quality your viewers expect, you’ll need to invest in adaptive codec switching. For many years, delivery costs were the same for every customer, regardless of their available bandwidth. But why should you pay to deliver 4K video to every customer when many lack the bandwidth to stream it? With adaptive codec switching, you don’t have to. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “High Quality Video vs Reducing your Bandwidth Costs”. First-Party Data In 1994, digital marketing was changed forever. Websites were growing rapidly, email was beginning to take off, and social media was still in the future. During these formative years, one simple innovation would lay the groundwork for what would become a <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Slow Death Of Third-Party Cookies">$600 billion industry</a>: the third-party cookie. Unlike traditional marketing tactics, cookies turned advertising into a precision instrument. Renting billboards was costly, buying media was competitive, and neither of them guaranteed visibility with the targeted audience. Cookies allowed marketers to track customer behavior with such granularity that CPMs were soon overshadowed by the remarkable efficiency of PPC. For years, digital marketers enjoyed bidding for clicks down to the penny, and the future of marketing never seemed more certain. But we already know how this story ends. And we should be grateful for it. Third-party cookies may have spoiled us with pristine ROAS projections, but they also made us lose sight of their original function. Cookies were supposed to help us serve our customers better by helping us understand them and their needs better. We don’t need to mourn the death of the cookie; we need to celebrate the refocus on customer relationships. With first-party data, we have a chance to increase both our value to our customers and their value to us. And with the depth of detail provided by video data, that value will never be clearer. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Don’t Bury it—Use it—First Party Data Management”. Quality of Experience What do users experience when they view your content? Does the video start quickly? Does the picture look crisp and clear? Is the video playing smoothly? All of these questions impact users’ perceptions of your content and their likelihood to return in the future. Understanding your users’ quality of experience (QoE) and when it might require intervention is a key element to growing and maintaining an audience. Streaming platforms should be working relentlessly to ensure that the QoE they provide is great. But they should also provide more insight into this, beyond a general feeling that it “just works,” as one of our customers recently quipped. Subjective customer experiences are hard to define and identify. However, research-based, objective criteria can be used to both understand QoE and recognize when it affects the business. Remember, not every service improvement or issue has a noticeable effect on the customer experience. This means that customer engagement and retention can’t be reliably correlated to Quality of Service (QoS). It’s much easier and more effective to correlate a customer’s experience with their satisfaction. The great news is that QoE doesn't have to rely on ad hoc customer observations. Streaming solutions offer an abundance of data that can be aggregated to give you a picture of the overall customer experience. All you need are the tools and expertise to harness that data and transform it into actionable insights. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Quality of Experience and Its Impact on Your Business”. Jennifer Smith How to Build Customer Trust with Video Streaming Mon, 31 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT Building customer trust has never been easy, but it used to be relatively simple. Make a great product or service and your customers will trust you. Make an awful product or service and you won’t have any customers. Those days are over. The information age has fundamentally changed how businesses need to think about customer trust. Before the internet, the only things most customers knew about the businesses they patronized were whatever those businesses shared with them. Today, your CEO’s salary, investments, charitable donations, criminal record, and even high school GPA are accessible (legally or otherwise). With politics and values more divisive than ever, any information about your business can be used as a weapon. That’s a narrative not even the best product or service can control. Thankfully, there’s a silver lining amid all the distrust. According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="2022 Edelman Trust Barometer">Edelman's 2022 Trust Barometer</a>, business is the most trusted institution, ahead of the media, government, and NGOs. Distrust might be “society’s default emotion,” as Edelman put it, but customers are looking to businesses for societal leadership. This presents a huge opportunity. If businesses can address the concerns of today’s customers, they will not only win their trust, they will inspire more trust for business as an institution. Trust is no longer a transactional relationship between business and customer; it extends into social issues and values. To earn that kind of trust, businesses need to address not only how their customers engage with them, but how their customers engage with society. And the best way for businesses to engage customers is through video. Why Video? Because it’s more <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Value of Visuals">engaging</a>. Because it’s more <a href="" target="_blank" title="Wyzowl's 2022 Video Marketing Statistics">effective</a>. Because it’s the 21st century. There are plenty of reasons why businesses should engage customers through video, but the most important is because video builds trust and confidence. According to recent Brightcove surveys, 93% of B2B buyers say that video builds trust in a brand, and 85% of consumers say videos are essential to online shopping. It’s the go-to medium that customers use to evaluate a business. Sure, video isn’t the only way to build customer trust. But not using video today would be like not having a website in 2010. Customers expect it. And if you’re gonna use it to earn their trust, you’re gonna need to use it right. Invest in a Secure Video Streaming Platform Social media is quickly becoming a cautionary tale in how not to build customer trust. According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Digital Trust Benchmark 2022">eMarketer</a>, user trust declined year-over-year on all of the Top 9 social platforms in 2022. Furthermore, nearly all saw a corresponding decline in platform use as well. A major key to social media’s fall from grace is security, with 78% of users naming it among their top three trust factors. Data and privacy protection had been making headlines for several years. (Remember when <a href="" target="_blank" title="Customer Letter - Apple">Apple refused to unlock an iPhone for the FBI</a>?) But the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal">Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal</a> brought the issue too close to home for most people. Tech companies have been hurriedly addressing privacy issues ever since, from Apple empowering users to block open rate tracking to Google deprecating third-party cookies. For marketers who relied on data for their digital strategies, privacy changes reinforced the need for first-party data. And against the backdrop of declining customer trust, securing first-party data needs to become part of every business’s brand promise. Most businesses already store customer data in secure CRMs, but that isn’t enough to secure first-party marketing data. Every potential ingest point needs to be secured, including marketing automation platforms (MAPs) and streaming platforms—especially if you’re using interactive video for name capture. Not all streaming platforms provide the same level of security. If you want to earn and keep your customers’ trust, make sure your platform offers these minimum security features. Encryption. Data should be encrypted using the industry standard AES-256 algorithm and enforced via TLS when in transit. Furthermore, each user should be identified with a unique session and stored in a secure, encrypted session cookie. Single Sign-on. Single sign-on through an Identity Provider (IdP) should include identity mapping (based on full email addresses, not just email domains), streamlined user provisioning (allowing new users to inherit the SSO setup), and password requirements. Privacy Compliance. Business policies should be compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Certifications and Assessments. Certifications should include the Digital Production Partnership’s Committed to Security program as well as Privacy Shield. The platform should also engage third-party security research firms to perform annual vulnerability scans and penetration testing. If your streaming platform offers all of these security features, consider adding a security watermark to your name capture videos. Statements like “Secured by Brightcove” can reassure your customers that you take their privacy seriously. Build a Customer Testimonial Video Page Another important part of earning customer trust is accepting that you can no longer control your own brand narrative. Customer testimonials used to be a marketing tactic that businesses manufactured, but smartphones and social media changed all that. Videos about your business can be produced and distributed at any time, without your involvement. It can’t be overstated how influential the customer’s voice is on your business. According to Brightcove’s study, Using E-Commerce Video to Drive Sales, customer videos were the most trustworthy type of video according to over half (51%) of global consumers. In other words, your customers are more likely to trust a poorly shot customer video about your product than any of your well-produced product demo videos. Slick advertising doesn’t impress them anymore, and they’re more and more likely to scrutinize who’s making the claim and why. If customers are more inclined to trust each other over brand communications, it’s time for businesses to democratize their brand narratives. Rather than letting customer testimonials breed trolls on social media, what if you brought them onto your site? You heard that right. Embrace what your customers are saying about you and package it for everyone to see—warts and all. Showcasing customer testimonials demonstrates transparency, but it’s also an opportunity to address your customers’ concerns. Customers are more likely to trust businesses that listen to and act on their feedback. Brand page social comments aren’t enough, but a repository of resolved feedback builds the kind of track record customers want to see. Enterprise-grade streaming platforms offer several features that can make a branded customer testimonial video page easy to build and maintain. Web Portals. Portals for videos should include customizable, responsive templates in a no-code environment. They should also offer lead forms, social sharing, and MAP/CRM integrations and allow users to configure SEO settings. Dynamic Ingest. Upload options should include pull-based retrieval (pulling source files and metadata from HTTP/HTTPS, S3, and FTP systems) as well as media RSS feeds for continuous ingestion monitoring and integrations for push-based workflows. Smart Playlists. Playlists should not only have manual options but automatic options that build and grow playlists based on tags, custom fields, descriptions, and dates. If your streaming platform offers all of these features, consider adding interactive elements like viewer sentiment. Letting viewers “like” a video will allow you to quickly see which issues are most important to your customers. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Getting to Know Gallery”. Promote Ethical Values with Live Video Building customers’ trust requires more than securing their data and addressing their concerns. Those things are just the minimum requirements for not being untrustworthy. If you want to set your business apart as worthy of customer trust and loyal patronage, you'll need to talk social issues. Customers don’t just shop for products anymore; they shop with their values. And they don’t just want businesses to share their values—they expect those businesses to demonstrate their support. While Edelman noted that businesses were the most trusted institution, they also found that the public doesn’t think businesses do enough for society. Climate change (52%), economic inequality (49%), access to healthcare (42%), and systematic injustice (42%) are all top issues that people expect businesses to do more about. Paying lip service to the social issues of the day isn't enough to earn customer trust. Customers are looking to businesses to lead in areas where they feel the other institutions are failing. The occasional press release on your business’s latest charitable donation won’t cut it either. Businesses need to show that they live their values beyond token photo ops. Chances are, your business is already living your values, just in ways the public can’t see. Perhaps you’ve organized company volunteer trips, attended cultural events, or engaged in other charitable activities. Those things aren’t just good for your employer brand; they show customers your values in action. Livestreaming is one of the best ways to promote your values. Sharing an event after the fact has less of an impact than telling your customers you’re doing it live, right now. The best streaming platforms should have all the features you need to do it successfully. Live Redundancy. Livestreams should include multiple backup streams with automatic failover to ensure uninterrupted, reliable playback. Cloud DVR. Playback should include the option to pause, play, and rewind livestreams with a single click. Direct-to-Social. Publishing should not only include social media platforms, but the option to publish to multiple platforms at one time. One advantage of using a streaming platform rather than social media is you can create an on-demand library to memorialize your business’s commitment to its values. This can easily be created using the same features used to create customer testimonial pages. Furthermore, you can choose to keep customer interactions on owned channels, rather than social media. Streaming platforms like Brightcove offer a number of event-based interactive features, including moderated Q&A, chat, surveys, and polls. Centralize Your Video Streaming Strategy Building customer trust through video in today’s climate is a non-negotiable for businesses. But it doesn’t have to overextend marketing teams cobbling together several products and workflows. Brightcove’s Marketing Studio has all the features you need to ensure customers feel secure, heard, and supported in their values. Alex Bersin 3 Myths About Video Marketing Analytics Mon, 24 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT When was the last time you did a reality check on your video marketing KPIs? If you’ve been using the same benchmarks to measure success for more than a couple of years, the truth is that you’re probably not getting the most out of your data. The digital environment we operate in is one of constant change, driven primarily by evolving customer behaviors and expectations. This means marketers need to be on their toes, taking advantage of all the information and insights that can help them keep pace. Advancements in both available user data and a more precise understanding of what those metrics mean are helping make it possible. Amid this innovation, many common perceptions about measuring the impact of video marketing—and improving it—are no longer accurate. Here’s a look at some of the biggest video marketing analytics myths to shine a light on which metrics and tools will get you the insights you need. Myth #1: Views are the most important metric in video marketing Going viral was once upon a time seen as a golden ticket—the magic moment when your brand achieved internet fame and fortune. Racking up video views was the key to making it big. If that was ever truly the most valuable aspiration for a video marketer, it isn’t anymore. Yes, going viral still happens, but rather than the explosive exposure it once afforded, it’s more of a flash in the pan. <font size="3">Reality check: Different metrics matter at different times</font> Video is a mainstay of our current digital culture. People have grown accustomed to engaging with video as entertainment, education, and part of the purchasing process. That path to purchase consists of a few distinct inflection points. At each of these points, different metrics hold more weight. <font size="3">Analytics tip: Know which metrics to watch</font> Want to know what’s working at each point along the path to purchase? These are the key metrics to watch for by stage. Awareness: While views are not the most important metric overall, there are points in time at which view totals are a valuable KPI. The awareness stage is one of those points. Consideration: Watch time, or engagement, is the key metric for measuring the impact your video has on viewers. Engaged audiences watch longer. If your audience is checking out at the same point in time, it might be worth recutting the video to ensure it doesn’t lag and is driving quickly to what’s most valuable. Conversion: Viewing the full customer journey through touchpoint mapping can help you understand the role your video content plays in earning conversions. Interactive video is especially helpful for ROI analysis because it yields specific details about how audiences engage with your content and can drive directly to shopping carts or lead gen forms. Retention: Engagement data will tell you a lot about how invested customers are in your product or service. You will want to look at engagement metrics for videos that focus on training, add-ons, and upselling. Learn more about using metrics to measure success throughout the buyer’s journey. Myth #2: Social media platforms provide all the analytics you need Ah, the siren song of native video statistics, lulling marketers into believing they’re sailing toward a wealth of KPIs. But what are you really learning from viewing these isolated analytics? At best, you can tell how your content is performing for the audience on each specific platform, but are you really getting the full picture of reach and impact? <font size="3">Reality check: Analytics viewed in isolation don’t tell the whole story</font> In order to truly understand how your content performs across channels, you need to have a single view that pulls analytics from every platform where your content is published. Only then can you see how various versions of your video perform for different audiences, what works across the board, and where you’re seeing the most success. <font size="3">Analytics tip: Integrate your social data</font> Why bounce between platforms, manually extracting data and trying to make sense of it on your own, when you could simply empower a single analytics platform to do the work for you? By integrating your social accounts with an enterprise-grade streaming platform, you’ll be able to dig deeper into the data, do side-by-side comparisons, and discover new insights that will improve future campaign performance. Learn more about how to repurpose existing content with a strong social video strategy. Myth #3: Measuring video ROI is too hard Calculating ROI has always been a bit of a headache for marketers, but it is a necessary step. With convincing ROI data in hand, you can prove the impact of your video marketing efforts and secure future investment into your video marketing strategy. It’s understandable that marketers struggle with their confidence in measuring ROI. Marketing is about drawing the crowd, creating the experience, and eliciting desire for what you have to offer. Not exactly easy to measure the effectiveness of a single asset that ties directly to results. But there’s good news. <font size="3">Reality check: It’s getting a lot easier and more straightforward</font> New technologies and integrations have opened the door to richer video marketing analytics. With machine learning and AI technology powering attribution modeling, marketers can assign sales and conversions to touchpoints in conversion paths. With each new data point, we gain a better understanding of how customers discover brands, engage with content, and decide to purchase. <font size="3">Analytics tip: Link tracked behaviors to ROI</font> By integrating your streaming platform with your CRM, you can access insights that track audience behaviors throughout the full buying process, from awareness to purchase. Some metrics that deliver a more accurate ROI include: Touchpoint mapping, which shows the number and types of videos watched at different funnel stages and sequences. Engagement behaviors, such as dwell times, skips, and rewatches of specific sections. Interactive video behaviors, including in-video navigation, poll submissions, and click-through rates from video to a landing page. Learn more about interactive video and ROI. Keep current with video marketing analytics trends Looking for some dependable sources to stay on top of what really matters in the fast-changing world of video marketing analytics? Here are a few we recommend: <a href="" target="_blank" title="MarTech"></a>: They specialize in marketing analytics technology, including video. Especially valuable to follow as the upcoming transition to Google Analytics 4 looms. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Social Media Today">Social Media Today</a>: A reliable source for the latest in social media, with regular updates on new measurement features. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Wyzowl Video Marketing Blog">Wyzowl Video Marketing Blog</a>: This frequently-updated blog covers everything from creating videos to measuring their impact. Wyzowl also has a dedicated resource page for video marketing data. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Adweek - Video Marketing">Adweek - Video Marketing</a>: The well-regarded news outlet has a dedicated feed for video marketing, but requires a subscription. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Marketing Dive">Marketing Dive</a>: Keep an eye on both the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Video Marketing News">Video</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Marketing Analytics News">Data/Analytics</a> feeds for quality coverage of both. <font size="3">What’s trending now</font> Moving from fiction to fact, here are the important trends you should be familiar with in the ongoing evolution of video marketing analytics: AI-powered video analytics are changing the industry in a big way. Machine learning enables precise touchpoint mapping and ultimately enables more accurate ROI figures. <br> Who’s leading: <a href="" target="_blank" title="JUMP Insights">JUMP Insights</a> is an AI-powered analytics integration that puts your data to work for you. Single-source livestreaming across all channels. Broadcasting wherever your brand has a presence means your audience finds you where they’re at, producing rich engagement insights. <br> Who’s leading: <a href="" target="_blank" title="Accedo One">Accedo One</a> is an over-the-top (OTT) system that delivers your content across all channels without congestion and at high quality. Interactive video. Enabling more meaningful engagement between customers and your video content improves brand recall and, as mentioned earlier, leads to more nuanced measurement capabilities. <br> Who’s leading: <a href="" target="_blank" title="Wootag">Wootag</a> is an integration that lets marketers add business triggers as interactivity within their videos. <font size="3">Invest in a trusted platform</font> Investing in an online video platform with robust video management and analytics capabilities will open doors to analytics you might not have even considered. Don’t forget: the centralized management piece is essential to producing meaningful omnichannel analytics. The dashboard of this platform will give you an at-a-glance feel for how various campaigns are performing across all channels. With a platform designed specifically for managing videos and measuring video performance, you can get the latest insights and stay on top of video analytics trends. Jillian Ryan 4 Advanced Strategies to Boost your Video Marketing Mon, 17 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT With big ambitions and lots of planning, you led the charge to launch your company’s video marketing program. And it seems to be working. You’re seeing visitors spend longer amounts of time on pages that feature video. You’ve seen an uptick in engagements on social posts that contain video. And you may have even seen higher conversion rates on campaigns that incorporate video. But as a marketer on the front line, you’ve also continued to see the clear shift in buyer preferences for a more personalized experience. Not to mention the new level of creativity today’s social videos exhibit. With a number of successes under your belt, you’ve proven to marketing colleagues, executives, and sales teams that video marketing is worth the investment. But as the hype settles, you’re now tasked with building upon this foundation to achieve even higher performance and strategically align video with other marketing tactics. Lucky for you, with these advanced marketing strategies, you can take your video initiatives to the next level and exponentially increase the impact of your overall marketing program. Integrate Video Analytics into Your Automation Platform. Integrating your video analytics into Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) may be one of the most powerful tools for both optimizing video performance and increasing conversions. While there are numerous benefits to MAP integrations, there are three in particular that can have an immediate impact. <font size="3">Segmentation</font> Creating segments within your MAP based on viewing habits will help you offer a personalized approach to the buying process. Depending on your goals, there are a variety of rules you can apply to segmentation. Four examples of segmentations you could start with include: Which videos they have watched How many videos they have watched Interest level in certain videos (based on time spent viewing) The topics of the videos they're watching Imagine you’re promoting a webinar in an email campaign. A common tactic is to re-engage non-openers of the email invite with alternate content. In this case, that content could be a video on the same topic as the webinar to stimulate interest. Rather than segmenting by opens or clicks, you could segment the recipients by how much of the video they watched. If they watched more than 40%, you could resend the email invite to this segment. If they watched less than 40%, it’s pretty clear they’re not interested and you can remove them from the nurture track. <font size="3">Targeting</font> Integration with your MAP will also give you valuable data to help you target various audiences with the content they’re most interested in. For example, you may notice trends in video consumption based on persona attributes like: Industry Title Function Seniority Your analytics will help you uncover these trends and apply the learnings to future targeted campaigns that can personalize your approach. <font size="3">Lead Scoring</font> Video consumption habits can also indicate how close a prospect is to converting and which videos are most effective at guiding the buyer to the next stage. Your data can paint a clearer picture for you, but there are some key indicators you should consider relative to prospects who have already closed: Which videos are they watching? How long are they spending watching the videos? How many videos does the average MQL consume before becoming an SQL? Which ones? How do these trends compare with prospects who have converted? Based on these answers, you’ll be able to add nuance to lead scores with specific video and consumption habits. Arm your sales team with the data they need. Integration with <a href="" target="_blank" title="Marketing Automation Plaltforms | Brightcove Marketplace">MAPs</a> not only benefits your lead nurturing efforts, it can support the sales reps tasked with creating touchpoints and follow-up conversations with buyers. Just as important, the data gained from prospects’ watch habits can help fuel successful sales enablement programs. The analytics can help you determine which types of prospects are most interested in which topics and apply those insights to drive all types of content, not just video. Simply put, by integrating with MAPs, you’ll be able to combine video analytics with other analytics from landing pages, email, and website visits. This holistic approach will give sales reps a clearer picture of a prospect than ever before. Key questions that can help arm sales reps with the data they need to close deals include: Has the number of videos they’ve viewed increased recently? Which videos produce the most leads? At what point during the buyers’ journey do we notice the biggest uptick in video consumption? Are multiple people from the same organization watching videos? Which videos that the prospect watches have over an 80% completion rate Which ones are under 20%? These questions can help sales reps better understand what’s most important to the buyer as well as what’s not. Optimize your social videos. By now you understand that social video is pretty much table stakes in today’s competitive digital content environment. In fact, according to <a href="" target="_blank" title="50 Video Marketing Statistics to Inform Your 2022 Strategy">Hubspot</a>, 67% of marketers say that sharing marketing videos on social media has the biggest ROI. Furthermore, <a href="" target="_blank" title="How video is reshaping digital advertising">Twitter</a> states that tweets with video get 10X engagement. However, the social landscape is littered with millions of brand videos that failed to reach their full potential. So while publishing social video is a normal practice among businesses, creating great videos that engage your audience is less common than we’d like to admit. The good news is that with effective video marketing processes, you can increase the performance of not just your videos, but your social presence as a whole. <font size="3">Create a Social Video Command Center</font> Integrating your social profiles into your video marketing platform is not only extremely efficient, it also helps optimize your video for maximum delivery on each specific platform. It gives you the ability to: Make specific edits for each social channel Automatically ensure that each video is uploaded with the right dimensions natively to each platform Save time by scheduling or auto-publishing your videos All of these can be quickly achieved from within a single social video command center. <font size="3">Build Efficiencies into Your Process</font> Just as there are many different types of social posts, you probably already have access to a variety of social videos. With categories ranging from product highlights to employee spotlights, webinar clips to tutorials and beyond, organizing for quick access becomes particularly important. By creating well-defined folders, you’ll be able to quickly sort, locate, and deliver the right video at the right time to the right audience. Beyond the convenience of a well-organized video library, the most powerful video marketing tools also offer batch editing features for further efficiency and optimization. For example, if you’re creating a campaign around a specific product, you’ll likely be using videos from many different sources, like webinars, tutorials, and feature spotlights. With batch editing features, you’re able to quickly edit all of the videos in the series with just a few clicks. Want to add a specific landing page URL for all videos in the series? Need to update the tags for all of them to include relevant keywords related to the series? Want to change the title of each video to include the name of the series? Batch editing makes it possible while saving time and ensuring consistency. <font size="3">Use Analytics to Understand Platform Preferences</font> One of the best things about the social ecosystem as a whole is the distinct culture and personality of each platform. This is clearly evident in video consumption preferences on a per-platform basis as well. While longer, more detailed videos will perform better on certain channels, others will see videos that are shorter and to the point perform better. However, it can be a painstaking task to get a direct comparison, since each social platform will offer different video metrics. By integrating your social channels into a video marketing platform, you'll have one set of consistent metrics to compare across all platforms. Whatever the viewing trends may be, using consistent metrics will help you uncover which videos perform best on social across platforms as well as on specific ones. This insight will also be valuable for sales reps who are actively posting video on social. Understanding viewer preferences will help them better engage their unique audiences on each platform. Furthermore, understanding the topics, depth, and interest in your videos can also give you more data about the type of topics users prefer in general and can be applied to all types of content, not just video. Expand your reach and engagement with livestreams. Livestreaming can significantly deepen your relationship with followers through an interactive format that allows users to be immersed in the experience. The real-time aspect of the videos gives users the chance to engage with you in ways they never could before. Add to that the interactive features you can incorporate into your videos, and you see how this can become a truly collective experience. Whether you’re launching a new product or hosting fully digital conferences, the possibilities are endless. One has to look no further than the creativity shown during the COVID-19 pandemic for proof. While going live for the first time can be scary, with a little preparation it offers a level of engagement that brands could not have dreamed of just a few short years ago. As you prepare your live video strategy, there are a few things to keep in mind. <font size="3">Uptime Is Everything</font> Going down in the middle of a livestream for even just a few seconds can spell disaster. Viewers may tune out without ever coming back to see if your video is back online. Make sure your livestreaming platform has the resources for preventing downtime by choosing one with a reputation for 99.99% uptime (bonus points if they offer live redundancy). <font size="3">On Demand Is Expected</font> While some users may join your livestream, they may not all be able to stay for the entire program. Others may want to join but have prior or last-minute obligations that prevent them from doing so. Offer them the opportunity to watch at their own pace and on their timeline with on-demand viewing options. For many, watching at their preferred time is no longer just a feature, but a necessity. As video technology has evolved from VCR to DVR to VOD, so too have user expectations. Today’s media companies are simply expected to offer live content on demand. And in a content-driven world, all companies are expected to act like media companies. <font size="3">Faking It Is Acceptable</font> From broadcast delayed call-in segments to pre-recorded halftime shows, faking live has been an acceptable practice for decades. The reality is that live will always present variables outside of your control, and some may be too far for comfort (like product demos or customer Q&As). When preparation isn’t enough, it’s time to de-risk your event with a simulated live broadcast. Live events are complex productions, but with a product like Brightcove’s Simulive, you can have all the benefits of live without the risk or complexity. Boost Your Video Marketing Through MAP integration, marketing/sales alignment, advanced social videos, and livestreaming, you’ll see a bigger impact on your overall video marketing efforts. Furthermore, you’ll continue to discover the many ways that video analytics can provide important data points to fuel your entire marketing program. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “7 Ways the Right Streaming Platform Can Accelerate Video Marketing Performance”. Stefan Miller How to Use Video to Boost Your Brand Perception Tue, 11 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT As we’ve seen over the past few years, a company’s brand has become one of its most valuable assets. True, a company’s brand has always been a key part of any business. But we’ve also witnessed a <a href="" target="_blank" title="2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report">huge shift</a> in consumer preference to do business with companies they trust, that show authenticity, and can connect on an emotional level. With the explosion of <a href="" target="_blank" title="6 Ways to Use Video Marketing to Strengthen Your Brand">video marketing</a>, ensuring a strong brand and consistently communicating that brand across content is more important than ever. This is especially true since it’s not uncommon for the first interaction they have with your brand to be through video. But what exactly is a brand? How do iconic brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s evoke specific associations and emotions? How is brand perception formed? At a fundamental level, brand perception is what others believe about your company and product. Trying to nail down an exact definition of brand can be elusive. However, it’s safe to say that if something influences how customers perceive, think, and feel about your company, it’s part of your brand. Think about a company brand as you would your own personality: we create it, but we can’t control how others perceive it. While there are a variety of interconnected factors that create your brand, there are also some common elements that contribute to all brands. Visual identity Authenticity Connection Emotion Experience You can incorporate these brand elements into your video marketing strategy by focusing on two key areas: the video content and the viewing experience. How to establish brand perception through video content. While not every video is going to be specifically used for branding initiatives, branding should still be incorporated into all of your videos. Every time a customer interacts with your brand, you’re telling them a story about your company. That story starts and ends with your brand, so make sure it’s the story you want to tell. The old maxim “consistency is key” truly applies to your long-term branding initiatives. That said, some of the most effective branding videos often fall into the categories that help build trust, showcase authenticity, and help build community. Company brand narratives. Videos that highlight your origin story, mission, values, and milestones create a deep connection with viewers. They build trust and create the authenticity required for positive brand perception. Product videos. For fairly obvious reasons, your product will always be a key part of your brand. Product videos can help viewers experience it before they actually make a purchase. When developing your product videos, aim to showcase its features, benefits, quality, technology, and what differentiates you from competitors. How-to/tutorials. These are great for community building. Consider incorporating user-generated content as well that helps viewers see product usage from “people like me.” Company culture videos. Both B2C and B2B customers understand that happy, engaged employees create better products and offer better service. These videos help humanize your brand and offer a glimpse into parts of your company the general public may not get to see. Thought leadership videos. These showcase both expertise and involvement in the industry. It’s another great way to humanize your brand while introducing them to top executives throughout the company. They can also highlight the forward-thinking and innovative approach your company takes to creating products—which in and of itself should be part of your brand. Video case studies and testimonials. Since so much of brand perception is generated from word of mouth, allowing others to hear directly from users of your product can be a powerful tool. Behind-the-scenes videos. There’s perhaps no better way to bring viewers from around the world deep into your company than with behind-the-scenes videos. These are great for building a strong sense of connection between your product, customers, and brand. Livestream videos. Livestreaming builds a sense of community and connection to the company. It evokes a “we’re all in this together” emotion that’s hard to replicate through other forms of marketing and communication. How to enhance brand perception through the viewing experience. Many companies spend considerable time carefully crafting their brand through video content. Yet fewer take the final, and perhaps one of the most important, steps to ensure the brand perception is also reflected in the viewing experience. How was the video delivered and consumed? Where was it viewed? What was the user’s experience before, during, and after they viewed a video? All of these factors play a role in shaping brand perception. Investing in an Online Video Player (OVP) will allow you to fully customize the viewer’s experience to support your brand. Here are some tips for maximizing your video branding efforts with an OVP. <font size ="3">1) Create the atmosphere where your branded videos will live</font> Videos on an owned, branded web page create a deeper personal brand connection with the viewer. It allows you to tailor your brand experience in many ways that popular social video platforms simply can’t. For starters, you’re able to incorporate your visual brand identity throughout the page. Not only will an OVP allow for seamless embedding, it also eliminates the display ads, “watch on YouTube,” and other outside branding that can override your own. <font size ="3">2) Provide a distraction-free viewing experience</font> Few things are more frustrating for video marketers than having engaged viewers interrupted by an ad for your competitor in the middle of the video. Yet on free platforms, we see that over and over again. Beyond the ads on the video, viewers will be surrounded by ads on other parts of the page to watch promoted content or otherwise click away from your video. When you host your video on public sites, you inevitably give up control over the display ads that appear on your video. Instead, use an OVP to create and insert your own custom (and, yes, branded) overlays. Not only will these reinforce your visual branding, they can also add further context and encourage users to continue exploring other brand content. <font size ="3">3) Take them on a journey</font> Creating a custom viewing experience with an OVP allows you to build a user journey that offers a fully branded experience. For some this will mean a highly branded and effective landing page that the video lives on. For others this could include creating a completely branded video portal. When posting your high-value branded content to a public site, you ultimately have no control over where users are being directed to before, during, and after watching your video. Using an OVP, you can include your own CTAs that invite them to view other content that specifically builds upon the video they’re currently watching. This could include another video, landing page, or product page. <font size ="3">4) Build connection through interactivity</font> A core tenet in crafting your brand includes building connections with your followers, which can come in many different forms. For videos specifically, try inserting fun quizzes, polls, and other interactive elements that keeps users engaged and fosters two-way engagement. <font size ="3">5) Don’t forget about employees</font> Your employees should also play an important role in shaping your brand perception. When it comes to video branding, they’re also an excellent resource for a wide range of creative ideas. Consider arming them with the tools for creating day-in-the-life videos to provide users with a truly authentic experience. Employee spotlights, volunteer efforts, and company get-togethers can also be a great way to involve your employees while creating highly valuable video branding content. Remember, your employer brand is an important part of overall brand perception. Video Branding Drives Lasting Benefits Whether you’re new to video marketing or have a content library full of video assets, effective branding will help drive lasting benefits. Done correctly, it can lead to long-term revenue by generating ongoing sales and increasing the overall customer lifetime value. With a strong focus on creating quality content and delivering a seamless viewing experience, you’ll boost your brand perception and continuously engage your most important audiences. Adam Jensen Why Media Brands Need to Monetize Content Beyond YouTube Mon, 03 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT Hundreds of successful media brands have gotten their start in online video by creating a channel on YouTube. All it takes (at least initially) is a sizable content library and enough of an investment to keep making or acquiring great video content. Once your YouTube channel has found its audience and you continue to fuel it with high-quality video, your business can open up plenty of options to <a href="" target="_blank" title="How to Make Money on YouTube">monetize content</a>. The most successful media brands on YouTube already employ a variety of them: Advertising Sponsorships Merchandising Licensing Donations Crowdfunding Making the most of these monetization strategies depends on the quality of your content. But it also depends on the size of your marketing budget to tap into YouTube’s built-in audience of 2.6 billion monthly users. YouTube may be the world’s largest video-sharing platform, but its shiny promise of monetization is not without pitfalls. Ultimately, the success of your content (and therefore your business) is dependent not only on someone else’s platform, but on someone else’s audience. Monetizing content on YouTube means standing out against the other <a href="" target="_blank" title="YouTube says its Partner Program now has 2 million members">2 million Partner Program members</a> actively competing for ad dollars. That’s 2 million reasons why you should start thinking beyond YouTube. When you realize your media business can stand on its own, you only need five reasons to consider advancing to your own branded video streaming platform. 1) Rented Audiences For years, businesses have built their audiences through content hosted on major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. On the plus side, they’re all flush with millions (or billions) of people already using the platform. You might have tens of thousands of them subscribed to your own channel. However, the subscribers to your YouTube channel aren’t yours, they’re YouTube’s. Their accounts are beholden to YouTube’s terms of service, not yours. The way you organize your subscribership fits YouTube’s business model, not yours. Even the available analytics are subservient to YouTube’s discretion, not yours. So long as your audience exists on another platform, you’re merely “renting” that audience. Which means if that platform is prohibited in certain viewing situations (schools, institutions, countries), your content isn’t reaching its full audience potential. 2) Free-for-all Marketing Famously, the major social platforms have been forever free, easy to use, and filled with advertising opportunities. Each has clever search functions designed to serve up your content to the right people typing the right terms. But then came the algorithm changes. And with each iteration came a little bit less certainty over when or even whether the target audience would find your clip or promo. On top of that, the same algorithms would note your target audience’s habits and feed them your competitors’ content as well. A free platform is exactly that: a platform where everyone is free to distract each other’s audiences and dilute their marketing tactics. 3) Content Moderation There are two words that can strike fear in any popular independent media business: content moderation. Between AI errors, fallible human reviewers, and non-target audiences wandering onto the wrong channels, content gets flagged for removal that doesn’t necessarily spark controversy. Similarly, it’s possible for a guest in an otherwise mild programming lineup to make a remark that would get bleeped in prime time. But if it violates platform policy, it gets removed. If you want to retain the freedom of (and responsibility for) your own content, you can’t do it on someone else’s platform. You need a monetized video platform whose viewers belong to the target audience and signed up to be there, rather than stumbling upon it by accident. 4) Limited Diversification YouTube offers several ways to capture revenue, and many individuals, personalities, and celebrities have found incredible success this way. But like any of those free video monetization platforms or video platforms that pay, diversification options are limited. Once your business model can sustainably grow your content library and audience, scaling to the next level requires multiple monetization models. For example, serious media companies are finding that they can supplement advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) with subscriptions (SVOD). However, they’re using their own subscription platform because they can’t monetize the subscribers they “rent” on a free platform. Some companies are also offering occasional one-off events, such as pay-per-view (PPV) live streams or downloadable, transaction-based premium content (TVOD). These tactics keep subscribers engaged and satiated through exclusive, fresh content. Becoming a recognized video brand with thousands of hours of your own (or licensed) video is the YouTube dream (and it often comes true). But your business cannot truly capture the value, preferences, and habits of the audience you’ve built until you operate your own video streaming channel. 5) Budget Experience Creating content within YouTube’s AVOD economy is as simple as uploading your videos. Getting your audience to pay for that content, however, is when a free platform can only give what you pay for. Premium content requires a viewing experience that “feels” premium—something enjoyable, of high quality, and in an environment that matches the way the content is being consumed. Try creating that experience with a private YouTube link and you’ll find it simply doesn't communicate value to the viewer. Not to mention leaving them vulnerable to your competitors’ content. A secure video platform with your branding doesn’t just protect your content and elevate the viewing experience. It architects the ideal environment for your business to cultivate customer loyalty over the long term. Whether through your existing website, an elegant gallery page, or an OTT app, there are several ways a world-class platform can give your viewers the experience they want. Monetizing Content on Your Own Platform No one can argue with YouTube’s role in today’s creator economy. However, it’s still a channel, not a platform. And its built-in audience belongs solely to YouTube. It sets the rules to market, moderate, and monetize content within an environment it controls. Growing your business means growing your audience, not someone else’s. Whether that’s through SVOD, PPV, TVOD, or taking the leap into live linear programming, you need complete control over your audience and your content. You need control over your video branding and experience. You need your own platform, not another channel. Ellen Grogan Using Video Analytics to Improve the Employee Experience Mon, 26 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT Losing employee connection is an increasingly concerning challenge for HR teams. We’re all busier than ever before. We’re more distracted and less embedded in the company culture. Mass emails and intranets have their place, but to meet today’s challenges, internal communications will need to embrace video and learn from video analytics. Why Video Improves the Employee Experience No medium is better at connecting people than video. A July 2022 study commissioned by Brightcove reported 76% of non-management professionals feel more connected with leadership through video communications. In fact, 83% of all respondents agree that more video content would improve their overall employee experience. However, only 31% of employees say their organizations use video for corporate communication from leadership (despite 80% preferring video). Similarly, about a third say their organizations use video for training or corporate events even though the majority prefer on-demand or livestreamed video. In a disconnected world, it’s imperative to align an internal comms strategy with today’s content consumption habits. <a href="" target="_blank" title="How Employee Experience Impacts Your Bottom Line">People are an organization’s most valuable resource</a> and, just like customers, retaining them isn’t a given. Successfully attracting, recruiting, and onboarding talent is just the beginning. Employees need to be nurtured with career development opportunities, engaged in the company culture, and ultimately retained to ensure knowledge stays within the organization. Video has the potential to address every facet of the employee lifecycle. But it must be analyzed, optimized, and deployed at the right stages and with the right parameters during this journey to generate the most impact. How to Improve the Employee Experience with Video For many HR departments, data literacy is an obstacle to effectively tracking and optimizing video. According to a <a href="" target="_blank" title="Driving Employee Empowerment Through Video">survey Brightcove conducted with HRD Connect</a>, 69% of organizations do not currently measure the engagement of their video communications (“Driving Employee Engagement and Culture Through Video 2022 Survey”). Moreover, 24% stated that video measurement is something they plan to start doing. You can’t build a business case—let alone a strategy—for internal comms video if you don’t measure the impact it’s having on your workforce. You need to understand what you can measure, how you can measure it, and how you can apply it. Beyond building the business case for video, the insights gleaned from video can inform your entire approach to internal communications. It’s often assumed that the total number of views is the extent of video analytics, but this barely scratches the surface of video metrics. In fact, video metrics can help make data-driven decisions to optimize internal comms throughout the employee experience. <font size="3">Measure Play Rate to Assist Recruitment</font> Video is the best way to make a great first impression with prospective employees. From office tours to employee testimonials to describing your perks and benefits, video can convey your employer proposition in a meaningful and measurable way. When recruiters share employer brand videos, you can easily see what resonates better with different people. Video metrics like play rate allow you to see how often a video was played by the audience who saw it. By comparing play rates, you can see what drives prospective employees to inquire about job opportunities as well as what will secure new hires and ultimately retain them. <font size="3">Measure Engagement to Track Onboarding</font> Onboarding used to mean overextending multiple teams with endless meetings and forcing visual learners to sift through countless pages of documentation. Today, and especially for hybrid workplaces, video can equip new hires to execute their roles according to your unique procedures related to HR, Finance, and Legal. Producing onboarding videos not only tracks onboarding progress, it improves employee comprehension. For example, engagement is a video metric that shows how much of a video viewers watched. Watching for high engagement rates can ensure new hires are up to speed on company policies, while lower rates can identify communication problems with a given protocol. <font size="3">Measure Video Views to Support Development</font> Investing in your employee’s development is key to retaining them. Whether you’re training staff for management or training teams in a new technique, video allows you to upskill your workforce en masse. With a career development video library, you can track which skills your employees are most interested in learning. Total video views will not only show the most popular skills, it will show you which employees are the most eager to develop. This data not only informs the kinds of trainings to invest in, it can frame the conversation with individual team members during annual reviews. Harnessing Video’s Potential for Your Employees As the working world continues to evolve, businesses need to reevaluate the efficacy of their current internal communications methods. Indeed, over 80% of organizations see company culture as the most significant challenge that video is equipped to solve (Brightcove/HRD Connect). HR teams simply cannot afford to leave video on the back burner of their internal comms strategies. But with a good understanding of its data and applications, businesses can harness video’s potential to improve their employees’ experience. Justin Barrett Experience Management Connectors: AEM and Sitecore Enhancements Fri, 23 Sep 2022 13:00:00 GMT We’ve made some significant enhancements with our AEM and Sitecore experience management connectors so that they continue to deliver stellar video experiences for our customers. The Adobe-AEM-Brightcove Connector allows users to manage Video Cloud content and Players within their AEM environment, as well as embed videos in AEM pages. The updated connector supports several new features: Labels. Labels can be applied to videos within AEM and sync with Brightcove Studio when activated. Additionally, the admin console can create new labels and filter assets by them. Subfolders. Subfolders built in Brightcove Studio are created within AEM upon sync. Clips. Video clips can be filtered on each page of search results within the admin console. Scheduled Activation. OOTB AEM functionality can be used to schedule the activation of videos at specific dates and times. Playlist Creation. Video playlists can be created in the AEM environment. Multilingual Metadata. Multilingual metadata, or metadata variants, are visible within the admin console when a video is selected in search results. We also released an update to our connector for Sitecore 10.1 with additional functionality. Sync experiences and Players with their Video Cloud account Update or create new Payers from the connector and sync them with Video Cloud These updates allow our customers to take greater control of their content experience and reduce inefficiencies so they can spend more time creating innovative videos. For more information on Brightcove integrations, visit our integrations support page. Megan Felz How to Increase Video Views Mon, 19 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT You did it. You finally finished that video you’ve been working on for months. Now comes the moment of truth, the moment all that hard work finally pays off. You check your video analytics: 23 views. We’ve all been there. As frustrating as that is, trying to get more video views can be equally aggravating. That’s why it’s time for a better understanding of video views. What are video views, really? To product managers and engineers, video views are how many times a video is played. It means a play request was sent to the player, and the player began playing the video. To marketers, video views are opportunities. They’re opportunities to make potential customers aware of your brand, consider your product, and decide to shop with you. But these opportunities imply more than play requests. They assume the right audience is consuming your content. The reason marketers get frustrated with video views is because that’s the only metric they’re tracking. Remember when pageviews used to be the primary web KPI? Marketers quickly caught on that they also needed to track metrics like bounce rate and time on page to see how their content was performing. To be clear, video views aren’t a bad metric. In fact, video views are fundamentally the same metric as pageviews: they both measure the number of times your content was viewed. But if you want to increase how much your content is consumed by the right people, you’ll need to track other metrics. How to measure video views. Going viral used to be considered a legitimate marketing tactic. That is, until marketers realized that lots and lots of views from the wrong people didn’t help them achieve their goals. Tracking video views the right way means treating digital video like any other form of online content. And the same rules for measuring digital content also apply to video: you have to start at the beginning. <font size="3">Measuring Impressions</font> Before anyone can view your content, they have to arrive at it from another channel (like clicking off an email) or within a channel (like scrolling through a social feed). When they do, that’s called an impression. Impressions do not represent individual viewers (a single viewer can generate multiple impressions) and they do not indicate video plays or views. Whether hosted on a web page or a social post, an impression is when your video is loaded on that page or post. That’s the technical definition. To marketers, impressions measure how effective your video strategy is at attracting potential views. Impressions are key to tracking views because total views can only be as big as total impressions. So if you want more views, you’ll need to start by getting more impressions. Impressions can be tracked using your CMS, the native social platform, or third-party tools like Google Analytics or HootSuite. You can also track the results of videos distributed across multiple channels in one place with platforms like Brightcove. <font size="3">Measuring Play Rate</font> After someone sees your video, the next step is to play it—to view the content. This is where video views finally get some screen time, but even then, they’re not a solo act. Play rate is the percentage of loaded videos that were actually played: total video views divided by total video impressions. To marketers, play rate measures how effective your video strategy is at converting potential viewers into actual viewers. Play rate is also key to tracking views because total views are only as high as your marketing promotions are true to the video’s content. Play rate can be tracked using your online video platform or native social platform. However, not every tool automatically calculates the percentage. If you want to quickly compare videos by this metric, you’ll need to export the data into a spreadsheet, build your own dashboard, or invest in a solution that does all of that for you. <font size="3">Measuring Engagement</font> Tracking video views doesn’t end once a viewer presses play. For a view to matter, the viewer has to consume some meaningful amount of the video’s content. This is commonly referred to as engagement. Also called view-through or retention rate, engagement measures how much of a video was viewed. While video views aggregate all durations (from less than a second to the entire length of the video), engagement can show you the average amount of your video that viewers watched. To marketers, engagement measures how effective your video strategy is at converting actual viewers into potential or engaged customers. Engagement is key to tracking views because total views are only as valuable as the percentage of content consumed. Engagement can be tracked using your online video platform or native social platform. While most tools display this data in the form of a chart, Brightcove also provides an Engagement Score. This metric divides a video into 100 equal parts and calculates the average percentage watched per view, so you can compare videos with a single number. How to increase video views. Increasing video views primarily depends on serving up the right content to the right audience. You wouldn’t expect a video about Roth IRAs to get a lot of views among middle schoolers. Assuming you have the right content for the right audience, there are several tactics that can help you increase your impressions, play rate, engagement, and ultimately your video views. <font size="3">Optimizing Impressions</font> Video impressions are not unlike search impressions. Both metrics measure how much your content resonates with your audience. For example, SEO marketers optimize keywords to align with the queries of their target audience. In the same way, video marketers can pick the channels that most align with the behaviors of their target audience. Use display and paid social for top-of-funnel content. If your goal is awareness, you want high-volume, low-intent channels so your content can reach as far as possible. Use paid search or organic social for mid-funnel content. If you’re targeting buyers at the consideration stage, you want medium-volume, medium-intent channels. Your content needs to reach a good-sized audience interested in specific topics. Use email for bottom-of-funnel content. For buyers at the decision stage, you want the best low-volume, high-intent channel. Your content needs to reach an audience that knows you, likes you, and is primed to buy. Following this paradigm will help you set expectations for your video views. Decision videos will be limited by the size of your email list, but awareness videos are only limited by the size of your budget. Once you know how many views are possible, you’ll know how many to aim for and be able to identify areas of improvement. For example, low impressions don’t always mean you’re promoting in the wrong channel. It could mean your video player isn’t loading properly—especially if you’re using a free web player. Compare your source channel’s clicks against your impressions to confirm that your player is working properly. <font size="3">Optimizing Play Rate</font> Play rate is similar to email’s open rate (at least it used to be—thanks, Apple). Both metrics measure how well the content matches the marketing promotions. Just like email marketers optimize subject lines, video marketers can employ several tactics to improve the content experience. Set landing page videos to autoplay. Your audience already demonstrated intent to watch by clicking off of your source channel. Don’t make them click again. Tell viewers to watch the video. Vague CTAs make play buttons optional, not the next step. They also make autoplay unwelcome. Write clear copy. Don’t be clever. Don’t be cute. Explain your video as you would to a stranger in an elevator, not a friend at the bar. This applies to the title, description, and keywords. Create custom thumbnails. Never let the player decide how to promote your video. Select the still that best represents the content, and add concise copy for channels like social. Even with these tactics, play rate is dependent on the situation. Homepage videos compete with lots of other content for numerous audiences of varying intent. They will never achieve the play rates of landing page videos with a dedicated email audience, especially if the latter is set to autoplay. Without a doubt, the wrong copy can have just as much of an effect as the wrong content. But be sure to benchmark your play rates by video location before rewriting your campaign messaging. <font size="3">Optimizing Engagement</font> Video engagement closely mirrors social engagement. Both metrics measure whether your content was consumed. In a sea of competing content creators, social marketers focus on optimizing their content to be eye-catching—from custom graphics to emojis to the spacing and placement of the copy itself. Video marketers share the same opportunities to ensure their content keeps and retains their audience’s attention. Trim your intro. Whether you forgot to set your trim points or overindulged on a title screen, a long intro is a great way to lower your engagement. Your audience is busy enough being distracted by the rest of the internet, so hurry up and get to the point. Add subtitles. Subtitles not only make your content more accessible, they make it more engaging. An estimated <a href="" target="_blank" title="Mobile Videos Often Watched Without Audio, Study Finds">92% of mobile users</a> watch video with the sound off. Consider interactivity. Engagement can only get so high in a lean-back experience. Adding interactivity will transform passive audiences into engaged consumers. You also won’t have to wait for them to take the next step. You can put it right on top of the video. Like play rate, engagement is subject to a couple different factors like length and location. Shorter videos typically have higher engagement than longer videos, so be sure to benchmark your short- and long-form content. You don't want to try to compare the engagement of a 30-minute webinar against a 30-second sizzle. Similarly, videos promoted on higher-intent channels tend to have higher engagement than those promoted on lower-intent channels. You may have already found that it's hard to get social media viewers to watch much more than 30 seconds. Conversely, the majority of an email audience will probably give you up to three or four minutes of their time. Why you need more than video views. The whole point of a <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing">video marketing strategy</a> is to get people to watch your videos. But just trying to increase your video views will be surprisingly disappointing. You need to measure and optimize all of the metrics related to views before you see the ones that matter increase. Don't be intimidated by the jargon that comes with video analytics. Video is still content, and the metrics aren’t any different than the rest of digital marketing. The sooner you recognize that, the sooner you'll be able to adopt the best practices you've learned from other digital channels. You may even discover advanced strategies that also apply to video marketing. Alex Bersin Extend the Power of Streaming Video Across Devices with SDKs Fri, 16 Sep 2022 13:00:00 GMT Brightcove continues to maintain and enhance its Native SDKs for Android, iOS, and tvOS. The latest enhancements, Android SDK release 6.18.6 and iOS/tvOS 6.10.5, enable users to build powerful video apps for mobile devices and connected TVs. Brightcove’s SDKs can facilitate a simple player experience or feature-rich experiences, incorporating both analytics and advertising. Developers can easily adapt SDKs to work with Brightcove Video Cloud and the Brightcove Player and ensure that teams can deliver their content quickly and easily. A number of features are supported, including: Captions Advertising Analytics Content protection Live playback Standard UI controls 360° video Offline playback You can learn about supported features such as analytics, Digital Rights Management (DRM), and others, in greater depth on our Native SDK features support page. Brightcove’s Native SDKs were made with native platform developers in mind. They follow the latest standards in application development across each environment to ensure clean, minimalist code and to minimize the time and effort placed upon developers. Built on top of native player frameworks, Brightcove Native SDKs can take advantage of the speed, performance, and flexibility of the native OS. This allows developers to extend it into a complete video experience that is easy to integrate. Brightcove’s engineers are active in the iOS and Android communities and adhere to current standards. By following established conventions for memory, naming, and design patterns, our Native SDKs make it simpler to get started. To stay up to date with the latest enhancements and updates to Brightcove’s Native SDKs, or for instructions on creating video apps with Native SDKs, visit our SDK support page. Matt Noyes 4 Opportunities to Grow Your SVOD Strategy Fri, 16 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT How much do you think you know about your audience? Are you plugged into everything you need to know about your subscribers to retain them and keep them engaged? Enough to re-engage various cohorts and create marketing programs targeted just to them? Enough, even, for you or your executives to make confident decisions about what kind of content to invest in next? If you are, consider yourself fortunate. And maybe a little lonely. (Even Severance creator Ben Stiller had to attend Comic-Con to learn anything about the people who actually watch his Apple TV+ series.) At IBC 2022 – where 50 exhibitors and 20 conference sessions focused on this very topic – it became clearer than ever that streaming-content measurement and viewer analytics are becoming increasingly important for subscription services. Knowing your audience – being so tuned into its viewing habits, preferences, and behaviors that the programming you serve them next feels like it materialized from your analytics crystal ball – is vitally necessary for engaging and retaining subscribers. But it remains an area that’s notoriously difficult to conquer without focusing on the right technology investments. Here are some other newsworthy topics from IBC that prove media technology is evolving to address the most critical obstacle to SVOD success: keeping your subscribers watching. Data-Driven, Not Disconnected In many media businesses, marketing and content teams are dealing with too many disparate, disconnected sources of data across various departments. All the data in the world won’t help with subscriber loyalty, engagement, and retention if each piece is sitting in a different bucket or with different teams in the organization. Harnessing audience data from across the tech stack, aggregating it in one place, and harmonizing it so the connection points are relevant and causal is the key. Aggregated audience data allows you to: See engaged viewer usage trends and identify key audience cohorts to target for messaging Explore content titles with a deeper analysis of performance and decision-making around which titles to promote Discover content trends such as popular, top, first watched, and even which titles are better at holding the attention of various audiences Discern actionable insights to steer trials, promotions, reminders, and new content Once media businesses can observe the correlations across their workflows, their tech stack, and their content, they can proactively reduce churn, retain subscribers, and inform SVOD strategies. Audience Experience is Everything If there’s one thing everyone at IBC 2022 could agree on, it’s that audience experience means something different to everyone – but for media businesses it’s the lifeblood of their success. When your audience grows, your company grows. For some, it’s the performance of the player. When the viewer clicks “play,” the video must load immediately and start instantly – period. For others, it’s pristine quality, with the stream adapting automatically to the available bandwidth and streaming conditions, as seen in cutting-edge demos of Brightcove’s Context-Aware Encoding and Low Latency at the Ultra HD Forum. But the considerations we saw on display at the event are expanding to include innovations in personalization, AI-driven recommendations, and even ad relevance. Scaling Must Be Supported As media brands add livestreaming to their portfolios, the burden on technology becomes more complex and less predictable. It’s one thing to plan a live event with a fixed number of pay-per-view viewers; it’s quite another to have a news cycle rocked by an urgently breaking story that entire nations want to hear first – for instance, as happened during IBC with the death of Queen Elizabeth II. From encoding massive amounts of video all the way through the “last mile” deliverability in the viewer’s home, any number of bottlenecks can keep a stream from reaching its destination. Ensuring scalability – enough to power, say, a 2-million spectator live sporting event – will require more than brute force and faith in technology. Rather, according to Brightcove’s SVP of Product Strategy and Marketing, Marty Roberts, in the IBC issue of Digital TV Europe, to achieve scale with rock-solid confidence, “it’s important that a team is in place to resolve any critical issues in real time.” Multi-Monetization Strategies An important takeaway from several IBC talks was the importance of viewing your subscription business as only one in a portfolio of media offerings. Diversifying your revenue streams into a multi-monetization strategy is a sound way to ensure you reach all facets of your audience. From ad monetization through the passive “lean-back” experience of FAST, to OTT apps with content curated to your audience’s tastes, to premium transactional offerings and pay-per-view, the way to hook viewers into your brand will be to provide the content they want regardless of how they view it, and the experience they want when they’re viewing it. Overcoming SVOD Obstacles Here’s the reality: we saw clearly at IBC 2022 that media businesses are learning that they must use data-driven decisions to know which audiences to reach out to and to devise strategies to nurture longer-lasting viewer loyalty. It’s now clearer than ever that this isn’t just a fad or a passing trend, but for long-term growth and success, subscription media businesses need to crack the audience insights code if they want to compete. Ellen Grogan Repurposing Content for Social Video Marketing Tue, 06 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT Video is so much more than a one-and-done investment. It is an asset that can be dressed up, trimmed down, and modified to find new life in an omni-channel video marketing strategy. Here are a few important questions to ask yourself as you embark on creating a social video strategy: What are my audience demographics across various platforms? How can I best showcase and amplify my video assets through social media? What tools should I use to streamline these processes? We’ll take a look at each of these questions in more detail and offer best practices for getting the most out of your library of content with a sound social media video strategy. Know who you’re speaking to, and where. According to global research leader <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Biggest Social Media Trends for 2022">GWI’s Biggest Social Media Trends For 2022</a> report, user engagement on social media has stabilized, yet we’re making more purchases over social media than ever before. Understanding the demographics of your various audiences and what their social media habits are is central to creating a social video strategy that delivers the right message in the right format suited to its platform. What flies on LinkedIn may not appeal on TikTok. However, you can still use the same video assets on each of these platforms. Just be prepared to tweak caption copy, clip length, and other creative elements so your video drives engagement on each platform. Optimize your video library. Your video library holds a lot more content than you might realize. A single video is never a “single video.” It has the potential to be turned into unique video content across all platforms where your brand has a presence. Optimizing a single video across multiple platforms and touchpoints increases the ROI of the original content. This social video strategy also amplifies the message of the video, casting a wider net and drawing more potential customers to your brand. The key to optimizing existing content is being intentional about the way you use these valuable video assets. Given the size, makeup, and mindset of their audiences, social media channels should rank near the top of any priority list. But remember, you’re competing for the attention of people who are used to certain behaviors on each platform. In this kind of attention economy, you have to earn their time. Here are some ways to earn your audience’s attention and repurpose existing content for your social video strategy. <font size="3">Create snippets</font> Sometimes you have a great video asset that runs longer than the brief attention span most people have while scrolling social media. This is where snippets can help. Much like a movie trailer, snippets entice audiences and make them want to see more. What you’re offering with video content is an experience – social media is a perfect place to tease it. Snippets should be visually captivating to entice the user to stop the scroll. Some simple yet proven ways to capture attention include starting on an emotional close-up or using big text instead of relying on a voiceover. Including a call to action to like, share, or comment will also draw attention and create additional engagement. But be sure to bookend the snippet with that CTA, or you might miss the viewers who don’t watch to the end. Depending on the size of your marketing team and the resources available to you, snippets can be as simple as a single cut of a highlight or as complex as a trailer-like mash-up of peak moments. Both are effective ways to optimize video into smaller segments, so it’s really up to your discretion which you use. By creating a number of snippets that highlight different parts of your video, you can reach different audiences on different platforms by offering them tailored content. <font size="3">Match the platform</font> The trend of TikTok videos being shared to Twitter, Twitter posts being shared to Instagram, and Instagram videos being published on YouTube illustrates that the value of your content isn’t limited to one platform. However, people do generally go to specific social platforms for specific reasons. Facebook. Commonly used by people wishing to stay in touch with family, friends, and community. Twitter. Attracts the more media-savvy and politically vocal folks who enjoy being witty in small doses. Instagram. The gathering place of artists and people who communicate more effectively through visual mediums. LinkedIn. The platform where business professionals network and grow. TikTok. Home to Gen Z content creators and burgeoning young thought leaders. With this variety of targets to reach, it makes sense to post content that matches the platform. By creating intentional design and messaging features to make the most of what each platform has to offer, you can create more seamless experiences. Anything you can do to optimize your content for the platform you’re publishing on will make it more appealing to the audience there. Think about this both in terms of substance (tone, talking points, etc.) but also in terms of specifications. Most major social platforms offer video spec guidance to help ensure your content fits the feed or advertising format: <a href="" target="_blank" title="Facebook Video Ad Specs">Facebook Video Ad Specs</a> <a href="" target="_blank" title="How to Share and Watch Videos on Twitter">Twitter Video Specs</a> (scroll to “What are the limitations on video resolutions and aspect ratios that can be uploaded on the web?”) <a href="" target="_blank" title="What are the video upload requirements for videos on Instagram?">Instagram Video Specs</a> <a href="" target="_blank" title="LinkedIn Video Ads Specifications">LinkedIn Video Ad Specs</a> <a href="" target="_blank" title="TikTok Video Ads Specifications">TikTok Video Ad Specs</a> <font size="3">Change the tone</font> The same video set to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” plays differently when set to Boots Randolph’s “Yakety Sax.” You can easily adjust the tone of your video for a more serious or more casual audience by changing up something as simple as background music or which brand logo set you use. This is also a great way to test your message. If you find one version of your video is doing incredible numbers while another has barely made a blip, see what you can replicate from the success. <font size="3">Livestream to multiple channels</font> Livestreams have become popular and familiar events in business, entertainment, and even within our own social circles. Most platforms have native livestreaming features, but that limits your streaming efforts to a single platform audience. While you can cross-promote on other platforms, that isn’t nearly as effective as appearing to each audience in their native setting. Livestreaming to all your social platforms will give you the greatest reach. With the right video marketing tools, you can also monitor engagement and performance across platforms in real-time. This brings us to the next point: the right tools to make this all possible and practical. Put the right social media video tools to work for you. By employing a video marketing platform that integrates with your social media management tools, deploying your optimized social video strategy should be a snap. <font size="3">Centralize content management</font> Disseminating your video content from a centralized platform gives you a way to both manage your video library and track performance metrics over all stages of the process. To get the most out of your video on each platform, you’ll want to publish the content directly to the native player. Linking to video that is hosted elsewhere is a common – and costly – mistake. Algorithms favor native video, and platforms deliver more in-depth analytics for video hosted internally. A centralized content management platform makes publishing to multiple channels easy. <font size="3">Stay on top of performance</font> An enterprise video communications platform empowers you to streamline distribution, easily manage and access your full video library, and stay on top of performance metrics that will help you streamline your campaigns, even beyond social platforms. This omni-channel performance tracking gives you insight into opportunities to promote content on other channels. For example, if you have a case study that's blowing up on a page with heavy organic traffic, that case study is a prime candidate to try out on social. While each social media platform does offer its own sets of analytics, those metrics exist in isolation – within the walled garden of that platform. To complicate things further, not every platform tracks the same metrics, and you will find that certain platforms will change the metrics they track with frustrating frequency. The only real way to arrive at a reliable side-by-side comparison of performance metrics is to have the data tracked and analyzed in one platform. This coherent view across platforms gives you a fuller picture of how content is performing from platform to platform, audience to audience, apples to apples. Get strategizing with social media video. These tips and tools are a great way to get started on a social video strategy that will see results. Gaining buy-in for additional video production budget is always easier when you have success stories to share with the C-suite. By getting more mileage out of your existing video library and demonstrating the value of investing in the right tools, you can calculate a more accurate—and more impressive—ROI. Stephen Polakiewicz 4 Steps to Secure Video for Internal Communications Mon, 29 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT Remote work has become more prevalent than ever. Many workers are doing their jobs from home full-time or part-time. <a href="" target="_blank" title="Statistics On Remote Workers That Will Surprise You">One survey</a> found that 62% of employees now work remotely at least some of the time and 92% expect to be able to work from home at least one day a week. A modern <a href="" target="_blank" title="Why is Internal Communications Important for Your Business?">internal communications strategy</a> has to be ready for the reality of a hybrid work environment. Internal communications that could be done in office at a town hall meeting or a conference room now take place on Zoom. New employee onboarding can’t always be done in person, and even company culture has to transform to a digital-first experience in many cases. Further, internal communications can be difficult to juggle with a distributed workforce. When you want to make sure that teams are aligned on company objectives, resources, processes, and big milestones, it’s important to get the message across effectively. Otherwise, company culture can start to fragment and silos become a real challenge. Video is a powerful way to make sure that everyone in the company can still feel connected, whether they’re working in the office, at home, or on the road. But when sensitive internal information is shared, it’s also important for secure video to be integral to every new communication. The Importance of Securing Video for Internal Communications Would you want a competitor to see your onboarding video on YouTube? Or your engineering town hall? How about a brand strategy session from the leadership team? The answer is probably no. For most collateral in companies, security is easy. You can store documents and spreadsheets on a secure cloud platform accessible by VPN or keep sensitive customer data secured in a customer relationship management system. Videos, since they’re often produced by many different teams, can end up on channels where security isn’t quite as easy. Internal comms teams want to make sure that every relevant video is accessible – but not too accessible. Both internally and externally, access matters, whether it’s a new company direction or just a training video, secure video should be the foundation for your internal communications video strategy. Here’s how to make sure you can develop engaging videos that are both accessible and secure for your entire workforce: 1. Keep Videos in a Secure Platform. Password-protected streaming or social media websites can often be the go-to place for an internal comms video strategy. But if employees leave the company, are cookied at a public computer, or have credentials for confidential videos, sensitive internal communications could be accessed outside the organization. Finding a video platform for internal communications with built-in security can keep employee access streamlined, making videos more accessible and more secure. 2. Build User Permission Tiers for Video Access. Ensure you have control to set correct viewer access rights based on the category of video. Common categories for internal communication videos can include: Town Halls Training Sessions Workshops Employee Experience Culture New Hire Department-Specific Announcements Leadership Strategy Mentorship Corporate Responsibility Legal When you know the access tiers for each video category, you can use a video platform to assign administrative access to internal comms leaders and configure role-based access for other users. 3. Enable Single Sign-On (SSO) for Video Communications. Single Sign-On (SSO) support can guarantee that employees can access a third-party platform with the same email and password they’re already using with the company. This helps verify the identity of video viewers and allows them to seamlessly log in and engage with video content. For maximum security, your video solution should map identity to the full email address, including user domain (i.e., instead of granting access based on email domain (i.e. If your company offers different email aliases for a single user, you can easily include those in the parameters as well. With SSO, employees have a more seamless, secure video experience. 4. Connect Your Intranet with a Single Solution for Video Content. In an age of remote work, internal communications often end up on the company intranet. If teams are already used to checking the intranet for the latest updates, your video portal should be accessible and visible there. The key to secure video is making sure there’s a single solution to store internal media content that ensures only the right viewers get access to the right content. With an integration via SSO, employees can easily access a video portal from the intranet and discover the latest internal communications videos there. Integration via SSO enables the enterprise to control viewer roles and permissions by IT. If the video solution has API access, admin users can keep user permissions, video content, secure access, and identity verification completely secure. Likewise, internal comms teams can have the data rights management (DRM) that they need to make sure all the video content is viewed by the right teams. Understanding the Methodology for Securing Video Video is one of the most important ways to connect with teams today. It’s also one of the most common forms of content to be controlled by many different teams and distributed across many different channels. The first step for a better secure video strategy for internal comms teams is simple: find one video solution that can centralize all your content and be as customizable as your company needs. By building a single source of truth for all internal communications videos, you can make it easier for employees to discover what they need and how to watch it. Onboarding, announcements, town halls, executive updates, and other important videos all easily fit into an employee’s day-to-day process. Ashique Anwar How to Create Interactive Videos for E-Commerce Mon, 22 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT Interactive video is one of the biggest opportunities to turn video viewers into e-commerce customers. Why? Buyers are already interacting with video content before they make a purchasing decision, and most of the journey is done before they say they’re ready to purchase. So it’s critical to leverage this content in a way that tells you not only who these people are and what they care about, but allows you to draw them in and get them to convert. But buyers today are tough critics, and abandoned carts can come from the smallest details like page load times or too many clicks to purchase. Buyers demand a frictionless online shopping experience, and they’ll expect no less from shoppable video. Taking advantage of interactive video means incorporating video into your e-commerce strategy just like you would any other web-based tactic. How Video Plays Into an E-Commerce Strategy Ideally, every video in an e-commerce strategy has a purpose. As with any digital strategy where that next click is king, it’s the same with video. Interactivity is just a fancy term for getting to that next click to keep those people engaged. Further, there is a natural convergence between e-commerce video strategy and content marketing: A brand is trying to sell products, and there is an accompanying flow of nurturing content. The establishment of deferred intent is critical in order to build up to that purchase moment. Paired together, interactive video and content marketing ultimately lead to more transactions. So how do you get customers to convert and buy? This depends on using the right type of video to achieve your goal. Types of Interactive Videos for E-Commerce E-commerce videos specifically have unique features that ladder up to different results, so it’s important to decide on which type of result you’re looking for. Clickable videos. Promote products or services with a clear call-to-action throughout (like a “Buy Now” button). These videos usually have an ending title card with a link that takes the viewer to the product page where they can make a purchase immediately. Deep content videos. Inform prospects about products and build purchasing intent (think product videos or how-to videos). These videos might include a chapter menu, questions and polls, and resource links for viewers to start their own buying journey. Immersive videos. Build a branded, memorable experience for the viewer. These offer a personalized journey into the brand’s values, usually as branching or 360 video experiences. Though the intent isn’t always e-commerce, they can drive people to a brand’s brick-and-mortar store. Custom experiences. Personalization is powerful—it gets results. Address the customer by their first name in the video or provide viewer-specific content based on information gleaned from polls or quizzes. Types of Content for E-Commerce Interactive Videos Content matters as much as the experience. Knowing the consumer trends around video is imperative to creating a successful video e-commerce strategy. How-to/product review. The most popular types of videos on the web after entertainment and music videos are how-to and product reviews. Along with an appetite to understand products, prospects use Google to purchase products or solve problems, so the SEO benefits are significant. Brand overview. Brand overviews—another popular video type—communicate with customers, clarify the brand’s competitive differentiators, and create the expectation of follow-up content. They should be beautiful as well as branded, communicating with sight and sound, not just words. Behind-the-scenes. Behind-the-scenes content builds transparency and loyalty while putting the product front and center. It’s a rich vein of content that you can tap into over and over again, allowing your e-commerce strategy to feed your content marketing plan. Lifestyle. Lifestyle content showcases your brand and products, demonstrating their value in the real world with real people. Testimonials are some of the most powerful pieces of marketing for any brand, and lifestyle content captures this. Steps to Deploying E-Commerce Interactive Videos Once you know the role and importance of interactivity in your e-commerce strategy, it’s time to get started with interactive video. Expand your definition of shoppable video. Start with what you have. Whether you have a few videos or thousands, you can make them shoppable today with simple, clickable CTAs. Pro tip: CTAs on a video perform 3–4 times better than CTAs on a page. Select your best video(s). Choosing your best video is easy if you only have a few, but choosing among several thousands can be hard. In this case, it’s best to start with a good group of related videos. As you go, assess your current video performance and create a wishlist of what you’d like to improve upon or test in the future. Optimize throughout the customer journey. Embrace the whole buyer’s journey, and don’t just test interactivity on product pages—every video and page can be improved. Think about where the video is positioned on the page, and get creative with where you can subtly insert content. Scale your operation. Automation is key. For example, manually inserting product page links on a video or two works for a while, but your video strategy will need more to scale. With video platforms like Brightcove, dynamic CTAs can be automatically created and applied to a video based on its metadata, allowing you to nudge even more viewers further along the check-out process. Employ the right set of video marketing tools. There are many different measurement methods to employ to track e-commerce performance, from a cart system to web analytics. Regardless of which system you end up using, think about the calls-to-action on a product page, and then translate those web-based CTAs to video. Remember, interactive video operates like the rest of the web, so track e-commerce video as you would any other e-commerce web page. With the right types of videos aligned to your goals, you’ll find that interactivity fits seamlessly into your e-commerce strategy. And with interactive video, you’ll find the opportunities are just as flexible as anything else on the web. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Interactive is the Future of E-Commerce Video”. Patrick Farley Low Latency Live Fri, 19 Aug 2022 13:00:00 GMT Reducing latency in livestreams is a challenge that numerous Brightcove customers and others in the market strive to address. Consumers expect near-instantaneous streaming, but providing that is getting more and more complex. Several industries like sports, arts, live performance and others are introducing interactive elements to attract, retain, and further engage audiences. However, this requires reduced latency streaming to facilitate these experiences. As part of a series of recent enhancements, Brightcove provides low-latency, near-real-time streaming with delays reduced to approximately 5–10 seconds. These enhancements are supported in the following Brightcove player versions: Brightcove Player (web) release 6.62.0 and newer Native SDK for iOS release 6.10.3 and newer Native SDK for Android release 7.0.1 and newer There are numerous factors that determine whether a low-latency feed can be delivered (encoder, viewer bandwidth, etc.). Brightcove addresses the unpredictability of low latency streaming by falling back to a regular or standard latency stream if there are disruptions. In addition to Brightcove’s low latency capabilities, Brightcove also offers support and best practices for improving the quality of livestreams in its support materials and documentation. Further documentation and other materials is available on our support site, as well as more information regarding requirements for low latency source encoder setup: 30 frames per second, drop frame rate is not supported (29.97) Codec: H264 Profile: Baseline It's important to note that there are specific limitations not supported with livestreams using reduced latency: DRM SSAI Multi-language audio tracks Redundancy B-frames on the output For more information regarding low latency, steps to set up, or inquiries about enabling low latency on your Brightcove account, contact us or reach out to your Brightcove Account Manager. Matt Noyes Know Your ROI With Interactive Video Mon, 15 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT Calculating return on investment (ROI) has been a vexing challenge for marketers ever since companies began to invest in marketing. Given the complex nature of influencing purchase decisions via content, it’s often very difficult to illustrate a clear 1:1 correlation between marketing touches and sales revenue. Even with the metrics-rich environment of video marketing, there remains uncertainty around how exactly to demonstrate impact. Which metrics are measured, when they’re gathered, and what weight they are given can vary depending on campaign goals. Many emerging tools and innovations are helping provide clarity on the path to video marketing ROI, and interactive video is among them. Connecting the dots with interactive video. Video content is already a metrics goldmine. As marketers learn to think beyond only view counts, they’re discovering how repeat views, view duration, playback scrubbing, and behavior before and after viewing can paint a full picture of where a potential customer is along their buyer journey. Interactive video takes the experience of viewing video from a passive act and transforms it into an active conversation of sorts. Within this conversation is the opportunity for marketers to glean even deeper metrics by creating opportunities for buyers to take more actions within the video beyond playback. Making it easy to opt in. In an ideal world, marketers would always know who was interacting with their content so they could track the path to purchase from awareness through conversion. The reality is that the way marketers gather user data is changing. The <a href="" target="_blank" title="The Death of the Third-Party Cookie">phase-out of third-party cookies</a> means customers need to willingly provide data at some point along their journey for marketers to connect online behaviors with a real-world customer. Consumers won’t simply part with their data because you ask them to—they must receive something of value in exchange. This is why marrying the success of video as a content format with the conversational nature of interactivity is among the easiest ways to create that value exchange. When consumers feel empowered and heard, they are more willing to opt in. Interactive video offers an easy way to drive opt-ins—and it’s working! You can employ interactive features that allow consumers to bypass traditional steps on the path to purchase or make opting-in feel like the natural conclusion of a good conversation. <font size="3">Shoppable video</font> With add-to-cart functionality, shoppable videos take buyers directly from viewing a product video to an online store where the item is already in their cart. This eliminates the friction of several manual steps between point of interest and point of sale. Attributing these sales is simple and straightforward. <font size="3">Lead generation</font> Identifying the conversion stage with your video marketing is even easier with interactive video. Adding chapters to a product feature video allows viewers to “skip to the good part” and see the specific information they need to make a decision. Adding a lead gen form to the video experience allows customers to opt in while their interest is at its highest. Gaining buy-in for interactive video. If interactive video is such a powerful tool, why aren’t more marketers using it? A lot of what has been holding up interactive video comes down to the need for education. CMOs probably aren’t interested in the nuts and bolts of how to produce interactive content. However, they will perk up if you explain how interactive video plays to today’s audience and fits into current marketing trends and best practices, such as brand differentiation, personalization, engagement boosting, and more robust metrics. <font size="3">Powerful brand differentiation</font> Video is already a great tool for building brand awareness. By adding interactivity to your brand campaign videos, you create an experience for your audience that draws them into that brand moment. In terms of brand awareness, that message retention is the key to attracting customers who are not yet actively researching a purchase, so they’ll think of your brand first when they’re ready to buy. It all comes down to the difference between brand recognition and brand recall. Impressions and views can amplify brand recognition—people recognize your brand because they’ve seen it before. But what spurs sales is brand recall (remembering your brand without needing to see it). Engaging with interactive video creates a stronger connection to your brand in the minds of your customers, increasing brand recall and impacting the ROI of brand campaigns. <font size="3">Personalization opportunities</font> Personalization is the fastest way to grab your audience’s attention. Interactive video opens the door to a number of features that walk viewers through their buying decision, such as next video suggestions, questions that determine viewer interest, and interactive product overviews that allow them to skip around and explore the product features that matter most to them. <font size="3">Engagement boosting</font> Today’s consumers are more interested in conversations than lectures. We’re in the habit of consuming information in bite-sized pieces, often in settings where we can also offer our feedback. Recent data shows that 70% of marketers say that in terms of engagement, their <a href="" target="_blank" title="Comprehensive Interactive Video Statistics Guide for 2022">interactive video performed well or very well</a>, while only 1% said it performed poorly. Interactive video can boost your engagement by adding frequent checkpoints to your videos where you ask viewers questions. These questions can be tailored to the experience you’re creating—quizzes in education videos, preferences in product demonstration videos, and so on. This is where your team can get creative about driving engagement. <font size="3">Deeper measurement</font> As explained in Brightcove's webinar, Supercharge Your Video with Interactivity, the key to connecting interactive video campaigns to business results lies in integrated analytics, which help you understand this tactic’s impact in the broader context of other marketing activities. With solutions like Brightcove Interactivity, marketers can track a wide range of metrics including: Click-through rate from a video to a landing page Submission rate of in-video polls and surveys True engagement of individual leads and prospects (including dwell times, skips, and rewatches of specific sections) Direct answers to questions (at a user and audience level) Viewer navigation rate to specific sections of the video This is one model for measuring ROI based on internal benchmarks. As mentioned earlier, selection and weighting of interactive video metrics will vary based on the organization and its goals, but clearly this content format provides a great deal of data to fuel your integrated analytics engine. Start the conversation. Interactive video is unique in its ability to start a two-way conversation between your audience and your brand. Interactivity empowers your viewers and enhances the personalized experience. They can respond in real-time by navigating in-video menus, taking interactive quizzes, and making purchases with shoppable video features. Best of all, you can measure and track this journey all the way through. Patrick Farley Branching Best Practices for Interactive Video Mon, 08 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT Branching videos are the Cadillac of interactive content. From pre-production to post, interactivity is baked into every step of the content creation process. This makes them one of the most engaging types of interactive videos and one of the easiest to get wrong. If you’re just getting started with interactive video, you may not realize how different branching is from other interactions. But once you understand the power of branching video, you’ll better be able to apply our best practices and harness that power for your business. What is Branching Video? “Choose your own adventure” or branching is a type of interactive video used in content marketing that is getting more and more attention as customers come to expect a digital-first, personalized buying experience. First, it’s important to distinguish between branching videos and chapters in a video. Both are navigation tools, but they are designed differently and achieve different objectives. If a chapter is a fixed menu, then branches are a buffet. Chapters add a fundamentally linear form to a video, while branching is non-linear: branches allow viewers to explore a choice of topics. Branching sets up a user-driven scenario where a user can make a choice, and see the results play out. Branching can work in a single video (jump-to-time) or between videos (video-to-video branching). The Power of Branching in Interactive Video Branching video is beneficial both for the viewer and for the marketer. For the viewer, it gives them control of the video experience from the get-go, allowing them to explore topics that are relevant or interesting to them. In turn, this means they are more likely to complete the branching video, leading to higher engagement. Completing a video means they’re moving along the marketing funnel, learning about solutions to their challenges and getting closer to making a decision. For marketers, these viewer choices give marketers access to more data about what users are interested in, to improve future experiences. This is data that might not be readily available elsewhere, too. Audience surveys can be overly complicated, from formulating the right questions to tying responses back to business goals. The results also become stale after a while, too. Branching provides fresh, actionable insights on what customers like, don’t like, or want to see more of. Branching works best in scenarios with a lot of information to be conveyed, like testimonials, conference or webinar presentations, virtual walkthroughs/tours, and more – any opportunity where the viewer can navigate areas of personal interest or choice. Each viewer comes to the video with different background knowledge and different goals for viewing those videos. Branching video allows you to reach those goals much faster, much more efficiently, and provide a much happier and engaging experience. Five Best Practices for Branching Video Ideally, branching videos should be designed and produced with interactivity in mind from the start. When you’re writing the script, drawing up your storyboards, filming on set or in the studio setting up the shots, you’ll want to consider these best practices. Design for space. Design with your medium in mind. A lot of viewers are going to be on tablets or smartphones, so reserve half the screen for the talent or subject matter expert, and the other half for interactions. This signals to the viewer that this is an interactive video, and that there are actions they can take. Encourage interaction. Be very explicit in your call-to-action. Keep the interactions simple by having only two to three choices per branch, and ensuring the video’s targets are big and clickable so that the action is clear. Let your subject matter expert gesture toward or react to the choices available—this will increase interaction too. Pro tip: always let the viewer click back to a previous choice. Limit distractions. Stick with a simple background for any branching video. It doesn’t have to be white, but it shouldn’t be too eye-catching either. The underlying aim of a branching video is to have a conversation with the viewer, so don’t distract from that conversation. Timing is everything. Design the rhythm of the video as well as the visual look and feel of the video. Make sure each choice is onscreen for enough time for the viewer to read and comprehend it. Ten seconds is a good rule of thumb. Additionally, add 5-second bumpers, or sections of white or black or motion graphics, between the different choice sections to ease the transition. Don’t forget audio. Visuals are key, but don’t leave audio until the last minute either. Continue the audio track underneath the choice points and bumpers. This creates a more seamless experience for the viewer. But don’t forget #3 and ensure the audio isn’t distracting viewers from the action you want them to take. Our mantra is make video work like the rest of the web, and create a clickable, interactive experience where you can guide your experience. Video has never been like that, but with branching, now it is. Patrick Farley Getting Started with Interactive Video Mon, 01 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT Imagine a video that acted like the rest of the web. You could navigate a menu, skim to find something interesting, click on related links, even “like” what you’re consuming. That’s interactive video. For businesses, interactivity transforms passive audiences into engaged consumers. Instead of trying to win back their attention after the video, businesses can help their audiences take the next step while their interest is highest. Meanwhile, marketers can finally solve one of their biggest pain points: video attribution. Especially in a cookie-less future, tools that can connect marketing spend with revenue have never been more valuable. Interactive video can help you justify your video marketing budget while also meeting your customers’ expectations for engagement. Once you understand what it can do, you’ll see how an investment in interactivity can provide more insights into both your videos and your customers. What is Interactive Video? Interactive video does more than allow viewers to interact with a video. Interactivity enables you to easily create two-way communication with your audience, making the video experience more engaging for your viewers and more insightful for you. Each type of interactivity offers the viewer different experiences, from social media-like reactions to clickable related content links to “choose your own adventure” journeys. Each feature is also a data point, providing highly detailed engagement data that can be used to build comprehensive customer profiles. <div style="max-width: 900px;"><style> {padding-top: 56.25%;}</style><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></div><br> There are several different video interactions that high-end platforms like Brightcove offer. <font size="3">Overlays</font> Overlays allow you to place strategic, clickable messages throughout the video content. They provide a next step or action for viewers to selectively increase engagement. They also enable viewer-controlled experiences like pause on click or “are you still watching?” dialogs. And they can be used for e-commerce to sell directly through the video. Overlays can be utilized in different formats, including text overlays (text box format), image overlays (image or logo), and transparent/hotspot overlays (opaque or clear box placed over full or partial screen). <font size="3">Chapters</font> Chapters allow you to break up the video into sections, letting the viewer navigate directly to the content most relevant to them. This not only prevents a stale viewing experience, it provides detailed viewer analytics on which chapters they view, skip, and rewatch. Chapters can be customized with colors and timing, and they don’t need a table of contents to function; in fact, adding chapters without one can allow for purer behavior tracking. Videos with a table of contents encourage viewers to browse, whereas videos without one focus their attention on selecting the topic most relevant to them. <font size="3">Quizzing/Polling</font> Quizzes and polls allow you to get direct responses from your audience with in-video questions asked at the exact moment it makes the most sense. The responses can be used as a decision point to enable distinct next steps based on an answer, or simply as aggregated audience feedback. Quizzes can be multiple choice, “choose all that apply,” or open-ended responses. Different actions can be triggered at the completion of a quiz or on a pass/fail basis. Also, each answered question is a data point on your viewers’ preferences and behaviors that you can use to inform future marketing efforts. <font size="3">In-Video Web Content</font> In-video web content allows you to include content from external sources on the video for a more seamless and uninterrupted customer experience. This means next steps or additional content can be presented in the video itself without the risk of losing viewer attention. It also increases the flexibility of the kind of content that can be used. In-video web content can use any external content that is iFrame-compatible. <font size="3">Personalization</font> Personalization allows customized interactions to appear on the video, such as displaying the viewer’s name. Viewer-specific elements in videos not only capture attention and encourage engagement, they improve the overall experience, which in turn improves the viewer’s loyalty. Personalization can be controlled by user input, metadata, or URL parameters. <font size="3">Branching</font> Branching lets you create ties between in-video overlays to have a connected, linked experience. Viewers are able to control the experience, leading to higher engagement with the content. This generates more data points about what interests viewers and can inform a hierarchy of interest to improve future experiences. Branching can work in a single video (jump-to-time) or between videos (video-to-video branching), setting up a viewer-driven scenario where viewers can make choices and see how those choices play out. <font size="3">Viewer Sentiment</font> Viewer sentiment allows you to gather feedback from audiences in real time by letting them rate their experience. Lowering the effort to respond can yield higher response rates than more involved forms offer, generating more data that can be used to improve the user journey. Viewer sentiment collection formats include thumbs-up/thumbs-down, emoticons (sad, neutral, happy), and a five-star rating system. Why Should You Use Interactive Video? Interactive video isn’t just another short-lived trend or fad. In fact, <a href="" target="_blank" title="Interactive Video">the first interactive film</a> predates CGI by several years (1967’s “The Cinema Machine” allowed the audience to select scenes that were manually switched by camera operators). It’s only been a matter of time and technology before interactive video became mainstream. For example, according to Brightcove’s exclusive research, 55% of B2B decision-makers today value interactivity nearly as much as speed and load time. Similarly, 83% of consumers—specifically, those who spend the most money online—agree that interactive features are helpful as they shop. What does this mean for video marketers? According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Why You Should Leverage Interactive Videos">Hubspot</a>, 28% of marketers are already using interactive content in their videos. If you’re running a SWOT analysis on your video marketing strategy, go ahead and add that to the Threat column. It means at least one out of four of your top competitors are likely using interactive video. Experienced marketers know better than to adopt a new technology just to keep up with the competition. There needs to be a clear business case for the investment. And interactive video has three key benefits for any business: More engagement. Once a viewer has interacted with the video, we see every metric increase. Not only do they watch more of the current video, they watch more and interact more with all your videos. More conversions. In our experience, using interactive CTAs notably increases a video’s conversion rate. For example, videos with CTA overlays see a 3–4x conversion improvement over videos with CTA’s outside the video. More data. Especially when you <a href="" target="_blank" title="Marketing Automation Platforms on the Brightcove Marketplace">integrate your video platform with your CRM and MAP</a>, the insights from this data can inform everything from finding new customers with lead generation forms to driving new revenues with in-video purchases. How Do You Start Using Interactive Video? Businesses with mature video marketing strategies may think adding interactive features to every video is too time-consuming. Likewise, businesses just starting out in video may think interactivity is too complex to justify the effort. But whether you have hundreds of videos or just a few, getting started with interactive video doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five tips for successfully incorporating interactivity into your video marketing strategy: Start with existing videos. Grab one of your most popular videos, and write down the main goal of the video (lead qualification, compliance, audience engagement, et cetera). Only add interactions that enhance the video’s goal. Is the video requesting that an action be taken? Allow the viewer to take that action inside the video with a form or link. Is it teaching something? Add a text overlay to highlight key points or add an in-video quiz. Add no more than one to three interactions on your first video. Some of the simplest and most valuable interactive features are your brand/logo with a link to a landing page, a name-capture form, and quizzes to assess how well the content is understood. Mind your data. Metrics vary from video to video. Sometimes you need to track views and engagement. Or, as with interactive video, you need to track interactions. Ultimately, a video’s success should be measured based on a viewer taking the desired action. Ensure your video metrics support your business goals. Get feedback from others. Feedback can reveal areas for improvement that you are not used to looking for. Once your colleagues have provided their feedback, it will help determine new and better places to add interactions. Optimize Your Video Strategy with Interactivity Interactive video is just video that meets the same expectations we have for other forms of web content. Ever been frustrated by menu-less homepages, rambling articles, or unlinked sources? Now you know how you should also feel about digital video that isn’t interactive. Your audience is ready for interactivity. And armed with the direct attribution and behavioral data it offers, so are you. Patrick Farley Using and Measuring Video Throughout the Buyer Journey Mon, 25 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT This era of explosive technology we’re living through has B2B marketers scrambling to develop a sound methodology around ever-evolving video tools and platforms. While video marketing remains one of the most effective ways to usher people through the buyer’s journey, video alone should not do all the heavy lifting. Neither should it be an afterthought. Ideally, video should be a complementary component of a complete campaign, developed and executed strategically. B2B marketers are still learning how to find this middle ground, where the video content they create is produced and deployed with measurable goals in place. What’s needed is an increase in focus, and alignment with the buyer’s mindset as they navigate a complex decision path. The following guidance will help your team craft a data-driven video marketing strategy that delivers the right content at the right time to the right audience. Get your data in order. Data is a powerful tool. Unlike other forms of marketing content, video offers metrics that go deeper, such as view duration. The data derived from video can help you obtain a complete view of the buyer’s journey, but to see it clearly, this data needs to be connected. Integrating the tools you use to manage, distribute, and track your video content is the fastest way to access the meaningful metrics that can drive your video strategy. With a seamless flow of data between your CRM, website, ad platform, and other tools, you can gain insight into your customer and their online behavior that will shape your campaigns as you go. Not only will you know who’s watching, what they’re watching, and for how long, but you will be able to see what other content they’ve consumed, where it was consumed, and the pathway of touchpoints that led them through other channels to your content. Pinpoint movement in the buyer’s journey. With this data in hand, your marketing team can work on identifying movement within the buyer’s journey so they can make more intentional decisions around lead nurturing. By reviewing historic video engagement data, you can extrapolate which content worked best for clients at various stages of the journey. These are the metrics to monitor at each stage: <font size="3">Awareness</font> Brand awareness is a vital part of developing brand salience, attracting talent, and casting a wide net for future audience growth. View count and play rate are the most telling metrics in the awareness stage. The more views, the more folks are thinking about your brand. A good play rate means more of the right people are aware of your brand. <font size="3">Consideration</font> Buyers at this point of the journey are looking for a solution to a problem. They’ve started exploring possibilities and are researching ahead of reaching out. To find what’s working at this stage, you’ll want to dig down into the metrics that deliver data on time spent viewing. The more engaged your audience is, the more they’ll remember about your brand and product the next time they’re looking for a solution. To make discovery of this metric a lot less time-consuming, Brightcove has developed an engagement score that analyzes overall engagement with your video and assigns a score based on number of views at each point in time across the total length of the video. <div style="max-width: 900px;"><style> {padding-top: 56.25%;}</style><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></div> <font size="3">Conversion</font> While it is possible to see the results of a conversion based on lead capture data, it isn’t something that shows up in the video metrics. There is no single piece of data you can look at and conclude, “At timestamp 2:41 in the third video we published this month, we earned a conversion!” Sure, you could embed a lead form in every video (which is a great way to fatigue your audience and depress engagement). But that won’t show how many future conversions the video contributed by keeping the lead engaged. This pivotal point is the product of all the touchpoints that came before. Those are the metrics you want to focus on to ensure you’re moving your leads to that conversion point effectively. Touchpoint mapping helps you see where a video falls along the path to conversion and allows you to identify optimization opportunities. For example, after generating a lot of awareness with display ads, maybe you decide to embed a product review video at the top of your homepage. Just as you hoped, it has lots of views and a high play rate (awareness metrics), indicating the right people are viewing the content. However, it has a really low engagement score (consideration metric), and most of those viewers leave your site and never come back. Though they were clearly interested in your brand, they weren’t ready to buy your product. They were still researching solutions, not choosing the best product, and your video addressed the latter, not the former. Remember, the right audience at the wrong time is the wrong audience. <font size="3">Retention</font> Bringing the journey full circle, you once again want to pay attention to engagement numbers. MAP integration can show you if new customers are watching onboarding and training videos, if existing customers are engaging with video content about add-on products and services, and if new users within existing accounts are engaging with video content. Once you understand these trends, you can make changes to optimize your retention strategy. Build a strategic video marketing plan. You’ve got the data. You know what metrics to monitor. Now it’s time to build a video marketing strategy across the full buyer’s journey. Again, let’s look at each stage of the journey and consider what types of video are most effective at driving those metrics, getting your audience engaged, and capturing lead data when buyers are ready to talk. <font size="3">Awareness</font> The <a href="" target="_blank" title="The 95:5 rule is the new 60:40 rule">95:5 rule</a> states that at any point in time, only 5% of buyers in your category are in-market for what you’re offering. You want to capture the attention of those other 95% so when they are ready to buy, your brand is top-of-mind. Videos that are effective at this stage include educational, explainer, and brand videos. Audiences will see these videos through paid ads, video syndication, or on social media. These videos will ignite the audience’s interest and help create mental associations with your brand. <font size="3">Consideration</font> The awareness videos have done their job and active buyers are ready to look to you for a solution to their problem. Videos that deliver for buyers at this stage are ones that focus more on buyer pain points and the direct solutions you offer that can help them solve their challenges or achieve desired business outcomes. You should be referring to your products at this stage, but not in a pushy or overly promotional way. Put viewer value at the forefront with practical insights and explainer videos that address specific problems and actionable solutions. <font size="3">Conversion</font> One of the best ways to gain buy-in is to have other people speak positively on your behalf. Customer testimonials and other forms of social proof are powerful tools at the conversion stage. Under pressure to use their budgets wisely, buyers want to know that other organizations have experienced success with your product. At this stage, you’ll want to include a lead capture form so you can facilitate a next step of sales outreach. Make a compelling pitch and be clear about what users can expect if they share their contact info. <font size="3">Retention</font> Once buyers have experienced a win with your product, they’re ready to discover what else you can do for them. Videos that cover new features, updates, and new products will keep your current customers excited about continuing to do business with you. This is also an opportunity to build community and deepen rapport, so think about ways to showcase your company culture and even the avid fans in your customer base. It’s time to be strategic with video. You don’t need to deploy your video marketing strategy with a firehose. Nurturing leads is best done with a watering-can approach—purposeful and measured amounts delivered at the right time. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Video Marketing Best Practices for Better Results”. Karin McConkey 4 Ways Video Solves the Challenges of Hybrid Workplaces Thu, 14 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT Hybrid working models have many advantages. Flexible work hours. Increased productivity. The ability to split time between office and home. And best of all: no daily commute. But hybrid workplaces have their challenges, too. Remote employees may feel disconnected. Communication and alignment can suffer. And how do you nurture a strong company culture when people are rarely in the same place at the same time? That’s where video comes in. Video is a powerful tool for engaging, unifying, informing, and training a hybrid workforce. Here are four proven strategies for using video to improve hybrid work. 1. Enhance internal communications. There’s no better medium than video for telling a story or making an emotional connection, which makes adding video to your internal communications strategy a powerful way to energize and unite your hybrid workforce. What’s more, 48% of employees consider <a href="" target="_blank" title="Value of Visuals Infographic">video the most engaging form of communication</a> (compared to only 15% of employees who say email is most engaging). There are countless opportunities to enrich the employee experience and strengthen company culture with internal comms video. Showcase company values and vision in executive interviews. Develop video series that advance corporate goals like diversity or employee wellness. Recap earnings calls, award ceremonies, product introductions, and more. A steady stream of video communications can motivate and help retain employees, whether they work remotely or on site. 2. Connect with virtual events. The worst of the pandemic may be over, but virtual internal events remain popular—and with good reason. Digital events offer the reach and flexibility required for a hybrid workplace. They are more inclusive than in-person events, eliminate travel time and costs, and allow you to tap into a deeper bench of speakers. Turn company events into an opportunity for long-term employee engagement by livestreaming all-hands meetings and town halls, then making recorded sessions available for playback. Remote and in-office staff can watch event content when and where it’s convenient, with the option for repeat viewing. Making company meetings more accessible increases employee participation and the ROI of your events program. <br> <br> <div style="margin-left: 5em;"> <strong>Learn how Akamai uses digital events to connect a global workforce—and achieve a 62% attendance rate—in this <a href="" target="_blank" title="Akamai PLAY 2021 Session">session from PLAY 2021</a>.</strong> </div> <br> 3. Take training to the next level. Video learning is an excellent fit for a hybrid workforce. Trainers can lead live classes with large, dispersed teams. Managers can hold one-on-one coaching sessions with direct reports who work remotely. Employees can watch on-demand video courses at their own pace, in their own space. And with a dedicated video destination, it’s easy for everyone, everywhere to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. There are many tips and techniques for using video to increase training effectiveness and employee engagement. For example, video is an ideal delivery method for microlearning. You can boost knowledge retention by breaking long training content into several short videos with specific learning objectives. Adding quizzes, overlays, and other interactive elements allows you to deliver a compelling, lean-in learning experience in a hybrid workplace. 4. Improve recruiting and onboarding. Hybrid work has forced companies to evolve recruiting and onboarding strategies, with video playing a valuable role in the revamped process. Recruitment videos can increase hiring success at a time when hybrid working models make every employer a competitor for talent. Video job descriptions can help attract the right candidates faster. And video interviews make it easy to connect with prospective employees wherever they’re located. You can accelerate and standardize the onboarding of a hybrid workforce with a hub of on-demand videos for everything new hires need to know. Consider developing a welcome video that describes who you are as a company and what your business stands for. Introducing new employees to your company culture is a must, especially when they’re remote. Department overviews, HR procedures, and IT policies also make helpful onboarding videos. Beyond basic video conferencing. Effectively engaging a hybrid workforce requires more than a simple video conferencing tool. These basic products are fine for one-off meetings and peer-to-peer conversations. But they don’t address all the needs and possibilities of the hybrid world. A robust video communications platform allows you to engage a hybrid workforce in more compelling, innovative, and secure ways. When considering video technology options, make sure you can: Create a branded destination where employees can explore and stream all training and internal comms videos. Deliver live and on-demand video experiences so employees can watch what they want, when they want. (Yes, video conferencing software can record meetings. But the recordings aren’t indexed, so they are hard to organize, search, and share.) Leverage rich analytics to track and maximize the impact of training and internal comms videos. Introduce interactivity into training and internal comms videos to keep employees interested and involved. Protect company information with security controls that restrict video access to the right employees. Video makes hybrid work. As the prospects for a full return to the office fade, companies must overcome the challenges of informing and inspiring a hybrid workforce. Integrating video into internal communications and training programs is an effective strategy to create a best-in-class employee experience for corporate and home offices. With the right video technology, you can build a cohesive team, sustain a strong company culture, and keep people connected, motivated, and learning—no matter where they work. Shwetha Anandan Are Mobile Frameworks the Best Option for OTT Apps? Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:00:00 GMT Every OTT platform needs mobile apps. According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="The State of Mobile in 2022">AppAnnie</a>, a staggering 239 billion hours were spent using OTT streaming apps for mobile video across the globe in Q4 2020. Furthermore, OpenX notes that the average OTT user will watch content on three different devices and three different apps (<a href="" target="_blank" title="2019 Consumer OTT Report">OpenX</a>). Not having a mobile-first strategy in 2022 could be fatal, especially if your business model is SVoD and your subscribers expect to be able to watch on their phones. However, Steve Jobs changed the world with the iPhone in 2007, which resulted in the subsequent emergence of two competing platforms (iOS and Android). Consequently, developers and companies have been grappling with threaded problems of building OTT app experiences for separate ecosystems with vastly different programming languages. There have been multiple attempts over the past decade to overcome this by creating frameworks that empower a single engineer to ship to the App Store and Google Play, such as PhoneGap, Ionic, and Cordova. What is a Mobile Development Framework? Mobile development frameworks are software libraries that provide apps a structure to interact with different mobile environments. They’re particularly useful to OTT businesses because they have ready-made components that can be reused and customized for different solutions, saving valuable time for the project team. Reducing the time-to-market means less overhead for the business, which can free more money to invest in content and subscribers. This is important in such a competitive industry and in parts of the world where budgets for OTT app development can be limited. Challenges with Mobile Development Frameworks React Native is the current framework powerhouse because it can be used to build iOS and Android apps using JavaScript, the world’s most popular programming language. Created by Facebook, it’s used to build apps that can be installed directly onto a user’s phone via an app store. These apps can take full advantage of a device’s features and processor, providing a powerful and immersive user experience. However, they often struggle with the intense demands of video playback, causing unexpected headaches for developers who haven’t worked with video and mobile apps before. The React Native framework uses a JavaScript Bridge, which is a layer that allows the underlying JavaScript and the native mobile code to talk to each other. When an app is running, the bridge has to be open continuously, and this becomes particularly busy when running CPU-hungry features such as video playback. This ultimately affects app performance and introduces frustration for unprepared engineers. Google has built a newer mobile framework called Flutter, which is written in a language called Dart. The major difference to React Native is that Flutter doesn’t require a bridge. Instead, it works its magic directly in the native code. As a result, Flutter apps don’t suffer from the same performance issues with video. Apps can also be built much more quickly since Flutter has more Google-provided widgets and libraries that come directly with the framework. React Native, on the other hand, relies heavily on third-party libraries. The downside is that there are very few Flutter developers and it takes time to learn. It’s still very much in its infancy, and it’s frequently updated by Google. Time will tell if Google continues to maintain Flutter and whether it can match React Native for popularity. Brightcove and Mobile Development Frameworks Brightcove doesn’t support frameworks in our mobile SDKs because a framework is only great until it’s not. Our focus is ensuring our customers and their audiences get the best video playback experience possible. However, our Global Services team can provide a wrapper encapsulated with our mobile SDKs so that they can be compatible with an app built in React Native. Our React Native wrapper offers basic playback features, including DRM support. Alternatives to Mobile Development Frameworks Although a quicker go-to-market might be tempting, if you want to get the optimal performance and user experience with video, then building OTT platform apps natively is the best option. Anybody serious about having high-functioning OTT mobile apps will go down the native path, even if it means a longer and more expensive time-to-market. It also tends to be better in the long term in terms of business support. There will always be developers who can iterate and scale an existing native app if the OTT platform is successful. Brightcove’s Global Services team builds natively as we strongly believe it provides a better return on investment. Attracting and retaining users with a high-performing app is a crucial business strategy. As the world gets more and more digital, OTT businesses no longer need the best mobile apps—they demand them. Before jumping into this rapidly growing market, be sure to choose an app development option that can grow with your business. Brian Acker B2B Video Marketing: Millennial Buyers Deep Dive Mon, 06 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT Millennials are the first generation to have grown up in the world of multimedia and, as a result, have more access to the content they consume and are more critical when it comes to what they view. Our research study, “B2B Video Marketing: The Power Of Video In The B2B Buyer’s Journey”, examined the role that video plays throughout the B2B buying process. Due to Millennials’ unique preferences, it’s worth taking a deeper look into how ingrained video is in their content consumption habits. Key Highlights 96% of Millennials say video is important when deciding to move forward in the decision-making process. 81% of Millennials say they prefer video over written formats for troubleshooting. 80% of Millennials say they prefer video over written formats for learning how to use a product or service, and 70% of Millennials say that video is the most helpful content format when creating awareness of business-related problems.<br> Marketing to B2B Millennial Decision-Makers Marketing to Millennials is no longer future-thinking; it is marketing to today’s B2B buyers and decision-makers. Over half (52%) of respondents self-identified as Millennials between the ages of 26 and 41 years old at the time of the survey, and 42% of this Millennial group are currently in VP/SVP and executive roles at their respective organizations. Nearly all Millennials (96%) say that video is important when deciding to move forward in the decision-making process, and for 70% of them, video is the most helpful content format when creating awareness of business-related problems, beating out other formats significantly. Generational Differences: Viewing Frequency Millennials have developed different habits and expectations than the generations before them when it comes to consuming business-related content. Our research shows that video is the overwhelming preference for this group. It is essential for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies to meet these demands. If you haven’t transformed your marketing with video, you’re behind the curve and will likely miss enormous opportunities to engage with this demographic. Millennials watch far more video than generations before them, with over one-quarter (26%) watching video 10+ times in the last three months, compared to just 9% of those in the Generation X and Baby Boomer generations. Similarly, one in five professionals in the older generations report watching no business-related video at all in the last three months, compared to approximately one in twenty (6%) Millennials. Video Impact Post-Purchase Millennials feel strongly about the impact video has in the post-purchase stages of a B2B buying journey. Nearly all (97%) professionals in this age group agree that video content and communication is useful in the post-purchase stages of their buying journey. A significant portion of this group prefers video over written formats for post-purchase situations. For instance, 80% of Millennials prefer video for learning how to use a product or service, and 81% prefer video over written formats for troubleshooting. In what ways do Millennials find video most helpful? Over half (53%) report that video is most helpful in sharing information with peers/colleagues who could also benefit from their recent purchase. Video Availability is Important to Millennials So how can B2B businesses reach today’s increasingly Millennial workforce? Have video content available for prospects and customers to explore and engage with throughout their entire buying journey. This means not only hosting video content on your company website but meeting your customers with video across all touchpoints throughout their journey with your brand. Jillian Ryan Social Publishing Integrations: LinkedIn and Hootsuite Fri, 03 Jun 2022 13:00:00 GMT It’s important for our customers to reach their audiences where they are, and these days, social media is a primary location. That’s why at Brightcove we continue to maintain, update, and add integrations for social channels. We’re pleased to announce that Brightcove now supports publishing to LinkedIn. Just create a “LinkedIn destination” in the Social Module, and you can distribute content directly to the millions of professionals across LinkedIn’s site. You can also fully configure the default settings of your post, including post info, visibility, and captioning, so that it displays the way you want it to. Additionally, you’re now able to publish from Hootsuite. Your Brightcove account can be added to Hootsuite Streams, allowing you to select videos and distribute them across social platforms. This provides a significant boost for publishing video content across social platforms and gives even more flexibility to teams who use these channels. Over <a href="" target="_blank" title="Social Media Video Statistics Marketers Need to Know">half of marketers</a> indicate video is the most valuable type of content for accomplishing their social marketing goals. It’s more important than ever for organizations to have the tools they need to stay competitive. At Brightcove, we’re always looking for ways to keep you at the top of the pack. Evolving our social integrations is one way we do that. Megan Felz B2B Video Marketing: Executive Buyers Deep Dive Fri, 03 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT Executives play a primary role in major purchase decisions made for their company, but how do executive-level decision-makers utilize and appreciate video in a business setting? Our research study, “B2B Video Marketing: The Power Of Video In The B2B Buyer’s Journey”, examined the role that video plays throughout the B2B buying process. Due to the role executives play in that process, it’s worth taking a deeper look into how they engage video. Key Highlights 95% of executives say that video is important in building trust in an organization’s ability to deliver on its promises. 93% of executives say they would be more likely to purchase from a business that has video content readily available for them to consume. 70% of executives watched videos for work on five or more occasions over the last three months to help them in their purchase decisions. Executive Habits and Preferences Executives are consuming videos frequently, with 70% having watched videos related to a purchase decision on five or more occasions in the last three months. Compare this to just 39% of non-executives, and we see that executives rely on video far more than others for B2B purchasing. What are executives watching? Product reviews rank at the top of the list of types of videos most frequently watched by executives, followed by product demos and live videos such as webinars. Reaching Executives For marketers trying to reach the executive audience, it is critical to use video content. Our research indicates that executives connect with, and prefer to interact with, video far more than with other content formats. Ninety-three percent of executives say they would be more likely to purchase from a business that has video content readily available for them to consume (with over half saying they would be significantly more likely). When reaching the executive audience, video prevails over written formats. 92% of executives prefer video over written content when viewing an explanation of a complex product or service. 90% of executives prefer video over written content when learning how to use a product or service. 85% of executives prefer video over written content when learning about a business.<br> <div style="text-align: center"> <img src="//" alt="Executive Buyers Value High-Quality Videos" width="450"/> </div><br> Building Trust with Executives Executives trust video and are more confident in brands that have video. Nearly all (95%) executives surveyed say that video is important in building trust in an organization’s ability to deliver on its promises, with 75% saying it is extremely important. This trust and confidence are paramount in setting executives up for sales outreach. After consuming a brand’s video content, 98% of executives say that they would be more receptive to sales communication from them, and when being introduced to sales or customer service representatives, 92% of executives report preferring video most or all of the time. Which forms of content do executives find most compelling? When comparing potential solutions, executives find videos (63%) and research reports (50%) to be the most compelling forms of content to help with their purchase decision. Gaining Buy-In From Leadership Nearly three-quarters (73%) of executives say that video is extremely helpful throughout the decision-making process for their company. As marketers seek buy-in from leadership, video is easy to share and can be quickly viewed by executives evaluating businesses to work with. How is it most helpful? Executives list learning how to solve a problem, as well as learning about a product/service, as the top ways video is most helpful to them in making a business-related purchase. Here are some tips for packaging video content to present to executives: Consider videos that are more solution-based with a value message. Nearly half (47%) of executives say that learning how to solve a problem they have is how video can be most helpful to them as they make a purchase decision. ROI is always a great message for presenting a solution to executives. Always make sure there are numbers to back up your proposals. Customer testimonial videos resonate well with executives—particularly when they are from a similar size company in the same industry. Forty-three percent of executives report that hearing what other customers think of a product or service is a top way in which video is most helpful to them during the decision-making process. Jillian Ryan MENA’s OTT Opportunity and Why 2022 is the Year to Seize It Thu, 02 Jun 2022 21:00:00 GMT The OTT market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is growing substantially. With over 516 million internet users in the region (higher per capita than global internet penetration), and year-over-year growth between 2.9% and 4.0% through 2026, more and more of the population will be online, according to <a href="" target="_blank" title="eMarketer">eMarketer</a>. Increasing internet users in MENA presents immense opportunities surrounding broadcast and content. Recent research from eMarketer and GWI further breaks down the potential by country in this burgeoning market: In <a href="" target="_blank" title="Global Media Intelligence 2021: Egypt">Egypt</a>, digital video has more viewers than live broadcast television with 92.1% of internet users in the country streaming video-on-demand in the first half of 2021. Further, SVoD in Egypt jumped from 46.8% of internet users in 2020 to 57.2% in 2021. In <a href="" target="_blank" title="Global Media Intelligence 2021: Israel">Israel</a>, live broadcast television still sees more of consumers' time spent, but digital video did have substantial growth in 2021. Nearly two in three internet users in Israel said they watched SVoD services in 2021, up from 61.2% in the year prior. In <a href="" target="_blank" title="Global Media Intelligence 2021: Saudi Arabia">Saudi Arabia</a>, the vast majority (95.5%) of internet users watched digital video in 2021–this is more than the share of internet users that spent time with broadcast TV (91.4%). Furthermore, internet users are streaming video for two hours per day. In the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Global Media Intelligence 2021: United Arab Emirates">United Arab Emirates</a>, digital video also beat traditional TV with a greater percentage of internet users watching streaming over broadcast–95.4% vs. 86.1% respectively. And more users paid for digital streaming than in years prior. MENA’s Primed Market The growth in the MENA region is clear from the research, and it was also evident at CABSAT 2022–one of the world’s biggest events for the global satellite, broadcast, and filmed content industry. Joined by our partner (and this year’s “Growth Accelerator” award winner), <a href="" target="_blank" title="MAAS World">MAAS World</a>, the event was attended by thousands of the world’s leading industry figures. MAAS World specializes in providing complete and customized end-to-end OTT solutions. Their Executive Director, Adeeb Abed, noted that the market is indeed primed for digital video: “We felt the appetite of regional broadcasters, publishers, and content creators to adapt VOD, streaming, and live services. As more people shift to online video, there are more opportunities to maximize revenues and attract more customers, whether in SVoD or AVoD models. In fact, a number of our customers that own huge archives of legacy content are powering up their growth through OTT-based distribution models, whether in B2B or B2C models. The video streaming industry is on the rise, and it will be interesting to see more monetization alternatives evolve in the near future, especially in the Metaverse landscape.” But quality content in a digital format isn’t the only key to tapping into the MENA region’s growth: “Regional OTT providers are also striving for better streaming and delivery service, especially when it comes to livestreaming. Their customers are paying subscription fees for a premium experience, which puts increased pressure on broadcasters to deliver not only good content but premium quality service. We have a number of service providers engaged with us to explore the possibilities of how to improve their delivery service. They’re even keen to change technologies, workflows, and architecture as they realize how quickly users can churn given the increasingly stiff competition on the OTT landscape. Thankfully with Brightcove Live, we could serve our clients a stable and reliable service. With 16 completely secure global data centers handling hundreds of millions of videos a week with 99.99% uptime, our customers are in good hands. MENA’s Projected Opportunity CABSAT 2022 was also the site for industry research organization, IABM, to reveal its 2022 MENA regional report, which gave content owners even more confidence in market growth. The IABM research presented at the conference showed that of all media technologies, OTT and streaming platforms now rank with the highest combination of development priority and regional relevance. As digital technologies increase their share of entertainment revenue, media companies across the board have prioritized engaging their audiences through video, across devices, and with uninterrupted reliability. Many are responding with DTC (direct-to-consumer) offerings, which is driving major investments in original and even local content in the region. What’s more, new OTT services continue to launch, and with them grow the subscriber base. The number of VOD and OTT media subscribers in the MENA region steadily grew throughout the pandemic (around 10 million by the end of 2021) and is projected to top 15 million in 2022. To stake a claim in today’s rapidly changing OTT marketplace, content owners are focused on attending to viewers’ preferences for content, device, viewer experience, price tolerance, and even interactivity. These areas represent the IABM report’s fastest-growing segments of the end-to-end media supply chain–monetization and consumption. But it will take more than just a video platform to meet both the opportunities and demands in MENA. Media companies want solutions that integrate with technology vendors to tie in analytics, monetization, and subscriber management with the front end. Those are demands that Brightcove, in partnership with MAAS World, is prepared to meet. [Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Has the OTT Marketspace 'Peaked'?” (spoiler: it hasn't).]( "Has the OTT Marketspace "Peaked"?") Brightcove Marketing Understanding and Combating Subscription Video Churn Fri, 20 May 2022 16:00:00 GMT Subscription video churn is a constant battle in the OTT industry. In fact, according to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Cleeng churn predictability research">research done by Cleeng</a>, “churn is unequivocally the number one problem for most SVoD publishers.” Facing this challenge begins with understanding the reasons subscribers churn, from genuine dissatisfaction to unintended credit card declines. Combating it requires individual strategies that are based on subscriber and engagement data and tailored to the different types of churn. What is Subscription Video Churn? The rate at which subscribers leave your subscription video service is called the churn rate. This is the number of subscribers that have canceled in the last 30 days divided by the number of total paid subscribers. <div style="text-align: center">Number of subscribers that have canceled in the last 30 days <br>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <br>Number of total paid subscribers</div> <br> The churn rate is a primary indicator of the health of your business and how successful you are at retaining your existing customer base. Most businesses spend a lot of money and effort recruiting new customers, so retaining them with a low churn rate is essential to running a successful subscription service. Types of Subscription Video Churn To better manage your churn rate, it’s important to understand how customers leave a service. Typically there are two types of churn: Voluntary. Customers who choose to cancel the service. Involuntary. Customers whose service is canceled due to failed payment methods or natural expirations that are not renewed. Understanding the reason cancellations happen will help you focus retention efforts in the most productive areas. Furthermore, it may also help you avoid payment vehicles or gateways that are less effective at processing payments or retaining customers. Below is a graph from Brightcove Audience Insights that allows you to view the impact of voluntary and involuntary churn and identify trends or anomalies that lead to spikes: <font size="2">Fig. 1 – The Lost Customers Per Day Insight shows voluntary and involuntary churn modeled over a period of time.</font> How to Combat Voluntary Churn High voluntary churn usually reflects a higher dissatisfaction with the service. Gathering feedback from both active customers and those choosing to leave can help determine the cause of their dissatisfaction: Is it the price of the service? The quality or quantity of the content being offered? Other factors? Understanding the reasons will allow you to be more targeted in how you message and promote content to your subscribers, ensuring they are receiving maximum value for their subscription fees. It also enables you to be more effective with your save and win-back campaigns. For example, knowing the videos they watched and their favorite genres allows you to educate them about a new season, a show in the same genre, or a similar class. However, when building campaigns, be sure to look beyond video views per title for opportunities. Dig into how the audience is engaging with the title before including it in your campaign, otherwise there’s a risk of promoting a video that isn’t holding the audience’s attention. Coupling churn numbers with engagement metrics allows you to be more predictive and take action to save customers. Brightcove Audience Insights allows you to look at data through many dimensions. For example, you can look at heartbeat metrics (video views per day, audience size per day, etc.) over time and get a view into the engagement of your subscriber base which will help find indicators of churn. Another way to look at that data is to view the engagement over the lifetime of your subscribers. You can use this metric to monitor the percentage of users coming back on a monthly basis over the history of their subscription. If those percentages go down, you could be headed for a problem and will need to take action to re-engage your base. <font size="2">Fig. 2 – Keeping track of weekly and monthly engagement of your subscribers over time is helpful to find indicators of churn.</font> How to Combat Involuntary Churn While it may seem that involuntary churn is more difficult to combat, there are tactics to reduce the number of people leaving the service in this manner. For example, there are two categories of payment decline: hard and soft declines. The type of response should inform your method for retrying a card or re-engaging the customer. Soft decline. This usually means the credit card is expired, over the limit, late in paying the bill, etc. Developing retry mechanisms that wait a day or so to reprocess the card may resolve the situation. Furthermore, it allows you to retain those customers with minimal financial risk and without interrupting the customer’s experience. Hard decline. This usually means the credit card is lost or canceled, and they have very little to no chance of being successfully retried. You are better off employing a dunning process, where you immediately and directly communicate with the customer to let them know of the problem and have them take action to maintain their service. <br> <br> How to Prevent Churn One of the best ways to combat subscriber churn is to identify “at risk” users and stop churn before it starts. Every subscriber type, even those who have been active for a long time, can swing from “safe” to “at risk” if engagement levels drop. But two particular groups pose a greater risk than others: users who are either idle or inactive. It goes without saying that these users are already disengaged from your offering. This could be for a number of reasons, and truly understanding subscriber engagement is half the battle when it comes to mitigating the risk of losing them. But knowing what action to take also means knowing what makes these user groups different from the rest. <font size="3">Identifying Idle and Inactive Users</font> Idle and inactive are two of six subscriber categories based on their engagement status that you can find in Brightcove Audience Insights. This means we identify at-risk subscribers based on their account activity rather than relying on metrics such as total number of streaming hours or total views which don’t tell the full story. Idle users. Those with no views in the last four weeks but at least one in the prior eight weeks. Inactive users. Subscribers with no views in the last 12 weeks but at least one in the last year. It may be tempting to immediately re-engage both user types and remind them of the value your service brings, but idle users need to be approached very differently to inactive users. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of triggering the churn event you’re trying to avoid. Instead, you can use data-driven insights to personalize the re-engagement experience and increase the likelihood of winning them over. <font size="3">Re-engaging Idle Users</font> Idle users have the greatest risk of voluntary churn. One of the most common reasons why they’ve fallen idle is that they’re not seeing enough value from your service. In other words, they may have finished watching the blockbuster content that lured them in but haven’t explored the rest of your content library after that. Or they’ve watched the vast majority of your lead assets and now mistakenly feel they’ve seen everything your service has to offer. You’ll want to take action fast, so knowing what content will have the desired effect is key. This means polling your content consumption data to understand what other users like them, who have watched the same blockbuster content they have, gravitated to next and what assets held their attention most. This is easy to do with Brightcove Audience Insights. Using insights from Attention Index and Content Explorer, you can accurately identify assets that would help lure idle users back into the fold based on what they’ve watched from your service so far. Also, consider identifying the hidden gems that idle users haven’t seen but would be interested in. This is a powerful way to demonstrate the broader value of your platform. This data-driven analysis should inform your targeted outbound marketing efforts. From there, approach idle users just like any other marketing campaign. Curate a tailored re-engagement funnel spanning push notifications and email outreach and guide them to content personalized to their interests, pulling them back to the re-engaged category. It’s also worth considering how frequently you reach out to these users. In our experience, the lifetime value for idle subscribers is 30-50% lower than engaged users. If your standard outreach cadence is every three or four weeks, try increasing your messaging to idle viewers to once a week until they’ve re-engaged fully. <font size="3">Re-Engaging Inactive Users</font> Inactive users are different. Often, they were drawn to your service for something specific. This may have been an exclusive show or the sports season you had rights to. Either way, the outcome is the same: these users have become inactive but have seemingly forgotten to cancel their subscription. Inactive users tend to have a higher lifetime value than idle users, reflecting their longer tenure with the service. But putting them into a high frequency re-engagement funnel could just as easily remind them about a subscription they didn’t know they still had. A better way is to treat inactive users as if they’ve already unsubscribed. Don’t just add them to your existing marketing efforts. Instead, run a win-back campaign when new content they’re interested in becomes available (i.e. during the run-up to new episodes of the TV show they binged on or the start of the next sports season). There are other tactics you can use to combat and prevent subscription video churn, but the most effective ones require a harmonized dataset combining subscription and revenue events with video views and metadata. The story your data tells should be presented clearly where your key actions are evident and easy. Learn more in our PLAY episode, “Metadata is the Key to Growing and Engaging Your Audience”. Eric Knutson Audio Streaming Playback Fri, 29 Apr 2022 13:00:00 GMT Since streaming includes content beyond video, such as podcasts, audiobooks, and music, it’s important for us to have the technology in place to support both video and audio. Therefore, we’re excited to introduce Brightcove’s Audio Streaming playback offering. Our player now supports playback of audio-only assets, which can be displayed with a permanent poster image or with just the control bar showing. It supports source files in MP3, M4A, or WAV format, and it supports the iOS SDK, with Android to come later this year. Audio content uses significantly less bandwidth than video, so you can leverage this distribution method to save on resources as well. Not only does this capability enable our customers to stay at the forefront of content trends, it improves accessibility. Audio streaming benefits those who are visually impaired, and through auto-captioning, it can support hearing-impaired audiences as well. Using our established Brightcove Player, getting started with audio streaming is simple, quick, and intuitive. Furthermore, it includes access to the same analytics capabilities we offer for video streaming, so you can get in-depth insights on how your audio content is performing. At Brightcove, we’re here to make sure that your streaming strategy meets your audience’s needs for a flexible and innovative solution. With the introduction of audio streaming, we’re able to provide more support as you stay up to date on industry trends and audience expectations. Megan Felz 8 Reasons to Embrace Livestreaming E-Commerce Fri, 08 Apr 2022 17:00:00 GMT Video is a powerful tool for retailers to drive their e-commerce strategies and boost sales. Specifically, there’s a fast-emerging trend of livestreaming e-commerce that has transformed the online shopping experience with heightened interactivity. For the savvy retailer, there are several reasons to invest in this new era of livestream shopping. ENGAGEMENT Consumers are more receptive to video than to any other form of content. Per a <a href="" target="_blank" title="Wyzowl survey">Wyzowl survey</a>, 86% of people would actively like to see more video from brands. Further, 72% of consumers prefer video to text for receiving branded marketing information, according to a <a href="" target="_blank" title="HubSpot research study">HubSpot research study</a>. Video does so much more than static product descriptions or great images do. It affords a level of audience interactivity that is simply not possible with other marketing tactics. For example, with live video interactivity you can give your customers the power to make in-video purchases, communicate with other shoppers, access click-to-call features, and share their sentiments on specific products. This level of insight can provide unparalleled data-driven personalization. You can even allow customers to determine their own “adventure path” by giving them the option to choose how the video content they are engaging progresses. But video interactivity doesn’t just allow brands to offer consumers a route to buy; it lets them create a community of shoppers. If you interact, and allow customers to interact with each other on your property, you stand a much better chance of making a sale and retaining that customer for future purchases. A 2021 <a href="" target="_blank" title="survey by Statista">survey by Statista</a> found that 46% of consumers trust analyst or expert reviews as a source for identifying the best brands; 39% cited online reviews and 37% said word-of-mouth. In addition, a recent <a href="" target="_blank" title="Retail Customer Experience article">Retail Customer Experience article</a> discussed how e-commerce websites and mobile applications are not designed to provide the cohesive customer experience today's consumers demand. The interactive nature of video, however, permits ongoing dialogue and feedback that can help inform messaging, improve products and offers, and develop loyal customers who keep coming back for more. As the saying goes, people buy from people. More importantly, people buy from people they trust. And who do consumers trust more than their peers traveling along the same purchase journey? FOMO FOMO, or “Fear Of Missing Out,” is one of the most obvious benefits afforded by live video e-commerce. You’re creating an experience. Audiences who have connections with brands want to participate in the experience they provide. Historically, this hasn’t been something that brands can facilitate online on a scalable basis. Livestreaming offers a mechanism to forge this connection universally. A point-in-time event creates the potential to engage other fans of the brand, engage the brand itself, and engage influencers. Since the pandemic, this has only become more normalized. DIFFERENTIATION Live e-commerce increases a brand’s appeal and distinctiveness and pulls in additional web traffic. There is so much information available online that users can’t keep up with it all, and even great quality content can quickly become buried. A path to differentiate is critical. Providing consumers with an experience that captures their attention in that specific moment will help you stand out and show—not tell—exactly why they should be purchasing your products. Live shopping events shouldn’t just be an ad; they should be entertaining. TANGIBILITY When people can’t go into a store–touch something, engage with it–where do they go? They go online and look for videos to get a “feel” for it. Live video provides that sensation of engaging with a product and incentivizes the shopper to transact. According to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Wyzowl">Wyzowl</a>, 84% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. Live shopping is the closest brands have come to replicating the in-store shopping experience. It displays products in real world settings and allows consumers to ask questions and learn more prior to making a purchase, just as they would in-store. AFFORDABILITY Live product launches, fashion shows, and trade events are great. We all love attending and seeing what’s on the floor, but for businesses, these events are costly. Given the unpredictable nature of today’s event space, it’s even more difficult to properly plan and deliver an event. Livestreaming, paired with proper promotion and marketing, can be a great substitute. When livestreamed experiences are done right, they can result in more sales, more leads and engagement, and more cost savings. There’s also the added bonus of being able to use the same content on multiple platforms. Furthermore, customers who purchase through live shopping events are considerably less likely to return items. Thanks to the two-way nature of live shopping, consumers who buy through this channel are 40% less likely to return an item than other online shoppers, according to <a href="" target="_blank" title="Coresight data">Coresight data</a>. Some may argue that livestreaming requires a professional studio and video team, but QVC isn’t the only act in town anymore. Today, all you need is a smartphone and a bright light. In some cases, overproduced livestreams can detract from that all-important element of authenticity. AUTHENTICITY Livestreaming feels more “human.” People subscribe to unboxing channels on YouTube. They follow influencers, shops, and products on social media. Why? They like the human connection of seeing how a product or service could impact their lives. Using people, not just images or text, helps make the experience real and authentic in a way that stands out. One of video’s strengths as a medium is storytelling. When you tell customers your brand story through video, they relate to your brand more, leading to stronger connections and loyalty to the brand. SIMPLICITY No matter your level of sophistication or the resources at hand, there is likely an option for you. You can start with your phone, you can work with an events planner, or you can work with a vendor who can help you set up the technical aspects and then guide you in making the most of your content distribution. While the fashion and beauty industries unsurprisingly thrive in these opportunities, livestreaming is versatile and can be an avenue for many different categories. For example, after apparel and fashion (35.6%), and beauty (7.6%), the top product hawked on live events is actually fresh food (7.4%), reports <a href="" target="_blank" title="McKinsey">McKinsey</a>. All you need to know is which platforms and apps your buyers are using. INSIGHTS Live e-commerce not only informs your video marketing efforts, it delivers insights that can be leveraged across the board. Using analytics tools to understand who watched your content can help you develop personas of potential customers and guide your choices on your target demographic. It can also help you track your most engaging products and content, which will keep you attuned to the demands of your consumers. Livestreaming e-commerce is fast, convenient, and affordable, and it provides valuable insights while offering a level of interaction previously available only in-person. Most importantly, it’s not another pandemic stopgap. By integrating influencer strategies and creating buyer communities, livestreaming e-commerce has carved a niche that is only set to grow. And the video platforms offering live retail solutions like Brightcove are helping brands see heightened engagement and greater customer propensity to buy. If you want to learn more about livestreaming e-commerce, Brightcove partnered with IMRG, the UK’s e-commerce association, on LinkedIn Live. You can watch the entire Q&A, Delivering E-Commerce Videos that Convert, while demoing our award-winning player. Matt Noyes TV Channels Go Digital with Cloud Playout Mon, 14 Mar 2022 18:00:00 GMT “The rise of SVoD led some observers to draft the TV channel’s obituary. Yet linear content delivery is alive and well.” — Rowan de Pomerai, The DPP Linear programming is making a comeback, and it’s all thanks to cloud playout. Brightcove teamed up with The DPP, who interviewed sports organizations, broadcasters, and publishers on how they’re using cloud playout to launch and manage linear channels. What is Cloud Playout? Cloud playout, or broadcasting from the cloud, creates channels and schedules of programming in a very similar viewer experience to traditional television channels. The difference is that these channels access the growing online audience, enable workflows in the cloud, and – in contrast to livestreaming – can offer the ability to switch between live and on-demand content during the stream. The programming on these channels is broadcast like traditional media on web apps, mobile apps, livestreams, and social channels. Though traditional linear channels have been losing audiences to the convenience of on-demand streaming, they’re capturing a share of the online audience and revenue through cloud playout. Within the media industry, there are three key changes that are driving this rise in online linear viewing. The growth of connected TV (CTV). The lean-back experience with longer viewing times is ideal for channels and linear content. Both passive and active viewing suit channels with AVoD (advertising-based video on demand) and SVoD (subscription video on demand) monetization. The rise of Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST). The growing CTV audience includes a growing acceptance of advertising as a monetization model. The ad addressability of CTV means FAST can command higher CPMs and generate healthy revenues. Event-based coverage. Recent events have expanded audience preferences for streaming event-based content. Creating experiences without needing a large pay-per-view infrastructure has opened up opportunities for engaging audiences with time-bound experiences. Traditional broadcasting was the standard model for decades, and cloud playout is the tool that can bring that successful model to eager online audiences. In fact, cloud playout has the potential to expand the reach of traditional broadcasting farther than ever due to its accessibility. Who Can Use Cloud Playout? In the past, broadcast-grade channels and programming needed lots of expensive hardware and a team of specialists. Channels only gained a return if they ran for long hours over several years, which meant only large companies could operate channels. Cloud playout can create and manage channels with all the benefits of broadcast programming but without the operating expense. For example, cloud infrastructure can be scaled up as well as down. Channels and viewing experiences can be created for smaller audiences but also for time-bound events. Without the high startup costs, pop-up channels and event-based streams are viable. Similarly, aside from the heavy investment of promotion and content, the lower cost of cloud-based channels combined with reduced operational and technical complexity means that smaller organizations can compete. It also allows larger companies to become more agile in trialing new services with new audiences and in new geographies. The market for cloud-based channels is also increasing because the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital in many areas, including streaming experiences. More audiences across most demographics and interests are now interested in streaming services. Even niche audiences may now have reached the critical mass to support a linear experience. How to Build Cloud Playout Channels There are many ways to build and operate cloud playout, from SaaS service providers to fully in-house solutions. Team skillsets and internal appetite for build and maintenance should be reviewed before deciding how much to handle in-house. Though building, launching, and promoting a linear streaming event or channel has become much simpler in the cloud, there are a few things to consider. Migrating content libraries to the cloud or from legacy systems can be difficult. Mapping out the content that will add value to a linear channel might help prioritize the migration and break up a monolithic challenge into milestones. Legacies of past investments can also mean slow cloud deployments. Although a purely cloud deployment would give the most benefit, most organizations will operate with existing hardware. Deciding when to retire legacy systems and hardware has a direct cost but also an opportunity cost. By employing digital development and design principles and skillsets, teams and operations can become more efficient and allow more releases to be shipped more often. How to Maintain the Cloud Playout Experience Cloud playout brings back much of what made the linear experience so successful. But with the linear experience comes higher expectations. For example, if a key piece of live content suffers from an outage, the experience is ruined. Cloud playout offers several advantages that mitigate these risks and ensure a seamless viewing experience. SaaS and cloud-based services can have better reliability and redundancy, depending on the service architecture. In the worst-case scenario, automatic failover to another virtual server is faster disaster recovery than changing hardware. Cloud playout also allows the editorial team to plan and schedule content in advance. This can reduce the headcount needed for managing the live operation and help companies focus on delivering the best viewing experience. Remote work used to be impossible with a traditional studio and hardware setup. But cloud playout gives teams the flexibility to work remotely, providing companies an invaluable contingency plan. Cloud playout offers incredible opportunity and flexibility to revitalize traditional linear programming in an on-demand digital age. But switching to the cloud is an investment that requires experienced partners. Several SaaS solutions are available, like Brightcove Cloud Playout, and the right one should take the complexity out of launching a linear viewing experience. James Shannon Interactivity 101 Mon, 21 Feb 2022 13:08:00 GMT Interactive video has always been a hot tech topic. Wondering what all the hype is about? When you boil it down, interactivity gives viewers the ultimate control over the content they’re watching—empowering you to transform how you connect with your audience. Here’s an overview of interactive video capabilities, and some best practices for incorporating this technology into your organization. What are the benefits of interactivity? From interactive quizzes to shoppable videos, interactivity enables organizations to create increasingly engaging content for a variety of audiences and mediums. By leveraging polling, branching, and chaptering, you can let your audience choose their own adventure—providing a personalized journey that will keep them engaged from the start. When it comes to corporate communications, you can create a more dynamic experience by adding slide syncs and quizzes to ensure team members are retaining the content. Within the ecommerce space, you can convert viewers at warp speed by incorporating add-to-cart functionality and powerful calls-to-action. Interactive video can also be a powerful way to ask your prospects questions that contribute to lead scoring or help with persona identification. And, if your organization offers a full suite of products, you can create interactive product overview videos to help viewers find and select the product that best fits their specific needs. If you’re running an ABM campaign, you can also incorporate interactivity to add a level of dynamic personalization to your videos. For instance, you can use this technology to call out your target’s name, account name, or industry. Doing so can make it seem like your team created this content specifically for this target account. What are some interactivity best practices? When launching an interactive video campaign, be sure to focus on relevance. Tailoring your content to where your prospect or customer is in their buying journey is crucial to your success. After all, your audience has a wide array of content options available to them—and they’ll choose to consume the assets that best meet their specific interests and needs. If your content doesn’t resonate well with your audience, they’ll abandon it instantly. Thankfully, interactive video empowers you to create hyper-relevant, personalized content that makes it even easier for you to follow up with more relevant material if, for example, a prospect answers a trigger question. Another best practice is to consider the value exchange. All of the interactive videos you create should simultaneously benefit the viewer (by giving them with valuable insights) and your organization (through providing you with important viewer data). By leveraging this technology to its fullest, you should be able to convert more leads—and gather better data about your customers’ needs with every conversion. Doing so will empower you to provide more targeted nurture content and arm your sales team with specialized information that can guide their conversations with prospects. Brightcove Marketing 12 Proven Strategies to Maximize the Value of Video Thu, 03 Feb 2022 13:30:00 GMT Netflix killed Blockbuster, and it's coming for business video next. Today's always-on, hyper-personalized world has made on-demand content the gold standard for audiences of all types, including business professionals. Thankfully, consumer-grade streaming isn't restricted to binging the final season of Ozark. Companies can level-up their approach to video with Brightcove CorpTV, a solution that creates a dynamic, uniquely branded streaming experience that's accessible at any time and on any screen. Consumer-grade streaming is the shiny new vehicle everyone wants to drive. But every car needs gas, and high quality content is the fuel for your branded streaming service. Here are a dozen proven strategies for creating and programming compelling video content that connects with audiences. 1. Curate the content you currently have. In most cases, companies aren’t starting from scratch; in fact, many businesses have thousands of videos in the can. With Brightcove CorpTV, you can easily upload existing assets into a single library and then publish the best of the best to your streaming experience. 2. Create brand-new content. Launching with never before-seen videos makes sense if your audience or communications objectives are new. A big-budget effort isn’t necessary. You can produce professional looking videos with a smartphone and inexpensive video editing software. 3. Keep content fresh. It’s essential to think like a media company. Rather than producing lots of oneoff videos, create episodic series with new releases every week or month. Combine frequent updates with push notifications, so you’re constantly bringing people back to your app. 4. Tailor content to audience segments. Build audience-specific channels with videos that speak to their primary objectives, interests, and concerns. Create channels for different market segments, functional groups, user communities, levels of expertise, and more. 5. License third-party content. Quickly scale your streaming service and grow your audience with videos from leading news and entertainment brands. Take advantage of sources like <a href="" target="_blank" title="Video Elephant">Video Elephant</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" title="Veritone Licensing">Veritone Licensing</a> to add more variety and value to your channel. 6. Leverage live events. Events like a user conference or employee all-hands meeting are an excellent launching pad for a company streaming service. Use the excitement of the livestreamed event to capture audience attention and then extend reach and viewership with on-demand event recordings. 7. Find inspiration internally. Fellow employees are often a great place to start when hunting for topics and on-air talent. Look beyond the executive ranks to subject matter experts at all levels of the organization. Their passion and first-hand experience will add a relatable human touch to your videos. 8. Be authentic. Whether you’re appealing to employees or customers, your video content should reflect who you are and what you stand for. Is your company scrappy? Innovative? Buttoned up or down to earth? Everything about your video content should be consistent with your brand and culture. 9. Be crisp to be captivating. The optimal length for a video depends on your goal, audience, subject, and viewing platform. In general, shorter is better—and more bingeable. The first seconds of a video are critical; they must be immediately engaging, or you risk losing the viewer’s interest. 10. Use content analytics. Constantly refine your content strategy with deep, cross-device insights into what your audience is watching. Keep tabs on which videos are most popular and where viewership drops off. Data points like these allow you to learn what works and grow smartly over time. 11. Create automated playouts. Use Brightcove Cloud Playout to program a mix of live and on-demand content from your existing assets. A simple drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to assemble and edit a video playout (i.e., playlist) and stream it at a scheduled time or in a repeating loop. 12. Ensure that content is easily searchable. Use metadata and tags to help categorize, organize, and find relevant assets. This makes it easier for the team managing your app to create channels and playlists and for your audience to zero in on the videos they want to watch. Brightcove Marketing Mastering Audience Insights to Drive Business Value from Video Wed, 02 Feb 2022 18:00:00 GMT Data is essential in today’s OTT streaming market. With so many SVoD services competing for similar audiences, having access to every possible data point on your customer, from engagement to revenue, is the bare minimum to stay in business. But to stay ahead of the curve, that requires more than data. That requires aggregated intelligence. Marketers have taken advantage of lots of data points over the years: subscriptions, video views, customer payments, marketing touch points, video metadata, marketing channel investment. All of the metrics speak to critical business needs. But the next evolution in audience and content insights will aggregate those metrics to provide a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the video performance tied to customer engagement. Unlocking Audience Insights With so much data already available, this approach will unlock new insights that can provide the much-needed edge in an increasingly saturated market. For example, in order to lower customer acquisition costs and churn rates, while maximizing investment in content, companies should use these enhanced insights to inform the following strategies: Focus on high lifetime value (LTV) customers. Net-new acquisition costs for OTT companies are high but audience insights can lower acquisition costs by identifying which marketing sources have the highest conversion rate and lowest cost per acquisition. Data exports can also establish high LTV lookalike profiles for ad buys on platforms like Google and Facebook, allowing OTT companies to target audience cohorts with the attributes of the most high value customers, making for a more targeted ad spend. Engage stalled trialists. Audience data can indicate which subscribers signed up for your service, but have yet to stream a video. That viewer insight can inform automated marketing emails to those viewers, prompting them to watch and engage. Reduce churn of at-risk customers. Identify which audience chorts are declining in their engagement and have a high likelihood of canceling based on behavioral patterns in their viewer history. Then send personalized emails with offers and watch recommendations to engage them, to prevent churn. Increase loyalty. Leverage targeted, personalized marketing campaigns to promote relevant content based on viewer behavior. Optimize content investment. Content acquisition costs are a huge investment. Use audience insights to understand what content is driving the most subscribers and the most consumption. Then license more content like that. Promote the videos that will drive the most revenue. Use content performance intelligence to direct audiences to the content assets that will maximize the revenue achieved through the acquisition of this content. Wrangling several disparate data sources makes it challenging to capture these kinds of insights because the data flows through multiple, decentralized systems. Furthermore, building insights from that data requires an additional layer of machine learning on top of the data infrastructure. Delivering Business Value This is why Brightcove recently acquired Wicket Labs, an audience insights company. In addition to offering the existing video analytics native to Brightcove, augmenting these metrics with content and subscriber insights is the latest business need. It’s the kind of audience data necessary to drive revenue and business value for OTT companies, particularly those operating with an SVoD model. Through this acquisition, Brightcove customers can collect and analyze data from multiple sources to produce valuable insights. By bringing these data sources together, our machine learning technology analyzes this scalable, harmonized data set to produce a comprehensive scorecard with insights on how to optimize content, marketing, and product strategies for more revenue. When our video performance metrics are coupled with the audience insight data from Wicket Labs, video works harder for your business and harder for your revenue goals. Audience data plus video performance data, in a single, reliable, secure and scalable platform, layered with machine learning makes for clear recommendations that have the potential to maximize returns. In today’s fast-paced market, having the right data is no longer enough. Businesses need intelligence from that data. They need centralized solutions that not only house that data, but translate it into measurable results. That is the next evolution of audience and content insights, and at Brightcove, that evolution is now. Karen Levy How Media Companies can Become People-Centric with Video Mon, 24 Jan 2022 23:30:00 GMT Roberta Cambio, Brightcove Sales Director, at the 2021 DPP Leaders' Briefing People–whether in the form of workforce, talent, culture, or skills–are at the heart of every media company. Julie Mitchelmore, Vice President of Digital at A+E Networks EMEA, noted at the <a href="" target="_blank" title="2021 DPP Leaders' Briefing">2021 DPP Leaders' Briefing</a> that people deliver the technical, revenue, or operational changes, not the other way round. The Leaders’ Briefing, an annual event where media companies discuss industry trends and projections, was attended by several senior leaders who stated that the greatest challenges at their companies revolved around people, not technology. Broadcast leaders today are challenged to develop and retain the talent needed to build services that keep pace with audiences. Move Fast and Make Things Media companies need to move faster than ever before. They're faced with rapidly changing audiences, aggressive competition for eyeballs, and complex workflows. If we take into account the occurrence of a black swan like a global pandemic, services need to adapt in months, not years. To help meet this need for speed, development teams have switched from waterfall to Agile methodologies, allowing for continuous delivery rather than longer projects subject to obsolescence before completion. Gartner Research noted the methodology trend in a <a href="" target="_blank" title="2018 Gartner survey">2018 Gartner survey</a>: “Some organizations may shift to a product management-based approach for digital innovations because it allows for multiple iterations.” A year later, another <a href="" target="_blank" title="Gartner report">Gartner report</a> continued: “To succeed in digital transformation, large enterprises, especially, need to reorganize themselves into a product-based structure, which is cross-functional and organized around customer problems.” Transitioning to cross-functional teams is a major mindshift that breaks down silos between departments and turns functional teams into product teams. In fact, many European broadcasters like Sky UK, A+E Networks EMEA, and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) are already shifting to product-led teams focused on short term milestones with weekly and monthly check-ups. At a time when long term planning is hindered by an unpredictable future, this is a very viable model. Building one step at a time allows for quicker reaction times to unforeseen changes. Keep Matrix Teams and Skill Sets Companies are more successful when their staff know the culture of the company and the team they’re in, and this means retaining people and fostering communication between different departments. For example, NRK cross-polinates skills and experience by taking advantage of their multi-generational team. More seasoned team members share their experiences with newer team members. Inclusion and diversity matter a lot in the workplace, so it’s important to capitalize on the entire team’s experience, no matter what stage of their career they’re in. The Skill Sets for Success According to the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Technology Leaders Agenda 2021 survey">Technology Leaders Agenda 2021 survey</a>, “data initiatives, innovations and skills look set to define the agenda for technology leaders for the foreseeable future.” In fact, “data integration and infrastructure initiatives are the top technology priority for the year, cited by 68% of respondents.” Good metadata is fuel for the automation engine media companies are building within their infrastructure to inform their business decisions and power their operations. But challenges often arise due to different types of metadata from different systems and vendors, inconsistent, inaccurate, or incomplete metadata, not to mention the need for good metadata interfaces. Having staff with the skills to interrogate the right metadata enables a company to understand their customers and their behaviors and tailor its products accordingly. At a time when the death of third party cookies challenges user tracking, a metadata-driven omnichannel approach is needed to offer a unified customer experience. For example, RTL Nederland, a Dutch media network, has reduced their digital extensions from 50 to 4, which is particularly relevant in a country like the Netherlands which has the highest density of SVOD services. This reduction in complexity has enabled them to build a 360-degree view of their users, which maximizes the value back to the user as well as advertisers and ultimately RTL. Roberta Cambio Video Delivery Methods: Broadcast, the Cloud, and the Future Tue, 21 Dec 2021 22:00:00 GMT The Future of Video While online video systems were initially viewed only as competitors to traditional broadcast systems, there is a case to be made for converging the two systems. By reviewing the production and distribution workflows of each, we find several possible architectures for this convergence that we can use as a roadmap toward the future of video. Broadcast Video Delivery Systems Terrestrial broadcast TV systems have been historically the first technologies for delivery of videos to the masses. Cable and DTH (direct to home) satellite technologies came next as natural and highly successful evolutions of such systems. And historically, these systems have been deployed on premises, using purposely built facilities, hardware, and dedicated networks / links enabling transmission of video feeds between different facilities and entities in the distribution chain. A conceptual diagram of the broadcast distribution system is shown in the figure below. As shown in this figure, there are two classes of content used as input to broadcast systems. Live content typically arrives in the form of live video feeds from remote and field production. Pre-recorded, or on-demand content, may also be provided in the form of mezzanine files from production studios or video distributors. Both live and pre-recorded videos are then directed as inputs to the master control or playout systems, responsible for the formation of a set of live TV channels. The compositions of video segments inserted from different sources in each channel is called a program. Playout systems are also typically responsible for the insertion of channel logs (“bugs”), lower thirds, slots for ads, captions, metadata, etc. Broadcast playout systems are human operated, and traditionally deployed in dedicated facilities (master control rooms). After playout, all channel streams are subsequently encoded and passed to a multiplexer, which combines them in a multi-program transport stream (also known as TS or MPEG-2 TS) intended for distribution. In addition to the channel’s media content, the final multiplex TS also carries program and system information (PSIP), SCTE-35 ad markers, and other metadata as required for broadcast distribution. All such operations are also typically performed on-prem, by using hardware broadcast encoders, multiplexers, modulators, and other purpose-built equipment. As further shown in the above figure, the distribution chain in broadcast systems may have multiple tiers - from the main network center to local stations and also multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), such as cable or satellite TV companies. At each stage, media streams corresponding to each channel can be extracted, modified (e.g., by adding local content or ads), re-multiplexed into a new set of channels, with new program tables and other metadata inserted, and then again sent down to distribution or next headend. Cloud-based OTT Video Delivery Platforms Typical workflows used in today’s cloud-based online video platforms (OVPs)are shown in the figure below. Similar to broadcast systems, such workflows also ingest videos from a variety of live and pre-recorded content sources. However, most of today’s OVP platforms don’t include master control or playout functionality, and don’t form or multiplex channels for distribution. They simply encode input content as is, and package it in formats suitable for OTT delivery. Most commonly, HTTP-based adaptive streaming protocols, such as HLS or DASH are used as final delivery formats. All processing steps in cloud-based OPV systems are typically implemented in software and operated using the infrastructure of cloud service providers, such as AWS, GCP, Azure, etc. The Differences Between Broadcast and Cloud-based OTT Video Delivery Systems The use of software implementations and cloud-based deployment has a number of well-known advantages. It minimizes investments in hardware, allows pay-as-you-go operation, solves scalability problems, simplifies management, upgrades, makes the whole design more flexible and future-proof, etc. However, it also brings some unique requirements and forces designs of various components and coordination mechanisms in cloud-based systems to be done differently as compared to on-prem systems. Specific differences include: Granularity of data processing and delays in cloud-based OTT vs on-prem broadcast systems; Mechanisms used for enabling redundancy and fault tolerant operation of such systems; Means of scalability, load-balancing, resource provisioning, and other operations as unique to cloud-based operation; Mezzanine formats, contribution links and transport protocols used for ingest in cloud vs on-prem broadcast systems; Broadcast encoders and multiplexers vs encoders and packagers used for OTT delivery; Implementations of ad-splicing and ad-impression analytics; etc. The Convergence of Broadcast and Cloud-based Delivery Systems There are several possible architectures enabling convergence of broadcast and cloud-based OTT systems, as we see them evolving in the future. The figure below shows the simplest model of such integration, already used in many deployments today. As easily observed, this model offers a coupling of the existing broadcast and cloud-based OTT workflows by means of adding several extra contribution encoders, directing fully formed broadcast channels/programs to the cloud-based OTT platform. Minimum integration efforts are needed to launch such a system. However, it requires extra contribution encoders to be installed on-prem, and only offloads functionality related to OTT delivery chain in the cloud. All broadcast-essential operations remain to be on-prem. A diagram of a system enabling much more complete offload of broadcast-related functionality in the cloud is shown in the next figure. Here, most broadcast-chain operations are effectively implemented in the cloud. The most critical component that enables such migration is the cloud playout system. It operates entirely in the cloud, but enables human control and monitoring from remote terminals in the broadcast center. Functionally it is fully equivalent to the existing broadcast systems, enabling frame-accurate switching, editing, ad break placements, and other control operations as required in broadcast. The move of playout in cloud also enables the feeds from remote and field production to be collected by the cloud platform. This eliminates the need in maintaining a farm or receiver / decoders, file servers, and various other equipment typically used for ingest. It also enables much more effective distributed, and if needed – world-scale operations, as cloud platform data centers are present in most regions. Finally, once the playout system moves to the cloud, most subsequent operations needed for broadcast distribution – broadcast encoding and multiplexing – can also be easily migrated to cloud. This further eliminates the need in installing and maintaining farms of broadcast encoders, multiplexers, splicers, and various other equipment in broadcast facilities. This makes the whole system much simpler to operate and maintain, and enables all other benefits of cloud operation: scalability, future proof, increased reliability, etc. Evolution of the Brightcove Video Cloud Platform At Brightcove, we are always looking at ways of improving our Video Cloud platform and making it a natural choice for broadcasters considering expanding their OTT offerings and/or offloading components of their existing workflows in the cloud. In recent years, we’ve made considerable efforts in this direction. This includes: Adding support for broadcast-native ingest protocols: TS over RTP, SMPTE 2022-1, SMPTE 2022-2, SRT, etc. Improving ingest capabilities of our transcoders: improved handling of interlace content, telecine, mixed cadence content, gradual refresh streams, etc. Improved pre-processing and dynamic profile generation (denoising, high-quality format conversion, context-aware encoding), Improving our encoders to generate broadcast compliant streams (strict HRD control, CBR operation, pass-through of broadcast specific metadata, etc.) Improving live redundancy and fault-tolerance capabilities of the system Adding Cloud Playout capability to the platform. But indeed, our work continues and we are looking forward to many other ways of improving our system and working with broadcast customers, cloud platform providers, and other technology vendors towards making mass-scale broadcast operations in the cloud a reality. More information can be found in the October 2021 Issue of SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. Find the article <a href="" target="_blank" title="Transitioning Broadcast to Cloud">"Transitioning Broadcast to Cloud"</a>, written by Brightcove’s own engineering experts. Yuriy Reznik Three Sports Brands Talk Getting the Most from Streaming Fri, 17 Dec 2021 17:00:00 GMT Using Digital Video to Engage Sports Fans When arenas were closed to audiences, how did sports organizations maintain the emotional bond between fans and their sporting heroes? As the pandemic created physical distance, digital services stepped in to narrow the gap and – in the case of video streaming – found new ways to enhance the fan experience. And it’s not a temporary measure; video streaming has now become a differentiator that’s helped sports brands attract new fan demographics and expand their reach beyond the physical boundaries of the pitch, court, or race track. If you’re looking to increase engagement, three Brightcove customers recently shared six best practices they use to help make their fans feel they’re in the middle of the action, wherever they are. 1. Give Fans What They Want! Fans know that technology and connectivity exists for live streaming and audience interaction. If you don’t offer an official channel, they’ll look for other avenues to fulfill their desire to interact. As Rocky Chow, Chief Community Officer for the Hong Kong Rugby Union, says: “Having accessible content that fans can watch before, during, and after a game is important to us. It also gives us a good opportunity to identify who our fans are and tweak the content to suit them.” 2. Tell Your Story Everyone involved in sports makes an emotional investment. One way to acknowledge and reward this is by using video streaming to share how you’re investing in your fans. As Cody Winnell, Media & Communications Manager at Harness Racing Victoria, explains: “Just being able to tell your story in a certain way and have some control over your narrative and celebrate everything we know as passionate people in our industry. It’s something video streaming has really allowed us to do.” 3. Dive into the Detail Your story is so much more than your brand or team’s performance. Harness Racing Victoria uses previously inaccessible stories to reach a whole new demographic – as Cody illustrates beautifully: “We had a historically aging demographic and a linear television channel. We couldn’t bring fans to live shows where they could see the drivers, the trainers, the beautiful horses and showcase their back-stories. So we introduced new digital streaming services. Now, engagement has been through the roof – the 18 to 35 age group is now our fastest growing demographic.” 4. Speed Up the Socials Tennis is a fast game, and fans want the latest updates just as quickly. As Supervising Producer for Live Events at Tennis Australia, John O’Neil is acutely aware of the power and value of delivering rapid stats and experiences. “One of the big things that has been of great value to us is getting content into our socials as quickly as possible. We need to, because that’s what fans want. What we see is something that pops up on a fan’s Twitter or Facebook feed leads to engagement with the website, broadcaster, or YouTube channel. And that becomes a commercial opportunity as well.” 5. Maximize Multi-level Engagement With video streaming expanding audiences and providing new experiences that fans love, organizations that combine in-person and streaming services are seeing incredible returns. Rocky Chow explains the difference it’s made for Hong Kong Rugby Union: “Fans now are getting a real-life experience as well as engaging content. While the game’s happening, you can do campaigns to engage the people watching and create more activations. Having had two years of technology and looking at ways to make it work on OTT, we can now put it back into the live environment.” 6. Offer Exclusive Content With every phone a broadcasting device, real value comes from content fans can’t get elsewhere. Exclusive footage has been especially valuable for John O’Neil at Tennis Australia: “There’s a breakpoint you need to get to so the return on investment starts to roll in. Where we got this is by offering something that was exclusive on our platform: behind the scenes coverage. Some of it we show in the arena but what we’ve done is make the whole feed available on OTT. It’s an exclusive offer – that fans want and love – and that gives us a point of difference.” Get more game-changing video tips by watching our webinar "Is Streaming the New Arena for Sports?". Catherine van Raemdonck Four Master Storytelling Tips from Shonda Rhimes Thu, 09 Dec 2021 04:00:00 GMT During this year’s PLAY 2021 event, I experienced one of the the highlights of my professional career (and personal life!), interviewing Shonda Rhimes about the future of storytelling. Shonda's work has been celebrated through numerous awards, including induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. She is the CEO of the global media company Shondaland, which approaches innovative storytelling through branded partnerships, merchandise, and content for film, digital, audio, editorial, and streaming. Shonda’s work has shifted the entertainment industry's business model, and she has changed the face of television. During my conversation with Shonda, she divulged her insights into how she and her team tell such amazing stories like Bridgerton, Grey’s Anatomy, and Scandal. Here are four tips from Shonda that you can use in your very own content creation. Be Authentic. “Audiences are very smart these days. They watch a lot. They read a lot. They are very well-versed, and they have a nose for what feels authentic to them and what doesn't, and you have to respect that. The simplest way to engage and connect with an audience is to be completely authentic. But pure honesty and vulnerability is surprisingly powerful for an audience in every medium.” Honor the Creative Process. “Sometimes I spend the morning in regency England, the afternoon in modern-day Seattle, and the evening in New York. It's a fascinating time with all the different stories that are being told. And so I’m jumping from area to area to area. It feels very important to me to compartmentalize. You have to live in the story that you're in. It is important to stick to the story and to make sure that you're following the lines of the story that you wanted to tell. Because the audience isn't jumping around. They're watching it all at once. They're watching it in a binge. So you want them to have that experience. “ Be Inclusive. “Shows that have more inclusive casts, that showcase a bigger variety of types of people, make more money. They have a higher advertising dollar rate. They draw in bigger audiences.” Don’t Limit How You Tell Your Story. “The best way to really look at an idea when it comes to you and you're excited about it is to figure out where it belongs. We have stories that belong as documentaries. We have stories that belong as podcasts. We have stories that belong as simply just articles on our website. I always like to give an idea time to germinate and grow and see where it's going and make sure that it's placed in the right place for it to be successful.” Be sure to check out all the content from PLAY 2021 that's waiting for you on PlayTV, and read our recap post for more insights from our speakers. Jennifer Smith Using Video at Every Stage of the Customer Journey Wed, 08 Dec 2021 05:00:00 GMT Like any marketing tool, video is a medium that can and should be applied at each stage of the customer journey to achieve the optimal outcome. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the right way to leverage video’s ability to create attention, strengthen connections, and secure conversions throughout every step in the audience life cycle. Step 1: All about awareness The best way to start the customer journey is with a story. Ask yourself what your audience wants to achieve. What outcomes are they pursuing and what does success mean to them? From there, how can your business or product help guide them to that successful outcome? Aim for videos that are less than 30 seconds, contain thought leadership or inspirational content that helps them picture themselves achieving their goals, and are easily shareable across social channels. Metrics to measure: Look for the link between views and conversions. Your most-watched video may not create the highest level of engagement. Getting eyes on the prize is important but don’t let that be your sole determining factor for what’s working in achieving your goals for the video. Step 2: Enabling evaluation By this point your customer will know what the problem is they want to solve and that you likely have a solution to help them get to the desired outcome. Videos need to demonstrate how your product turns customers into heroes that conquer problems and achieve their goals. Demos and ‘how-to’ videos that show your solution in action work best at this stage. Value-add is king here - differentiate your offering and make sure you provide the customer with actionable next steps on how to achieve success via your solution or the content you provide. Aim for 30 to 90 seconds long. Metrics to measure: Percentage of video viewed. The more time your viewers spend watching, the higher the value you’re adding. Step 3: Creating conversions You’re nearly there – it’s time to help them confidently choose you as the partner to help them achieve success! Business buyers are more likely to purchase if they’ve received or seen a recommendation – the videos to use here are customer testimonials or case studies where the customer can picture themselves in the shoes of those happy customers, and validate that you’ve solved their specific or closely-related problem before. A compelling video testimonial or case study will ideally be matched to the prospect’s challenge or organizational profile. It should be around 60 – 120 seconds long and demonstrate a clear path of how your product or solution takes customers from a position of challenge to a place of success. Metrics to measure: Conversions. Don’t worry if they’re not immediate – engagement with videos can be used to inform lead scoring and to kick off automated nurture sequences that allow you to continue the conversation with people who are invested in learning about your solution. Step 4: Activating adoption and retention We all know the job isn’t done once a sale is made. In fact, it’s precisely the time to double-down on making sure you’re giving customers great value via video. Use video to onboard new customers, announce enhancements, share product roadmaps, and deliver exclusive customer messaging. ‘How-to’ videos at this stage bring the product to life and ensure customers are getting the most out of their investment. Metrics to measure: Viewing and engagement – interactions with this content prove you’re developing a relationship beyond the initial purchase and continuing to deliver value to your customers. Want to learn more? Read our guide on 7 Ways to Drive More Revenue with B2B Video Marketing. Matt Noyes The New Brightcove Marketplace: Our Technical Integrations Thu, 02 Dec 2021 05:00:00 GMT Create a Best-of-Breed Video Experience With a One-Stop Shop for Technical Integrations Brightcove has been partnering with technology providers for years to deliver innovative business outcomes with video. Officially launched on September 28 at PLAY ‘21, the Brightcove Marketplace formalizes and evolves our technology partnership program. The Marketplace enables us to accelerate our platform innovation by tapping into technology advancements from our partners and their bespoke solutions. A Marketplace for our customers The Marketplace makes it easy for customers to discover and add functionality to the Brightcove platform to solve their specific business challenges. For each listing on the Marketplace, we emphasize the benefit of the integration to customers and clarify how it works. Additionally, each integration identifies the APIs it uses and the specific Brightcove products it works with. According to Rajan Shah, VP of Technology Partners & Integrations at Brightcove, "With the Brightcove Marketplace we are addressing the ever-evolving needs of our customers in their video execution journey. We are marrying the rich value of our platform with other leading technologies in the video ecosystem and facilitating a more meaningful engagement." Ways to experience the Marketplace The Marketplace takes the form of a centralized hub of integrations and is readily accessible from and also via all Brightcove Video Cloud accounts. You can see a demo by catching up on the PLAY ‘21 session “Meet the New Brightcove Marketplace.” A breadth of video solutions are represented in the Marketplace. There are a couple of ways to navigate and explore the integrations: Search using the solution categories – Each integration is labelled and classified by our solution categories. Each category represents a well-defined subset of the video technology market. You can click on each of the categories from the navigation column on the left of the Marketplace home page. Explore integrations that align with your business goals – Front and center on the Marketplace is a drop-down menu of business objectives such as “monetize my content” or “train and engage my employees.” The Marketplace makes it easy to discover and connect with partners whose integrations can support your goals. Keyword search – The search bar at the top of the Marketplace allows you to search for what you’re looking for using keywords. If you are unable to find the right solution to meet your needs, the Marketplace will prompt you to get in touch with us. We welcome your input and the opportunity to connect so we can understand your business goals for video. In addition to integrations from our partners, the Marketplace also features Brightcove-powered integrations we have built and support in-house. Spanning numerous solution categories, these integrations are especially useful for connecting Brightcove with widely used automation, e-commerce, analytics, and content management platforms. What are our partners saying? More than 60 integrations are currently listed in the Marketplace. Here are observations from two of our integration partners: “As a long-term Brightcove partner, we’re excited to be part of the Marketplace. We think it is the best way for customers to enhance every aspect of end-to-end video on the Brightcove platform,” says Kevin Quan, Chief Marketing Officer at Ramp. Brightcove and Ramp have partnered together to integrate Video Cloud and Ramp eCDN solutions to manage the flow of video inside the corporate firewall and deliver a great viewing experience for enterprise customers. Brightcove-certified plug-in works with all Ramp eCDN solutions (OmniCache, Multicast+ and Ramp P2P) “Brightcove is IRIS.TV’s longest-standing partner and has plug-ins that make integration turnkey,” remarks Rohan Castelino, VP of Marketing at IRIS.TV. The company provides a seamless tech integration of their video recommendation solutions into Brightcove Player and content management system. Joint customers of Brightcove and IRIS.TV benefit from increased subscriber yield, user engagement, and retention. IRIS.TV’s video recommendation player plug-ins with Brightcove It’s only just the beginning The Marketplace launched with 40+ integrations, and in the few weeks since, we have seen a 29% growth in the number that are available. Have an integration you’d like considered for inclusion in the Marketplace? It’s easy – you can submit it here. The Brightcove Marketplace will continue to grow in the coming months and years, allowing us to deliver greater value and new video experiences to our customers. We can’t wait to see the new capabilities our incredible partners come up with. Find new ways of leveraging video to support your goals in the Brightcove Marketplace. Elyse Jenkins Corporate TV: The Next Big Thing in Enterprise Communication Wed, 17 Nov 2021 05:00:00 GMT One of the most significant ongoing challenges for communication professionals is figuring out what engagement technology to invest in next. And unfortunately, there is a great deal of noise in communications platform space these days. Technology companies are pushing 'innovations' ranging from short-form asynchronous video (basically corporate Snapchat) to self-service live streaming (basically corporate Twitch) to audio huddles . . . which, to the disappointment of many, turned out to be nothing more than video meetings with the video turned off. It's fair to say the enterprise communication technology space is in a bit of a creative funk right now, and the time is right for something new. But the good news is, the 'something new' we are seeking is already here—and it's called Corporate TV. What is Corporate TV? In its simplest form Corporate TV is an 'always on' video portal similar in design to any popular subscription streaming service or app, but purpose-built for enterprise content—training courses, onboarding videos, sales enablement tools, demand generation assets, recorded webcasts and company town halls being a few examples. Much like a consumer streaming service Corporate TV provides viewers (in this case employees and external stakeholders) with usability features including carousel viewing, customized channels, playlists, cross-recommendations, robust search, account security, and the very familiar 'movie app' experience companies like YouTube and Netflix have been training us to love since the mid-2000s. But above and beyond the usability stuff, Corporate TV comes with things that transform enterprise communication into an engaging, audience-building powerhouse. Features like flawless video viewing on any device (including Smart TVs), the ability to stream live events, multiple subscription and e-commerce options, and full integration with mission-critical applications in the marketing, HR and communications stack are also standard. To put it more simply, Corporate TV gives enterprises the opportunity to deliver video content to stakeholders in the same manner professional media organizations deliver it to their customers . . . at a fraction of the cost, and without requiring an IT team to manage it all. Corporate TV for Internal Communication When it comes to Corporate TV for internal use, enterprises can now offer employees a single, out of the box, easy to manage and highly familiar experience for accessing video content across the organization, as well as its departments and functions. Content producers can also make individual videos or entire playlists accessible by role, department or team, and track internal engagement with video assets down to the user level. But with Corporate TV, delivery of on demand video is just the beginning. Corporate TV can be used to stream and manage live internal events as well—including monthly town halls, recognition ceremonies, wellness festivals, benefits workshops, culture summits and sales kickoff meetings. And Corporate TV platforms come with their own intelligent video delivery networks, which support an unlimited number of concurrent viewers and automatically optimize video content for each end-user device. Corporate TV for External Communication If distributing live and on demand video to employees in a Disney Plus-style format is an exciting thought, imagine what marketers can do with this technology for external audiences. On the stakeholder engagement side, a single Corporate TV portal can be set up to serve every external group an enterprise supports. Customers, partners, contract employees, vendors, analysts, investors and even board members can be served video via Corporate TV, with both on demand video and live events (product rollouts, partner training, investor calls, analyst briefings and customer summits) secured and accessible by user type. And for demand-focused marketers, Corporate TV offers a nearly unlimited ability to build audiences, generate leads and drive revenue directly. Corporate TV can be the home for an enterprise's most high-value marketing and lead generation assets—all of which can be placed behind authentication or paid subscriber walls, and integrated with existing marketing automation and marketing analytics technologies. Live marketing events like thought leadership sessions, web shows and entertainment-focused content can be made available in a variety of registration models including free, paid, recurring subscription and even ad supported. Wrapping it Up It is rare when technology allows an enterprise to approach stakeholders in a truly different way. But as we discussed earlier, Corporate TV can turn any internal or external communication effort into a media-quality experience—for a fraction of what companies like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime and HBO Max paid to develop their platforms. It's also an exciting technology that market-leading companies like Salesforce, DemandBase and Terminus have recently implemented for VERY high profile use cases (Google it) and thousands more companies are scrambling to learn about. The message here is simple: if your organization isn't giving Corporate TV a serious look in 2021, your competitors surely are—which means you're already behind. So if you're interested in learning more about Corporate TV, you can do so here, or feel free to contact me directly using the information given below. I have a few things I'd be glad to send you, and I'm always open to a conversation. Eric Rudolf is the VP of Go-to-Market (GTM) Programs for Brightcove, the industry leader in empowering organizations to touch audiences with video in bold and innovative ways. With 20 years in SaaS-based Enterprise Technology, Eric has led GTM strategy for multiple Gartner-named leaders. You may <a href="" target="_blank" title="Connect with Eric on LinkedIn">connect with Eric on LinkedIn</a>, or send him an email any time at <a href="" target="_blank" title=""></a>. Eric Rudolf Brightcove Introduces Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Program Tue, 16 Nov 2021 05:00:00 GMT A Reflection of Place At Brightcove, we exist to connect communities through video. So, naturally, we take our place in our communities seriously. From the universe of people watching videos, the customers who rely on video to reach their audiences, our employees and their families, to the local communities where we work -- we are dedicated to respecting people and our environment. Our commitment to people and the environment has been part of the company culture for as long as we can remember. Over time, each part of the organization adopted practices to support these commitments. We’ve had policies and procedures in place to promote diversity and prevent discrimination and harassment. As a technology company selling software, we’ve had relatively low carbon emissions. We’ve worked in environmentally-conscious buildings, which are accessible via public transportation wherever possible. These efforts were inherent to Brightcove, but they existed primarily in principle and not in form. We had no way of explicitly sharing our commitment with our employees, customers, or communities. That’s where the idea of formalizing our environmental, social, and governance practices came in. But, how? There are myriad reasons to get on the ESG train: It’s trendy. It’s viewed favorably by customers. It helps to retain and attract talent. It’s viewed favorably by investors, etc. When asked to help develop Brightcove’s ESG program, my mission was to create programs to further our positive social and environmental impact, both internally and in our community, in a manner that is authentic to Brightcove's culture. We brainstormed numerous things that Brightcove could do, and logged infinite possibilities that could make a difference. Labor rights policies, resource use policies, supply chain responsibility policies, climate change strategies, business ethics practices, waste intensity disclosures, human trafficking and slavery audits...the options can spin a burgeoning ESG program out of control. To maximize our impact, we’ve restrained ourselves from taking on every opportunity at once. Instead, our approach is a measured one. We’ve surveyed the current state of Brightcove’s humanitarian and environmental efforts and unearthed tendencies towards transparency, employee development, honoring differences, and employee-powered sustainability practices. Our first step is to memorialize these realities, making them known and ensuring that we do not back away from what has already become part of Brightcove’s essential culture. A conscious, authentic business Today, we launched Brightcove’s ESG webpage, which shares our approach and keeps us accountable. It reflects initiatives that are real and meaningful for our company: Board diversity Shouldering the responsibility to protect personal data An ongoing, transparent dialogue between management and employees Practices and training to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging among our employees Through the ESG program, we are motivated to do more. The program – our efforts – will constantly evolve as we evaluate and reevaluate how we can make the most substantial impact in our communities. We’ve only just hit “play” and eagerly anticipate the strides Brightcove will make as the program develops. You can learn more about it here – and check back soon to keep up with our progress. Asya Calixto Forrester Report: The ROI of Brightcove for Media Companies Wed, 03 Nov 2021 04:00:00 GMT For media companies, so much is riding on your choice of video platform. And while making a decision this impactful, you can already hear the questions: Will it be worth the expense? How will it help? What kind of return can we expect on this investment? These can be difficult questions to answer because there are so many factors to consider. So we commissioned Forrester Consulting to explore them. Their findings are contained in "The Total Economic Impact of Brightcove on Media Organizations" – download it here. What they discovered The big takeaway? Forrester found that media companies can realize a 226% ROI over three years with Brightcove. Breaking things down a little, media organizations experience many benefits while using the Brightcove platform. You can: Attract a 15-20% larger audience due to the ability to quickly deliver content to new markets and devices. Spend 80% less time migrating content thanks to the ability to quickly transcode massive amounts of video. Dedicate 83% less time to manual content management because of an easy-to-use interface and better overall UX. See 75% fewer compliance problems due to built-in security features that significantly reduce the risk of SLA violations and the fines that result. Gain 50% of employees’ time back from the ability to process videos from any vendor without quality loss or outages. Increase customer lifetime value as a result of a better overall viewer experience. Media organizations operate in fast-moving and ever-changing environments. They require all parts of their organizations to provide high-quality content at a moment’s notice. As media organizations continue to expand digital video offerings globally, the need for video quality, speed to market, and platform flexibility becomes even more critical. – "The Total Economic Impact of Brightcove on Media Organizations," a Forrester study commissioned by Brightcove For media companies, it’s essential to get video right Any organization that depends on delivering flawless video must understand the distinction between a platform built for serious business and one that is built for… much less. Learn what you need to know in "The Total Economic Impact of Brightcove on Media Organizations" – you can download it here. Give your employees and your audience an experience they’ll both love. Because there’s video… and there’s Brightcove video. Lexie Knauer How Brightcove Uses Fastly to Decrease Time to First Byte Thu, 28 Oct 2021 04:00:00 GMT As the starting point for almost every video playback session, the Playback API is one of the most heavily-trafficked Brightcove services. It's also one of the oldest, having powered Brightcove's video streams for around a decade. In this blog post we'll look at how we completely rewrote, rearchitected, and transparently swapped out the service to bring it in line with the high levels of availability and scalability that users have come to expect from Brightcove. WHAT IS THE PLAYBACK API? When a user loads a webpage that contains a Brightcove player, the first call it will make is to the Playback API to retrieve all of the information it needs to begin downloading and playing back video. The URL the player calls looks like the following, with variations to allow pre-defined or search-based playlists of multiple videos: In return, it will receive a large block of JSON that contains metadata about the video and URLs for the video manifest files. SECURITY Security around this API is provided by PolicyKeys, which are encoded JSON blobs that can contain an account ID, geo allow and deny lists, and a list of domain names to ensure that a given video can only be played back under certain circumstances. Without one of these keys, playback will always be rejected. These restrictions can also be stored in Brightcove's CMS at both a per-account and per-video level. WHY CHANGE IT? The first incarnation of the Playback API served us well for a long time, but it had begun to show its age when compared to the rest of the Dynamic Delivery services that make up our video playback flow. In particular, it was: Hosted in a single geographic region within the United States. This meant that playback would fail for users globally if there were problems in this region. It also added a lot of latency to video startup times when being called from locales like Australasia or Japan. Difficult to cache for and slow to reflect updates. Although it was partially fronted by a content delivery network (CDN), we could only cache for a short amount of time to ensure that users wouldn't have to wait too long to see changes to the video metadata or manifests. Written in a different language (Clojure) than the rest of the Dynamic Delivery services (Go). Difficult to scale, particularly for videos that used geoblocking or IP whitelisting. Because we used a third-party service to look up where a particular playback request was coming from and match it against the video's restrictions, we had to bypass the CDN whenever these restrictions were being used: When delivering video, we rely heavily on CDNs to cache as much content as possible to allow viewers to download video from someplace geographically close for the smoothest streaming experience. Since the Playback API request sits between the viewer and their chosen video beginning to play, whenever this content isn't cached, we're increasing their wait time along with the chance that they'll leave to view something else. While CDN caching is relatively straightforward for chunks of video or audio, it becomes more complex when trying to cache the response of an API that can potentially allow or deny a request (e.g., "Get me information about Video X") based on a combination of viewer location, IP, the website the video is being viewed from, and whether or not they're using a proxy or VPN. In addition, we have to make sure we're combining the client-side Policy Key and the server-side account configuration and video metadata to apply these restrictions correctly. THE VISION - CACHE EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME We use Fastly as one of our CDNs within Dynamic Delivery, particularly when their powerful VCL language lets us perform advanced logic without having to make a request back to the origin. With the addition of a set of geolocation variables on every request, we came up with a design that would allow us to cache Playback API responses at the CDN indefinitely and perform all of the logic around access to the response within Fastly. We did this by having the origin return all of the data needed to make georestriction decisions to the CDN, along with the response body: First, the CDN checks if the requested video is already in cache. If not, it calls the Playback API to retrieve it. The Playback API then calls the CMS API to retrieve all of the information about the video, plus any viewing restrictions that might be stored at a per-video or per-account level. The Playback API decodes the Policy Key and overlays any restrictions from it on top of the ones it discovered from the CMS API, then returns these as HTTP headers along with the standard response body. Fastly will now return or deny the response to the viewer who just requested it and store the response and its headers in cache, so the next time a request for this video comes in, we can do all that logic within Fastly and avoid a trip to the origin. CACHE INVALIDATION - AN EASY PROBLEM Now that we were caching indefinitely at the CDN, the next problem was how to purge that cache when necessary – for example, when something changes with the video (its description edited, DRM enabled, geo-restriction altered, etc.) or on the account that owns the video (e.g., new IP added to the IP whitelist). The naive approach that the previous iteration of the system took was to set a header that told the CDN to fetch a fresh copy after 20 minutes, meaning that that was the maximum time users would have to wait to see their changes reflected. With our new architecture and Fastly's Surrogate Keys, we improved on this to give us the best of both worlds: indefinite caching and almost instant updates when something changes. The first step was to begin using these Surrogate Keys. The Playback API returns its responses with the Surrogate Key header set, which instructs Fastly to tag the CDN cache entry with whatever values it contains – for example, Surrogate-Key: video-id-132413 account-id-938456. This will now allow us to automate the purging of either a specific video ID or all videos for a particular account ID with a single Fastly API call. Next, we subscribed the Playback API to a change feed that the CMS API emits, which lets us know any time something changes with a video or account: Once this purge happens, the next request that comes in will receive a fresh copy from the Playback API that contains whatever changes were made. TL;DR – DID IT WORK? Yes! The new Playback API has let us overcome the limitations of the old system – it's written in Go, containerised and deployed in multiple global regions, and autoscales on demand. With the new CDN architecture, all Playback API requests are now cacheable, and we're seeing the high cache hit rates translating into vastly improved "time to first byte" for viewers, particularly in Asia and Australasia, with one customer sharing player data showing response times down from an average of 300ms to below 50ms. Which is great - because everybody is happier when videos start to play fastly. Thom Shutt Calculating the ROI of Your Video Marketing Platform Thu, 21 Oct 2021 16:00:00 GMT If you’re thinking about investing in an enterprise video platform, you can already hear the questions: Will it be worth the expense? How will it help? What kind of return can we expect on this investment? These can be difficult questions to answer because there are so many factors to consider. So we commissioned Forrester Consulting to explore them. Their findings are contained in “The Total Economic ImpactTM of Brightcove on Enterprise Organizations” – download it here. What they discovered The big takeaway? Forrester found that enterprises can realize a 225% ROI over three years with Brightcove. Breaking things down a little, here are some of the benefits that companies using the Brightcove platform experience: 83% less time required to manage video platforms and content libraries, giving you time back in your day to focus on other business-building activities. 20% more conversions from deeper engagement that produces more leads, sales or checkouts and, ultimately, more revenue. 75% more efficient syndication workflows for faster content delivery and a more agile team. 80% less time required to migrate existing content to the Brightcove platform for faster delivery and less time wasted waiting for videos to upload. 50% less money spent on additional content distribution and management solutions means fewer tools and vendors to deal with and less stress for everyone, including IT. Improved security for more peace of mind, especially on the IT and security teams. Deeper engagement with all internal communications, making it ideal for onboarding, announcements, training, etc. – video is incredibly effective at building culture and encouraging participation in a company. Increased stability and reliability that can effortlessly handle the scale required by global businesses. Video platforms are now a must-have...for dozens of use cases covering internal communications, marketing, external communications, and e-commerce. The need to reach a range of audiences with live and on-demand video is increasing exponentially, and Brightcove offers enterprises a secure, scalable, self-service video management and distribution platform to drive engagement, demand, and even revenue. –"The Total Economic Impact of Brightcove on Enterprise Organizations," a Forrester study commissioned by Brightcove For businesses, it’s essential to get video right If your organization is thinking about video, it’s essential for you to understand the distinction between a platform built for serious business and one that is built for… much less. Learn what you need to know in “The Total Economic Impact of Brightcove on Enterprise Organizations” – you can download it here. Video can make an enormous difference to your business, but the company you choose to partner with and the platform it’s presented on make a major difference, too. There’s video… and there’s Brightcove video. Matt Noyes Brightcove Play 2021 Recap: Watch Sessions On Demand Thu, 14 Oct 2021 20:00:00 GMT Video enthusiasts from all over the world joined us for PLAY 2021. If you weren’t one of them, you missed some incredibly inspiring, compelling, and informative sessions. But as we always say, one of the great things about virtual events is that they can live on long after the event itself is over. Which is why you should head on over to PLAY TV and check out everything you (temporarily) missed. You can access it on the web at or by downloading the PLAY TV app from the Apple or Android stores. Here’s just a sample of the 24+ hours of PLAY 2021 content you’ll find there: The day 1 keynote with groundbreaking storyteller and founder of Shondaland Shonda Rhimes, in which she talks about her creative process, what makes a story work, where she gets ideas from, and more. How the New South Wales, Australia school department uses video to keep their entire community informed and engaged. Super-helpful tips for presenting yourself on video from human behavior expert Vanessa Van Edwards. (Trust us, this one goes way beyond “don’t wear a plaid shirt.”) A fascinating look at how arts organizations like Lyric Opera are using video to reach new audiences all over the world. How Akamai uses virtual events to stay connected with their global workforce. And so much more in our communication and engagement, digital marketing and e-commerce, and media tracks. And be sure to check out the sessions on these exciting new products from Brightcove: CorpTV, which lets every company have their very own always-on video channel for things like news and updates, employee communications, and onboarding and training. (Fun fact: PLAY TV is Brightcove’s CorpTV channel, so that will give you an idea of the kind of experience you can create.) The Brightcove Marketplace, where you’ll find all kinds of powerful integrations to extend and enhance the capabilities of your Video Cloud platform. You can connect directly with our technology partners there, too, to discuss your particular needs. And Brightcove Marketing Studio, which makes it easy for marketing teams to use video by keeping it centrally organized and making it readily available within the tools your teams are already using. One last thing before you head over to PLAY TV. During the day 2 keynote from the creators of the beloved documentary Crip Camp, which was only made possible by the advent of portable (if 17 pounds counts as portable!) video cameras, Jim LeBrecht, the film’s co-producer and co-director, observed that “you can have all this technology, but it's the human beings behind all of that that really make or break something." And it occurred to us that this is the true power of video: on some level or in some way, every video is about people. We hope the content you’ll find on PLAY TV helps you to inspire, inform, and entertain… we hope it helps you tell your story. John Simpson Building Video Interactivity: HapYak Joins Brightcove Thu, 14 Oct 2021 13:00:00 GMT Video is already an engaging and compelling medium to tell stories, communicate information, and connect with an audience. Advances in interactive technology, personalization, and embedded calls-to-action have only enhanced the power of video to engage enterprise users spanning media, marketing, sales organizations, and human resources. In 2021, Brightcove acquired long-time partner, HapYak: a leader in the video interactivity market. Through this acquisition, Brightcove customers can customize video assets at scale with exciting interactive features. Clickable hotspots. Add URLs at any point in your video to drive traffic to unique destinations. Forms. Include forms as an overlay to your video and capture individual viewer information in the moment. Shopping cart purchases. Make your videos shoppable and enable in-video purchases. With a single seamless click, without leaving the video player, your customer can shop and you can make revenue. Quizzes. Collect individual viewer data and preferences by embedding quizzes within your video player. Choose-your-own adventure paths. With branching technology, you can link between videos and allow your viewers to create their own experience as they choose their next piece of content (all while collecting data on what they choose next) Customized calls-to-action. Include the call-to-action that makes the most sense for your goals and audience: buy now, sign up, subscribe, download, schedule an appointment, and more. With so many interactive touch points available, Brightcove is proud to offer additional analytics powered by HapYak’s technology. Customers can analyze online video performance with unique audience feedback from polls, personalized calls-to-action, and data from clickable links. These granular insights are powerful indicators of engagement and intent. When integrated with other solutions like marketing automation, web analytics, and back office platforms, these unique insights drive increased lead quality, conversion rates, and ROI. To learn more about how Brightcove and HapYak can help you get started with interactive video, visit our product page. Karen Levy The Value of Non-Verbal Communication with Vanessa Edwards Thu, 30 Sep 2021 15:30:00 GMT Non-Verbal Communication, Deeper Conversations, and What Will Shock the People of the Future Vanessa Van Edwards is the national bestselling author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, which has been translated into 16 languages. As founder of Science of People, Vanessa’s YouTube videos have been seen by over 36 million people. For over a decade she has trained audiences around the world, including Fortune 500 companies and audiences at MIT and SXSW. I recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions in preparation for her session at PLAY 2021 on October 5-6. For an expert in non-verbal communication, she sure has a lot of interesting things to say. In terms of body language and non-verbal communication, what is the number one thing you wish people knew about how they present themselves? The majority of our communication is nonverbal -- 60% plus. Yet we often practice our answers, we script out our presentations. We need to practice our nonverbal delivery along with our words. How did you become interested in this field? I see so much potential for brilliant people who could be magnifying their message. When I began to read the research of how much we can do to increase our impact, I realized I had to share it. My goal is to give specific tools to professionals they can use to immediately improve their communication. In your own experiments on human behavior, what have you found that has surprised you the most? I was surprised that the questions we ask each other the most: "How are you?" and "What do you do?" are the worst for building trust and rapport. I had to go on a "how are ya?" diet! It was so hard to cut it out ... but once I did I had such deeper conversations! We talk a lot about video's ability to connect people - talk a bit about human connections and why they're important. + How important is it to see someone to make a connection with them? Do we connect with faces in ways we simply can't connect with voices alone? Video communication is incredibly important for quickly connecting with anyone from afar. Video allows us to see facial expressions, gestures, posture and even body movement. This is essential for building lasting trust. We can do it without video but it is so much harder. Without video we are guessing, we are hoping and we are far less in control of our first impression and charisma. More people than ever are making or appearing in videos today - what advice would you give them to make their videos more persuasive and more believable? What common mistakes do people make? I LOVE video as a communication method. And it can set us up for tremendous success with our communication...if done right. First, be sure the camera is at least 18 inches from your nose. Sounds odd, I know, but it is important you don't get too close to the camera because it will trigger invasiveness for viewers. We like to observe space zones with people even on camera. Second, make sure you can see your upper body in the shot -- especially hand gestures! The more of someone you can see, the more you feel you can understand them. For thousands and thousands of years, human behavior evolved in a world which was fairly static - the world you were born into was not that different from the world you died in. That's no longer true - far from it. What kind of challenges does the extremely rapid pace of change in our world pose to human behavior? I think our rapid pace world has helped us reach for the stars. We are accomplishing far more than ever before. We are performing things we never thought possible. This is wonderful, but it also produces burnout faster. The best way to be successful is to push our limits while also protecting our recharge space. Let's speculate a bit: If you go back a hundred years, you can find countless examples of human behavior that would be unacceptable today. What do we do today that will have people shaking their heads a hundred years from now? I think people of the future will be shocked at how much we touch strangers. The first thing we do when we meet a stranger? Put our hand to theirs. I think over time we will be more cautious with our touch...only giving it to people we care about so as not to risk germ exposure. I think one day we might only handshake with our friends. Want to hear more from Vanessa and many other fascinating speakers? Register here for PLAY 2021, free and fully virtual October 5-6. John Simpson Introducing the Brightcove Integration & Partner Marketplace Tue, 28 Sep 2021 13:00:00 GMT Meet the Marketplace Video is the most engaging medium to deliver your message to any audience because it is so effective at telling a story, delivering information, making an emotional impact – and it has never been more accessible than it is today. But how you create, publish, and analyze video can vary widely depending on whether you need to reach a customer looking for product demos, an employee working remotely, or a sports fan in another country, and finding a complete solution that can solve your business’s unique challenges can be time-consuming if not impossible. At Brightcove, we deliver flawless video for any use case through a combination of innovation, a robust technology ecosystem, and a steadfast commitment to our customers’ success. So today, we are excited to take the next step forward and introduce you to the Brightcove Marketplace™. The Brightcove Marketplace is the place to search and discover integrations and applications that extend the capabilities and the value of the Brightcove platform. We’ve heard time and again that teams and organizations are looking for creative ways to solve specific challenges. With the new marketplace you can do just that by complementing your tech ecosystem with proven solutions created specifically to enable the Brightcove platform to do more. ###Why visit the Brightcove Marketplace? Imagine you’ve just been told that the next company all-hands requires presenters from multiple locations, and everything has to have a professional look and feel. Typically, you might ping your Brightcove account representative, but with the Brightcove Marketplace, you can quickly search for “live streaming software,” or simply tell us your business challenge – for example, “I want to train and engage my employees.” Up comes Socialive, a self-service video content creation platform for live and on-demand video. In a matter of seconds, you’ve found exactly what you need to ensure a successful all-hands. “The Brightcove Marketplace offers a one-stop experience for customers to find solutions like ours,” says Socialive CEO and founder, David Moricca. “We are excited to support customers looking to extend their Brightcove experience and take their video experiences to the next level.” Beyond content creation tools, you’ll also discover solutions like Watching That, which collects data from every ad and every video view across every device in near-real time, allowing you to monitor, control, troubleshoot, and optimize all corners of your OTT revenue operations with a greater level of accuracy. Cameron Church, CEO and founder of Watching That, said, “The marketplace is a great way for customers to explore the best tools for their specific needs. Now they can benefit from the Brightcove experience they love, coupled with Watching That’s market-leading platform and our revenue operations experts to guide them.” And that is what’s amazing about the Brightcove Marketplace – with other vendors, you are left to your own devices to research and identify solutions that work with your existing technology stack, but Brightcove customers can connect directly with the integration and application developers, with support from the Brightcove team to ensure a seamless experience. We are excited to share this new innovation to help you deliver incredible video experiences for any use case – and we have only just begun our journey. You can see what integrations are currently available by visiting the Brightcove Marketplace or through a direct link in Brightcove Video Cloud. We will be adding new integrations regularly, so don’t hesitate to provide us with ideas for solutions and integrations you’d like to see! Erik Ducker Top 5 Reasons to Attend Brightcove Play 2021 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 04:00:00 GMT There Are So Many Reasons to Attend PLAY 2021 Whatever your industry or role, PLAY 2021 will teach you how to do all this and much more. Free and fully virtual, it will happen October 5-6 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM in three time zones (KST, GMT, and EDT). With over 24 hours of content, 25+ sessions and 40+ speakers and thought leaders – you can see the full agenda here – there are so many reasons to attend PLAY 2021. Here are our top five. 1. Get powerful ideas you can use now to build meaningful connections with all your audiences. Transforming your business through connections is what PLAY 2021 is all about. And the most impactful way to build connections that drive results is with video. So come and learn to elevate your content and your marketing strategy from top executives like HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar. Let Jon Steinberg, President of Altice News and Advertising and Founder & CEO of Cheddar News, teach you how to engage larger audiences with next-level content. And uncover new ways to use emotional connection to build and scale your brand with marketing innovator Swan Sit. 2. Learn best practices for driving real results for your business with three tracks to choose from – media, digital marketing/e-commerce, and internal comms. All the content at PLAY 2021 has been organized into three tracks – one for people in media (or anyone with content they want to monetize, like sports leagues and teams or symphonies and arts organizations), one is for digital marketers and e-commerce sellers, and one is for internal communications and community engagement professionals. You can dive deep into one track or explore them all – it’s entirely up to you. However you choose to experience PLAY, you’re sure to take away ideas and tips that will have a big impact on your business. 3. Be inspired by some of the best storytellers out there, including keynotes by groundbreaking creator, writer, and producer Shonda Rhimes and the creators of Crip Camp. No one is a born storyteller – it’s an art you have to learn. And at PLAY 2021, you’ll learn from the best. Like Shonda Rhimes, the endlessly creative mind behind Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder, as well as the most-watched series in Netflix history, Bridgerton. And Nicole Newnham, Jim Lebrecht, and Howard Gutstadt, the creators of Crip Camp, a documentary that leaves an indelible mark on the heart of everyone who sees it – a true testament to video’s power to tell stories that drive change. Incredible amounts of inspiration are on the agenda for PLAY 2021. 4. Attending couldn’t be easier – PLAY 2021 is free, fully virtual, and scheduled for three different time zones. With travel time and costs, not to mention our responsibilities at home, attending physical events can be a challenge. Not so with virtual – just “travel” to your computer and log on. If you’ve never attended a virtual event, trust us, you’ll be a believer after the first day. And PLAY is completely free, too. We’ve even scheduled it in three different time zones – 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM KST, GMT, and EDT – so no matter where in the world you are, one will be convenient for you. 5. Be the first to hear major announcements about new Brightcove products and updates. Our unrivalled track record of video innovation continues with the announcement of (drum roll)...some very exciting new technologies that PLAY attendees will be the first to hear about. Our latest products will let you do more with video, and they let video do more for you and your organization – whether you want to build pipeline, monetize content, or engage your employees. We can’t wait to tell you more about them at PLAY 2021. And because video tends to overdeliver, we’ll include a sixth reason to attend PLAY 2021... 6. Every bit of content will be available to watch on demand after the event is over. Are two breakouts that you want to see happening at the same time? No worries. Every session will be available on demand on PLAY TV as soon as it concludes. Watch something you missed, share something you loved with a colleague – the content at a virtual event lives on long after the event itself. (And that’s just a small portion of all the must-see video you’ll find on PLAY TV.) For a closer look at the speakers and topics we have in store for you, check out the complete agenda here. Then be sure to register for PLAY 2021. It will change the way you use video...and transform your business as a result. John Simpson Episode 2: Creating Videos that Convert to Business Fri, 13 Aug 2021 14:30:00 GMT In the first episode of my three-part series, Videos That Convert, we talked about the things video is especially good at – when to use it and when not to. Episode two, Put Them Where They Work, is all about distributing your video for maximum impact so you can squeeze every last bit of R from your I. (As in ROI.) Here’s a brief look at some of the insights we cover. “Put Them Where They Work” actually means a couple of things Sure, it means their actual destination – your website’s home page, on a landing page, in an email campaign or a newsletter, on social media...there are many, many possibilities. But it also means to think about where they’ll live in the sales funnel – what kind of video will perform best at that specific funnel stage. So the kind of video you should make starts with identifying its destination. For example, a flagship video on your homepage has more longevity. Since its purpose is to catch someone's attention and introduce your brand to them, you can justify a higher production value and budget than for, say, a social media video, which has a comparatively limited lifespan. You're not going to invest the same amount of time and money into that video, and you don't need to. In fact, simply deciding where your video will live will determine a lot about its visual style, how long it should be, and the calls to action you should use. Next question: What’s your goal for this video? What do you want the viewer to experience? Are you trying to connect with them in an authentic way, or make them feel something about your brand as a whole? Do you want to simply entertain them versus educate them on a more complex idea? Let’s say your goal for this video is to get people to feel something about your brand – to think, “That brand looks pretty cool. I like them.” Where would such a video fit in your marketing funnel? At the very top: this kind of video would be best suited for an awareness campaign. Now, if you have enough awareness and that’s not what you had in mind for this video, you need to go back to the beginning and think about your goal. But if you’re still nodding your head, you’re ready to start mapping out the various destinations this video could go, like your social channels (great for building awareness), your newsletter, maybe as an ad before your next webinar – there are lots of places that would make sense. Minimizing your investment and maximizing your return The takeaway here is that having a plan, even one as basic as writing down your goal, subject, funnel stage, and destination, will allow you to increase your return exponentially compared to your investment. And with just a little foresight, you can stretch those resources even farther. For example, once you’ve made a two-minute video, it takes very, very little additional effort to make a 30-second version that’s perfect for Twitter. Or a square version for TikTok and Instagram. Or maybe when you shoot your video, you record two different introductions that you can use for two different audiences. The point here is simple but powerful: every one of these examples will extend your video’s reach and grow your return for a minimal investment. That’s smart video marketing. Ready to dive deeper into all this stuff and get your video in front of the right viewers at the right time? Watch episode two of Videos That Convert. Nathan Veer Episode 1: Creating Videos that Convert to Business Tue, 27 Jul 2021 04:00:00 GMT What makes a video work? Why does one work and the other doesn't? How do you get people to click, and how do you get your videos to make money? I recently launched a three-part video series to explore those questions – it’s called Videos That Convert. This blog post will give you a taste of what I covered in the first episode. I’m hoping this post will entice you to watch the video. Okay, to answer the question, “What makes a video work?” we’re going to break it up into two smaller ones: What is video best at? What do we want to talk about? Let’s start by busting a myth The myth is that video is too hard or too expensive. The reality is that most people overestimate the effort that goes into video and they underestimate the return they’re going to get on their investment. There is so much you can do with even a single video without a massive budget or a ton of time. You just need to make sure your goals are aligned with the things video does best: Getting someone's attention and engaging them. Nothing does that as well as video does. Connecting with someone on a personal level. Video conveys things like facial expressions and tone of voice, allowing you to make a personal connection. Making you feel something. You can use music, dramatic locations, a fancy voice over, so many ways to evoke emotion... Entertaining people. Videos excite people. What sounds more fun, “Read this PDF” or “Watch this!” Explaining complex things concisely. Nothing beats video at that. So what do you want to talk about? Now let's look at that other question: what do we actually want to talk about? Things like your new product release, solutions that you offer, your latest content, your white paper, your upcoming events? Uh-uh. You can talk about that stuff, but don't lead with it. Start with something that people can relate to. Connect with your audience on some level first. One of the easiest ways to do this is to talk about common challenges that people in your industry have. Ask your sales team; ask your support team – they hear about customer pain points day in and day out. There are lots of other ways to create that connection, too, and I talk about them in the full episode. But right now I just want to focus on the main point, you need to start with something they can relate to. THEN and only then have you earned the right to talk about your product and your solutions. So I just used about 500 words of text on a page to scratch the surface of a topic that video is perfect for. Remember when I said earlier that nothing beats video for explaining things? Well, don’t just take my word for it – watch episode one of Videos That Convert. Nathan Veer Increasing Content Effectiveness: How Data Unlocks Better Licensing Decisions Thu, 15 Jul 2021 17:00:00 GMT Predicting hit shows has become a science driven by data. Netflix famously uses subscriber insights to decide what to create next. Hulu reportedly looks at piracy figures to work out what shows have a passionate fan base. And it’s not just major players. Niche services are also doubling down on data to get the most out of their investment in content. When you think about the complex role of content for a video streaming service, this should come as no surprise. Content needs to simultaneously inspire new customers to join, delight existing subscribers, and prevent users from switching. It’s a tall order, especially given the amount of content consumers have access to; <a href="" target="_blank" title="Global Content Spend Hit $220 Billion in 2020">global content spend hit $220 billion in 2020</a> in a bid to attract and retain subscriber attention. Using data to work out the impact of content and its effectiveness towards these goals is essential for enhancing licensing efforts and platform performance. But where should you start? STEP 1: MEASURE THE VALUE OF CONTENT Valuing content is complex. It’s not just the licensing or production cost stacked up against how many eyeballs it attracts. There’s also perceived value, like the direct and indirect contribution of each content asset on the service. For example, a newly licensed asset might not encourage many subscribers to sign up. But for a percentage of your user base, it might be what makes them stick around for another month. For others, an original TV series could be what pulls them deeper into your ecosystem during their all-important trial period, resulting in another paid-up subscriber. Each asset has a unique impact on your streaming service, the value of which is hidden in your platform data. To factor this in when licensing or creating new content, you’ll want to look at the following: The engagement of previous titles in the same wheelhouse. The value contribution of similar content (time spent on platform, etc.). The impact of similar content on user acquisition and retention. Delving into the platform engagement and audience data for your service to answer these questions will help you better plan for future content acquisition. With the help of an audience insights platform, you can also work out what assets are most effective at meeting the needs of your audience and how the value of those assets changes over time. STEP 2: UNCOVER DEEPER INSIGHTS Advanced audience insights platforms, like Brightcove Audience Insights, provide the actionable intelligence you need to make decisions about content effectiveness and how that impacts future investment. Service Rating, one of our audience insights, is a calculation of the percentage of subscribers and trialists who watch a new asset in a 30-day window. The Net Service Rating, another insight, goes a step further by measuring the percent of subscribers and trialists who watched more than three-quarters of the title, series, or event to reveal how valuable that content is relative to its audience size and engagement rate. With the right metrics, you can work out where an engagement problem presents itself. For example, a TV series you’ve licensed may hold audience attention for the first few episodes, but interest drops off around episode six or seven. That kind of insight can help you determine if you should renew for another series or not. Deeper insights from metrics like Net Service Rating give you a data-driven way to measure if your licensing efforts are in line with the needs of your users. They can be used for any connected content series, whether that’s a TV show, movie franchise, or sports tournament. STEP 3: CREATE A FEEDBACK LOOP Blending deeper insights with engagement data helps to more accurately predict the type of content that will resonate with your subscribers and reveals the issues that lead to a drop in engagement. Adjusting your promotion efforts based on these insights will help you in the quest to get the right content in front of the right subscriber at the right time. But those aren’t the only benefits of how Service Rating and Net Service Rating can be used to bring marketing and licensing closer together. These insights also create a feedback loop of content performance, which can track the value of your investment in new content over time in two ways: Identifying high ROI assets: Highly-engaging content with low licensing costs. Tracking poor performers: Content that costs a lot to buy or license but doesn’t have much impact on subscriber retention or conversion. These insights benefit content discovery too. The constant addition of new assets – although essential – won’t have the right impact on your service if discovery isn’t handled correctly. Keeping tabs on Net Service Rating, for example, makes it easier to know what assets to promote. You can work out what content viewers are gravitating towards, what they want to see more of, and whether continued investment in your leading IP is valuable. MAXIMIZE CONTENT EFFECTIVENESS With platforms like Brightcove Audience Insights, you can look at the correlation between assets and identify whether trial users are more likely to convert if they watch certain assets during their trial window. You can even see the strength of the relationship between different types of content in general. By tracking content effectiveness in this way, content promotion will become more effective. Subscriber retention and re-engagement strategies will become more efficient too, through optimizing your upcoming content pipeline. With the right data-driven insight, you’ll be able to better meet the needs of different subscriber groups, while also making your investment in licensing or producing new content pay dividends. Marty Roberts Tips for Keeping Sports Fans Connected & Engaged with Video Thu, 15 Jul 2021 16:23:00 GMT Waving giant foam fingers and eating overpriced hotdogs will always be the ultimate way to enjoy a live sports event. But as the past year or so has shown us, video has become an essential part of the fan experience, and teams and organizations are accelerating their use of video to connect with fans in powerful ways. Recently, Brightcove sponsored The National Sports Forum Spring Summit and hosted a marketing workshop called “How To Keep Sports Fans Connected With Video.” This roundtable discussion featured the insights of: Aalum Jaffer, VP Brand, Victory Creative Group Amanda Weiner, Senior Director, Digital Media and Ticketing, USGA US Golf Association Keisha Wright, VP Integrated Marketing, THINK450/NBPA National Basketball Player Association Mary Pink, Associate Athletic Director, Marketing and Promotions, Iowa State University Here are key highlights of this conversation, offering new and unique ways for you to extend your audience reach and increase your revenue with sports video. Think beyond the game The actual sporting event or game is certainly a main attraction. But for passionate fans, the love of the game doesn’t end at the final buzzer, and you can continue to engage them in many ways. Develop a streaming app that offers content all year round Give fans a choice of the content they experience, from quick highlights and a weekly recap to select plays or the entire broadcast event Explore ways to curate content – for example, by creating a separate video channel of Top 10 players and their top moments Repurpose all the old video content you may have in your archives that fans would love to see: old telecasts, films, documentaries, etc. Take your sport and gamify it, giving fans a fun, hands-on experience that lets them compete and win Begin a draft-day event, bringing fans and past players together Create original content As the panel noted, the internet has unlimited shelf space, so your creativity is limited only by your imagination. Surprise and delight your fans, and they’ll come back for more. Create a customized video player showing more than just a leaderboard with player scorecards, highlights, live polling, live trivia, and more Original programming is huge right now – develop series that tell emotional and inspiring sports stories, both short and long form Come up with promotions to offer during live events, partnering with a sponsor and a personality/host to create excitement Showcase your players outside the game, from community involvement to fun ways they express themselves Kick-off a new season with a launch party, creating a robust event with corporate sponsors, home delivery of food and gear, DJ performances, and more Keep up the momentum The ways to use and monetize video are increasing rapidly as sports organizations discover how to tap into this powerful and popular medium. Even the biggest arena or ballpark is limited in size – see how video vastly increases your audience, reaching fans who might not be able to attend Partner with influencers to promote your sport and players Integrate the unique social media platforms of your players into your content Continually look at ways to package your content, from quick hits to full events Capitalize on data you gain from video usage, using insights to refine and target content Always seek different voices and perspectives that can translate into content for eager fans Sports fans will always have a love of the game, and video will simply strengthen and amplify that connection they have to your team and your players. As a premiere video software platform, Brightcove can make the most of your digital connection by delivering a high-quality and highly monetizable video experience across devices. Let us deliver serious fan video engagement for you. John Simpson From Stage to Screen: How Video is Transforming Performing Arts Thu, 01 Jul 2021 04:00:00 GMT Forced by necessity and driven by creativity, performing arts organizations today are embracing a hybrid model and finding innovative ways to use video to engage existing audiences and make new ones in every corner of the globe. This transformation was already underway when the pandemic kicked it into high gear. With theatres lowering their curtains, stadiums closing their gates, and film sets shutting down indefinitely, it was critical for the entertainment industry to adapt by leveraging digital solutions. The show must go on: Combining arts and technology Rising to the challenges of the past year, performing arts groups all over the world had to find new ways to engage fans, monetise content, and grow audiences in response to many in-person seasons being cancelled. With a mission to bring the power and beauty of orchestral music to more people in more places, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has been using video to grow its audience and share performances with people who might not be able to attend the symphony in person. During the lockdown, the SSO smoothly transitioned to video and made pre-recorded concerts and productions available on demand to audiences across the globe. Of course, for an orchestra, delivering high-quality performances with exceptional sound is critical, so they use Brightcove to deliver first-rate video experiences that capture every nuance of the music and keep their audiences coming back for more. Going behind the scenes: Bringing the audience experience closer than ever Livestreaming performances on a platform like Brightcove’s allows arts groups to deliver unmatched viewing experiences for virtually any size audience – and everyone gets a front-row seat from the comfort of their own home. But lovers of the performing arts have insatiable appetites for cultural content, and video provides them with immersive experiences that can take them backstage, let them peek into rehearsals, or participate in a Q&A session with a favorite artist. In response, video has become an integral part of many arts and entertainment organizations as they seek to offer both in-person and digital experiences. For example, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra recently launched MSO.LIVE, their digital platform to deliver accessible, affordable, world-class digital experiences to all audiences, to support their 2021 season. Offering 24-hour entertainment, both live and pre-recorded, MSO.LIVE delivers premium content as an alternative to traditional, in-person orchestral experiences. The orchestra has been able to attract new audiences from around the world with the MSO.LIVE platform, and they are continually enhancing their video content by releasing new performances each month and partnering with other world-class orchestras. The venue got a lot bigger: All the world’s a stage While 2020 made it urgent to pivot to new digital video experiences in response to the pandemic and its impact, many arts and entertainment organisations are now embracing these experiences as a long-term growth strategy. Video has literally opened up a new world of opportunity for these organisations to attract and engage new fans. No longer limited by their physical location or geographic borders, their performances and associated content can now be viewed virtually anywhere by anyone and at any time. As the world opens up once again and in-person performances return, the focus will shift to how video can be used to enhance and supplement these performances as well as how it can be used to create unique and enhanced experiences for a deeply engaged digital audience. Arts organisations can look forward to a hybrid future built on the twin pillars of in-person and video. And artists and fans can anticipate more of the connections that make performances and everything that surrounds them so powerful and meaningful. Jessica Reynolds Tips for Creating Engaging Virtual and Hybrid Event Experiences Thu, 27 May 2021 04:00:00 GMT Consider these two indisputable facts: #1, video is here to stay, and #2, we are more distracted than ever. So, as the world turns to video for more and more virtual experiences, it’s a constant challenge to keep audiences engaged and focused on the screen. Brightcove gathered a group of seasoned pros who discussed how they’re keeping the attention of viewers for virtual conferences, meetings, educational sessions and more. Rob Anderson, Customer Education Manager at GoDaddy Kate Nordstrom, Event Project Coordinator at Keller Williams Realty Nigel Reeves, Technology and Innovation Director at YPO David Towers, Senior Director of Digital Marketing at Arbonne Here are just some of the topics our panelists covered, along with recommendations for making sure your virtual experiences capture attention. SWITCH SEATS WITH YOUR VIEWERS Start by thinking about your viewers or attendees. They’re sitting in an office or on a couch, ready to click away and enjoy all the other joys of the internet. How can you hold on to them? Think about how they are taking in this experience…through a screen…by themselves. Show them something new. Break away from the same old onscreen routine they have every single day. We live in a TikTok world. Keep it moving by breaking longer topics into multiple shorter pieces. Make the breaks between sessions entertaining and informative. You can have an announcer recap the session, or bring in a DJ, show funny videos…something they aren’t expecting. Think quality vs. quantity. Remember your audience will remember 15% of what they hear at best. Give them one gold nugget to hold on to, not 100 pieces of clay. HIGH PRODUCTION VALUE, HIGHLY ENTERTAINING Viewers expect the same robust viewing experience they get on TV. It needs to be packaged in an interesting way. A screen of talking heads won’t cut it anymore. Picture quality and sound quality must be pure, strong and clear. High-quality graphics that enhance the story you are telling will keep your audience’s attention. Your host is a key factor in retaining your audience’s attention. The highest-ranking officer in your company may not be the most relatable host. The greatest speakers in the world don’t just share data; they tell a story that allows the listener to relate. Where networking is the focus, breakout rooms offer a more intimate environment that encourages networking. Consider topic or region-based rooms. Integrating prerecorded material with the live event allows you to invest in higher production values as well as deliver it multiple times to accommodate different time zones. USE DATA TO CREATE MORE ENGAGEMENT A unique advantage to online events compared to in-person is the data that is generated about your audience. Fine-tune your content; focus on your best-performing pieces and make sure they really grab their attention. Learn what videos or content were watched most often and reorder your presentation to have a stronger impact. Replace low-performing content with something else. Try something new and learn what your audience connects with. Segment your audience based on the type of content they are consuming. Then follow up with unique messaging that resonates with each group. Use the engagement data to help you develop new content for your next event, ensuring ever-increasing engagement. The need to engage and connect with your audience is more crucial than ever. From the world’s most high-profile events to company town halls, Brightcove knows this world backwards and forwards. Easily plan and host an event with live and on-demand video with our Virtual Events Experience. Generate content you can use again after the event. Create unique, interactive experiences with monetization options that are customized for your brand. Nathan Veer The Future of e-Commerce and Retail Live Streaming Wed, 26 May 2021 04:00:00 GMT It’s been a challenging year for retailers, and one in which the acceleration of digital initiatives has never been quicker. One of the strongest things that has come out of 2020 is the adaptability of the retail sector and their ability to pivot and deliver online solutions to bridge the physical gap with their customers. Retailers and brands have adapted their business models to leverage Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) and focused on ecommerce as a way to drive revenue, maintain a competitive advantage, and reach and engage customers in the absence of traditional retail channels. While this was partly borne out of necessity due to the pandemic, there is now a more permanent shift to how consumers will purchase in the future. The convergence of livestreaming and ecommerce has been largely driven out of <a href="" target="_blank" title="China">China</a> and is also gaining strong traction in the <a href="" target="_blank" title="US">US</a> with research projecting livestreaming in both markets to be worth <a href="" target="_blank" title="billions">billions</a>. With livestreaming, geographical location is no longer a barrier to access, helping to bridge the gap between social, entertainment and commerce through a sensory, real-time experience between the shopper and the seller. What is interesting, however, is that brands are emerging as the stalwarts of livestreaming. And while they may be ‘testing the waters’ so to speak, global brands like <a href="" target="_blank" title="KitKat">KitKat</a> are experimenting with livestreaming as an avenue to drive mindshare, build loyalty and deliver experiences for customers that will ultimately drive sales. Established global brands, such as Nike and Adidas, have recognised the merit of D2C and are now focused on generating at least 50 percent of their revenue directly engaging their customers. This sharp shift towards embracing all things digital has created a new omnichannel experience for consumers – one that is personalised, seamless and experiential across both online and offline touchpoints. From a customer’s point of view, this means increased convenience that allows them to shop whenever, wherever, on any device, creating an incredibly seamless experience from the first click to the last. For retailers, this means increased exposure and reach, which allows them to: Target new audiences and create unique interactions Increase engagement, drive conversion and cultivate loyalty Provide brands with key insights into their customers through the use of data and analytics With video, retailers are able to establish a richer connection directly with their target audience. Retailers must continue to understand the behaviours of consumers both in-store and beyond to attract new prospects while retaining loyal customers. In order to do this, brands must be agile to adapt and innovate, leveraging relevant technologies and solutions, such as video, to support them in this endeavour. Over the past year, there has been significant growth in the use of video at all levels of the customer journey to create an immersive customer experience. Pre-Purchase At this stage, video is predominantly used for search and discovery via social media, websites or email newsletters, giving customers the ability to visually research and uncover features and benefits in a more contextual way. Livestreaming is also gaining popularity as a way to ‘virtually’ launch a product or create a showcase event to engage prospective and current audiences. Online Purchase Video can be used to showcase related products or solutions or recommendations to drive increased cart size. For example, a fashion brand may show a video of a model wearing an outfit so customers can get a visualisation of the ‘look’ and fit, helping them imagine themselves wearing that outfit, followed by a ‘get the look’ video in-cart to drive additional sales. Brands can also use interactive shoppable videos that come with a CTA or click to cart conversion to deliver a more seamless experience. ‘Shoppable TV’ is also expected to emerge as another potential channel, as the lines become more blurred between entertainment experiences and ways to reach consumers. In-Store Purchase In a physical storefront, retailers will want their video content to be interactive. This could mean having QR codes or apps that demonstrate key product features and benefits, customer testimonials or reviews, or how-to-use demos. Through this form of visual storytelling, buyers have the opportunity to ‘test out’ the products in different settings. For example, a furniture store can use video to help customers visualise what a chair would look like in a virtual lounge room, giving them a visual context to help them make an informed decision. Separately, video is also a great way to build staff knowledge, leveraging video to train and upskill staff on products or services. Post-Purchase At this stage, it is about supporting your customer with relevant information on the product or service that they have purchased. In this instance, unboxing tutorials and how-to videos that educate your customers on how to get started are ideal. Brands are increasingly using video for advocacy – using user-generated video content for testimonials, or to showcase a product or solution in action. As we see more retailers looking to differentiate and use new and unique ways to engage and interact with consumers via the channel of their preference, video analytics is one of the most useful tools for measurement. This goes beyond the traditional impressions and clicks and dives into actual audience behaviour. Robust video analytics provides retailers: A comprehensive method to measure ROVI (return on video investment) Viewer engagement data, including who is viewing content, how it is being viewed (devices, browsers, operating systems), how long it is being viewed, and where viewers are coming from The right information to develop audience insights, target specific audiences with curated content that is personalised for them, and help form future video strategies and business decisions Using an end-to-end online video platform like Brightcove also allows retailers to easily integrate with e-commerce platforms such as Adobe Magento Commerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud B2C. The digital habits consumers developed during the pandemic lockdown will continue to persist. If you’re a retail business, we’d love the chance to help you adopt and unlock the power of video across your online and offline channels to create a robust omnichannel experience for your customers. Get in touch with us here. This content was originally featured in “<a href="" target="_blank" title="Livestream and E-Commerce: A Total Breakdown with Greg Armshaw from Brightcove">Livestream and E-Commerce: A Total Breakdown with Greg Armshaw from Brightcove</a>,” by Power Retail. Greg Armshaw Closing the Gap: How Brightcove Delivers Video into China Tue, 25 May 2021 04:00:00 GMT It is common knowledge that broad access to the e-commerce market is a key component of a comprehensive e-commerce strategy. To support our customers in reaching their key audience, Brightcove is excited to introduce the ability to deliver video into China through a partnership with global e-commerce giant Alibaba. As the first video provider to offer this capability, our customers are able to reach a vast new market and significantly grow their e-commerce opportunity. The past year has only heightened the importance of a strategic approach to e-commerce which includes the use of video, expansion to all markets and leverage social for awareness. In fact, global e-commerce sales in 2020 jumped 27.6% compared to the previous year, reaching $4.280 trillion – <a href="" target="_blank"> far ahead of eMarketer’s mid-pandemic assessment</a> of 16.5% growth. Now that we’re almost halfway through 2021, brands with merely adequate e-commerce experiences have to offer more: experiences that are captivating, engaging, and that increase cart conversions like never before. But where do you begin? With these 3 steps: 1. Use more video Video connects with customers way more than still pictures or text on a page. With video they can see how clothing moves when someone wears it...or how to install an appliance...or the meals they can cook with the spices they’re buying. Video brings products to vibrant life and entices people to buy – why else would so many social media influencers turn to video first to sell their products? Video is versatile, too: no matter where a prospect is on her customer journey, there’s a type of video that will move her closer to a purchase. You can share video across social channels to expand your audience and attract new customers, add videos to product pages to encourage viewers to add it to their cart, and create areas where customers can learn more about a product or watch testimonials and reviews from actual users. Video is the thread that can weave your brand, your tone, and your mission throughout the sales process. 2. Expand into China As we noted above, e-commerce saw significant growth globally in 2020 – but China made history, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. Recent studies have shown that China accounts for over <a href="" target="_blank"> 50% of global ecommerce transactions.</a> Think about that: more than half of all e-commerce sales around the world occur in China. It goes without saying that brands need to ensure that their e-commerce experiences are as engaging in mainland China as they are in the rest of the world, but this has been a challenge due to Chinese regulations...until now. Brands looking for a partner to reach this vast and enthusiastic market can turn to Brightcove. Our solution allows you to easily create a single video strategy and workflow that works around the world, including China. And it’s all backed by the reliability, scalability, and security of the Brightcove platform to bring you the extraordinary growth opportunities the Chinese market offers. 3. Build awareness on social Though the fate of social commerce is still up in the air, social media continues to shine (and grow) when it comes to product discovery, education, and consideration. Instead of focusing on social commerce experiences, brands should use social media for top-of-funnel brand awareness and demand generation. We all know at least someone who found a brand on social media and made a purchase – I, for example, bought my wedding flowers on Instagram – but it’s an ever-evolving channel, with new platforms being introduced (hello, TikTok!) and viewer trends constantly shifting. Our favorite tip from <a href="" target="_blank"> marketing gurus </a> is to learn from the experts: categories like fashion and beauty have already been successful at driving conversions on social media, especially with limited-edition product launches with a short path to purchase. Can other categories build on their success? That remains to be seen. With these three tips, every marketer can benefit from the ecommerce explosion – but remember, it all starts with the most powerful way to connect with customers: video. Karen Levy Video in the Enterprise: Debunking 3 Myths of a ‘New Normal’ Fri, 21 May 2021 04:00:00 GMT As someone who was in the video technology space a few years before the world went on lockdown, I feel like I understand it pretty well. For example, I know basic stuff like the difference between a meeting solution and a streaming platform. I also know more complicated ‘techie’ things like what video ingest entails, and how video security and video encryption are two very different concepts. And of course I know the “Touch Up My Appearance” slider is quite literally the best feature ever added to a video conferencing application. At least for me, anyway. There is no doubt the massive changes in video use due to office virtualizations, reductions in business travel and virtual event participation are significant, and it would be difficult for anyone to deny that. For enterprises across the globe it’s both culture-changing and transformational, and it may have even permanently modified the economy as we know it. But it’s not the ‘new normal’ as so many have claimed—and if you stick with me for a few minutes, I will do my best to explain exactly why this is the case. Myth #1: Office Virtualizations and Remote Work are Recent Challenges This past year truly represented the pinnacle when it came to marketing around video solutions. On one hand we had technology companies treating the pandemic like The Gold Rush, claiming their platforms could address ‘emerging’ workplace issues like remote collaboration, distributed employee engagement and video burnout. And on the other hand, we had the largest organizations in the world scrambling to buy and implement every video technology they could get their hands on. It was the perfect storm of chaos and confusion, even for those who understood exactly what was happening. In April, to help cut through the madness, published an article titled No Office, No Problem: 125 Companies Proving That Virtual Companies Can Thrive. But some of you may be surprised to know the article in question was actually published in April of 2015 . . . over six years ago. The point is, office virtualization and remote work are not new challenges being faced by enterprises. The video technology required to virtualize nearly all forms of corporate communication has existed for the better part of two decades. But up until the year 2020 many companies simply hadn’t bothered to adopt much if any of it. Myth #2: The Pandemic Forced Enterprises to Re-Evaluate Business Travel Since business travel was invented, companies have allowed staff to rent cars, book train passes or jump on planes whenever they sensed a customer was unhappy, or a prospect was speaking with a competitor. But if there’s one thing last year taught all of us as a business community, it’s that a physical presence is not always mandatory to re-engage with a customer or close a deal. Unless of course you are a CFO, in which case you have suspected this for a very long time. You see, CFOs already knew that spending $2,000 on a last-minute plane ticket to send a support rep to a customer site was bad for cash flow. They were also painfully aware that paying $50,000 in T&E annually per Sales Rep made for some really uncomfortable conversations during the annual audit. Corporate travel has been broken for a long time, and the pandemic did not force organizations to re-evaluate it. The pandemic simply gave organizations the proof they needed to move some of their travel investment to video-based technologies that help employees accomplish the same goals—at a significantly lower cost to the organization. Myth #3: No One Was Really Running Virtual Events Until 2020 A few weeks back I was reading a round table-style interview with a group of high profile marketing executives. In that article, one participant made the comment that rising momentum in people attending virtual educational conferences and seminars was something “no one could have anticipated.” As a marketer I would normally agree with this statement wholeheartedly . . . aside from the fact that I was invited to participate in my first virtual conference nearly 15 years ago. The conference in question claimed to offer attendee networking, virtual trade show booths, sponsor interactivity and even virtual prospecting. My company participated, and admittedly it was mostly a terrible experience at the time. But the idea of being able to participate in an event at low cost and time commitment–without having to put eight people on a plane or invest in yet another 30 x 30 booth display—was spot-on. And the potential in the emerging world of virtual event technology should have been clear to anyone who was paying close enough attention. Wrapping it Up So with all of the above in mind, what is my point? My point is, what we are experiencing today with the use of video in organizations is not a “new normal” as so many have claimed and continue to claim. What enterprises and brands are experiencing is the acceleration of a normal that was already headed our way. And whether or not we saw this normal coming, it’s time for enterprises and brands to start investing in proven, comprehensive video platform solutions that support remote work, the minimization of business travel, and self-service execution of virtual events. I’d like to end this article by encouraging you to <a href="" target="_blank"> sign up for a Brightcove Free Trial</a> — because it’s a platform that will allow your department, team or even enterprise to operate virtually, minimize travel and run your own virtual events every quarter, month, week or even day. Alternatively, if you’d like to speak with an expert or talk more about your enterprise and brand-related video use cases, <a href="" target="_blank"> please fill out this form on our website</a> and someone will get back to you shortly. Look for my next article soon, and thank you for giving me five minutes of your day! Eric Rudolf is the VP of Go-to-Market (GTM) Programs for Brightcove, the industry leader in empowering organizations to touch audiences with video in bold and innovative ways. With over 20 years in SaaS-based Enterprise Technology, Eric has led GTM strategy for multiple Gartner-named leaders in the video technology space. You may <a href="" target="_blank">connect with Eric on LinkedIn</a>, or send him an email any time at Eric Rudolf Monetizing a Global Fan Base with OTT Technology Wed, 12 May 2021 04:00:00 GMT Launching a global over-the-top (OTT) streaming service can be daunting. There’s so much to consider: content rights, languages, currencies, payment gateways, and more. Brightcove recently sat down with a panel of experts to uncover the things you should think about if you’re planning an OTT service of your own: Paolo Cuttorelli, VP APAC, Middle East and Africa at Evergent. Evergent provides an integrated revenue and user management application used by many of the world's leading communication and media companies. Moustapha Bekheet, VP and Managing Director at WatchiT!. Launched in 2019, WatchiT! is the first SVOD in the Arab world, reaching a global audience of 400 million people from its Egyptian headquarters. Becca Paoletti, Co-Founder and CEO of CakeWorks. New York City-based video agency [CakeWorks]( "Learn more about CakeWorks) helps content creators, media companies, publishers, and startups around the world with challenges like how to monetize effectively. Here are some of the insights they shared: On pricing and monetization Study the market and launch with exclusive or niche content. When you’re faced with the challenge of trying to launch a subscription-based service in a traditionally free-to-air market, focus on offering viewers content they can’t get anywhere else. If viewers are going to pay for content, exclusivity equals value. Know your audience – and your competition. Get to know your potential audience inside out: Who are they? What are they watching? What are their interests? What platforms are they on today, and how much are they spending? In the US, people are already paying for four to five streaming platforms. Understand the difference between content viewers will pay a premium for versus content that is available for free on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok. Start lower and offer multiple options. If your technology allows it, offer tiered pricing with a low entry-level option. Then be as flexible as your platform permits. For example, if you have higher-value content, monetize it through a transactional or premium subscription package. Reduce or remove free trials. A lot of services, like Disney+, Netflix, Curiosity Stream, and just recently, HBOMax, are doing away with them. If you really want to offer a free trial, though, limit it to seven days or less. Some of the discounts and packages our panelists had the most success with were based on periods of six months or a year. That way, you know you have a viewer who's interested in your content and who's willing to commit, and you're not dealing with marketing to them throughout the duration of a free trial. Preview content. Free episodes are a smart alternative to free trials. Someone can watch one episode of a series, and if they like it, they can subscribe for the rest. On going global Make the entire experience as easy as possible. Going global introduces so many potential hurdles into the viewing experience, from whether content is available in a particular region to the currencies and payment options your platform will accept. From a customer’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than going through the entire process of finding a show they want to watch and getting ready to pay, only to find at the last moment that the content isn’t available in their region, or they can’t use the credit card they were intending to pay with. You want to make things as easy as possible for them, so put any critical information that may impact their ability to enjoy your content at the beginning of the process, not at the end. When they’re ready to pay, meet customers on their terms. Payment methods vary greatly from region to region. In Asia, for example, customers expect to be able to pay for a streaming service with a bank transfer. In developing economies, digital wallets are popular, and in some places, you can piggyback on the relationship a consumer has with their cell phone carrier. You should strive to meet customers on their own terms and give them the opportunity to pay in whichever way works for them. On building a successful service Keep costs in balance. Understand your costs for content, marketing, and technology, and make sure they’re in balance. You don't want to have the best platform with every bell and whistle without enough marketing or content to take advantage it. So if you're starting small and you have a small content budget, go small. Put a basic platform together with some baseline marketing strategies that leverage what you can do on social with little to no money. Understand churn to reduce it. Once you have a customer, it’s vital to keep them. Gain a deep understanding of what they expect, then exceed their expectations. Knowing exactly why viewers leave is the first step in getting them to stay. Encourage gifting. If someone really loves your content and believes it’s a good value, they’re going to be willing to buy it to give to someone else as a gift. So give them that opportunity. Sharing your service with others is the ultimate endorsement of your content and your pricing. Let your most passionate viewers be ambassadors for your brand. And remember, if you’re looking to launch an OTT streaming service, we can help. Brightcove Beacon features an advanced monetization module powered by Evergent that allows your viewers to easily make payments in their local currency and with their preferred payment method – just what you need when your potential audience is the world. Lexie Knauer Simplifying Large Scale Concert Ticketing and Live Streaming Thu, 06 May 2021 04:00:00 GMT Just last month, Ricardo Arjona’s “Hecho a la Antigua” show became the most watched livestream concert in the history of Latin America. More than 150,000 fans across 80 countries purchased tickets for this virtual concert, setting a new record for Arjona. Vye was created to connect artists to virtual audiences through livestream concerts, and for the “Hecho a la Antigua” show, we partnered with Brightcove and InPlayer to confidently handle the scale we were anticipating for this performance. Brightcove handled the livestreaming, and InPlayer managed the authentication, payments, analytics and support. Both teams worked together to ensure fans could seamlessly log in and enjoy a reliable, broadcast-quality livestream while also protecting the artist’s content and revenue. The absolute necessity of a reliable technology stack for livestream events is always important, and that’s further realized when things go wrong, which is exactly what the live events industry saw shortly after the Arjona event. Another major Latin artist experienced technical difficulties on another video streaming platform, and ultimately ended up refunding fans and rescheduling a free performance to make up for the mishap. Unfortunate situations like this further highlight why it’s imperative to work with video technology leaders that have a history of successfully streaming large-scale events and are trusted partners throughout the process — before, during and even after a show. At vye, we always place our artists and fans at the center of our services. We understand the cost and work that goes into a well-produced event, and we do everything we can to ensure the best experience possible for our artists and their fans. Together, with Brightcove and InPlayer, artists can feel confident that their livestream concert will go exactly to plan, every time. Even after the pandemic is behind us, musicians will continue to livestream shows. Livestreaming has proven to be a prime opportunity for artists to play in front of a seemingly limitless crowd, around the world, and generate revenue. As vye continues to redefine the events experience worldwide, we aim to build trust and long-term partnerships with artists everywhere to thrive in this new era of live entertainment. And with strong technology partners behind us, fans can expect a reliable, broadcast-quality livestream experience, every time. Maggie Seidel-Laws is CEO and Managing Partner at vye. Maggie Seidel-Laws Creating Delivery Rules in Brightcove Video Cloud Mon, 03 May 2021 23:00:00 GMT Introduction In 2017 Brightcove launched Dynamic Delivery and began generating our manifests and video "just in time" at the point a player requests them, allowing us to repackage content to multiple different formats and support the widest range of devices possible. Since then, we've increasingly been hearing from customers that they want to take advantage of this flexibility themselves and control at a fine-grained level which CDN their content is delivered over, what quality of video renditions should be available and even what order the different quality renditions should be presented in inside the video manifest. This lead to the creation of our Delivery Rules feature, which is now generally available as part of our API. In this post, we'll look at how to use this API to solve one of the most common use-cases we see - limiting the maximum quality of video being served to certain devices. Getting Set Up To get started we first need a video to test with, which we've ingested as normal via Video Cloud: <iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" allow="encrypted-media" width="960" height="540"></iframe> Looking under the covers at the HLS manifest that's being delivered to that player, we can see it contains a number of the following lines, representing rendition manifests of different resolutions - in this case 480x270, 640x360, 960x540 and 1280x720 (below): #EXT-X-STREAM-INF:PROGRAM-ID=0,BANDWIDTH=2205500,CODECS="mp4a.40.2,avc1.4d001f",RESOLUTION=1280x720,AUDIO="audio-2",CLOSED-CAPTIONS=NONE If 960x540 is the maximum resolution we want to deliver to our hypothetical device, then we should see the 1280x720 rendition disappear once our rule has been applied. Creating Our Rule Delivery Rules are made up of Conditions (when a rule should be invoked) and Actions (how the rule should affect the content). Since we know that we want the rule to limit the maximum video rendition quality, let's go ahead and create the Action first with the following HTTP request: POST /accounts/{accountID}/actions Content-Type: application/json Authorization: Bearer {access_token} and the request body set to: { "properties": { "max_video_resolution": "960x540" } } This will create the new Action and return us something that looks like: { "id": "88b13752-3469-4e46-b4aa-49cd4f1685a6", "properties": { "max_video_resolution": "960x540" } } Manually Invoking Actions Before we dive into conditionally applying our Action, we can manually invoke it and check it does what we want by adding its ID as a parameter to our Playback API request: This will now return us the same HLS manifest as before, but with the 1280x720 rendition removed! As well as being useful for testing, manually invoking rules in this way is a powerful technique for customers that leverage the Brightcove SDKs to build their own apps, allowing them to invoke different rules per-device, per-app or even per-user, just by passing in different Action IDs. A common usage we see is for our customers to apply an Action to serve a basic type of content to anonymous users, while anyone who signs up has a manual Action applied to serve them richer (higher-quality video and audio, modern codecs such as HEVC, premium CDN provider) content. Conditionally Invoking Actions For customers that don't want or need the granularity of manually invoking Actions, we provide a set of pre-canned Conditions to control under what circumstances the Brightcove manifest generation services should apply rules. These will apply to all requests and so are a great way of targetting certain groups of users, regardless of what type of device they're viewing your videos on. The full set of Conditions offered can be found in the API reference here. For this tutorial, let's imagine we know that users in the UK have been struggling with buffering high resolutions because of country-wide network capacity issues and so we want to strip out the higher resolution rendition until these are resolved. PUT /accounts/{accountID}/conditions Content-Type: application/json Authorization: Bearer {access_token} This API call takes an array of Conditions but for now we're just creating one, by including the following body with our request: [ { "name": "Cut off high-quality renditions for the UK", "if": { "request_country": [ "GB" ] }, "then": [ "88b13752-3469-4e46-b4aa-49cd4f1685a6" ] } ] Now, if we make our standard Playback API request from within the UK (notice no config_id parameter attached this time) then we'll see the high-quality rendition stripped out! What's Next? Hopefully this has given you a taste of the power and flexibility of Delivery Rules. The full lists of supported Conditions and Actions can be found here and if there are any others that you'd like us to add in the future, then please reach out to Customer Support or your account rep and let us know! If you're keen to read more about how our customers are using Delivery Rules then take a look at how Seven West Media Optimises Video Content Delivery With Brightcove’s Delivery Rules Thom Shutt