Want to know what are the best video players to engage users with relevant videos and run in-stream ads? Then, you’re in the right place. With hundreds of available options, choosing the best video player for your website is easier said than done. And this prompted us to review and create a list of best video players for publishers looking to run in-stream ads (not just organic video content).
Before jumping into the list, why you need to evaluate and then, choose a player?
Traditionally, video players were known only for performing basic operations – hosting and streaming video content. But, nowadays, as digital advertisers are directing more ad dollars towards programmatic video, video players have evolved rapidly. Gone are the days where video players had limited functionalities and clunky user controls. Now,
- they (video players) are responsible for the architecture and workflow of a video ad and video content.
- they provide dashboards, analytics, and better insights to a publisher like you.
- they, sometimes, offer video monetization tools to help you generate revenue out of every video view.
To put it simply, you need to analyze several factors and that requires due diligence. Well, as a monetization partner, we’ve been helping our publishers to deliver contextually relevant videos and run in-stream ads. Here’s our handy guide to assist you on your hunt.
Best Video Players For Premium and Mid-market Publishers – To Monetize and Engage Your Users
- JW Player
JW Player is one of the most popular video players and it provides various video customization solutions for seamless playback across all devices. With the help of the JW HTML5 Player, you can place your ads and content as well.
- The player supports both HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) and DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming Over HTTP) that makes the player adaptable to unreliable or poor network conditions without disturbing the quality of video across desktop or mobile. Hence, zero buffering delays.
- JW Player SDKs for mobile app publishers offer various features such as ID3 Metadata and 608 captions that make your video text – time-aligned and support various languages.
- The video player follows IAB guidelines and it supports VPAID 2.0, VMAP (Video Multiple Ad Playlist), and Native VAST (Video Ad Serving Template) 3.0.
- JW Player SDKs can be integrated with Google IMA (Interactive Media Ads), and FreeWheel; thus enabling app publishers to monetize audio, video, or gaming content of the website.
- It supports various media formats including MP4/H.264, AAC, WebM/VP8 & VP9, Ogg Vorbis and Opus.
- It can be integrated with any video ad server, ad exchange or video ad networks and supports Google DFP, AdX, and SpotX.
- JW Player Bidding can be integrated into a publisher’s player with just one click enabling the publisher to apply header bidding.
Besides the above-mentioned services, the video player offers additional optimization tools for video advertising such as Ad Revenue Calculator, Video CMS Dashboard, Video Analytics & Hosting, etc. Over the past few years, JW Player has been trusted by many top publishers including Insider Inc., Daily Mail, Hearst, BBC, FOX, Vice, and Univision.
The pricing model of JW Player is divided into three types that allow small businesses and agencies to buy the player at $600 annually and publishers can buy it at custom prices after getting in touch with the JW team. Besides this, the JW Player offers a 6-months free trial package for the developers.
Brightcove is one of the leading video platforms providing a comprehensive suite for delivering video content and ads across various devices. The Brightcove’s video player can be integrated with ad servers like Google Ad Manager and FreeWheel to maximize your ad revenue. Embedded with a diverse set of themes and templates, the video player offers the following services:
- Brightcove video player offers server-side ad insertion that enables publishers dynamically stitch targeted ads into the content on the server and streams both as one continuous stream.
- The Brightcove’s video player is built-on Video.JS that enables the publishers to customize their video player as per their needs.
- Brightcove’s player supports various ad frameworks including VAST, VMAP, and VPAID. In addition, the player can support pre-, post-, and mid-roll ads, skippable and no-skippable ads, etc.
- Brightcove offers OTT services across multiple platforms i.e. Desktop, Mobile, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast. This feature enables a publisher to share content on TV platforms like Sling TV, Roku, etc.
In addition to the above features, Brightcove also offers a few other services like Video Marketing Suite, 360° Video Playback, Cloud Video Transcoding, etc. Brightcove has been used by some of the high profile publishers including Vox, Meredith, Aljazeera, BBC Worldwide, and Gannett.
The Brightcove offers three different pricing packages for its video player – an Express package, a Professional Package, and an Enterprise Package at a cost ranging from $99 to $499.
Ooyala is an end-to-end video platform that offers complete and reliable products for running video content or ads on a website. Although Brightcove and JW Player offer the same services as that of Ooyala, Ooyala’s video player has unique offerings for their customers. Brightcove comes at the top when it’s about the distribution and integration, while Ooyala comes first in analytics and monetization. Coming up with basic needs such as multiple encoding profiles per video, adaptive bit rate, the delivery over third-party CDN, Ooyala offers a diverse set of services.
- Ooyala V4 player is optimized for HTML5 playback and supports HLS and DASH.
- Supports IAB standards – VAST 2.0 and 3.0, VPAID for Google IMA Ad plugin, VPAID 2.0, and VMAP 1 through VPAID and VAST Ad Plugin. Besides these, the V4 player supports various other ad plugins like Google IMA plugin, FreeWheel Plugin, and Ooyala Pulse Ad Plugin.
- Ooyala’s isAutoplayBlocked method enables publishers to know if ‘autoplay’ is blocked in a video by the browser.
- Supports a wide range of analytics plugins – Adobe Analytics, ComScore Analytics, Conviva, YOUBORA, and Neilsen Analytics Plugin.
- Ooyala V4 customized skin can be applied to HTML5, iOS, and Android. The skin templates are made in a way that they follow Google Material UX guidelines.
Trusted by some of the top publishers like Telegraph, Mediacorp, BYUtv, and Media Prima, the video player can be integrated seamlessly with the video content, and hence removes the complexity of video management for a website owner.
Ooyala offers its video player in three different packages – a Professional Package, a Publisher Package, and a Standard Package at $500/month.
Kaltura is one of the fastest video players and very well-known for offering seamless delivery and the best user experience for viewers. Kaltura is also known for its open-source nature, thus allowing the developers to expand and integrate product features. There are a variety of services offered by the video player and we have summarised a few below:
- Kaltura’s video player supports HTML5 and Flash as well and can be integrated across all platforms.
- The adaptive streaming of Kaltura’s video player supports Chromeless Flash HLS and MPEG DASH.
- Supports a wide range of video ad formats including VAST 3.0. The video player also supports additional platforms including iOS and Android for mobile app publishers.
- It can be integrated with numerous ad servers such as Google DFP, and FreeWheel.
- Supports various analytics plugins such as Neilsen, Google Analytics, ComScore, and Omniture SiteCatalyst.
Kaltura’s video player is a good option for publishers who wants to host their videos. The player is trusted by publishers like Turner, Mediacorp, Warner Bros Inc, HBO, and many more. Also, in addition to the video player, Kaltura offers various other services like optimization and monetization.
DaCast offers a powerful video player with various features like cloud-based live video hosting and streaming and on-demand video hosting. The player is one of the easy to set-up and stable video player one can try.
- DaCast’s video player supports HTML5 and it is compatible with various devices i.e. desktops, mobiles, and TVs as well.
- DaCast offers a white label player (no DaCast logo in the player) that enables publishers to customize and embed their themes in the video.
- Offers Pay Per View monetization solutions that enable publishers to monetize their video content.
- The video player provides iOS and Android SDKs for mobile applications.
In addition to the above-described advantages, DaCast player offers services like its real-time analytics, multi-bitrate streaming, FTTP file uploading, ads insertion, security options, etc.
A customer can opt for one out of the four pricing plans – Starter, Premium, Enterprise, and Custom. The Starter Package can be bought for $19/month whereas Premium and Enterprise can be purchased at $125/month and $289/month respectively. In the case of high volume streaming needs, one can go for the custom pricing model.
BridTV is one of Google’s video technology partners that offers various video solutions to publishers. From video hosting to video monetization, BridTV uses its proprietary technologies to optimize video content across various devices (i.e mobile app, desktop, tablets).
- The HTML5 video playback of BridTV supports various streaming formats such as HTTP Live Streaming.
- BridTV offers unlimited streaming, video encoding, and storage capabilities.
- The video player has in-built social sharing options that allow content owners to share their player content directly with social media users.
- With BridTV, you can keep track of your video performance as Google Analytics can be integrated with it.
- BridTV enables publishers to monetize their video content with pre-, post-, and mid-roll ads. In addition to Video Header Bidding, BridTV also offers ad tag waterfalling that allows publishers to monetize views which they weren’t able to sell due to certain errors (e.g. VAST errors).
Besides basic optimization and analytics tools, BridTV offers ad-blocking recovery solutions, mobile app SDKs integration, etc.
Apart from one free trial package, BridTV offers two more packages – basic package and premium package. A basic package can be bought for $25/month and for a premium package, publishers need to contact the team.
Although we’ve covered some of the best video players for publishers, you can always build your own video player with the help of the Video.JS framework. If you don’t want to buy a new one, then you can try Video.JS as the framework is an open platform that enables anyone to customize and optimize their player without taking any help from third-parties. That being said, you should have an experienced and dedicated team to build and handle the glitches.
Besides the aforementioned players, there are plenty of other options available – Dailymotion, AnyClip, Panopto, THEOplayer, and more. They all offer video players and typical setup/monetization services. But, before choosing a new player for your website, it is advisable to go through your requirements and the services you expect from the provider. You can reach out to us to get personalized recommendations.