• JW Player Makes Its Pro Video Player Free in Pursuit of Expanded Market Share

    In a bid to grow its market share among independent online video publishers, JW Player is announcing this morning that it is making the Pro version of its video player free. Important Pro version features include full control over player branding, 9 pre-built skins, social sharing, related video overlays, 5 GB hosting and 25 GB streaming, analytics and player/platform APIs.

    Over 1 million organizations currently using the free JW version will be upgraded to Pro. The move applies for all new Pro customers. Existing Pro customers will receive a complimentary upgrade to the JW Premium tier.

    JW Player has charged $149/year for the Pro version, and CEO Dave Otten told me that it doesn’t plan to replace these revenues in the short term. Rather, the company is seeking to evolve longer-term from a pure technology provider to a value-added partner to video publishers. A key strategy for JW to do this is to broaden its customer base and mine data and insights from player use in order to provide enhanced features and monetization opportunities for its publishers.

    Dave identified independent online video publishers, developers, designers and small-to-medium sized businesses as the types of organizations that would benefit most from the new pricing plan.

    JW recently announced it added a record 3,700 new customers in the first half of 2015, across 112 different countries. JW customers delivered an average 1.2 billion  monthly viewers with 3.3 billion ad impressions served. A total of 700 million hours of video are watched monthly.

    JW’s move comes amid an intensifying battle for the affection of independent video publishers being fought for by YouTube, Facebook, Vessel, Vimeo, online video publishing platforms and numerous others.