Thursday, March 6, 2008

Player Review: Revver

Those of you who have been working with Revver’s video player and advertising network, will know how powerful the service’s syndication tools are and the upgraded Revver player puts it back on top of the online video game (at least now that Stage6 has closed its doors). The new player was release a couple of months back, first on their site then on the sites of their content producer’s and syndicators.

Be for we examine the benefits of the new player, its worth mentioning that 2007 was a difficult year on many fronts for Revver. Unable to sell enough advertising to properly service their massive video library, Revver abandoned their sales effort and turned to third party ad networks (first Adbrite, now Google Adsense). At the same time ad value for “video” and video related keywords fell sharply across the web making it very challenging for producer to create a higher standard of short form production.

The new player, and its slick black skin, incorporates a number of functions found in competitor players that greatly increase its viral capabilities. The player now has a “menu” button that provides information on the creator, embed code, email sharing and related videos which can be viewed in a list or on a thumbnail gallery. The player is highly customizable, including the ability to brand the player with your show’s logo. But at the root of it, the Revver player provides the same high quality video you’ve come to expect from this great service.

The complaints about the player are twofold and both relate to the advertising portion of the Revver network. Ads are now displayed as overlays along the bottom of the player, and at the end in a block of three ads. First, even if your viewer completes the video and sees both the overlay and the post roll adblock, the publisher gets credited for just one impression, not four. The ads are also accompanied with arrow buttons to allow the user the option of viewing more ads, but that also does not result in additional impressions. Second, if Adsense is driving the advertising within Revver videos, then why are those impressions not reported within our Adsense accounts? It is currently impossible to see how one video is doing in relation or user interaction with the advertising, a well developed feature of Adsense.

As a side note, revver has quietly mothballed its podcasting capability. While still offering the service, it is rare that ads are served into iTunes the way they once were. This is likely do to the ongoing debate about the compression formats used, and which should prevail. Web based catchers prefer flash video, while iTunes continues to push its quicktime H.264 iTV compression format. Fortunately video publishers still have a choice to use both formats within Revver driven RSS feeds.

1 comment:

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