vzaar - The professional video platform blog Min vzaar site
vzaar is an online video hosting service with fantastic features that are designed for business. Deliver to mobile or the web straight from your site.

Archive for vzaar updates

Your videos are valuable. It’s important that you protect them. Let’s say, for example, you’re an eLearning company sharing video lectures with course subscribers. What would happen if your valuable course content became freely available online?

You’d probably find that less people signed up to your course and you made less money from it. Bad times.

But what if there was a way you could keep your videos secure and charge people to access them? Well, people would have to sign up to the course to get their hands on your tasty video content. Plus, you’d make money from that extra demand. Good times.

Introducing vzaar Tinypass integration

That’s pretty much exactly what Tinypass does. Adding a Tinypass paywall to your video will mean only people who pay to watch it, can watch it.

Integrating your vzaar account with Tinypass is a great way for you to make more money from your video content. And it’s super easy to get started – no coding or lots of dev work required. A few mouse clicks and you’re pretty much done (check out the demo video here for more details).

We’re really excited to team up with Tinypass because it adds another tool to our video security kit. A lot of our features are designed to protect the video stream itself – so that people can’t download it and re-embed it elsewhere. Teamed with Tinypass, we’re now able to bring you end to end video security which will safeguard your assets (and make you more money!).

Here’s what we recommend:

Step 1: Add Tinypass Paywall to your videos

First and foremost you need to secure your video behind a paywall. This is where Tinypass comes in. Once you sync up your vzaar and Tinypass account you’ll be able to charge viewers to access and collect extra cash from your video views. Check out the video demo here.

Step 2: Prevent Unauthorized Downloads

Now that you’ve started collecting money from your videos it’s vital that you keep control of the content. The last thing you want is for students to start downloading them and making them freely available. RTMPe streaming is ideal here. It breaks your video stream down into encrypted chunks, so it’s much harder to download the entire video file. them you need to be sure that they won’t crop up elsewhere.

Step 3: Lock Your Video Embed Code

The last step is to make sure that your video only plays on the domains you want it to. Domain control locks your video embed code so that if somebody tries to embed your video on a domain which you haven’t okay-ed it won’t play.

Video security is vital for business – it’s only by keeping control of video content that you can make money from it. The vzaar Tinypass integration means you can now protect your videos from every angle, make more money and ultimately grow your business – what’s not to love!?

Want to give it a go? Check out the video demo and help document to get started.

Download How To Secure Video Content

Props to Incompetech for another batch of superb music clips: “Local Forecast – Elevator” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Volatile Reaction” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

vzaar Support Superstars: Lawrence

article by:

Here at vzaar we’re incredibly proud of our support team. And we know you appreciate them too…

So, we thought we’d give you a glimpse into what makes them tick. We started out with Alasdair, and now it’s Lawrence’s turn.

If you’ve ever called the vzaar London HQ, chances are you’ve spoken with Lawrence. You may know the voice, you may even know the face (thanks to many a starring role in vzaar videos like the above…). Time to meet the nerd man.

All time favourite support question:

Hmm, well, nothing beats Alasdair’s “Are you a human?”….can I have that one too :)

Biggest claim to fame:

Dick van Dyke nearly prevented my birth in the 1960s. He was filming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang near the village where my mother grew up. Lots of hills and small country roads.

It hasn’t really changed much since then. The only difference is, 50 years ago, there were far fewer cars about. I forget the exact dates but the statistic goes something like this, “by 1976 the UK had as many cars per capita as the USA did in 1929”. The result was that, sometimes, seeing a car could be a little surprising in small villages.

So, there’s my mother (I think I’ve left this vague enough to conceal her age) riding her bicycle, and everyone’s favourite chimm-e-ney sweep comes driving along in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, the two had a rather near miss and she ended up in a ditch.

What I’ve taken away from this tale is the only logical conclusion. Dick van Dyke is the Terminator. Sent back in time to prevent my birth. It stands to reason, right?

Super power I wish I had:

Does turning water into wine count? I can see that being a real money saver. Plus it would go down great at parties.

I’m not so sure what restaurants would make of it.

Most frequently asked question:

“What are you doing later?” Hmmm… possibly not. You probably want something related to vzaar…Of course, we offer a lot of different functionality, so the questions are pretty varied.

A pretty common question is, “can I make the player do X, Y, or Z?” Sometimes I get to give the simple of answer “yes, absolutely”. Other times, the answer is “no, not by default but you could….” That’s where our JS API comes in, to extend the player’s functionality, and the solutions get pretty imaginative. Check out our JQuery Library for more.

Football or soccer?

Aren’t those the same thing? Anyway, Cricket. It’s good exercise. Lots of fairly static moments, interspersed with quick frenetic periods of running/hitting/catching.

I’m terrible at it. Luckily, it’s a great spectator sport. There’s nothing like sitting around with a picnic and watching the game slowly move along.

Mustard or Ketchup?

Mustard. However, Mayonnaise beats them both. I still haven’t found a food it can’t be applied to in some manner. Well, maybe soup…. that’s a test for later…

Jason Bourne or James Bond?

James Bond. Some of those Roger Moore films are just inappropriate enough to be very funny. Although Austin Powers did very well parodying them, often they were amusing enough already.

Tea or Coffee?

Tea. Always tea. Coffee is just tea for people who can’t handle regular life.

The perfect cup of tea is:

Just your standard Breakfast tea, with the tiniest amount of milk. Any more and it spoils the flavour.

The occasional cup of Ceylon is nice too. No milk. Just a nice slice of lemon.

3 facts about Lawrence:

      1. I once jumped off the side of a Polish train, after missing my stop. I later learned it was the wrong stop anyway.
      2. I have a Masters degree in Political Theory (Political Philosophy). Just occasionally it helps with customer support.
      3. I met one of my best friends when I was almost exactly 600 miles from home*. I was 17 and spending the Summer moving around Europe. One night I wound up on their doorstep, without anywhere else to stay. We remain best friends to this day.

*Google Maps estimates 600.8.

Want to know more?

For more musings from Lawrence check out the blog posts he wrote here. Lots of clever JS tricks, as well as the answers to a few of your FAQs. Or, catch him on live chat, email or – of course – on the telephone. All the contact details here.

Categories vzaar updates
Comments (0)

Ahhh Summer. Warm days, long nights, exotic destinations. If you packed up your bucket & spade and jetted off to some far off land you may have missed some of our updates. Worry not! Here’s the stuff you need to know…

1. Video Player Redesign

vzaar video player design update

The Summer started out with a video player redesign. And we spent a good chunk of our Summer rolling this out gradually to all of our clients. The new vzaar video player not only sports a cleaner, contemporary look it also works better than ever before too. It loads 20% faster and packs a ton more functionality into both the Flash and its HTML5 counterpart.


2. Animoto Integration

Animoto are a company after our own heart. In the spirit of “making video easy” we integrated our two platforms so now businesses can create videos in Animoto and then one click export to vzaar.

If you’re on a tight budget or need a video really quickly Animoto is an absolute life saver. Simply upload your images and video clips, add a soundtrack and some captions and that’s pretty much it! Of course there’s a load of advanced features too (we particularly like the in app video editor for instance) that help you to get your video just right.


3. Dr Najeeb Lectures Hit 11 Million Views

Fast forward to the end of June. Medical Sciences expert Dr Najeeb hit a company milestone – 11 million views of his video lectures. CEO Zeeshan shared the 7 foolproof steps the team took to achieve their success.

It is absolutely essential that we provide [our students] with quality lecture material. Our video lectures are how we make our money, and if they’re not up to scratch we risk losing all of our hard won students. It’s really, really important that we give our students a quality viewing experience.

It’s a great achievement and just goes to show the huge demand for video in eLearning courses.


4. A Trip To The eLearning Network

Hayley presents Video Production on A Budget

In July we headed over to join our friends at the eLearning Network to talk budget video. Over the past couple of years we’ve experimented with lots of different types of videos and we’ve learned a lot along the way. We shared some of those hard-earned lessons with the guys over at the ELN with a few tips on squeezing every ounce of performance out of a modest budget.

Watch the video >>

5. Video Rich Snippets MIA


Oh. My. Google. July is notable for the removal of video thumbnails from the search results. All the evidence thus far suggests this is a cosmetic change only: pages with video on them are still ranking as highly as they ever did so it’s still very important to create and maintain your video sitemap. Try adding the word “video” into your meta titles and descriptions – searchers no longer have the visual cue to tell them that a video is there so you need to tell them in your copy instead.


6. World Cup Fever

During the World Cup we watched as online video viewing soared. Fans turned online in their droves to relive all the actions and moments of drama. In fact, there was 130% surge following the final match. Brands who successfully newsjack-ed this massive global event reaped the rewards… but there were a few key lessons for those looking to replicate these successes in the future.


7. Rails 4 Upgrade

How do you upgrade to Rails 4 without any downtime?

You get yourself some amazing devs. Luckily for us we already have ‘em.

Ruby on Rails is the application that handles video playback, and reliable video playback is pretty much our number 1 priority. The upgrade needed to happen without affecting playback in any way. No pressure then. But of course our stellar dev team were up to the challenge.


8. Everyone on Support

Did you know that when you put in a support ticket with vzaar you could be speaking with our CTO? Or Lead Developer? We introduced “everyone on support” a while back now, but it was in August that we took stock and reflected on whether it had been a good initiative. Turns out, it has!


9. It’s All Relative

Google were making waves again in August with the news that they are boosting rankings for HTTPS sites. As more and more companies implement HTTPS we made sure that their videos would still play by introducing Protocol Relative embeds. In a nutshell, the new embed codes work across all sites – whether they be HTTP or HTTPS.


10. Mail Catcher Arrives

Mail Catcher Screenshot

Annnnd finally, the Summer comes to a close with Mail Catcher. You can now add an email capture form to your videos and automatically send viewer information to MailChimp, Aweber and Google Drive. Say goodbye to the days when someone watched your video and you had no idea who they were – let alone how to stay in touch with them. Mail Catcher connects you to your ideal customers and helps you turn viewers into customers.


Phew! It’s been a pretty busy Summer for us and we’re looking forward to packing plenty more into the rest of the year – and beyond!

Login to your vzaar account or sign up to a 30 day free trial (don’t worry we won’t take your credit card details ’til you’re ready to give us ‘em!) and give some of these features a go.

Make sure you don’t miss a thing…subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest video tips, tricks & advice delivered straight to your inbox. See you next time :)

Categories vzaar updates
Comments (0)

If your aim is to drive LOTS of traffic to your lovely videos you should be making growing your mailing list a priority. In fact, sending your content out to an engaged email list can bring you up to 24 times as much traffic as pushing out through your social media channels (DIYthemes).

The best way to grow your mailing list? Umm, well… just ask your audience for their emails. Sending out your emails to an audience who’ve actually opted in (rather than buying a list, for example) will mean you can be sure the recipients have at least some kind of interest in who you are and what you do. And there’s no time like the present – you can start to collect your viewers email addresses today.

Good news, then, we’ve just launched our Mail Catcher feature which makes this process super easy. Add a mail capture form before, during or after your video and when a viewer enters their email address we’ll automatically sync this to your existing email list (MailChimp, Aweber or Google Drive).

Step 1: Integrate your email provider

First you’ll need to sync up your vzaar account with your email account, so we can input the emails onto the list for you (say goodbye to manual imports – hooray!). This is simple. So simple, in fact we can tell you how in about…ohhh ten seconds.

Step 2: Manage Mail Catcher settings

It’s then just a case of choosing which lists you want to use as default and whether you want to have your Mail Catcher form appear at the beginning, middle, or end of your video.

Next Steps

Over to you – give it a go! Login to your vzaar account, or sign up for 30 day free trial, to get started.

The help document here has more details, or of course you can always get in touch with any questions.

Happy Mail Catching :)

Meet Sally. Sally is interested in learning more about the housing market/buying a car/caring for her new Golden Retriever (whatever product or service you offer) so she Googles it and up pops your video, answering her specific questions and promoting your offering.

And yet what happens at the end of your video? She goes away again and you’ve missed a golden opportunity to connect with her.

So how can you find – and build relationships with – more people like Sally?

Well, you could always buy an email list. Specify your target demographic – female dog owners perhaps – buy a list of names and start blasting out all your latest news. Sounds like a great plan, right? Well, MailChimp did some research, and turns out it’s not.

MailChimp Email List Statistics Source: MailChimp

Purchased email lists have virtually non-existent open and click through rates. You’re sending your important messages to an audience who just aren’t listening.

Far better then, to create a mailing list of people who are actually seeking your solution. And the only way to do that is to capture email addresses from the source. Let’s go back to Sally. She’s your perfect customer – actively researching the solution to a problem you solve. So what if you could find a way of collecting her email address? You could then reach out to her next time you’re running a promotion on dog brushes, for instance, and you know that she’s actually interested in what you have to say.

That’s where Mail Catcher comes in.

Mail Catcher makes it easy to identify just who your viewers are and gives you a way to stay in touch with them. By inserting an email capture form into the beginning, middle or end of your video you can collect leads and grow your mailing list. Even better, with integrations with MailChimp, Aweber and Google Drive we’ll automatically send email addresses to your existing mailing list so you don’t need to juggle different lists – it’s all done for you.

But, to get the most out of Mail Catcher it’s important to think strategically about when you use it.

Getting the most out of Mail Catcher

Mail Catcher makes it possible for you to gate your content by placing the mail capture form at the beginning of the video. That is, before anyone can watch it they must enter their email address. You can also have the form pop up part way through, or let your content roam free and have the form appear right at the end.

How do you decide where your form should be?

Well, it really depends on the aim of your video and the type of content you have…

1. Lead generation

If the aim of the game is to generate sales leads you should gate your content (by inserting Mail Catcher right at the beginning of your video).

You need to craft videos that are of high value to your audience. Think about the types of questions they are asking and create a video that answers them. It’s essential here to get a good fit between your video topic and your audience. It needs to be valuable enough to them that they want to leave their email address.

Uberflip have a fantastic flow diagram to help you decide whether your content is gate-worthy. If it is, set your Mail Catcher to appear before video playback and the leads will come flowing in.

Experiment: Try adding your Mail Catcher form during the video. That way you can introduce your concept, establish yourself as the expert and then, just before you make your killer point, Mail Catcher shows up. This can bring you some very high quality leads since your audience have watched your video and appreciated the pre-gate content enough to reward you with their contact information.

2. Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is really about getting your message out to a wide audience. If you’re gating your content you limit this somewhat. Any gate you put in place will act as a barrier to your viewers and reduce the likelihood that they’ll watch your video.

Instead offer free content to encourage views. Here your Mail Catcher form can then appear right at the end of the video. It’s unobtrusive so won’t deter viewers but it will also reel in some extra leads, without damaging the high view count you’re shooting for.

In Summary…

Providing high quality content that addresses consumer pain points is a fantastic way to grow your mailing list because it “catches” the email addresses of an already engaged audience. By adding an opt in email form to your videos (a la Mail Catcher) you can stay in touch with your viewers and start to build relationships. It’s these relationships that build brand loyalty and ultimately amount to more business for you in the long run.

Placing your mail catcher at the beginning of your video is a sure fire way to collect the most email addresses. But, it will probably reduce your view count. You need to work out what it is your trying to achieve with your video and act appropriately. Mail Catchers at the end, or during, playback are less intrusive and will mean your view count stays in tact, while netting some higher quality leads too (since they’ve already seen your content and are still interested in learning more from you.)

Login to your vzaar account, or sign up for 30 day free trial, to get started.

Video Hosting For Marketing