Discover Overlay

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The Discover Overlay in the JW Player allows viewers to discover and browse media items loaded from a playlist. Playlists consist of linear or episodic content chosen through editorial curation or are generated from JW Engage's Recommendations Engine based on viewer and content metadata.

To understand the differences between curated and recommendations playlists and how to use them to improve viewer experience read more here. The dashboard and player API can be used to configure different viewer interactions for each playlist type:

Behavior with Curated Playlists

Embedding a JW Player with a Manual, Dynamic, or Trending playlist will configure it to play linearly through all the content in the playlist until the last item is reached. Viewers can click the playlist button in the dock to see the full list of content in a tiled UI as seen below. A 'Next Up' card will appear ten seconds before the next item in the playlist is loaded. (Configure this behavior with nextupoffset.) When the final playlist item completes either recommendations content is shown (see below) or the player displays a replay button which replays the playlist from the begining.

Behavior with Recommendations Playlists

Customers with access to JW Recommendations can enable Similar Video playlists in the discovery overlay on a per player basis. The Discover Overlay will show at the end of a single item and playlist or when viewers click the Discover icon in the dock. The player will continuously update recommendations based on the video viewed as well as viewer and network data. Previously viewed videos might be displayed again when the JW Player & Recommendations applications believe they are good candidates for a re-watch. This means that viewing experiences and recommendations will vary based on conditions specific to each viewer, device, and browser.

Publisher's can use recommendations without the overlay UI by configuring auto-advance to 'immediately' and in that configuration the 'next up' card will show instead. Publisher's can also increase the default 10 second auto-advance timer or only advance upon viewer click. The top recommendations engine suggestion will always be in position 1 except when tools such as 'Promote' are used.

For more information about JW Recommendations click here.
For more information about Recommended Playlists and Promote click here.


Discover Overlay & Recommendations features are not displayed for every user. If you are interested in JW Recommendations, please contact us.

For users who do not see the Discover or Recommendations options in the dashboard, you may still enable the Discover Overlay by coding the plugin into the player setup. For instructions, skip to code setup in the next tab.

For users who do see it in the dashboard, the Discover overlay is "off" by default. It can be enabled on the Player Detail page, in the "Discover" section.

The Discover Overlay is a powerful tool for surfacing Recommended content to your viewers and it can be customized to fit any publishing workflow. The following parts of the Discover Overlay are configurable in conjunctions with Recommended playlists, with the first 3 settings being critical to the function of the Overlay & Recommendations Engine:

  1. Activate Discover Overlay: Turn Discover Overlay + Recommendations on or off for this player. You can test the overlay at different resolutions on the right panel​. Remember: Discover UI + Recommendations is configured on a per player basis.
  2. Select a Similar Video Playlist: Publishers can choose to use any Similar Video playlists with a recommendations enabled player. A 'Default Recommendations Feed' is auto-selected with content from the entire property. More editorial control over recommended content can be achieved by creating a new similar video playlist with specific tag business rules or the promote feature enabled. Be sure to provide unique names for any new playlists.
  3. Auto-Advance: Publishers can choose to auto-advance to the Next Up video 'immediately'; After 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds; OR only upon a viewer click with the 'do not advance' setting.
  4. Custom Text: Publishers can customize the Next Up text if desired.


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