Discover Overlay

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JW Player allows for the use of media playlists, which will play multiple pieces of content back-to-back. We include important information about the formatting and creation of these playlists here, including how to leverage JW Recommendations to automate curation and improve viewer engagement.

Playback and UI behavior will vary based on how playlists are configured. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between curated and recommended playlists. This document will cover these differences from the player UI perspective and demonstrate how to configure the player for each scenario. An example can be seen here:

Behavior with Curated Playlists

Embedding a curated playlist assumes that multiple pieces of content will play, one after another, with no delay in between. This method is best suited for content that should be viewed in a particular order, such as episodes in a show.

Ten seconds before the completion of a piece of content, a small “Next Up” card will appear in the bottom right corner, displaying the next piece of content that will play. This is configurable in a player configuration with the nextupoffset option.

To allow a user to choose a different piece of content in the playlist, our Discover Overlay will display these items on top of the player. Once the dock button is clicked, the media will be displayed with a playlist number next to each title. An example of this can be seen below:

When a playlist completes the final piece of media, and no recommended content is configured (see recommended UI below), the player will go into its replay state. In this state, we display the poster image with a replay button in the center of the player:

Behavior with Recommendations Playlists

When a recommendations playlist is assigned to a player through the player builder, the behavior of the discover overlay changes to support unstructured viewing. This assists in displaying the highly contextual nature of the videos suggested by JW Recommendations.

While content and sequencing is different for recommendations playlists, the design and behavior of the overlay are similar to curated playlists. The differences are listed here:

  • The previously viewed pane will instead display content that has not yet been played.
  • Recommendations content is not numbered in the UI
  • Videos previously viewed within a session will not be displayed in the overlay as recommendations.
  • Viewers will be auto-advanced by default after 10 seconds to the top recommended video in the playlist. This setting can be changed via the player config.
  • Once all content has been viewed, the same recommendations playlist will be reloaded and start from the first item
  • The “Next Up” card will only appear in the bottom right corner only if the auto advance timer is set to zero.

Using Curated and Recommendations Playlists

It is possible to use a both curated and recommendations content to allow for the editorial control of guided viewing with the benefits of contextual recommendations . In this configuration, the JW Player will linearly play through all curated content. Upon completion of the curated playlist, the player will load a recommendations playlist and transition to the discover overlay mode. This overlay mode will persist for the remainder of this viewing session.


Right now, Discover & Recommendations options in the dashboard 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.

You can also set the following options:

  • Behavior of the plugin when a video completes
  • Timer and custom text for "autoplay"



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