Hosting, Usage, and JW Platform

While JW Player is best-known for our javascript video player product of the same name, we have also offered a solution for hosting and delivering content since 2011. In fact, every JW Player account comes with some hosting and streaming already included.

JW Platform — the engine that powers JW Player's content hosting — offers transcoding, storage and delivery services that scale to support millions of videos and billions of streams a month. Beyond that, JW Platform provides analytics, data, discovery, and content protection tools that can be used in any combination, empowering you to make the most of your JW Player. JW Platform can be accessed via the JW Player Dashboard, or via the JW Platform API.

We measure JW Platform usage in terms of "storage" and "streaming". Both together are sometimes referred to as "hosting". For more about how these things are measured, skip to the section about Usage.


What is "Storage"?

The size of each video file uploaded, in addition to the size of its conversions created by JW Platform, will count towards your account's Storage limit.

JW Player Free accounts have a complimentary 5GB of Storage while paid editions start with 50GB. This means that Free accounts may store (including original & transcoded files) up to 5GB of video — whether many small videos, or fewer larger videos.


What is "Streaming"?

In the context of JW Platform, we use "Streaming" to mean "gigabytes delivered" to viewers. When a video is embedded on a page, it is streamed when it is downloaded by your users (this is also what happens when the video loads inside the player).

JW Player Free accounts come with a complimentary 25GB of streaming per month, while paid accounts start from 250GB per month. For a simplistic example: 25GB streaming allowance means that a 5MB video file could be streamed (or "played") 5000 times.

"Streaming" sometimes also refers to "live streaming", but it can also refer to video-on-demand. The JW Player & Platform support many different streaming formats. For more articles about Streaming, visit our Streaming section.


Measuring Usage

The Usage section (within the Account section in the dashboard) allows you to track the metrics that contribute directly to billing. You can see monthly aggregates of your usage data here, or export to CSV to get a daily view.

Stored — Storage is the combined size of your original video and all conversions created by our system. Storage is a limit that does not reset; if you exceed your account's storage limit, you will not be able to add more content until you (A) remove content that is already there, or (B) upgrade for more storage.

Delivered — This is how we measure streaming, or, the total delivery (in GB Streamed) of all content to all players. 'GB Streamed' is calculated from CDN access logs and reflects all bytes delivered to end users regardless of device or player. If you exceed your account's streaming limit, streams will stop until (A) the end of the month, when streaming count resets, or (B) you upgrade for more streaming. Streaming limits do reset monthly, so if your account hits its limit just before the end of the month, and streams have stopped, as soon as the next month starts those streams will work again.

Plays — The total count of JW Player plays of all content across all players associated with your account (self-hosted and cloud-hosted). This metric resets at the beginning of each month.

NOTE: this may not match the play count that you see in Analytics, which only shows data associated with valid JW Player media IDs.

Ad Impressions — The total count of ads displayed across all players associated with your account (self-hosted and cloud-hosted). This metric resets at the beginning of each month.

All usage metrics are finalized at ~10am EST the following day.


What can affect measured Usage?

Player Settings

  1. Autostart — Setting a player to start automatically causes it to download media regardless of whether the user is watching the content.
  2. Loop Content / Repeat — Setting a player to loop content can result in the player downloading the content many times even if the content isn't being watched. (ex: a backgrounded tab that has been open for days)
  3. PreloadPreload settings of 'metadata' and 'auto' tell the player to begin downloading some media even without the user interacting with the video. This can improve user experience through a faster video start time, but can also result in higher streaming usage.

Embed Styles

  1. Adaptive streaming — JW Platform single line embeds use adaptive streaming technologies to ensure that users only download qualities that make sense (no need to deliver 1080p video to a 300x400 pixel player) and download videos segment by segment, staying only moderately ahead of the current playback position. If you embed a player with a link to a single quality level from a video's sources tab, you risk seeing larger delivery costs.
  2. Syndication Outside of JW Player — JW Platform JSON and RSS feeds allow for easy syndication. These feeds are consumable by a wide variety of platforms and players. Note that delivery of content to these players or platforms will be included in the GB streamed calculation but because other players do not send analytics information to JW Platform, these plays will not be reflected in JW Platform analytics.
  3. Unprotected content — JW Platform offers URL token signing as a mechanism to deter hotlinking of your content on other sites. This feature allows you to require signing of requests to JW Platform and include an expiration time in links you generate such that other users and sites can not embed your content on their site and stream indefinitely.
  4. Page refresh behavior — Some websites use hard refreshes of a page to ensure updated content is available for users. This type of behavior can result in additional player loads and subsequent media downloads.

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