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Enhanced Support for Long-Form Video in Latest Video API Innovations

Most marketers consider video to be the most important ingredient in the online engagement and conversion recipe. The stats bear this out. More than 90% of marketers say that video helps increase traffic, raises brand awareness, and improves user understanding of their product and service.

This year we’ve introduced several new video-focused features, among them, AI video cropping and video generation, created to meet the needs of the marketer and the developer. To keep the momentum going as the market leader in optimization and AI-based editing capabilities for short-form video, Cloudinary is excited to announce several innovations to enhance our support for long-form video.

Check out this video for quick highlights.

Before we dive into the details, let’s cover some basics. 

While there are several different types of video, they generally fall into one of these categories:

  • Shorts (< 1 minute). These are primarily to drive traffic and brand awareness. Examples include product or brand showcases, event highlights, or promotional videos for social media. 
  • Long-form video (> 1 minute). These typically enhance a user’s understanding of a product or service or educate them on certain topics. Examples include explainer or lifestyle (how-to) videos in e-commerce, user-generated reviews, or testimonials; brand or culture videos; fitness tutorials; on-demand event recordings; and more. 

The technical requirements for managing, customizing, and optimizing long-form video are quite different from shorts. First, your video platform must be able to support uploads of large file sizes. For delivering long-form video, adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR) is a must-have while progressive download may be sufficient for shorts. Also, shorts may be directly embedded on a webpage with the video tag, whereas long-form video often requires a high-quality video player to ensure the best possible viewing experience. Additionally, ensuring accessibility compliance, mobile app support, and granular engagement analytics makes enabling long-form video experiences a complex endeavor. 

Building and maintaining a robust long-form video infrastructure can be expensive and resource intensive. (Let’s face it, most development teams would rather focus on building new experiences.) And, without intelligent automation, it can take several hours, even days, for developers to prepare a single video for use across a brand’s digital channels, reducing engagement opportunities and lowering a video’s ROI.

For years, Cloudinary has offered the foundational elements needed to manage, customize, optimize, and deliver long-form video experiences, including flexible upload API, support for ABR, and a robust video player. We’re now pleased to offer a significant set of innovations that enable developers to get long-form video experiences to market even faster and at scale. 

New features and benefits include:

  • Upload-encode-deliver in minutes. Upload video files up to 100GB (only enterprise plan) to Cloudinary and deliver them in minutes by leveraging on-the-fly ABR. This means video encoding into chunks of 2-10 seconds and automatic profile selection (bitrate, format, resolution) happens when the video is first requested by an end user, minimizing the need for advanced data preparation.
  • Maximize performance with industry-leading ABR. In addition to support for the HLS protocol, Cloudinary’s ABR capability now supports CMAF, DASH protocols, and advanced codecs (H.265, VP9) to offer the most efficient video compression for streaming on all devices. 
  • Easily customize the viewing experience. Cloudinary’s HTML5-based video player that enables delivery of branded, interactive video experiences can now be easily customized using an intuitive UI. For instance, customize the player skin and controls, add custom logo, configure auto-play, or AI-based histogram. From the UI, developers can copy and paste the corresponding code to their website or mobile app, eliminating the need to code from scratch. 
  • Scale faster to mobile apps. New Video Player SDKs for iOS, Android, and Flutter come prebuilt with ABR to help developers deliver consistent video experiences to mobile apps while ensuring superior performance.
  • Ensure accessibility compliance out of the box. The Cloudinary Video Player includes chapters and auto-captioning to make it easy for screen readers or assistive technologies to provide structured access to content and improve SEO.
  • Clear and actionable engagement insights faster. The updated analytics dashboard now offers time-series graphs for key engagement metrics like views, watch rate, and more to identify trends that guide digital content strategies. Users can export video engagement data via API to their preferred data visualization tools.
  • Optimize for social media with AI. Leverage our existing AI-based transformations to generate eye-catching previews for longer video or use auto-gravity crop to optimize aspect ratio while maintaining focus on the desired object. 

Doximity, the leading digital platform for U.S. medical professionals, relies on Cloudinary to serve news-based video content to its mobile app users. According to James Hicks, director of engineering at Doximity, “The number and length of the videos hosted on our platform requires us to have an easy, quick, and reliable way to ensure each one looks and performs as intended in each user’s feed across multiple devices and resolutions, which wouldn’t be cost-effective to do manually. Cloudinary has been instrumental in helping us speed up all aspects of our video management, optimization, and delivery workflows.”

In addition to Doximity, several top brands, including Paul Smith, Rapha, Vorwerk, and Bleacher Report, use Cloudinary to deliver high-performing short and long-form video experiences in minutes.

Sign up for free to try out Cloudinary Video API features or contact us for a personalized demo.

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