Late last month, CNET Networks quietly released a superb new Flash video player. The player is beginning to propagate CNET’s news and reviews videos. It was developed in house. Here’s what I think is very different and powerful:
*The player has a pop-up window for a text description along with hyperlinks to related stories. This is extremely valuable as videos don’t always present the entire story. The text can provide crucial context. Plus the text can be updated, so when an archival video becomes timely, the data can be updated. Very cool.
*There is a closed caption functionality. CNET is committed to transcribing all its video — a great benefit to the hearing impaired and for others at work who can’t listen. Presumably all the metadata will maximize search.
*I think the most clever piece of the new player is the pop up for related videos. This utility appears on the embedded player as well. So, viewers of the embed player who choose a relate video are taken back to CNET. I guess you could call it a widget within a video player.
*The player is embeddable, meaning the code from CNET videos can be place on blogs. This is not new for the industry, of course. The Wall Street Journal was the first major publisher to provide an embeddable player over a year ago, which was reported first on Beet.TV. Nonetheless, for bloggers being able to publish CNET video is very exciting.
Since I couldn’t get to San Francisco to report this story, I am grateful to producers at CNET who shot this interview with CNET TV chief Mark Larkin yesterday and shipped us the file. Amazing shoot! Our own David Kavanaugh edited the piece.
Mark give a great overview of CNET TV and a demonstration of the new player. You can see the new player below.
— Andy Plesser
Here is Randy Rothenberg, head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau on the implication of viral video and advertisting.