Hola Spark - FAQ


See Hola Spark in action (2:50, fullscreen recommended):

Overview

What is Hola Spark?

Hola Spark is a set of tools that make video on your site more exciting and fun. These features increase CTR, user engagement and monetization of your online video assets.

How much does Hola Spark cost? Do you offer a free version?

Hola Spark is available in free and premium versions.

How much do different Hola Spark features cost?

See the pricing table for details.

Do you offer a free evaluation period?

Yes. You can test Hola Spark features for 7 days. At the end of the 7-day evaluation period, you may select a package and activate your premium account, or keep using the free version, which includes a watermarked logo.

What does the monthly premium package include?

The Hola Spark monthly package includes the following components:

What happens if I go over the limits of my current package?

If you go over the allowed limits of the package you signed up for, you will be charged overage fees based on your rate card. If Hola sees that your overage fees are such that it would make more sense to upgrade your package (meaning - your total payment will be lower with a larger package), Hola will switch you over to the more economical package in the next billing period and notify you accordingly.

How do I implement Hola Spark on my site?

All Hola Spark features require one line of code on your site. Simply include the following JavaScript in the <head> of your site, including your customer ID. Note that it is loaded asynchronously.

<script async crossorigin="anonymous" src="//player.h-cdn.com/loader.js?customer=XXX"></script> After the code is on your site, you can choose which features to enable from your Hola Spark portal.

Will Hola Spark work on my native Android and iOS apps?

Yes. Hola Spark is implemented in native mobile apps using a simple SDK.

Will Hola Spark work with my existing video player?

Yes. Hola Spark works with any video player.

Will Hola Spark work with any web browser?

Yes. Hola Spark works with any desktop or mobile web browser.

What happens if the JavaScript fails to load?

The JS is loaded asynchronously. If the script loads too slowly or fails to load altogether, your site will continue to work just as it does today.

Video Preview

What is Hola Video Preview?

Hola Video Preview provides your user with engaging Video Previews instead of static images. Hola automatically finds links to videos on your page, and generates short video previews which are displayed when the user passes their mouse over the thumbnail.

What are the benefits?

A video preview is more engaging and increases CTR on video articles.

Do Hola Video Previews work on mobile web browsers?

Yes. Hola Video Preview works on any mobile web browser. Since there is no mouseover event in mobile, Hola Video Previews are activated when the thumbnail reaches the middle part of the screen, and stop when the thumbnail is scrolled away from the middle.

Do I need to generate or host the video previews?

No. Hola will automatically generate and host the Video Previews using your original video file.

Does using Hola Video Previews create any extra load or overhead on my existing infrastructure?

In order to generate each Video Preview, a single Hola Spark server will download the video once from your CDN. This is equivalent to one additional user watching the video and as such is totally negligible overhead.
The Hola Spark server that downloaded the video will generate the Video Preview and distribute it to other Hola Spark servers. This process is transparent and does not increase your monthly bill.

Why don't I see working Video Previews on my test page?

Since Video previews are delivered from Hola Spark servers, they will be displayed only after they are generated and stored.
In a production environment, Video Preview generation is triggered automatically the first time a user watches a video. If you are testing in a staging environment, Video Previews will not work instantly, since they have not been generated yet.
In order to generate Video Previews, watch the videos on the page. This will trigger Video Preview generation on Hola Spark servers. Wait a few minutes, then refresh the page and try again.

How does Hola Spark know what video to use in order to generate the Video Preview?

Hola Spark Video Previews work out of the box. No additional configuration is required. Videos are selected as follows:

How long does it take for a new Video Preview to be generated?

It takes about 15-30 seconds from the first time a video is requested by the first user until the Video Preview for that video becomes available and users start seeing it.

What happens if Video Preview generation is slow or if it fails?

If a Video Preview is not available (e.g. a new video was just uploaded, but the automatic Video Preview for that video was not fully generated yet), the existing static image will be used on mouseover.

What happens if my content is geo blocked?

Hola servers need to be able to access videos on your site in order to generate video previews. If your videos are geo blocked, simply whitelist Hola servers to allow access. The list of server IP addresses to whitelist can be found in your Hola Spark portal.

My content is protected using tokens and/or DRM. How does this impact Hola Spark?

Hola Spark servers need to be able to access videos on your site in order to generate video previews. When video chunks are protected, there are a a few methods in order to be able to fetch them, for example:

In any case, this is a simple implementation step. Contact us to find the best solution for your specific needs.

Can I disable video previews on specific thumbnails?

You can disable Video Previews on specific videos by adding the following attribute to the HTML tag:

<a href="video" hola_ve_preview="none"></a> This will instruct Hola to not generate a preview for the video in the linked article. Your existing static thumbnail will be displayed.

What configuration options are available?

You can configure how Hola Spark Video Previews are generated and how they are displayed.

Can I configure Video Previews to start automatically?

Yes. The Autoplay option allows you to automatically trigger Video Previews after a given interval. When Autoplay is enabled, random Video Previews withing the viewable page will randomly start playing, even if the user does not mouseover. This draws the attention of the user to those videos.

Where can I see live examples?

See here.

In-player Video Thumbnails

What are In-Player Video Thumbnails?

This feature provides seek functionality with Thumbnails to find the desired video location.

Will the Hola Video Thumbnails work with my existing player?

Yes. Hola Video Thumbnails are compatible with any video player.

Do I need to generate or host the thumbnails?

No. Hola will automatically generate and host the thumbnails from your original video file.

Does using Hola Video thumbnails create any extra load or overhead on my existing infrastructure?

To generate Video thumbnails for each video, a single Hola Spark server will download the video once from your CDN. This is equivalent to one additional user watching the video and as such is totally negligible overhead.
The Hola Spark server that downloaded the video will generate the Video thumbnails and distribute them to other Hola Spark servers. This process is transparent and does not increase your monthly bill.

What happens if my content is geo blocked or protected with DRM?

Hola servers need to be able to access videos on your site in order to generate thumbnails. See here.

Next video suggestions

What does this feature do?

This feature provides your user with recommended videos to watch, displayed while the current video is still playing. The user can decline the suggestion, click the suggested video to see it, or do nothing - in which case, the suggested video will automatically be loaded at the end of the video that is currently playing.

What are the benefits?

Video suggestions are engaging and increase video views.

Where do the suggested videos come from?

Next video is be selected either using one of the following methods:

Can I configure the design and behavior of the recommendation window?

Yes, this is possible using the HolaCDN portal. By default, recommended videos will be displayed 30 seconds before the end of the video that is currently playing.

Persistent Video

What is a Persistent Video player?

Many web pages include a video player and text which requires the user to scroll to read the full article. When the user scrolls up or down, the player disappears from view. The persistent video player feature ensures the user continues to see a small player window in a fixed location on the page, even when the original video player is no longer visible.

What are the benefits?

The Persistent Player allows the user an uninterrupted video experience even when they are scrolling through the page.

Do I need to change my video player to use Persistent Video?

Hola Spark uses your existing player. You do not need to change anything on your site other than simply add the Hola JS code.

How much does using Persistent Video cost?

You may use Persistent Video for free. See the pricing table for details.

Is there a quick way to easily enable Persistent Video on my site for testing?

Yes. Simply append '?hola_persistent_video=1' to any page URL and refresh. This will enable persistent video on that page. Try this both on desktop and mobile browsers.

How does Persistent Video increase monetization?

The Persistent Player is visible even if the user scrolls the page. This improves monetization, because:

Note: You can configure the Persistent to show the actual video and the ads, or just the original content. By default, the Persistent Player will show both.

Can I configure the default location and appearance of the Persistent Video player?

Yes, these are configurable via the HolaCDN portal.

Can the user move the Persistent Video player from its default location?

Yes, the user can drag the player to any location on the page, or close it. You may also set up the system to display the player in a fixed location via the Hola Spark portal.

Does Persistent Video support embedded YouTube videos?

Yes.

Where can I see live examples?

See here.

Image preview

What is Image Preview

Image Preview provides your user with dynamic image thumbnails instead of static images. Hola automatically finds links to images on your page, and plays a slideshow of the target images when the user passes their mouse over the thumbnail.

What are the benefits?

Image previews are more engaging and increases CTR.

Do I need to generate or host the images used by Image Preview?

You only need to host the original image that are part of your article, just as you do today. Hola will automatically generate and host smaller versions used by Image Preview.

Do Hola Image Previews work on mobile web browsers?

Yes. Hola Image Preview works on any mobile web browser. Since there is no mouseover event in mobile, Hola Image Previews become activated when the thumbnail reaches the middle part of the screen, and stop when the thumbnail is scrolled away from the middle.

How long does it take for a new Image Preview to be generated?

It takes about 15-30 seconds from the first time a new article is requested by the first user until the new Image Preview becomes available and visible to users.

What happens if delivery of Image Previews is slow, or if it fails?

If an Image Preview is not available (e.g. a new image gallery was just uploaded, but the small versions of the images were not fully generated yet), the existing static image will be used on mouseover. In other words, your site will function normally, as it does today.

Watch Later

What is Hola Watch Later?

Hola Watch Later allows your users to save videos they cannot watch at the exact time the are browsing your site to a 'Watch Later' list.
This offers a stress-free experience. By clicking on the Save Later icon, your users know they can continue browsing the site and that next time they will visit the site, they will easily find the videos they wanted to watch earlier.

What are the benefits?

Watch Later offers benefits to both the publisher and the end user:

Can a user pause a video and then save to his Watch Later list?

Yes. The Watch Later icon appears inside the player a few seconds after the user paused the video. Watch Later remembers the last position of the video, so that when the user plays the video later, it will automatically seek to the last position in the video the user was watching.

Will a user who returns to a saved video see a pre-roll ad?

Yes. When watching a video the user saved using Watch Later, the page containing the video is loaded including all its advertising contents. If the video has a pre-roll, it will be displayed and then Watch Later will automatically seek to the last position in the video the user was watching.

Do I need to enable traffic from HolaCDN in order to use Watch Later?

You can use Watch Later with or without traffic from HolaCDN. However, since Watch Later offers the best experience when used in conjunction with Hola Video Preview, the configuration is slightly different in each case. Hola needs to know which video to use in order to generate the Video Preview. See here.

Do I need to use Hola Video Preview for Watch Later?

You can use Watch Later with or without Hola Video Preview. Using Hola Video Preview is recommended since it offers a better user experience and higher CTR. If you choose not to use Hola Video Preview, Watch Later will be unable to display live previews of the video, and will display basic, static images as thumbnails.

Do users need to create an account or sign-in in any way to enjoy Watch Later?

Hola Watch Later does not require users to sign-in. Videos are marked to be watched later, and Watch Later displays the list upon the user's return to the website.

If a user visits my site from multiple PC's, will they see Watch Later across their devices?

At the moment, Hola Watch Later identifies the user's browser and does not require users to sign in. As a result, Watch Later information is shown on a per-browser basis. Watch Later will soon support different authentication methods (e.g. your site's login, Facebook and Google sign-in etc.).

How does Hola Watch Later store the list on the user's PC? Does it use broweser cookies?

Hola Spark saves the list of Watch Later saved videos in the browser's local storage. It does not use cookies.

Do I need to store any information on my servers?

Watch Later information is stored on Hola servers. You do not need to store anything.

What kind of information does Watch Later store on its servers?

Hola Watch Later stores only anonymous metadata (e.g. unique ID of browser, video URL, page URL, last position in page and inside video). It does not collect any personal information such as logins, passwords etc.

Does Hola Spark store the actual videos in Watch Later lists?

Hola Watch Later stores metadata only (e.g. video URL, page URL, BrowserID) and does not not store your videos. Note that if you are using traffic from HolaCDN servers, your videos will be cached on HolaCDN servers. However, this is not a requirement.

How long does Watch Later save video lists for?

Hola Watch later saves list information for as long as a user is active. If a user does not interact with their list (e.g. store new videos or watch videos already stored) for a period of 365 days, Hola Watch Later will delete information stored for that user.

Can I add a button to my site which will show the Watch Later window?

Yes. Create any type of button or element you choose for your site, and have it call

window.hola_watch_later.show_popup(); This will return 'true' if the Watch Later diaalog was shown, or 'false' if there are no items to display, in which case the dialog will not be shown.

Fast Start

How does Hola Spark make video start faster

Spark Video Acceleration uses a new way of streaming video from multiple servers for a single video. The Hola Spark algorithm selects the fastest available server to deliver the first few seconds of the video. This offers faster start times compared to streaming the same video using traditional CDNs, that deliver the video from a single server.
For additional information, see the HolaCDN website.

No buffering

How does Hola Spark make videos stream smoothly with no buffering?

Spark Video Acceleration uses a new way of streaming video from multiple servers for a single video. If one of the servers that is streaming the video slows down for any reason, the Hola Spark algorithm selects another server that can continue streaming the video with no buffering. This offers significantly less buffering compared to streaming the same video using traditional CDNs, that deliver the video from a single server.
For additional information, see the HolaCDN website.

Video Ad Stitching

What is Hola Spark Video Ad Stitching?

Hola Spark Video Ad Stitching provides a seamless transition between video ads and the actual video the user wanted to watch. For additional information, see the HolaCDN website.

Ad Engage

What is Ad Engage?

Ad Engage allows video publishers to recover advertising revenue lost due to AdBlockers. Ad Engage allows you to communicate with the user; Ad Engage allows the user to start watching the video or view the web page, and then asks the user to either allow ads on your site or take another action in order to continue watching or browsing.

How do I implement Ad Engage?

To use Ad Engage, you need to deploy a Hola JS.

What part of my users will experience Ad Engage?

Ad Engage will only be activated for users who have an active AdBlocker that is blocking ads on your site.

What does Ad Engage do?

Ad Engage allows the publisher to communicate with users who have an active AdBlocker. Unlike other solutions which prevent access to content, Ad Engage lets the user view a configurable number of seconds, then pauses the video and asks the user to take an action such as allowing ads on the site, sharing the page, downloading the site's app, etc.
Ad Engage provides the means to customize the interaction with the user, allowing quick A/B tests that maximize the conversion rate of users who decide to allow ads on the site by whitelisting it on their Ad Blocker.

What are the options the user can choose from in order to continue watching the video?

The main objective of Ad Engage is to get the user to allow ads on your site by whitelisting it on their AdBlocker. If the user does not want to do this, he/she can choose one of the following actions:

Does the user have to take action in order to continue watching?

Ad Engage will always display a dialog to AdBlock users, but you can configure Ad Engage to either force the user to take action, or allow the user to ignore the prompts.
Requiring the user to take action results in a higher percentage of users who decide to allow ads on your site, but also a higher percentage of users who will leave the page.
Allowing the user to ignore prompts results in a lower percentage of users who decide to allow ads on your site, but causes fewer users to leave your page.
Ad Engage allows easy A/B testing of the different scenarios, giving you the tools to make an informed business decision.

What can I configure?

You can configure the following:

What triggers the Ad Engage Dialog?

Ad Engage will be displayed only to users who have an Ad Blocker that is actively blocking ads on your site. You can configure Ad Engage to appear only for users who meet certain conditions, for example:

For maximum effectiveness, you can mix and match different triggers - for example, show the dialog every 10 site visits and/or after 60 seconds of video viewing.

Will the Ad-engage dialog show up in every video?

By default it will appear in every video, but only for users with an active AdBlocker. The idea is to make the user decide, every video, what they want to do in order to see the video.
You can customize this behavior by configuring different triggers.

Some of my visitors are premium members and I don't mind if they use an Ad Blocker. Can I exclude them from Ad Engage alerts?

Yes, Hola support will configure Ad Engage to identify specific types of site visitors (e.g. premium subscribers, logged in users, etc.) and ensure they will not see the Ad Engage dialog even if they visit your site with an active Ad Blocker.

What results can I expect when using Ad Engage?

Results will be different for different publishers, different video types/durations and the Ad Engage rules used. In general, publishers using Ad Engage reports seeing:

You can use Hola Video Analytics to measure exactly how much video ad revenue you are currently losing.

What is the optimal preview period before showing the Ad Engage dialog?

The best way to answer this is via A/B testing on your site. To maximize results, the user should be engaged in the video before the dialog appears. In general, Hola recommends:

What if the user re-enables their AdBblocker after whitelisting?

Ad Engage monitors AdBlocker status constantly. If the user has whitelisted your site and then blacklisted it again, the video will stop playing immediately and the Ad Engage dialog will be shown again.

What Ad-blockers, browsers, ad-servers and ad networks does Ad-engage supports?

Ad-engage supports all types of Ad-blockers, video players and browsers.
It also supports all ad networks, servers and ad formats, since it does not interact directly with any of them.

Is Ad Engage compatible with YouTube embedded videos?

Yes. To allow the Ad Engage dialog to appear when YouTube videos are viewed, add ‘?enablejsapi=1’ to your embed code, for example:
BEFORE:

... width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/s71rH-lCp2g" frameborder="0"
AFTER:
... width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/s71rH-lCp2g?enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0"

Will Ad Engage slow my page loading speed?

Your page will load and render at exactly the same speed as it does without Ad Engage. This is because the Ad Engage script can be loaded at the end of the page and its execution can be deferred to after the page has finished rendering.

Do I need to change my video player for Ad Engage to work?

Ad Engage works with any video player. You don't need to change your video player.

How can I tell if Ad Engage is working?

Ad Engage starts delivering value from the moment it is activated.

What is the Ad Engage business model?

Ad Engage reduces the number of users who visit your site with an active Ad Blocker. As a result, your site receives additional page views and video views where you can display ads. Simply put, Ad Engage creates additional revenue for your site which you previously had no access to.

Ad Engage tracks the number of page views and video views that were made by users who previously had an Ad Blocker, but decided to allow ads on your site after seeing the Ad Engage dialog. Hola refers to these as 'additional monetizeable views'. You can see the exact numbers in your HolaCDN portal.

Ad Engage uses a simple CPM based model. For every page view and video view that were made possible by Ad Engage, a certain CPM is charged. This CPM varies, but is always lower than your own CPM, meaning that your revenue is still higher than what they were before Ad Engage was deployed.