Captivate your audience with intelligent video summaries

For a video content platform, one of the goals is to increase the views and clickthroughs but we shouldn't leave value behind. Your users' time is valuable. People appreciate introductory summaries of long-form articles (or a Tl;dr), and it'd be great to give your users the option to preview a video before watching it. Thumbnails and video summaries are a great way to showcase content on both mobile as well as web platforms.

Thumbnails are a good start for giving your users a preview quickly without downloading entire videos. But we hope you aren't shooting in the dark and throwing the first frame of your video on there (which could be irrelevant or blank at worst). That's not the best way to invite users to engage with your platform! If you'd like to give your users a much nicer experience, you should checkout how MediaMachine extracts the best looking thumbnails from videos.

Graduating beyond static thumbnails, video summaries are extremely effective at increasing user engagement. Video summaries can also help make your apps feel snappier by only downloading a smaller summary of the video instead of the larger video.

Million dollar video summaries#

There is a reason why some movie trailers cost millions of dollars! They give viewers a glimpse into what to expect - a sneak peak that drums up excitement and lets directors create a scaffolding to elevate their story telling.

Similarly, video summaries provide your users information about the content of large videos in a short amount of time. This signal helps your them evaluate if the video content they are about to engage with is interesting or not.

For example, if your user is about to watch a documentary, they might look for certain cues:

  • Does it contain their topic of interest?
  • Specific locations in a film or a travel video blog they are looking for
  • A recipe or favorite food showcased in a cooking video.

So you want to generate a compelling video summary that showcases the longer video to your users. But you certainly don't want to do it by hand for every single video. Many people do this for YouTube videos but if you are a platform with more than a handful of videos, you can't follow a time-consuming process of manually generating video summaries!

Automation is the answer#

A naïve approach to generating summaries from videos is to extract a section of the video.

However, it has a bunch of obvious drawbacks.

  • How long should this be?
  • Where should we pick this section? The start, middle or the end?
  • What if the first bit of the video is blank or blurry?
  • Is the initial part of the video interesting or just some introductory text?

This approach is similar to video previews generation although the definitions can be somewhat fuzzy. Generally speaking, a video preview is just a sample clip of the video while a summary stitches various sub-sections of the video together.

If you have a few seconds of video to cut out from a source video, you can use ffmpeg for that:

# extract a copy of the first 2 minutes of a video
ffmpeg -i -ss 0 -t 120 -c copy

There are other unseen challenges too - user generated videos are often recorded under uncontrolled conditions like poor lighting and shaky camera motion. You have to remember to trim around bad frames like that.

But we can do this intelligently!

Intelligent Video Summaries#

We know video summaries help boost user experiences and increase engagement. The MediaMachine Intelligent Video Summary pipeline handles all the complexity of generating great video summaries.

Here is how MediaMachine crafts a captivating summary:

MediaMachine Video Summary Pipeline
Input: video =>
Step: parse input =>
Filter: machine-learning algorithm - identify best scenes =>
Filter: machine-learning algorithm - select and combine video sections =>
Output: video summary GIF or video summary MP4

Video summary in action:

Try the MediaMachine Video Summary Pipeline yourself#

Generating captivating video summaries automatically with MediaMachine is as simple as:

curl --request POST \
--url \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data '{
"apiKey": "<YOUR KEY>",
"inputURL": "",
"outputURL": ""

(psst: we've got SDKs too!)

You can easily plug in various data sources like S3, GCP buckets & Azure buckets along with classic file servers. Give it a try. Increase engagement on your platform by creating more enticing video listings with intelligent video summaries.

PS: API documentation here.

Simplify your video pipelineTry MediaMachine today!

  • Get access to one of the cheapest Cloud-Transcode pipelines

  • Engage users early with great Thumbnails and NLP-Like Video summaries

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