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JW Player: The Pioneer in Video Technology


“...and let there be video!” - shouted JW Player, and the world listened!

A decade in internet history when Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram were still infants feels like centuries. In the beginning, the internet wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today; to a point where users couldn’t upload a video online.

A coder by heart, but a communication expert by occupation, Jeroen Wijering noticed the lack of proper video software to post videos online. So, during his junior year at faculty, Jeroen sat down and started coding to create the video software. After a few years, JW Player got introduced to the scene.

JW Player is a video player platform for internet users to upload videos online. Multiple giants including Facebook and Youtube streamed their first videos through JW Player.

With this platform, Jeroen marked his existence in internet history. The path of his journey inspired many future entrepreneurs and followers of his work, so continue reading to learn all about JW Player.

Caught by the Code Fever

Jeroen Wijering was born and raised in Holland in 1988. As a child, Jeroen was always more inclined towards math. The logic in math made sense to him so much it was fascinating.

When he was a teenager, Jeroen enrolled at Twents Carmellyceum college, one of the best quality schools in Holland. At that age, he already got his computer, and the journey for exploring the power of technology began. At first, it was about tinkering with the entire computer, but all of a sudden everything made sense. Later, he got into the specifics of the coding, and he realized there were lots of improvements to be done with the entire computer technology.

To begin with, there were many new things to create and introduce to the world, then many improvements to add. In a nutshell - the future is computer science and technology, and that’s that.

Jeroen loved coding. But, when he had to decide his future, he opted for a Design Academy.

Pressure Turns Stones into Gems

In 2001, Jeroen went off to campus at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Still, he decided that the architecture of communication was a better option for his future.

While he was a student, Jeroen had an excellent academic performance. He was devoted to his studies, apart from the occasional student parties which are inevitable during college, as most of us would agree.

However, when he was a junior, something else happened. During that time, videos were struggling to enter the virtual world. Many tried to create software but failed somehow. But, when Jeroen noticed the issue, he was instantly hooked to try and develop a code.

Initially, he wanted to create a video solution for himself. However, his intent was to make it collaborative as an open-source, so that every programmer could upgrade it, and had the idea make it to the final cut.

At that time, Jeroen realized that education is one thing, and passion is another. Although he was a communication expert by occupation, he was a coder by heart. He loved to create something innovative since the first time he'd touched the computer. His idea was the determinant that defined his future and his character. He was a born entrepreneur, and it was time to let it go and use his potential.

Cultivating the Future of Video Technology

Jeroen never gave up on his idea, nor the studies. In fact, he kept himself busy all the time to finish his studies, and develop his video player. So, in 2006, Jeroen held his bachelor's degree in his hands.

Then, right after graduation, he dove into his player project to further develop it. But, note that it's 2006, and Youtube, Facebook, and MySpace were only infants. So, Jeroen worked tirelessly on his open-source project, because he made a conscious choice to allow every programmer to use it as a streaming platform. That choice was golden.

After long months of working on the software, finally, it was ready to launch. But, how did the launch go?

Adjusting the Spotlight

Right after the presentation, Jeroen's idea for a solution to the video-uploading problem was successful. He created a video player platform where users can upload videos, using it as a catalyst, without any obstructions along the way. Naturally, he raised the interest of some investors, but it took some time until he landed them.

In 2007, Jeroen integrated the player with an advertising company named LongTail, which was the kick-start for JW Player.

Then, in 2008, Jeroen finally made it! He landed three investors from New York to pitch his idea, and he raised enough funds to settle his company in New York City. It was the hay days of the company, but Jeroen remained humble. In the office, he started with 25 employees only. They've contributed to bringing the company to a higher level.

Rocket Beginnings

If we look back in the history of the internet and its titans, we'll find out that Youtube was founded around the same time as JW Player. One of the major users of JW Player was actually Youtube. For over 18 months, Youtube had the option to watch a video in a JW Player.

Right after Youtube came Facebook. The greatest social network of all time was also a JW Player user. With these names under its belt, JW Player rose to the days of its success.

Thanks to the interest with other social networks, JW Player started stacking loots, as, during their first angel round, the company managed to raise a not-so-shabby sum of $1.6 million.

Users Turned Competitors

Although Facebook and Youtube were, in fact, JW Player users, soon they managed to create their own video software and surpass JW Player.

But, besides the rise of both networks as independent networks, JW Player never lost its focus around success, because, at the end of the day, success is a relative term. To Jeroen, success wasn't to be number 1 on the internet but to further develop the software. However, although Jereon didn't see these two giants as his competitors, they significantly slowed down the development of JW Player. They caught the attention of many investors who saw the future in the networks instead of single video software. But, Jeroen never gave up on his dream but found the strength to dedicate himself and further improve JW Player.

Thus, when the company landed Greycroft as its lead investor in 2012, JW Player raised $4 million during the second round. Finally, after 4 years, with this investor, JW Player raised $20 million. Moreover, the offices expanded to the Netherlands, and the number of employees rose from 25 to 50 then to 100.

In 2015, Jeroen brought two decisions regarding the video player. The first one was to license the player or take down the open-source option. And, the second one was to rewrite the code to reduce it in size and load time. And so it was.

Later, the company upgraded JW Player and HTML 5 Video and Flash Video so that users can watch videos on handset devices without any obstructions. That attracted more investors to the table.

Fast-forwarding to the Future

Thanks to Jeroen’s success in landing investors, the company has over $100 million in total funding. However, money was never the reason to measure success.

Jeroen's success lies in his brave move to make a path for video players in the internet era, opening new paths for two giants to take over the video-streaming world today.

From a 9-to-5 work dream, Jeroen chose to follow his passion and become an entrepreneur instead. He managed to stand out from the crowd when the internet boomed and successfully led the company to success today. The importance of his presence in our business is still a lesson to many entrepreneurs who must learn to use the best resources at the best timing. There's no other way to succeed.

Next time you watch your favorite tutorial or music video on YouTube, remember that JW Player was there first.