Brightcove Player Sample: Popular Videos Overlay

In this topic, you will learn how to use the Analytics API and a Brightcove Player with an overlay to display a list of the most popular videos in the account today when playback is paused or ends. Also see the Popular Videos Playlist sample.


Player example

The player is embedded in the CodePen below. The overlay will appear when you pause a video, or the video ends. The request to the Analytics API to get the 6 most viewed videos in the past 24 hours is shown, along with the API response.

See the Pen Popular Videos Overlay/Endscreen by Brightcove Learning Services (@bcls1969) on CodePen.

Source code

View the complete solution on GitHub.

Using the CodePen

Here are some tips to effectively use the above CodePen:

  • Toggle the actual display of the player by clicking the Result button.
  • Click the HTML/CSS/JS buttons to display ONE of the code types.
  • Later in this document the logic, flow and styling used in the application will be discussed in the Player/HTML configuration, Application flow and Application styling sections. The best way to follow along with the information in those sections is to:
    1. Click the EDIT ON CODEPEN button in the CodePen and have the code available in one browser/browser tab.
    2. In CodePen, adjust what code you want displayed. You can change the width of different code sections within CodePen.
    3. View the Player/HTML configuration, Application flow and/or Application styling sections in another browser/browser tab. You will now be able to follow the code explanations and at the same time view the code.

Development sequence

Here is the recommended development sequence:

  1. Use the In-Page embed player implementation to test the functionality of your player, plugin and CSS (if CSS is needed)
  2. Put the plugin's JavaScript and CSS into separate files for local testing
  3. Deploy the plugin code and CSS to your server once you have worked out any errors
  4. Use Studio to add the plugin and CSS to your player
  5. Replace the In-Page embed player implementation if you determine that the iframe implementation is a better fit (detailed in next section)

For details about these steps, review the Step-by-Step: Plugin Development guide.

iframe or In-Page embed

When developing enhancements for the Brightcove Player you will need to decide if the code is a best fit for the iframe or In-Page embed implementation. The best practice recommendation is to build a plugin for use with an iframe implementation. The advantages of using the iframe player are:

  • No collisions with existing JavaScript and/or CSS
  • Automatically responsive
  • The iframe eases use in social media apps (or whenever the video will need to "travel" into other apps)

Although integrating the In-Page embed player can be more complex, there are times when you will plan your code around that implementation. To generalize, this approach is best when the containing page needs to communicate to the player. Specifically, here are some examples:

  • Code in the containing page needs to listen for and act on player events
  • The player uses styles from the containing page
  • The iframe will cause app logic to fail, like a redirect from the containing page

Even if your final implementation does not use the iframe code, you can still use the In-Page embed code with a plugin for your JavaScript and a separate file for your CSS. This encapsulates your logic so that you can easily use it in multiple players.

Getting Credentials

To get a client_id and client_secret, you will need to go to the OAuth UI and register this app:

These are the permissions you will need:

Analytics API Permissions
Analytics API Permissions

You can also get your credentials via CURL or Postman - see:

If you are getting credentials directly from the API, these are the permissions you need:


API/Plugin resources used

Player API Methods Player API Events Plugins REST API's
catalog.getVideo() play videojs-overlay: For details, see to the Display Overlay Plugin document. This sample uses the Analytics API via a proxy built in PHP.
catalog.load() pause    

Player/HTML configuration

This section details any special configuration needed during player creation. In addition, other HTML elements that must be added to the page, beyond the in-page embed player implementation code, are described.

Player configuration

This sample uses a responsive player, but you can use the embed code for a fixed player as well.

Other HTML

Remember to add the id attribute to the video tag in the player embed code.

		<video-js id="myPlayerID"

Application flow

The basic logic behind this application is:

  • Get the page DOM elements.
  • Setup the request for the Analytics API.
  • Call the proxy code to make the request to the Analytics API.
  • Format the overlay content.
  • Load and play popular video.

Get the page DOM elements

Get a reference to the page's DOM elements. We will use these to display the Analytics API request and response. Also, set the values for the proxy URL and the Analytics API base URL.

Setup the request for the Analytics API

Find the code which is labeled:

		// +++ Setup API request +++

This sample will return 6 videos which have the most video views from yesterday.

Make a request to the Analytics API

Find the code which is labeled:

		// +++ Make a request to the Analytics API +++

Use the proxy code to send an HTTP GET request to the Analytics API RESTful web service. Parse the returned data into JSON format. If an error occurs, display an error message.

Format the overlay content

Find the code which is labeled:

		// +++ Format the overlay content +++

To format the overlay content, do the following:

  1. Extract the video ids from the response from the Analytics API.
  2. Use the player catalog to get the video objects for each video id returned from the Analytics API.
  3. Generate the HTML for the overlay.
  4. Initialize the Overlay plugin with the newly created related videos content. You will see a grid of popular video thumbnails when the overlay is displayed. Show the overlay when video playback is paused or has ended. Hide the overlay when the main video is playing.

Load and play popular video

Find the code which is labeled:

		// +++ Load and play popular video +++

Create a function that loads and starts playback for the popular video that is selected by the user.

Application styling

The CSS styles the videos thumbnail images in the overlay.

Plugin code

Normally when converting the JavaScript into a Brightcove Player plugin nominal changes are needed. One required change is to replace the standard use of the ready() method with the code that defines a plugin.

Here is the very commonly used start to JavaScript code that will work with the player:

		videojs.getPlayer('myPlayerID').ready(function() {
			var myPlayer = this;

You will change the first line to use the standard syntax to start a Brightcove Player plugin:

		videojs.registerPlugin('pluginName', function(options) {
			var myPlayer = this;

As mentioned earlier, you can see the plugin's JavaScript code in this document's corresponding GitHub repo: popular-videos-overlay.js.

Using the plugin with a player

Once you have the plugin's CSS and JavaScript files stored in an Internet accessible location, you can use the plugin with a player. In Studio's PLAYERS module you can choose a player, then in the PLUGINS section add the URLs to the CSS and JavaScript files, and also add the Name and Options, if options are needed.

Proxy code

In order to build your own version the sample app on this page, you must create and host your own proxy. (The proxies used by Brightcove Learning Services only accept requests from Brightcove domains.) A sample proxy, very similar to the one we use, but without the checks that block requests from non-Brightcove domains, can be found in this GitHub repository. You will also find basic instructions for using it there, and a more elaborate guide to building apps around the proxy in Using the REST APIs.