Brightcove Player Sample: Popular Videos Playlist

In this topic, you will learn how to use the Analytics API and a Brightcove Player to display a playlist of the most popular videos in the account today. Also see the Popular Videos Overlay sample.


Player example

The playlist will appear automatically as soon as the video data is retrieved. 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 18183-popular-videos-playlist by Brightcove Learning Services (@bcls1969) on CodePen.

Source code

View the complete solution on GitHub.


This example returns the most viewed videos within the past day, from your account, using the Analytics API. It is similar to the Most Watched Video Playlist example, which uses the Brightcove Player catalog to access the Playback API. There are few differences to keep in mind:

Analytics API

  • If you don't specify the from parameter and value, the default is the past 30 days.
  • To retrieve the same results from the Analytics API that you would get from the Playback API, use the ?alltime URL parameter in the API request.

Brightcove Player catalog (Playback API)

  • The plays_total field is the all time video views for a video.
  • You can use the catalog.getSearch() method to easily retrieve data from the Playback API.

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 REST API's
catalog.getVideo() This sample uses the Analytics API via a proxy built in PHP.

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

No special configuration is required for the Brightcove Player you create for this sample.

Other HTML

When using the Advanced (in-page embed) player, you need to add an HTML element to specify the location of the playlist. For details, see the Implementing Playlists document.

<div class="vjs-playlist"></div>

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

<video-js id="myPlayerID"

For testing purposes, we've added HTML elements below the player to display the Analytics API request and response.

  <strong>Analytics API request:</strong>
<pre id="apiRequest"></pre>
  <strong>Analytics Response data</strong>
<pre id="responseData"></pre>

Application flow

The basic logic behind this application is:

  • Set up the Analytics API request
  • Get data from the Analytics API
  • Extract the video ids
  • Get the video objects
  • Load the playlist

Set up the Analytics API request

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Set up Analytics API request +++

Set up the URL parameters for the Analytics API request. This request will return 6 videos from our Brightcove account that have the most video views in the last 24 hours. They will be sorted in descending order.

Get data from the Analytics API

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Get data from Analytics API +++

This example calls a server-side proxy written in PHP to send your HTTP request to the Analytics API.

Extract the video ids

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Extract the video ids +++

Extract the video ids from the API response data, and store them in an array.

Get the video objects

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Get the video objects +++

For each video id returned from the Analytics API, use the catalog.getVideo() method to get the video object.

Load the playlist

Find the code which is labeled:

// +++ Load the playlist +++

Using the video object array, use the playlist() method to load the videos into the player's playlist.

Application styling

CSS is used to style the player and the playlist. For testing purposes, the Analytics API request and response fields are also styled with CSS.

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.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.