Leanin today announced the launch of something the company calls the first of its kind: a social video player. The Leanin service is a hosted solution, integrates smoothly with YouTube & Facebook, and aims to help brands better understand video engagement through an arsenal of custom analytics and viewer data points. 

Leanin's New Social Video Player

Leanin's player also allows custom branding, and can be applied even to videos already hosted on YouTube. Luke Davies, the company's President, had this to say about the product:

"The LeanIn online video player provides publishers with the best of both worlds. They can have a branded social player on their site, and across the web, while taking advantage of free hosting and video management on YouTube. The LeanIn, YouTube combination is the most cost effective way for companies to offer a professional branded online video experience.”

So ultimately Leanin is a player that wraps around videos already hosted in places like YouTube, Brightcove, Ooyala, and more. Brands can then continue leveraging their current hosting solution while also making use of a branded video player on their site. But the real potential of this thing, if you ask me, is in the social data.

The video the company created that both explains their service and shows off their custom video player doesn't appear to include an embed option. However, the company FAQ states that customers will have the ability to let viewers grab and embed their Leanin videos if they so choose.

Notches - Audience Votes For Favorite Scenes

One of the big features of the Leanin social video player appears to be this concept of "notches," which the company describes as "simple ways for viewers to anonymously like a scene of a video." These anonymously notched favorite scenes then show up on the timeline to help highlight the parts of a video people like the most.

The notches get taller as more votes are accrued for a particular scene, and you can hover over the player to quickly see the most popular scenes:

I love the concept of notches, as it would provide businesses and brands with fantastic, actionable data regarding which parts of their videos work and which parts don't. My only concern with them is the learning curve. Notches are a new concept for most online video viewers, and many will need to be trained to click and vote for certain scenes.

There are three Leanin price plans to choose from:

  • Free - $0 - includes 10,000 video starts
  • Standard - $30 - includes 100,000 video starts
  • Professional - $50 - 100,000 video starts plus viewer profiles, OVP integration, and Backend API access


There's some pretty attractive things about the Leanin player: custom branding, integration with current video hosting solutions, notches, and social sharing options for individual scenes. It might take them some time to carve out a market for themselves, and to educate viewers and businesses about what notches are and how they're intended to function, but there's clearly great potential here.

Almost all brands involved with online video are looking for ways to promote social media interaction and boost engagement with viewers. The Leanin player hopes to make that task even easier with their new social video player.