YouTube dropped a little bombshell of a news announcement yesterday on their blog when they released two new changes for embedded videos. The first is the addition of HD Preview Images for videos higher than 480p. But the potentially-huge news is that YouTube has enabled publishers to remove the YouTube logo from embedded videos.
New HD YouTube Preview/Thumbnail Images
First things first, the HD Preview Images. Which would probably be pretty cool news on its own if it weren't dropped into a post with the other piece of information. As the YouTube blog explains, there's a ton of HD content on the site, but the preview images haven't kept up with the high quality of the actual videos.
But now that changes. Here's a before-and-after example of the quality increase we're talking about here:
That is a huge improvement. Higher quality images help the viewer become more informed. They're more likely to click on something if they can see it clearly--or, I should say, they're less likely to click on something that's blurry and difficult to make out.
YouTube's Logo ► Now Optional on Embedded YouTube Videos
This is the news that will get most of the attention, rightfully so. Publishers, website owners, and bloggers alike can now embed YouTube clips on their site without that pesky YouTube logo showing up on the player (like how the player appears on YouTube itself). Here's an example of the player without the YouTube logo:
While it might, on the surface, sound like a small change, it has big implications. A number of small and medium business customers are wary of having the YouTube branding associated with their video content. It mostly has to do with the fact that the site has a wealth of amateur content, crude content, and immature comments. Sometimes it's just that they want their video content to help brand them as a business, and YouTube's branding competes with that.
Enterprise level online video platforms have been selling their product for years by reminding customers that if they go with YouTube they'll have that logo on all their content. Now, that selling point is moot--which is not to say that such solutions don't still have other advantages, because they ABSOLUTELY do (see here). But the ability to remove that YouTube logo takes away one of the best sales tactics of the competitors.
How to Remove YouTube's Logo from Embedded Videos & Players
So, although this is not a default option within the embed code box on YouTube videos, this can be done quite simply by adding the following to the end of a YouTube embed URL:
So for example, the standard iFrame embed code you would get for a video like the one above would be:
<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VIDEOID" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
In this case, you merely need to add "?modestbranding=1" to the end of the src= tag like so:
... src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VIDEOID?modestbranding=1" ...
You would do the same, adding "?modestbranding=1" to each instance of the YouTube player URL for the old embed code -> like this:
<object width="560" height="349"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/VIDEOID?modestbranding=1&version=3&hl=en_US"></param> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param> <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/VIDEOID?modestbranding=1&version=3&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="349" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed> </object>
Issues, Tips & WorkArounds:
This only works if you use it as the first parameter after the video id. IE - it can not be added after any other parameters or it will break and the logo will reappear when the video starts. To illustrate what I mean, you can NOT do something like this:
... src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VIDEOID?hd=1&modestbranding=1" ...
The modestbranding parameter needs to come first.
Additionally, this will not work with a few of the other embed player parameters like "showinfo" which can be used to set whether or not the title shows at the top of the video (0= no title). For whatever reason, if you continue to use "showinfo=0", the "modestbranding" parameter will not function as it's supposed to and the logo will reappear when you press play.
As a work around to this, I discovered a new parameter that they dont publicize => "title=". So, if you would like to remove the logo AND you want to remove the title from the player, you need to structure the embed src player string as follows, leaving "title=" blank:
... src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VIDEOID?modestbranding=1&title=" ...
As just a fun little note on this - I found out that you can actually change that title to be whatever you want. See this example.
More YouTube Embed Customization:
I've written a post in the past about how to customize the YouTube embed code HERE - which contains many of the additional embed player parameters that you can use to tweak your YouTube embeds. It's a bit dated of a post but still relevant as all of the parameters can still be used with both the older AS2 and newest AS3 players. Additionally, these work with both the old object/embed code as well as the YouTube iFrame embed code.
I hope this helps and let us know if you have any questions.