Ensuring autoplay for videos and live streams in Clevercast

A question that we are asked very often is: “How do I make sure that my video player starts automatically?” We’ll try to answer this question here, and explain how you can turn on autoplay in Clevercast.
 

Why doesn’t my video start playing automatically in the browser?

The answer is simple: most browser builders have decided that video autoplay with sound is not appropriate behaviour. So in order to allow autoplay, you must ensure that both ‘autoplay’ and ‘muted’ are turned on for your player. This will cause your video stream to play automatically on desktop browsers without sound. This works for both live and on-demand video.

Microsoft Edge is currently the only exception. By default, Edge still allows you to autoplay videos with sound. However, users can decide to adjust their settings, both in general and for certain sites.

Note: autoplay is rarely ever permitted for mobile devices. In general, mobile viewers will always have to press the play button.

 

Is it impossible to do autoplay with sound on your site (desktop, cross-browser)?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: the only exception depends on the behavior of each individual viewer on your website. It has nothing to do with the video player you choose, your player settings, the way of streaming… So it is beyond your control as a content owner.

Firefox and Safari allow autoplay with sound for users that have previously interacted with the domain (such as clicking or pressing buttons).

Google Chrome also keeps a so-called Media Engagement Index (MEI) which measures the extent to which the user plays video with sound on each site. This is the reason why Google Chrome will do autoplay with sound on some sites (eg YouTube) by default: “If you don’t have browsing history, Chrome allows autoplay for over 1,000 sites where we see that the highest percentage of visitors play media with sound. As you browse the web, that list changes as Chrome learns and enables autoplay on sites where you play media with sound during most of your visits, and disables it on sites where you don’t.”

 

How do I embed a Clevercast player with autoplay and muted?

The default Clevercast player has ‘autoplay’ turned on, but not ‘muted’. If the browser allows it, the video will automatically start playing with sound. If not, the viewer will have to press the play button. To change this default behaviour, you can either create your own player profile (1) or customize the embed code you copy to your site (2).

1.) You can create your own Player profile (through the Media > Player menu) and set its ‘muted’ property. Once you have done this, the Account > Settings menu lets you select this custom player as the default player for workflow profiles, playlists and events. You can also select it for individual events or video items.

Create a custom player profile with muted and autoplay on

2.) Alternatively, you can add the properties ‘autoplay’ and ‘muted’ to the actual embed code. To do this, press the ‘Customize’ button before copying the embed code.

Generate a custom embed code for a live event

In the ‘Customize Embed Code’ dialog, uncheck ‘Use Player defaults’ and check the ‘Autoplay’ and ‘Muted’ properties. Then copy the resulting embed code to your website. This will always work, no matter which player profile you use.

Select autoplay and muted and copy the embed code

Note: you can also the Clevercast Player API to set autoplay and muted programmatically.