An Overview of the Cleeng Video Commerce Modules


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Cleeng is a video ecommerce platform that allows you to sell videos online. Cleeng comes with a wide range of advanced features for managing your users, entitlements and accepting payments. It should be noted that Cleeng does not stream videos itself. You need to have an online video platform (OVP) where you can upload your videos, or connect your live stream. Once you have chosen your OVP you can configure or integrate further with Cleeng. The OVP will deliver the actual video streams to your viewers, while Cleeng takes care of all the ecommerce features like identity management, entitlements, etc.

There are two ways that you can interact with Cleeng: via the Cleeng Dashboard (UI) or the API.

Via the Cleeng Dashboard you can setup a live pay-per-view event (Cleeng Live!) or configure on-demand videos (Cleeng Play). Meaning that within minutes you can start selling your live and on demand videos by embedding them on your website. Alternatively with Cleeng Live! or Cleeng Play - you can send your visitors to the automatically generated hosted pages from where they can get access the videos as well. Via the same Dashboard you can add a subscription on top of it, manage your videos, track your sales or analyze your customer base.

The Cleeng API on the other hand allows you to protect videos automatically and integrate Cleeng deeply into your applications so the user experience is fully integrated. This technical documentation guides you on how to use the Cleeng API for the different use cases in the most efficient way.

Cleeng has many different commerce modules that you can integrate via the API; each has a rich amount of features and functionalities. The instructions on these pages will explain per module the main options and considerations and should help you optimize your Cleeng video commerce setup.


Offers and package management

Before you start any integration with Cleeng, you have to decide the business model(s) you want to support. Cleeng has dedicated processes and user interfaces for a wide variety of business models. With Cleeng you can sell for example one-off Pay-Per-View events, or create a rental video store (TVOD) as well as setup a Netflix-like subscriber business (SVOD).

Each business model represents products or packages that are sold separately. At Cleeng we call them offers. This is the list of different offer types supported:

Pay-per-view event You organize a live streaming event and want to let people register or pay. (In general no need for any development - check out Cleeng Live! - as it likely fulfills all your needs). You can recognise these offers as their offer Id start with an "E", like "E123123123_US".
On-demand videos - Rental You have on-demand videos and want to offer them for rent. If you just have a few videos, please consider to set them up via Cleeng Dashboard using Cleeng Play. If you have many and would like to create these offers via the API yourself, or use the rule engine that Cleeng teams can configure for you. You can recognise these offers as their offer Id start with an "R", like "R123123123_US".
On-demand videos - Unlimited access You have on-demand videos and want to sell those without constraints. Management is similar as for rentals, either via the Dashboard or the API. This offer type is also used for download to own, or on-demand registration walls. You can recognise these offers as their offer Id start with an "A", like "A123123123_US".
Pass You have multiple events (or videos) and want to offer access to all of them for a limited amount of time (e.g. week pass), or until a precise date. Also used as tournament pass. You can recognise these offers as their offer Id start with an "P", like "P123123123_US".
Subscriptions You have multiple events or videos and want to offer a subscription membership with automatic recurring billing. By default it provides the access to all your content. You can recognise these offers as their offer Id start with an "S", like "S123123123_US".

All of these offers can be managed through the API as well as through the Dashboard.

Read more on how to manage these offers via the API here.

Note, by default each offer has one price in one currency. Through the API, Cleeng also supports multi-currency offers. These offers allow you to set different localized prices for the same ‘package/conditions’ (e.g. USD7.99 and CAD8.99).

Integration with video platforms

Cleeng has certified many online video platforms, like Brightcove, Ooyala and Livestream. These certified platforms offer the right quality, allow for playback on all the different devices and integrate well with all the ecommerce functionality. With many video platforms a dedicated integration is available. Consult with your video platform about the possibilities.

Cleeng supports three ways for video player integrations:

Wrapped player The easiest way to integrate your videos with Cleeng is via the Dashboard. If you configure live streaming events or on-demand videos, you have to copy-paste your preferred player embed code. Your player will automatically be wrapped with Cleeng technology to handle access control.
In-page Entitlements are validated at the moment the page is generated on the server. Recommended for SVOD implementations. When you integrate your application/website via the API - this is likely the best methodology for you. The tutorials follow an SVOD in-page video platform integration.
In-player In this case you need to be able to edit the player itself and develop Cleeng as a module inside it. This module validates entitlements, and triggers the checkout when no access rights are granted yet. Dailymotion.com is an example of such a custom player integration. The recommended integration of the checkout is via the popup, so that the player embed code will work across multiple websites.

Entitlement and access control

After you have created your first offer, you are ready for the actual integration. At the core of Cleeng is the entitlement engine. Whenever your client registers (and purchases) a given offer, entitlements are automatically added. Via the Cleeng Dashboard these entitlements (access rights) can be updated manually, and when refunds or chargebacks occur these entitlements are revoked. Also when your subscriber is automatically billed for another period, the entitlement is extended, and when it fails, the entitlement is revoked.

The main API method to validate entitlements is getAccessStatus() - it requires only two input parameters: the CustomerToken (to identify the user, handled by the SDK automatically), and the Offer Id (to identify the package/video). When the method returns positive, you can allow playback and show the actual video content.

Although it is technically possible to validate the access using the Javascript API, it is strongly discouraged for security reasons. Entitlements should always be confirmed server-side as well. See Tutorial 1 for some example code.

Although this API method will respond extremely fast around the world - you might consider caching this for a few hours on your server to further optimize loading times.


Checkout: authentication & payments

The Cleeng Checkout is an out of the box module that takes care of user registration, payments, tax handling, discount coupons, social sharing and much more. It supports all the different types of business models, from single pay-per-view events to 'first-month-free' subscription models.

The checkout is without a doubt the most important component of Cleeng. The Cleeng engineers have spent years making this process straightforward and intuitive to ensure your visitors turn into customers effectively. Cleeng shows double digit conversion rates for many broadcasters due to this highly optimized process. Next to that it is continuously tested on over 500 devices (fully responsive) and used in over 170 countries.

Each website or application that has an integration with Cleeng should first run an entitlement validation (see previous section). If this returns ‘true’, you can give access to the protected content and videos. If this returns ‘false’, (either because user is not authenticated, or because there is no valid entitlement yet) you want to display a “protected” version of the player, website or application.

From this protected player or app you can trigger the actual checkout process. You can either load the checkout ‘in-line’, or trigger the purchase from an actual button.

See below an overview of the integration options Cleeng supports: in-line, overlay, popup and redirect. You can see them all in action here.

Cleeng checkout types

The green overlay represents the actual Cleeng Checkout as loaded within the browser. In all cases this behaves responsive.

Inline Recommended for SVOD integrations.
Overlay Easy to implement. No impact on existing website (TVOD & SVOD).
Popup For video player integrations that can be embedded on any website (TVOD & SVOD).
Redirect Alternative option in case you have integration constraints.

You should customize the checkout with your branding and colors. Upload a logo and set a primary color via the Cleeng Dashboard to get a fully branded checkout. If you require more style adjustments, like further tweaking of fonts or colours that is possible too. The Cleeng team will load the custom stylesheet for you.

Cleeng checkout branding

You can trigger the checkout with a few lines of HTML code. See example of overlay checkout with subscription package purchase:

<!-- Cleeng JS library - put inside the head tag of the document -->
<script type="text/javascript"src=“https://cdn.cleeng.com/js-api/3.0/api.js”></script>

<!-- Button code, place anywhere you want the button to appear on website -->
<button 
    data-cleeng-trigger
    data-action="checkout"
    data-display-type="overlay"
    data-offer-id="S543962233_US"
    data-completed-callback="cleengCallbackHandler(result)">
    BUY NOW $7.99/m
</button>

Result:

More use cases and examples you can find in checkout documentation.

User identification

Out of the box Cleeng offers an efficient (sub 10 seconds) registration process. Your customer can register through Facebook, Google or traditionally via an email-password combination. Also, Cleeng made it extremely simple for returning users to login again.

The checkout will take care of the user authentication screens. If you already have a user identification tool in place (and it's optimized for high conversion / low enquiries) that you want to leverage - you can replace the Cleeng user identification module entirely with your own. Via the Remote Authentication API you can pass on the user information to Cleeng before you redirect them to the payment screens.

Payments

By default Cleeng is configured to take payments directly on your behalf. Cleeng supports all major credit cards, PayPal and many local and mobile payment methods around the world. To optimize conversion and acceptance of payments, Cleeng connects to multiple payment gateways in different continents. These gateways are ready to use, saving you a lot of complexity and paperwork. You can start right away leveraging the effort Cleeng has put it for you (e.g. bank agreements, fraud mechanism, refund & chargeback processes are taken care off).

For returning customers, cleeng offers 1-click payments for most common payment methods (Credit cards, PayPal, sepa and some mobile billing operators).

If you are selling subscriptions you don't need to handle any complexity related to recurring billing. Cleeng recurring billing engine takes care off all this. E.g. when funds are not sufficient, it will automatically try multiple times. Or it kindly reminds your clients to update their credit card when it is about to expire. Basically all you need to take care off is getting the customer to sign-up the first time. Once their payment details are validated Cleeng takes care of the rest.

Prices, currencies, and taxes

Even more complexity is handled for you. You can use the Cleeng checkout without further configuration to sell to a global audience. A default offer has only one price and one currency, but your prospect will see that price converted into the currency that is right for him. It is automatically adapted to the visitors physical location - and the actual transactions happens in their preferred currency (as this highly optimizes conversion rates). Cleeng is integrated with the European Central Bank to retrieve the actual exchange rates.

Cleeng also takes care of all tax calculations that need to be applied on selling digital goods. In Europe, since January 1st 2015 you need to detect where the customer is based and charge the applicable VAT rate of that country. Cleeng handles all that automatically for you in the checkout. Cleeng reports these taxes on your behalf to the local authorities.

If you actively market to multiple countries it’s recommended to set different prices using the multi-currency feature. This allows to set different price-/currency combinations for selected countries. E.g. you can set your subscription offer in 8.99 USD and 8.99 EUR using one and the same API method. All API methods that have 'multiCurrency' in the function name relate to this multi currency management.


Security

Payments

Your customers profile, and access information are securely stored on the Cleeng servers. All actual transactions are done on the Cleeng servers using 256-bits SSL encryption, and payment processing meets the highest PCI compliance standards. Above that Cleeng doesn’t store your credit card details but the actual card details are stored on Adyen B.V. and other leading payment providers.

Account abusement

Cleeng has smart algorithms to control the amount of different devices your customers are using within one account. Our algorithms block automatically suspicious behaviour.

Video piracy

Video security and piracy protection is a big topic in the video industry. For proper video security the following two settings are strongly recommended. Most online video platforms support these.


Playback domain restriction


Allows you to block viewing your videos outside selected website/URLs, and this blocks your customers from sharing your content.

Tokenize your stream/playback from the CDN Most OVPs support a mechanism that will not allow the stream to play from the server, except when a valid token is given to that server. After a valid entitlement given by the Cleeng platform you can generate such a token according to the instructions of the specific video platform or CDN.

<br/> Cleeng offers next to those configurations, a wide variety of security mechanisms, and depending on your infrastructure, needs and budgets, certain security mechanism can be enabled, including Cleeng Tattoo - a forensic watermarking technology. This allows you to retrieve information about the person who recorded and spread your video without your permission. Consult with your account manager for the different advanced options.


Customer care and self-service

The best support is no support. Our checkout is highly optimized to maintain a high level of clarity for your end-users. Besides that Cleeng offers the tools to let your customers manage their own account directly from your own website. With a few lines of code you can create a “My account” section on your own website or application. This so called “my-account” module let subscribers update their profile, reset their password, show their payment history, and manage their subscriptions.

Note, as a fall-back, your customers can go to cleeng.com/my-account to manage their account. There they can update their profile, reset their password, request refunds, and manage their subscriptions or devices as well.

In case your clients do require some help - they can reach out to Cleeng directly. Cleeng takes care of all end-user support and manages refunds and chargebacks on your behalf.

In addition, you can go into the Cleeng dashboard to give direct support to your subscribers as well. There you can see the transactions made by each client, trigger refunds, re-send transactional emails or stop the subscriber’s subscription.

Cleeng checkout types


Reports

Reporting financial

The Cleeng Dashboard offers many different reports including transactional, subscriber, customers, and offer. Most of these reports can be exported as CSV or Excel files directly from the Dashboard. The Cleeng API also lets publishers connect their financial reporting and CRM system to Cleeng to retrieve all this information automatically.

For example, using the listTransactions(), you can retrieve all raw transactional data. You can use this to keep your accounting systems in sync, or to analyze for CRM purposes.

CRM & emails

Cleeng automatically sends all transactional emails, and subscription related emails. However you can easily extract the user data (CSV, or API) and create tailored campaigns like the following:

  • Users who signed up, but didn’t complete their registration => incentivize with special discount (e.g. extra month free access).
  • Users who signed up for a free month, but didn’t become paying subscribers => incentivize them with a 50% discount coupon for their first 6 months
  • Users who stopped their subscribers themselves => send a short survey to understand why
As you can read, Cleeng provides all the components to create any type of video commerce solution for your needs. Select an online video platform and start integrating today. Get into coding