Continue Watching Video on Demand

Continue Watching Video on Demand

Looking to introduce a way for viewers to return to the exact moment they stopped watching a video?

IBM Watson Media has released a feature that saves the playback position of videos on a per viewer, per browser level. This allows viewers to continue watching video on demand content from the moment they stopped viewing.

User experience

If a viewer begins watching a video and stops through leaving the page, the playback position will be saved locally. In the event the viewer returns to the content at a later time it will begin to play automatically from where they last stopped watching. The exception is if the viewer finished watching the video, in which case it will start from the beginning.

For example, a viewer watches 23 minutes into an hour long video and then closes the browser. In the next few days they start watching the video again and it will start playing at the exact 23 minute mark that they stopped watching, down to the second.

Note that because the playback position is saved locally this experience is tied to the specific browser. So for example if a user starts to watch a video on Google Chrome and then closes and goes to watch on Mozilla Firefox it will start from the beginning. Also keep in mind that clearing the entire cache and cookies will also remove all saved playback positions on that specific browser.

Duration and limits

For each browser instance a video will have its playback position stored for three months. In the event that the video is watched to completion or it expires due to this time limit the playback position will reset. This means the viewer will start to watch the video from the beginning if they go to watch again.

In addition, each browser instance has a limit of 300 videos that can have their playback position stored for the continue watching feature. If the viewer exceeds this limit the oldest video, from the perspective of the date they watched it, will be removed first.

Cloud video editing and playback positions

The IBM video streaming solutions feature a cloud video editing capability that allows content owners to trim unwanted portions out of a video. For example, they can remove the first few minutes of a video that might have had a pre-show or take away a minute of dead space at the end.

Since this feature adjusts the timing of the video it also resets the playback position for all viewers who previously watched the content. So content owners should take note that trimming on-demand videos will cause viewers to start watching from the beginning next time they interact with the content, regardless of if they watched it before or not.


This feature improves the end user experience on long form videos, from town halls to webinars. Viewers can engage with content in separate sessions, creating a more seamless experience between gaps of time.

For those looking to stay up to date on recent features, be sure to check out our on-demand Getting Started with IBM Video Streaming webinar. This covers the basics of the video platform alongside focusing on recent features related to the video streaming solution.