Checking in today to give everyone a heads up: in our constant quest to make the greatest place for you to watch our content and engage with the community, we’ve discovered a batch of video source files that have technical errors. These videos might be playable for some of you, but not necessarily consistently, or at a  resolution that makes for a good viewing experience, and they might cause an app crash.

In order to fix these videos, we need to temporarily unpublish them from The total number of videos being unpublished is 2,033 out of our 24,000+ video library. Fear not! We are well on our way to fixing them, and many will be back online in a matter of weeks.

How are we fixing them, you ask? Well, allow me to get really boring and procedural for a few paragraphs...

When we first saw there was a problem, we knew it would take a while to accurately diagnose which specific files needed to be fixed, and we knew it would take a while to fix them. Rather than take those two steps in sequence, which would take the maximum amount of time, we generated a list of priority videos we knew absolutely had to work on, and we got to work immediately creating new source files for those videos that we knew definitely worked. Priority videos include our major series like Red vs. Blue, plus all videos that together make up over 85% of our total watch time on YouTube in 2017 (We used YouTube data because site data would be skewed toward those videos that actually work).

We partnered with a division of Fullscreen called Video Labs to help us do the grunt work. All our videos are archived at high resolution, but accessing the archive is labor-intensive and expensive, especially at this scale. Instead we chose to grab the videos from YouTube. Video Labs downloaded the videos and clipped off the YouTube-specific elements, like annotated end screens and opening bumpers advertising RT Store sales.

Dave just needs to write up the program that will deploy them in bulk, which will happen in the next 6 weeks. We’re bringing the problem videos offline now to help our engineering team put finishing touches on our new website beta, and aid us in our library deliveries to VRV. Those videos that do not come back online in the next 6 weeks might take a few months to be back, but we’re on it.

If you’re still with me (bonus points!), another piece of this project has been auditing and fixing metadata on and creating brand new artwork for every show so it all looks fantastic in our new website. That will all roll out over the next few months too, so if the current website starts looking strange, trust us it’s for the right reasons.

Questions about how our content ops works, our new website, or anything else? Leave me a comment!