How to embed a non-watermarked YouTube video

(Hint: Click the video again to pause.)

Why Embed YouTube Video Without a YouTube Watermark?

Personally, I don’t mind the YouTube watermark.  I think it adds a certain panache and an implied willingness to share content with your readers.  But, on occasion, even I have to admit that there are times when I find the need to display videos that don’t have the YouTube branding.  (e.g., Poor Man’s Wireless Microphone; Does Network Size Matter?; Strategic Partners. Why You Need Them.)

The thing is, it used to be that if you wanted to go that route, you’d have to find a way to host video yourself.  And when you do that, you have to consider other things that affect the video’s ability to play efficiently — regardless of from where in the world it’s being accessed.  For that, I tap into the services of a CDN.  But, setting up a CDN can be a bit of a pain for some.

The beauty of YouTube is that it takes care of all the technical mumbo jumbo setup stuff.  Clearly, it’s a crazy powerful platform.  It’s very efficient at serving up video.  Oh, and of course there’s that compelling price point.  (Free is always a nice price point.)  The only sticking point is that it’s branded for YouTube.  Which, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, isn’t really a huge sticking point.  I love YouTube. Be that as it may, there may be times when you want a generic video posting.

Perhaps it’s a promo video. Or maybe it’s a launch campaign. Or perhaps maybe what you want is a clean video for specific learning content or even one that’s part of a video-based client proposal that would be better presented as an un-watermarked video so that you can place your business brand within the page where your video displays.  The thing is, you will likely still also need to serve-up the video fast with none of that video-stutter that tends to compel your intended recipient to click-off.

Well, for you, my friend is this…

How to embed a generically-branded YouTube video on your website.

These days, when you want to share YouTube video on your blog or website, you lift the embed code for that video and then glue it into the html view of your website.

YouTube iFrame Code

While the old style Object embed codes are still available, YouTube’s preferred method now is to present you with the iframe.  That’s my preferred method, as well.  Here’s what it looks like for one of the videos above:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390"
frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Well, as it turns out, if you add a few parameters (see below), you can have the option of choosing whether or not to include a control bar (which includes the YT watermark), whether or not to display the title when the video is paused, play related videos at the end of the clip, or even to have it autoplay when the page loads.  (Caution: autoplay can be annoying if used haphazardly.  Rule of thumb: if you don’t have a good reason other than, “Because I thought it would be cool…”, then don’t.)

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390"
controls=0;autoplay=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The highlighted text shows the additional parameters you want to add after the URL of your YouTube video AND before the closing quotes for that URL. (Pay attention to the quotes.)

Here’s what the parameters mean

  • rel=0 <-This controls whether or not to allow YouTube to show other related YouTube videos after the completion of your clip.  Zero (0) means No.  One (1) means Yes.
  • showinfo=0 <- This controls whether or not you want to show the Title of your video in the upper-left corner when the video is paused or stopped.  Zero (0) means No.  One (1) means Yes.
  • controls=0 <- This affects whether or not you want to show the player control bar — with the YouTube watermark — at the bottom of your video.  Zero (0) means… (I dont’ have to keep repeating that part, right?)
  • autoplay=0 <- This controls whether or not you want to have the video automatically start playing as soon as the page that you embed it into loads up for your visitor.  (Again, be judicious about this. Consider how annoyed you’d be at me if I set both videos above to autoplay as soon as you visited this post.)

Test It Out.  Post your own non-branded YouTube video.

So, now you know.  Test it out.  If it helps, post a link below to one of your videos and let me know how it worked out.  (Oh, gawd.  I can see the can of worms that could potentially open up.  Please don’t make me regret it.  For if you do, you’ll suffer the wrath of my Delete key.)   😈

Can this help someone you know? Share it.

Comments (14)

  1. Thanks for the tip. This will defnitely come in handy for my website blogs and other postings. I appreciate it!

    • Mel

      Glad it helped! Good luck.

  2. Pingback: How to Remove the YouTube Logo With ModestBranding | Screencasting and Social Video Roadmap

  3. Pingback: Screencasting and Social Video Roadmap Articles To Bookmark | Screencasting and Social Video Roadmap

  4. Austin

    The watermark is no longer in the control bar. It is above it. And does not go away when you do a “$control=0”.  Do  you have any other suggestions.

    • Hey Austin.  Isn’t it “controls=0”? Instead of “$control…”  ?  The context above is still working for me.  Though, one change I *did* notice YT seems to have made since having posted this article earlier this year is that now when you Pause even with Controls=0, a little “YouTube” text shows in the upper-right when paused.   See also “controls” and “modestbranding” on YT’s Player API site here…

  5. Hey Mel, I was looking for this code (in google) and you came up first!  Thanks for making this SUPER EASY…and THANKS for promoting VTA!!! 


    James Wedmore

    • Thanks for taking time to let me know, James.  I’m glad to be able to help.  And, you know I’m a fan.  VTA’s a great course, keep up the great work! 🙂 

  6. Jeremy

    Nice.  Thanks for this article!  Very helpful…However, when I use “controls=0” I get a black line at the bottom of my video, and when I do “showinfo=0” I get a black line at the top.  I notice your example video above has no black line (letter box I believe it’s called) at the bottom.  Do you think this is something youtube purposely ads to discourage removing their branding, or does it sound like a resolution/sizing issue on my part?

  7. Rahil

    total Shit. although the Logo is removed from Bottom but still it shows Youtube written then how can you say this works. total shit it does not work.

    • Really Rahil? Your first reaction is to resort to potty mouth when YouTube changes their behavior from two years ago? Please don’t come come back here with that language. You should’ve been raised better. In the meantime you might find some value from the Google Developer page about YouTube player embed parameters.

  8. Rahil

    Youtube is still written on Top Right Corner SEE

  9. Krzychu

    It works… until you set showinfo to 0. The watermark appear 😉

    Any idea how remove info and watermark?

  10. how to clean video, just leave play on center, from start until video is over

Comments are closed.