Step by Step – Configuring No-Code Spotlight Video Solution using Content Query Web part in SharePoint 2010

Please note that this solution works fine in both SharePoint 2010 Online and On-Prem environments.

Recently I was working at one of our clients and they were looking for no-code video spotlight solution for their Intranet home page in SharePoint 2010 Online. Although there are already many blog articles provides embedded HTML which can be directly added to the Content Editor web part, we were looking for more advanced SharePoint solution to meet following requirements

  • Video web part on the Intranet home shows Spotlight Video
  • Corporate Communications team will manage and post videos & preview images
  • Corporate Communication team won’t have permission to change video file URL on the home page

One of my first option to use SharePoint 2010 Media web part which can be configured to link to the video file (e.g. spotlight.mp4) and preview image file (spotlight.jpg). SharePoint 2010 Media web part allows admins to specify video URL and preview image URL from the video library in the same site collection during design time. Unfortunately you can’t dynamically change the link or point to different video during run time. I have noticed that even though new video file or preview image file is replaced by same URL, somehow web part caches the information pointing to the original video configured in design time.

My next option was to look at the Content Query web part which can somehow dynamically pull video from the video library based on some criteria. After little bit browser customization, I was able to configure very impressive no-code spotlight solution using Asset Library & Content Query web part based on options available in this MS article – Add video or audio to a page.

This article will walk through step by step how to configure Spotlight Video solution which would allow business to publish latest videos without its intervention on the corporate Intranet home page. Please note that this solution will require publishing infrastructure to ensure Content Query Web Parts are available to configure this solution.

Step 1 – Create a sub site or identify where you want to host videos

Since content query web parts scoped at the site collection level, if you want to display spotlight video on the company intranet home page, you must identify the sub site or location where video contributor team has access to. e.g. let’s assume we have corporate communications team post latest spotlight videos in the communication site hosted at the root site collection.

Step 2 – Create two libraries based on Asset Library template on the Corporate Communication team site

Spotlight Videos Library – Remove Audio and Image content Type and keep Video Content Type, following image shows document library settings for the Spotlight Videos Library

Spotlight Videos Preview Images Library – Remove Audio and Video content type and keep Image Content Type, Please note that since content query web part can’t resize the images, all the preview image sizes for the spotlight videos should be standardized. E.g. all the images should have 275px width. If images are bigger than 275px, it will overrun the page layout and display scrollbars around the content query web part. Following image shows document library settings for the Spotlight Video Preview Images Library

Step 3 – Modify the Spotlight Video library Metadata

To specify business rules on when and how Spotlight video will be displayed on the home page, Video library should support flag whether video can be displayed on the home page or not. Since out of box content query web part can’t display or query data based on custom fields, we will use out of box video content type to configure content query web part to rollup video as spotlight solution.

Instead of adding custom columns in the Video document library, rename out of box “Copyright” column as “Show on Home Page” and change the data type from “Single Line of Text” to “Choice – Yes/No”. This would allow communication team to upload videos and tag them to show on home page to display on the intranet home page.

Following screen shows how Spotlight Videos Library columns would look like after changing “Copyright” column to “Show on Home Page”

Step 4 – Configure Content Query Web Part to display Spotlight Video from the Video Library

Add the Content Query web part on the Intranet Home Page and set following properties

Configure Content Query Web Part – Query Properties

  • Source – Show items from the following list – Videos
  • List Type – Asset Library
  • Content Type – Digital Asset Content Types – Video
  • Apply Audience Targeting – No
  • Additional Filter – Show on Home Page is equal to “Yes’

Configure Content Query Web Part – Presentation Properties

  • Sort Items By – Modified, Ascending
  • Limit the Number of Items – 1
  • Style – Group Style – Default, Item Style – Image on Top, Centered
  • Play Media Link in Browser – Yes
  • Fields to Display – Link – URL Path [Custom Columns]; Image – Thumbnail URL; Title – Title; Description – Comments;

Configure Content Query Web Part – Appearance Properties

  • Title – Spotlight Video
  • Height – No, Adjust height to fit zone
  • Width – 275 Px
  • Chrome Type – Title Only

Step 7 – Upload Videos and Preview Images Contents

Upload Preview Images in the Spotlight Video Preview images library. In this sample, I am uploading some of my favorite Cirque De Soleil show images.

Upload Videos in the Spotlight Videos library. In this sample, I am uploading some of my favorite Cirque De Soleil videos with following considerations.

  • Ensure only 1 Video has Show on Home Page = True
  • Ensure Preview Image is configured – If preview image is not configured, video won’t displayed on the Content Query web part on home page
  • For any videos needs to be on home page, tag “Show on the Home Page” to Yes
  • Specify Title – This is optional, if Title is not filled out, File Name will show on the home page as Video Title, if Title is filled out, Title will show on the home page as Video Title
  • Specify Comment – This is option, Add comments if you want to show caption or video description on the Intranet home page

Step 8 – Test the Solution

If you refresh the home page, it should display the video tagged with Show on Home Page = True. Even though we have configured content query web part to display videos sorted by Modified by, if videos are posted during same day, sometimes it doesn’t show most recently posted video. To ensure you are displaying exact video, please ensure that only 1 video tagged with show on home page = true.

To sum it up, even though this provides great SharePoint Solution without any custom coding, it has pros and cons as any other solutions out there. Please review disadvantages of this approach before using this approach in your environment.


  • Dynamically pulls latest video based on properties/metadata
  • Will work with either WMV or MP4 format without configuration changes, MP4 is required for ipad
  • OOB configuration, no custom coding
  • Optionally show Title and Video Caption/Description


  • Same web part title – e.g. Video Spotlight
  • Videos are not embedded; it will play in the modal dialog box
  • Requires proper process for posting and changing videos, requires filling out the metadata and understanding when and how video file properties would affect home page visibility
  • Image size is required to have fixed width to fit in Content Query Web Part, Height doesn’t matter, Ideal Width & height should be between 200-300px

Hope this helps, Good Luck!!!

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1 Response to Step by Step – Configuring No-Code Spotlight Video Solution using Content Query Web part in SharePoint 2010

  1. Hi Nik, thank you for this. I got it to work after hours of searching on how to do this. Only issue for me now is that the video plays behind other images and text that I have on the page. Can you advise how to fix that? Or point me in the right direction? Mel

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