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The State of Corporate Video 2017
Do today's corporations prefer to build or buy their video solutions? Online video platforms work to differentiate their offerings, while Facebook shakes up the market.

The other OVP rated highly in the survey was Vidyard, a Canadian company that has now raised over $60.7 million in total funding since it was founded in 2010. The report suggested it lacked in the analytics department, despite doing well in optimizing the platform for sales and marketing environments. It also made its first acquisition this year in the form of Switch Merge, a personalized video company; it launched a personalized video product shortly afterward.

In terms of innovation, one of Vidyard’s big pushes for the year was the new interactive player it launched in September. The player is designed to allow the easy integration of interactivity with video including calls to action. The technology is based on JavaScript and HTML5, so these calls to action could be almost anything including real-time pricing, “buy now” buttons, polls, forms, or simple sign-ups for services.

Another new product, Vidyard Engage, launched in July. It gives marketers and sales professionals the capability to deliver video content directly via email in Outlook and Gmail while tracking the content like any other email campaign, capturing open rates and engagement. This was supplemented further in October by the addition of Viewedit, a capture tool that allowed users to capture shared screen demos from their own PCs and distribute them via email while tracking user interactions.

The final piece in the offering was the creation of the automated campaign-lead personalized video platform, which allowed the creation and tracking of user-specific content aided by Switch Merge’s technology. The customized videos obviously lead to greater engagement and are a potentially a powerful tool for marketers.

Canadian OVP Vidyard introduced a new interactive player in September 2016. 

Social Competes With OVPs

However, the potential cloud on the horizon for the OVPs could be the current explosion in live and on-demand streaming on social networks. If Facebook continues to grow as a streaming destination, where do the OVPs fit into the market?

According to Brightcove’s own research (“The Science of Social Video: Turning Views Into Value” report), 74 percent of consumers say there is a connection between watching a video on social media and their decision-making process when making purchases. In addition, 46 percent said they had directly made a purchase as a result of watching a video on social media.

Brightcove had already recognized this potential threat and announced in November the addition of Brightcove Social, which allows corporates to manage all their social video from within the Video Cloud interface. This includes the ability to edit, publish, and track video content in Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The new Brightcove Social allows corporates to manage all their social video within the Video Cloud interface, publishing to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. 

But looking at the way most large corporates control their video content, social platforms are unlikely to be a significant threat to the OVPs in the coming year. The amount of control the Brightcove solution offers could be a key differentiator for those considering an OVP.

In the medium term, however, the launch in October of the rebranded Facebook for Business—now called Workplace by Facebook (WbF)—could have a much bigger impact on the market.

This new product could have the capacity to attract a section of the market that is using OVPs to store internal video content. The pricing model for WbF starts at $3 per active user per month, which could make it a very compelling offering for corporates particularly with the addition of integrated audio calls, one-to-one video calls, and one-to-many streaming through Facebook Live. The latter service has been fine-tuned for business by enabling streams to be made available to chosen groups within the organization rather than being broadcast to all users.

Facebook already has a number of high-profile large organizations using WbF including Starbucks, RBS, Danone, and the Singaporean government. The latter is particularly interesting, as all 143,000 public service officers will be moved to the platform by March 2017.

Facebook Live is also already a proven hit with consumers when used by brands, so it may come down to the question of whether brands are happy to host all their content with a third party and relinquish some control in exchange for views, cost, and ease of use.

The experience we have from corporate use of YouTube does suggest that most brands will be unlikely to want to give away total control and will view these new channels as additional rather than replacement platforms. But for those who are committed to having an OVP for internal users, the much higher potential level of viewership and ease of integration may make this leap of faith more seductive.

Market Growth Continues

In the medium term, the competition in the OVP market is likely to continue to increase as the existing top platforms look to move toward profitability and competitors such as Adobe and IBM look to develop their existing platforms to take a larger portion of the market. After the acquisition of Clearleap and Ustream, IBM in particular will look to consolidate the strengths of these acquisitions and use its multiple sales channels to upsell this group of products to a significant proportion of its existing client base.

The OVP space will become much more competitive in 2017, with new platforms entering the market, existing platforms creating more mature offerings, and products like WbF potentially gaining traction by offering OVP-style functionality as part of a bigger, high-value product. However, given that Brightcove is likely to make a profit for the first time, and Kaltura is likely to have an IPO next year, then despite the competitive environment we may well see the sector finally begin to deliver some returns to investors.

Last year I suggested we were likely to see some consolidation in 2016, but that failed to materialize in any meaningful way. With revenue likely to continue to grow over the next year, despite the more competitive environment, I would expect to see little consolidation until 2018 despite the increasing number of service providers in the market. However, come 2018, if the rise of social streaming platforms continues and the market doesn’t grow significantly, it is possible that we will see some of the larger platforms looking to acquire smaller players to supplement their core technologies to address specific user requirements. This could lead to a few large OVPs dominating the general market of corporate communications while the smaller providers are bought, go out of business, or create highly specialized platforms for niche markets.

This article was published in the Spring 2017 European edition of Streaming Media magazine. 

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