Are Videoconferencing and Streaming Converging?

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Is market consolidation between two previously discrete markets–streaming and videoconferencing–inevitable or imminent? Andy Howard, Founder & Managing Director, Howard & Associates, discusses this topic with Simon Ball, Independent Digital Communications Consultant and Program Manager, Olga Kornienko, COO & Co-Founder, EZDRM, and Joel Fajardo, Associate Director, Digital Workplace, KPMG in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media East 2023.

Andy Howard begins by mentioning that while he has long thought of video conferencing and streaming as separate entities, there has been a recent move towards consolidating services, such as Enghouse purchasing Qumu and Lifesize. However, he notes that while the big players in videoconferencing, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, “Have done a lot of events over the past few years, they still don't have an online repository, so they're still partnering with some of these other providers. It’ll be interesting to see if maybe they start to bring out their own solutions or do some acquisitions.” He asks the others on the panel about their thoughts on these trends.

Ball says that these types of consolidations are inevitable, “I think where companies are missing an opportunity is they have this vast array of very good tools that are interpretable together, but they don't use them effectively. It's not a technology gap anymore. It's more a knowledge gap that is sort of inhibiting the market to a large extent. These things are available to easily create content and what's missing is the craftsmanship behind making that content very good, relevant, and high quality.”

“And searchable,” Howard says.

“That's a gap in the market today,” Ball says. “And there is video management software out there that aids that capability. Creating a video and putting it online is the easy part. What's difficult is then making that content of high quality. So [that] people want to see it, it has high production value, and making it discoverable and all of the add-ons that go to that. And that's what Microsoft and Zoom and Webex historically have been slower to do because they're much bigger organizations that aren't as quick [to adapt].”

Kornienko highlights the current concerns with privacy and conference call recordings. It’s an issue, she says, of “Who can see it, who should see it, and maybe more importantly, who shouldn't be able to see it. Because if we're having some sort of a board meeting, earnings meeting, there are only so many people that need to know it until the numbers are properly addressed, [when] everything's been properly discussed and then announced. And if anything out of that is loose in the wild, it can take [down] your reputation, your stock, the company…all of those factors and items need to be taken into account when thinking about all of the corporate streaming that you're doing.”

Howard says, “It seems like anything can get out at any time now. You've seen it with the very poor firings that people do. And Joel [Fajardo] [came up] with another case study of a CEO that said something in a meeting that seemed insensitive, which in the larger context of what they were talking about was not that big of a deal, but [with] the one little clip was pretty insensitive.”

Fajardo agrees that security concerns are now a major issue that largely worsened during the pandemic when corporate enterprise meetings went entirely online. Pre-pandemic, he says, “The technology [didn’t] have the reach or scalability that we're used to now. So those types of communications historically would've been kept in a small room, and it was not online. And over the course of the pandemic, everybody moved wherever they wanted. And now all those high-level, secure meetings are being held on your platform of choice. So organizations are definitely going to be needing to factor in…[taking] the appropriate measures to ensure it stays where it was meant to.”

Learn more about a wide range of streaming industry topics at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

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