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Kaltura Connect Conference Looks at the Future of Online Video

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The 2013 Kaltura Connect conference opened in New York City today, a surprisingly spirited and farsighted event for a conference hosted by a single OVP. Now in its third year, Kaltura Connect shows impressive growth with over 600 attendees, compared to under 400 last year. In fact, the organizers had to cap admissions due to space limitations at its Chelsea Piers locale. Certainly the reason for that growth is the attractive mix the event offers: an audience of Kaltura die-hards or Kaltura prospects can attend presentations on using Kaltura effectively or on a variety of other video industry topics. Or they can just network.

The opening day kicked off, as always, with a keynote by Kaltura’s CEO, chairman, and co-founder Ron Yekutiel. “90 percent of cloud is going to be driven by video,” he said. “Two-thirds of mobile will be video.”

The over-the-top (OTT) video space will grow five-fold by 2017, Yekutiel said. Citing comScore, he noted that viewers watched 47 billion online videos in August, 2013.

“Video is effective: it’s effective for media companies, it’s effective for marketing,” Yekutiel said. But, he added, it’s especially effective for enterprise. Enterprise video use is growing 50 to 200 percent annually, he said, and Red Bull puts out more video than Disney. “Every company is a media company.”

The morning hours saw a handful of impressive keynote addresses, including a representative from New York University on how NYU innovates with video, and a rep from Sesame Workshops on why its best to not be precious with the brand and to keep experimenting. Sesame Street is able to use new media to reach, engage with, and teach young viewers, he demonstrated.

After lunch, Kaltura Connect offered smaller breakout sessions. One track offered Kaltura instruction, such as giving a roadmap of upcoming developments, or teaching customization using the Kaltura Application Framework. The other two tracks offered help for enterprise and education video professionals. In a presentation on the future of enterprise video, Phil Karcher, industry analyst with Forrester, told how mobile, video, and social were transformative and reinforce each other, but not all three have been equally successful in the enterprise. While employees enjoy mobile access (37 percent of information workers work from three or more locations, he said) and mobile devices (18 percent use tablets at least occasionally for work), enterprise social efforts haven’t been that successful. Employees rarely contribute to a company wiki, for example. Karcher says this is because social efforts are something pushed on employees, not something employees bring in themselves as with mobile devices.

Companies also don’t get behind social efforts, Karcher said. He noted that he interviewed 30 companies that use video platforms internally, and only 2 of them support user-generated content.

Other panels covered social learning portals, video in healthcare, and the need for shared video repositories for educational institutions. The conference concludes on Tuesday. If Kaltura Connect continues to grow at this pace, the organizers will need to find a bigger venue for 2014.

Ron Yekutiel

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