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Enterprise Video Poised to Continue Growing Post-Pandemic

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With all the talk about the huge growth in consumer streaming during last year's global lockdowns, and the shift to working from home that paralleled the rise of OTT platforms, there's not been much formal research into the topic of how enterprise video has fared during the past 15 months.

So the Streaming Media team, along with Help Me Stream Research Foundation and sponsor OpenExchange, set out to gauge the use of enterprise video in a survey of industry respondents.

The 2021 Enterprise Video Trends survey was conducted in April and May 2021 and drew more than 300 quality responses. The results, published in a report that's available for download today, show that enterprise video not only fared well during the pandemic, but that it's on an upwards trend that may continue for at least the next 18 months.

For instance—and this may not come as a surprise—respondents told us they attended many more events in the past year using online meeting solutions than they had in person prior to the pandemic. But what's interesting is that respondents also said they tend to watch these online virtual events (professional development, etc.) in an almost equal mix of on-demand and live.

Many told us the reasons they opt for watching an online industry event or training webinar on-demand stem primarily from an ability to learn at their own pace and a frustration with not being able to easily ask questions during a live event. And, while respondents appreciate the ease of attending virtual events, due to travel-time savings as well as the ability to time-shift attendance, they are often frustrated by the technical glitches in online event platforms.

Enterprise video platforms (EVPs) saw an uptick during the pandemic, but so did non-EVP platforms, which many respondents told us they used as a complement to their existing EVP, especially when it comes to outward-facing video communications.

What hasn't changed during the pandemic, though, is the reliance on desktop and laptop computers to consume enterprise video content. A striking graph presented by Tim Siglin of Help Me Stream Research Foundation and Michael Kolowich, chief content officer at OpenExchange during a Streaming Media East Connect keynote presentation highlighting the survey's findings, shows the vast difference of the types of devices used for consumer and enterprise video consumption.

Enterprise video device usage

One thing is clear: Smartphones have not yet caught on for enterprise video consumption. When Siglin noted this fact during the keynote presentation, and Streaming Media VP Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen questioned whether this was a pandemic-related anomaly, OpenExchange's Kolowich corroborated the slow uptake of smartphones for enterprise video consumption, based on data from the OpenExchange Knovio platform.

"This [datapoint] drove me back to the Google analytics for our Knovio online platform," said Kolowich. "I wanted to see kind of whether this use of desktop and laptop computers versus mobile devices was different before the pandemic and during the pandemic," said Kolowich, noting that he had access to both pre- and intra-pandemic usage data in Knovio. "And it actually had only moved about 2 percentage points. So I have a feeling that this actually is something that is not pandemic-driven, but is just native usage reflected here."

One final area of emphasis that respondents noted loud and clear: they don't expect to attend as many in-person meetings over the next 18 months as they had in the 6-12 months prior to the pandemic. To accomplish this shift, respondents said they expect hybrid events—with some meeting attendees in the office or in the event venue, while others attend remotely—is a model their companies or organizations are exploring.

Download the report here

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