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The Conversation About Enterprise Streaming Video

social_imageThis is purely observational and not based on any formal study, but the nature of the conversation around online video appears to me tilted heavily towards the entertainment side of the equation. The discussions and tweets I see focus heavily on the consumer market – distribution deals for entertainment content, Netflix’s subscriber base, monetizing your original content, etc. I’m heading to Streaming Media East tomorrow, and much of the content at the online streaming conference is focused on these same subjects.

For those of us in the enterprise, the discussions have been more muted. Service providers like Kaltura, Brightcove, Wowza and others are filling the need by at least discussing their own products, but the conversation around video within the enterprise seems much lower key. I have some ideas as to why this is the case.

First, the entertainment and large-scale providers of content are in effect a well-defined industry. Even if Netflix is mostly an aggregator of others’ content and HBO is mostly a standalone distributor of their own, the two are largely playing in the same space. They contract for original content or purchase rights to films and sell their services on to consumers. There are analysts dedicated to these spaces and language for describing the ins & outs of the entertainment business. While the method for delivering the content has changed, the essentials of the business have not and there’s a pre-existing discussion that has added a streaming component to it. Their businesses are now heavily dependent on CDNs, bandwidth, buffering and all the other concerns of the streaming universe, hence the online conversations around those subjects reference them frequently.

Second, the financial implications of the entertainment side of the streaming video universe are enormous. YouTube channels alone are big business with broad impact on the industry’s bottom line. And again, the big players make their money off delivering their content to users in a connected world, so inevitably there will be a lot of talk around the moves they make and their effect on the streaming business.

In contrast, the average corporate or organizational video production effort is a lot lower key. Generally we don’t serve the primary function of our companies. We enhance marketing, communication and outreach efforts, but if your organization is making the bulk of its money off streaming you’re probably already in the mix of the larger conversations. In essence the management of enterprise video is a niche effort. We all know this instinctively, and for me personally I’m used to it – you can’t spend years managing a corporate archives without quickly learning your place within the organization.

There’s room for a lot more discussion on the use and techniques of video for the enterprise. I hope I’m helping to fill that niche by blogging and tweeting on video in the corporation. But I think there’s a lot more room for discussion on it, and I’d love to hear from others focused on the corporate space and how we can help our organizations make the most of online video.

PS – A few people you may want to check out on Twitter who are also active on the subject include:

Image courtesy of emptyglass / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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