Why You Should Add Live Video to Your Video Strategy

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By: Steve Vonder Haar

When it comes to online video in the enterprise, all roads seemingly lead to live production.

No matter how much money you spend on assembling splashy on-demand videos, investing in advanced content archiving systems or otherwise building extensive video content libraries, your success or failure in online video ultimately rests on reliably delivering live video on a cost-effective basis.

At first glance, it’s hard to explain executives’ apparent love affair with live video. After all, I have yet to meet any self-respecting couch potato who doesn’t just love having a digital video recorder in their living room for time-shift viewing of entertainment content.

Yet put these couch potatoes in an office and suddenly they become executives who crave access to video in real-time. Consider the following results from a Wainhouse Research survey of 1,201 executives conducted in the fourth quarter of 2014. In the survey, respondents at companies that use live online video were asked to identify the type of online video – live or on-demand – that they perceive to be the most useful in enhancing productivity at work. More than four out of five executives (82%) surveyed cited “live video” as the most useful type of video for enhancing productivity.

Live Online Video Stat

That perception of live video helps explain its accelerating rate of adoption in the enterprise. Thirty two percent of executives participating in the Wainhouse Research survey report that they view one-to-many, live online video on at least a daily basis. In the prior year’s survey, only 20% of respondents reported daily live online video viewership at work.

So just why is live video gaining such traction in the world of business? Actually, the answer is not quite such a big mystery. Survey results suggest live video is growing in popularity because it helps executives work more effectively. The proof is in the numbers.

Among executives that work at companies using live online video, 59% describe streaming as a “very effective” tool for communicating work-related information. Among those at companies not implementing the technology, only 8% describe the technology as “very effective.” Essentially, seeing is believing.

  • A total of 55% of all survey respondents say they “strongly agree” that live online video “allows for more real-time engagement with an online audience.”
  • Of those using live online video daily, 63% “strongly agree” that live online video is “easier to produce and more reliable than in years past” and “is an effective vehicle for marketing.”
  • Two-thirds of daily live video viewers (66%) “strongly agree” that live online video can serve as a “focal point for online interaction and community building.”
So don’t let yourself get fooled by the popularity of consumer services mostly known for distributing on-demand online video, such as Google’s YouTube. Certainly, these offerings have educated the world during the past decade that online video works in a big way on a scaled basis.

If you are really serious about putting video to work for business applications, you have to push your technology beyond the comfort zone of on-demand. Live video may represent a technical test for some, but tackling the challenge of enabling live video just may be the best path for your organization to follow.

Steve Vonder Haar is a Senior Analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at


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