Leveraging Live Streaming to Boost Adoption of Video at Your Organization

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By: Steve Vonder Haar

If you’re looking to boost the adoption of video by your organization, it wouldn’t hurt to tear a page out of the Lorne Michaels playbook.

More than four decades ago, the legendary executive producer of television’s “Saturday Night Live” launched the comedy franchise essentially by capitalizing on the immediacy – and viewer interest in – watching video beamed to viewers in real-time.

Even today, the “live” aspect of the programming lends a trendy buzz to a series of great (and some not-so-great) comedy sketches. In the world of live programming, a good skit on politics can become comedy gold.

Of course, many corporate executives are focused on finding ways to make their own type of gold. And it turns out that live video can play a pretty important role in that effort, as well. As an industry analyst following the market for enterprise streaming technologies, I frequently encounter stories of companies that put online video to work to enhance productivity, improve corporate communications and generate savings by reducing the need for employee travel.

But for companies to realize those benefits, workers have to actually use the technology. While we can cite case study after case study quantifying the business benefits of implementing online video, many organizations are flummoxed in their efforts to get employees to change their work habits and actually use the technology in day-to-day business.

It turns out that the answer to this adoption riddle is specifically intertwined with the implementation of live video capabilities in the workplace. Essentially, get people to watch live video and everything else will fall in place. While live productions present their own set of technical challenges and some executives even fear delivering a presentation on a real-time basis, live video nevertheless stands as the single most powerful tool in forging a corporate culture open to putting streaming video to work.

Just why is live video so important in fostering broader video adoption?

  • Live video builds upon existing work activities: Executives already are sharing information, holding meetings and making presentations on a real-time basis every day in the office. Live online video simply provides a forum for extending the reach of existing business communications. As a result, live video technologies amplify existing business messaging with little added executive effort.
  • Live video creates engagement: Live online events simply are more interesting when they incorporate online video. Among 1,512 corporate executive surveyed by Wainhouse Research in the fourth quarter 2015, 53% say they “strongly agree” that live online video makes online presentations more engaging. An employee who is actually listening to a presentation is more likely to understand the message that the speaker is trying to deliver.
  • Live online video seeds broader streaming adoption: On-demand content libraries are the hallmark of organizations that are aggressive in leveraging online video to build business benefit. Video libraries provide organizations a means to convert video into an intellectual property asset that employees can use as a reference tool. Most content in today’s corporate archives, however, is actually re-purposed from live events. More than three quarters of the organizations that have created on-demand archives say that the majority of their recorded content is captured from live online events. Over time, we would expect more businesses to create more content specifically for on-demand replay. But, even when that comes to pass, it’s the adoption of live video that will have played a keyrole in building the critical mass of content that makes these libraries relevant to employees in the first place.
  • Live video delivers bang for the buck: Among executives surveyed by Wainhouse Research, more than nine out of 10 respondents say they “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that live streaming video generates substantial return on investment. Any technology that helps organizations become more productive and efficient will earn even more investment from corporate leaders looking for more of the same.

At the bottom line, any evaluation of online video capabilities will hinge on their contributions in improving productivity and enhancing communications. And all those are made possible by the warm embrace of live video.

So, you wouldn’t necessarily need a Land Shark, the Church Lady or even a regular edition of Weekend Update to achieve success with video in your workplace.  Still, a couple of good jokes never hurt.

Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at svonder@wainhouse.com.


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