Large and far reaching companies are changing the way they communicate with employees, investors and clients in a bid to tighten belts and utilise greener methods of communication.
Webcasting used to be recognised as a eco-friendly solution for multiple meet-ups and conferences within large organisations, as abandoning the need for staging, catering, deliveries and travel, reduces a long list of carbon-heavy logistics eliminated by streaming large events online.
The past few years however have seen organisations and content owners starting to reap the commercial benefits as well, not only from the cut in logistical expenses, but also the revenue that can be generated from online broadcasting such as monetisation and various subscription models.
It’s essentially the technology within webcasting and live streaming that has developed rapidly over the last decade, increasing the quality of video communication and improving relationships globally. Today large events both commercial and corporate almost carry an expectation to either be broadcast live or on-demand for people who cannot attend, or to add something extra for subscribers who follow the organisation or content owner.
There have been countless success stories of start-ups breaking ground in the media sector, but one organically grown company based in Camden is now competing with the world’s giants. As a webcasting provider for over a decade, a particular streaming media company has succeeded in anticipating the changes in online video habits as well as the audiences that watch them.
StreamUK was founded by Duncan Burbidge and Joe Bray in 2001, providing online streaming services for clients such as the comedy group Jongleurs. Today the company boasts a client list in its hundreds including Liverpool FC, BBC, The Guardian, Orange, Red Bull and Barclays.
Completely cash-flow funded and debt free, StreamUK used its success to expand resources and invest heavily in its team, opening offices in Madrid, Rome and Turkey, the group now employs over 50 media staff at its London HQ who manage, produce and broadcast high quality streaming content all over the globe.
StreamUK has reported a 50% rise in webcasting enquiries over the last 6 months, which it claims could also be a reaction from companies taking green corporate communication more seriously. StreamUK CEO Duncan Burbidge said;
“I think it’s a mixture of things that has made webcasting so popular, of course the environmental and financial rewards are fundamental, but it also creates positive connotations for a company proving that not only do they take corporate communication seriously, but they ‘re also adapt with modern technology”.
Many would argue that in times of austerity and belt tightening, services such as webcasting have become a commodity that not all large businesses can afford to use. There is however a strong argument that webcasting has become a device used to generate revenue and create commercial ventures that companies are using to communicate with their peers more effectively.
The market leading streaming specialist also found ways of utilising online video opportunities for content owners in other areas. In 2010 the company released its online video platform StreamMP, now used by clients such as Argos, Williams F1 and Barclays.
The sports industry in particular has seen a huge rise in the use of online video usage. With huge followings in Asia and other distant parts of the world, UK football clubs are finding online video an increasingly important part of their global communications effort. In September 2011 StreamUK were chosen to completely revamp Liverpool FC’s online video service LFC.tv. By November 2011 the top-flight football club announced that its online video offering was “the most successful online video subscription service of any football club in the world”.
StreamUK CEO Duncan Burdbidge claims: “The LFC experience shows that online video can be a significant offering for sports clubs. Sport is a driver for online video because clubs own lots of high quality content that people are willing to pay for. It makes it much easier to provide a premium service for owners who can see a ROI on the quality they are serving their customers.”
StreamUK’s CEO Duncan Burbidge made the top cut of most influential VOD professionals in the UK this month in a listing published by VOD Professional magazine. Other individuals that made the list include Derek Gough, the Director of Project Management for StreamUK’s CDN partner Level3, as well as the Liverpool FC’s Digital Systems Coordinator Matthew Quinn, who played an integral role in improving the StreamMP video powered ‘LFC.tv’.