By Albert Rodes, CEO & Co-Founder of Watchity
2020 has been our best year since we started Watchity 5 years ago. The COVID-19 misfortune, so unfortunate for most industries and many startups, was an accelerator of growth for us and it allowed us to consolidate use cases that we had already been marketing since the previous year (our first year “in the market ”after 3 years of intensive R&D work), as well as discovering new uses of our technology in areas previously covered by other types of platforms.
Year in review and what’s to come
COVID-19 has driven the growth of online video in all types of companies, institutions and events
The rapid expansion of COVID-19 meant that, at first, most organizations immediately integrated video conferencing tools that allowed them to maintain their daily activity in formal and informal meetings, causing unbridled growth in products like Zoom, which in the second quarter of the year already had 370,200 paying business customers and reached a turnover of 663.5 million dollars, with a growth of 355% compared to the previous year, or Microsoft Teams, which reached the figure of 115 million daily active users when, in the previous year, it only had 13 million.
Secondly, it was the turn of the webinars: a wide variety of platforms that had already been on the market for years and that were already very popular among marketing and sales teams before the lockdown. Platforms such as EZtalks, Gotowebinar, WebinarJam, Livestorm, Webex or Bluejeans, acquired greater relevance thanks to the need to transform face-to-face events into virtual ones. Thanks to a very low price and the ease of use in most cases, they allowed resuming the activity of corporate events, congresses and conferences, meetings, talks and roundtables of all kinds.
The same happened with platforms for events: what used to be a simple promotional website, buying tickets for the event and networking parallel to the physical event, suddenly became the only place to live the full experience of the event, so that these platforms, among which are Hopin, Bizzabo or Cvent, saw the need to incorporate live video tools to allow their clients of corporate events, congresses and virtual conferences and fairs, the possibility to broadcast presentations and roundtables as well as holding workshops and one-to-one or group meetings.
Apart from these “new players” in online video, we have seen the evolution of other areas as diverse as the use of live streaming increase sales in e-commerce or the retransmission of theater plays through pay-per-view.
How we have experienced this video growth in 2020 at Watchity
At Watchity we started the year by executing the launching plan for our product and just at the beginning of the pandemic we began to receive a large volume of requests from clients, most of them corporate ones, who contacted us via the web or by phone looking for solutions for their virtual projects.
In most of these contacts, we began to perceive a need that was repeated client after client: the need to improve the viewer experience in their broadcasts through a more professional and more “branded” video for their corporate events. A need for which our platform provided an unbeatable solution thanks to its integrated production tool.
So we managed to substantially increase the number of clients and turnover. Between the months of April and December, we have consolidated 4 major solutions (Marketing and events, Institutional communication, Corporate training and Entertainment monetization) with a total of 2,747 live videos created and 5,426 hours broadcasted from our 300 corporate clients.
The next step: becoming audiovisual organizations
Once the initial stage of “catching up” on online video is over, organizations that take their marketing and communication strategies seriously will take the next step and move from using basic webinar or video conferencing tools (which have a very poor branding capacity) to using tools that allow them to stand out from their competitors and create content with a professional appearance to generate greater engagement with their audiences.
Our vision is that there are four requirements for an organization to be able to take advantage of live video:
- Being able to create relevant live video experiences for your audience, contemplating not only the professional aspect of the video that reinforces the brand, but also a visualization that does not require installation of software on the viewer’s device, in good audio and video quality that allows you to control what you see, how and when you see it, as well as a great interaction experience.
- To be able to deploy around a broadcast everything necessary to achieve the business goals of the organization. It can be the capture of leads in a marketing webinar, the visibility in social networks of a press conference, the increase in sales in an e-commerce or the generation of income in a virtual event.
- That it’s easy to use, available to anyone and has a reasonable price, so that it can be extended throughout the entire organization, unifying technologies and reducing start-up time.
- That it’s integrable with other systems (CRM, event management platforms, corporate video conference systems, etc.) either to improve the user experience or to increase the ability to achieve the business goals associated with its use.
Solving these four requirements is not easy at all considering the limitations of the solutions currently available on the market, which focus on solving only a part of them (such as webinar platforms, which allow good interaction with an easy using, although with a visual aspect of the video not very relevant and unprofessional). And it is precisely the combination of these three aspects that differentiates the Watchity platform from other competitors, and what makes our proposition the preferred one for those organizations that seek to create great live video experiences in an easy way to achieve their business goals.
Why is 2021 going to be our big year?
We start this new year with the illusion of seeing how our value proposition and the 4 great solutions we offer have been penetrating the market and with great challenges ahead, both in terms of the evolution of the platform and to generate a great global satisfied customer base.
Regarding the product roadmap, our main goal is to provide the platform with new features that reinforce the creation of great live video experiences, among which are:
- The improvement of the production tool with new capabilities focused on more efficient and professional creation of webinars, such as the webRTC to broadcast from webcams and screenshot, the speaker’s room to facilitate interaction between the speakers of a roundtable, the ability to receive all cameras separately in the mixer or the ability to use predefined scenes for better image composition.
- The integration of a new video analytics platform to improve the exploitation of information regarding the consumption of content by the audience.
- The incorporation of new features in the creation of landing pages, registration forms, access control, and everything related to the promotion of a webinar, including the improvement and flexibility when embedding all this content.
- New features of our player, such as the incorporation of subtitles and multi-language audio tracks, as well as the possibility of activating new capabilities for interacting with the audience.
- New integrations with social networks like Linkedin Live, with applications for corporate events, fairs and conferences such as Eventwo or Meetmaps, with ticketing platforms like Koobin or Premiumguest, or with digital filing systems such as EBANTIC.
- Quick non-live video editing functionalities that allow both post-broadcast editing and the creation of content for the web and social networks, easily created and without specific knowledge.
On the other hand, regarding the growth of the user base, we will continue to bet on corporate clients, targeting mainly the marketing and communication teams in brands, companies, events and other organizations that organize events that can be broadcasted in webcasts. As well as new markets such as virtual visits to events, live streaming for e-commerce, or the monetization of performing arts. And all this without neglecting other markets that fit very well with our platform and in which we already have a good position, such as the press and communication departments of public institutions.
We aim to be the market benchmark when it comes to creating relevant live video experiences, and we are convinced that thanks to our committed team and our satisfied customers, we will be able to take the next big leap in the upcoming 2021.