Last year at Ignite 2020, Microsoft announced a new vision for its video content management system Microsoft Stream. The changes in the New Microsoft Stream are significant and are a cause for concern for organizations that were using Classic Stream as a major part of their video strategy and were relying on it for their internal video use. For instance, playback speed options, manual uploading of captions, editable transcripts and more.
Based on the feedback from industry experts, the Microsoft Stream Customer Connections, the Stream Uservoice, our own research, knowledge, and expertise of video streaming, this blog discusses our opinion regarding the impact of the new Microsoft Stream and the alternatives organizations have.
In summary, Microsoft Stream will now be able to leverage the power of SharePoint and OneDrive to improve video management in terms of permissions, sharing, compliance, and governance. The plus point is that organizations can now share videos externally. On the other hand, Microsoft Stream videos will now be available through the SharePoint and OneDrive application, and the video portal approach (all videos in one place) will not be available. Certain other features will no longer be available in the new Microsoft Stream, for the time at least. Say for instance, the playback speed option, live transcriptions etc.
What Do We Know About the New Microsoft Stream?
Microsoft Stream was up till now, a standalone application, and this will now be known as Stream (Classic). The new Microsoft Stream will be integrated into the Office 365 Suite; mainly SharePoint and OneDrive. This will merge the power of the two applications:
- Microsoft Stream did not have the capabilities to effectively manage content. For instance, you couldn’t create folders to organize content. Content security and governance was an issue; setting permissions, custom retention periods, audit logs etc. SharePoint, on the other hand, easily allows you to do all of this.
- Microsoft Stream did not have the capabilities to effectively share content. For instance, you couldn’t share video content outside your organization. With SharePoint, you could easily do all of that.
- SharePoint did not have a rich video playback experience. No closed caption support and you would need to download the video to watch it with the best experience. Microsoft Stream, on the other hand, was optimized for video playback and this is being brought into SharePoint with the new version.
Based on documentation provided by Microsoft, the new Microsoft Stream will have a combination of features from Microsoft Stream (classic) and SharePoint, and all of this will be accessible through the SharePoint application (or OneDrive if the video is restricted to an individual). This, however, will be a gradual process and there will be a gap in features between the two versions.
How is the New Microsoft Stream Different from Classic Stream?
Nevertheless, the merging between Classic Stream and SharePoint isn’t simple and there are gaps between the two. Based on the feature list provided by Microsoft and our research, we can summarize that the new Microsoft Stream:
What it doesn't offer:
- Does not have options for playback speed (0.5x to 2x) for uploaded videos. This is expected to be out by October 2020.
- Does not have pre-encoding and caching for large files. Read more about video playback in the Nw Microsoft Stream.
- It only has transcriptions for Teams' meetings only (that to if live transcriptions was turned on at the time of recording) and no transcripts in multiple languages for uploaded videos for the time being. Read more about transcripts in the New Microsoft Stream.
- Does not support manual uploading of transcripts or closed captions.
- Does not support editing of transcripts.
- Does not have the option for video embedding for anonymous viewing. Only authenticated Office 365 users from your organization can view the video wherever it is embedded.
- Does not support quizzes or forms within videos.
- Does not allow you to block downloads for all video files. This is only available for recorded Teams' meetings. The settings will also be global and can't be applied individually.
- Does not have Stream Studio to edit, clip and add documents to video files.
- No options to trim the beginning and end of a video.
- No comments, likes or other interactivity features.
- No option to add details under a video, tags etc.
What it Offers:
- Allows you to organize content better (folders).
- Allows you to view all file types (documents, images, presentations, videos) through one application – SharePoint.
- You can have recorded MS Teams meetings ingested into the Team SharePoint and individual OneDrive folders.
- Allows you to share, copy link, download, and see the version history of your video.
- Has basic video analytics available now.
- Offers external sharing capabilities and guest sharing as well.
- Allows you to view logs for video files easily through the SharePoint application.
- Allows you to set a customized retention policy for videos.
- Offers a Stream Start Page to display all video files from SharePoint and OneDrive.
Microsoft mentions that certain features of the classic Stream will gradually be available in the new Microsoft Stream. You can view the roadmap here.
The bottom-line being, Microsoft will gradually fill the gap between the two versions. But this is not known for sure. Certain questions are left unanswered. Live streaming being the most important one.
What About Live Streaming in the New Microsoft Stream?
In the classic Microsoft Stream application, live streaming was simple. All you had to do was select “live event” under the create option.
In the new Microsoft Stream, you can access videos through the SharePoint and OneDrive applications. But, how would live streaming work in this case as this was a feature of the classic Stream application?
Microsoft does not give any details regarding live streaming in its documentation for the new Stream. It’s not on their product roadmap either. So, we will have to wait and see for this one. An interesting thing here is that Microsoft announced a temporary increase in limits for live streaming for classic Stream.
VIDIZMO as an Alternative
Your organization could either do well with the capabilities offered in the new Microsoft Stream. Or your organization could make use of an enterprise video platform that fills in this gap. VIDIZMO is one such solution that is much more aligned towards solving video-related challenges and integrates with your SharePoint and OneDrive storage and Office 365 applications. it offers all of the features that the new Stream does not offer today - playback speed, transcripts etc. And you don't need to migrate data as it integrates with your SharePoint.
Features in VIDIZMO
A Gartner recognized enterprise video platform, VIDIZMO EnterpriseTube offers much more for video streaming that may not be offered in Microsoft Stream (both classic and new):
- Artificial Intelligence capabilities (object and facial search, and transcription in more than 80 languages). You can also manually trigger a transcript.
- Manually upload closed captions and transcripts.
- Custom metadata support.
- Embedding of videos on any external site.
- Customizable player (branding and what options to have on the player - remove the seek forward or backward option if you wish) with rich options such as playback speed, attach files, closed captions, and more.
- Video redaction as an optional feature for blurring faces or objects.
- Embedding of application widget on any internal site (including SharePoint, LMS).
- SCORM support for e-learning videos.
- Add surveys, forms, handouts and quizzes in videos.
- Users can add comments under videos.
- Create playlists (personal or otherwise) and collections.
- Search inside video using transcripts.
- KLV Metadata support.
- Offline viewing (desktop application).
- Integrations outside of Microsoft 365.
- Support for 25 different types of SSO
- Integration with LMS, CMS, Zoom, MS Teams.
- Integration Google Analytics, HubSpot
- Branding and UI Customizability.
- Location and IP restriction.
- DRM Support.
- Both internal and external video streaming.
- Enable/Disable user-generated content to allow external or internal users to submit content.
- Live Streaming (Support for multiple protocols – RTMP, RTSP, HLS etc.).
- Audio files streaming.
- Supports 360-degree videos.
- Video notifications for actions on your videos.
- Notifications for admin settings - such as a notification on storage limit reached.
- Detailed analytics on viewership and quality of experience.
- Audit logs for who viewed a video, from where and when, and more.
- Set a custom time period for video expiry.
Apart from these features, the roadmap of features for VIDIZMO is much more aligned with improving video use across organizations. VIDIZMO has been solving complex video challenges for over 20 years and will actively work to solve upcoming challenges.
Microsoft and VIDIZMO
Thankfully, VIDIZMO and Microsoft work together. VIDIZMO works in a similar way and all videos uploaded through VIDIZMO, and will be uploaded in your SharePoint storage or you can opt for Azure storage. The costs would be similar, and you’ll have to pay for a VIDIZMO license, which brings in numerous benefits to your organization in terms of its video streaming and management capabilities.
If you are a Microsoft reseller and would want to introduce VIDIZMO to your customers, you can contact us to engage in joint selling opportunities, helping your customers create a video portal or video gallery from videos stored on their SharePoint.
Microsoft Stream is one video platform. Read our detailed guide on 12 different video platforms here.