UK startup enters enterprise video market.
Posting and sharing videos online for audiences of thousands to watch is not just YouTube’s domain anymore.
The enterprise video market is expected to surpass $35bn in value by 2018, according to a Markets and Markets report.
That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.9% over the next five years, as more and more businesses turn to online platforms to communicate with customers, staff and other companies.
Cisco predicts two-thirds of mobile data traffic will be video in four years time – while it constituted half of all traffic just last year.
It is in this context, then, that UK startup nideo enters the fray.
The brainchild of two university graduates, James Hakesley and Roy Kimani, nideo caters for all firms great and small, providing an online platform where they can post videos about products, instructional clips for staff and advertisements.
While YouTube is used by thousands of companies to push their products, nideo co-founder Hakesley believes his company – and by extension its competitors – are better suited for firms to get their message out.
Nideo sponsored an online poll through YouGov in June which found that an overwhelming 89% of 2,022 British YouTube viewers do not believe it is an appropriate medium for business-related videos.
Most people visit the site for entertainment, video blogs and more – not exactly a credible environment for a business video.
Yet while nideo’s lack of adverts will be a welcome selling point for viewers irritated by having to skip such content on YouTube, it will have to sell plenty of hosting packages to do well.
However, getting customers is not something Hakesley is worried about – since nideo launched with 30 customers, its client based has grown to 150, and Hakesley has just spent six months working with Information Management Group to create a cloud-based platform for nideo.
"We wanted it to grow with us," Hakesley explains. "We want it to be able to be a global platform. It was a necessary step because as we grow there’s a point we might hit where we need a bigger platform."
The Rochester University of Creative Arts graduate first came upon the idea as a student alongside Kimani with a project in which they made films for local companies.
But the businesspeople they spoke to didn’t want the videos to go on YouTube, where their clips ran the risk of being surrounded by irrelevant content.
Instead Kimani and Hakesley developed nideo, which aims to provide both private and public video solutions with no bandwidth restrictions.
And they think the enterprise video platform is the future for businesses.
"It’s changing the way businesses are communicating," says Hakesley. "In a couple of years’ time it will be a huge, huge thing and everyone will be jumping on it.
"It’s not just about making a video and hoping it does well. You can create a series of videos that have more of an effect and use videos as a way to connect with an audience.
"We have got training companies which distribute content to people who want to know about stuff and businesses who want to educate their work force.
"Then we have businesses using the public side and private side of this platform – private for back end and public for gaining clients."
Nideo boasts links to promote videos on social networks, and users can also share it via email or simply do a good old fashioned copy and paste of a link to the clip.
Hakesley says some of these abilities were added following feedback from clients, and adds that the agile approach to developing the cloud platform with Information Management Group made it easy to change and adapt their approach throughout the process.
Examples of functions added during the process include a choice over the level of privacy users have, as well as being able to bring in lists of email contacts to add to your audience, as well as the all-important feature of location feedback – so companies know whether their products generate more interest in America or Australia.
"Agile gives you the opportunity in a project to change tack and change what you’re doing, taking out things that have become irrelevant," says Jeremy Neal, head of online services at Information Management Group.
And he believes companies will continue to use cloud-based services, saying the concerns of security surrounding the cloud exist only in people’s heads.
"The issue is dealt with for most people," he says. "The entire debate was around whether the cloud I ssecure but most people realise it is at least as secure as what most organisations could provide from within."
And Hakesley believes the cloud will help nideo stay ahead of the curve in the future, as it tries to establish itself as the dominant force in enterprise video.
"It means we can continue to produce new features as users need them just by adding them to what we offer," he explains.
"Dropping new features ahead of our competitors will be a definite advantage. I can’t think of a better way to add those."