Blog Post

Google Launches Video Sharing for Business

Google has found a way to make money from video sharing — but not on YouTube. The company will add video to its paid business edition of Google Apps on Monday. In a way, Google is opening up a whole new category of online video: internal corporate video sharing.

Google Apps customers pay $50 per user per year for Gmail, Google Talk, Google Docs and other communication and collaboration tools (there is also a free version that doesn’t include customer support and APIs). Now, paid users can upload videos of up to 300 MB, with no time-length restrictions, for a total of 3GB per account and unlimited video views.

There are existing enterprise video delivery vendors aplenty, including Kontiki, Cisco and Thomson, but their tools are used for top-down communication and training. Google thinks there’s an opportunity for easy video sharing — รก la YouTube — between team members for applications such as ad hoc training, product demos, and team building. Except, unlike YouTube, not just anyone will be able see these videos — access will be restricted to specific employees.

However, Google isn’t including live broadcasting or video conferencing — perhaps the most obvious and best-used video tools at most enterprises. Google acquired video-conferencing software from a Swedish company called Marratech last April, but it hasn’t made it available to enterprise customers and it’s not a part of this product. Google is only offering on-demand streaming and downloads of clips.

Users can upload videos to what looks like the Google Video player, and team members can tag, star and comment on them. There are also new features designed for long-form video, such as thumbnails of key parts of a video so viewers can skip around. Each video will also be available as an embed, part of a Google gadget and as an MPEG-4 download.

It’s good that Google is trying to think creatively about how people work together, though I’m not sure how widespread use of this particular product will be. Video-sharing sites with privacy controls normally seem to be made for families with young kids, which is quite a different use-case than coworkers. So there may be a need for a tool like this.

“It’s no longer about trying to achieve feature parity with incumbent office solutions, it’s really about transforming collaboration,” said Kuan Yong, product manager for Google Video for business and YouTube developer APIs, in an interview last week. He also made a point of saying, “It’s really cloud computing that’s enabled us to do enterprise video in a form that’s so affordable, and in a way that just works.”

14 Responses to “Google Launches Video Sharing for Business”

  1. Wistia ( ) provides a private and secure video sharing platform for businesses. While Wistia’s SaaS platform provides all of the basic video sharing features, such as uploading, automatic transcoding, and access control, our secret sauce is in making user interaction with the video measurable. We really see Google’s offering focusing on these more basic features, leveraging their YouTube dominance.

    From working with businesses using video for the last two years, Wistia knows that only a small fraction of the problem is getting the video from point A to point B. Most companies are not using user-generated content, but need more professional content created by in-house production departments or third party video producers. In the world of business, everything — even video — needs to be measurable to justify the expenditure. Wistia’s private video sharing platform allows companies to get the most value from their video by providing the most sophisticated video analytics available.

    Wistia’s patent pending Video Engagement Tracking (VET, click here for a brief video demo: allows administrators to see exactly which portions of a video a specific user has watched and which they haven’t. VET gives the admins complete transparency into every action a user takes while watching the video. When did they hit play, where did they seek to, which parts did they rewind to and watch again? All of these are questions which, when the answers are put together, help determine how engaged a user is with the content. YouTube “views” work well when I’m trying to get 100,000 people to watch my video. When I share a video with 50 employees that potentially cost several thousand dollars and took a month to produce, I have to know more.

    These VET metrics are extremely valuable to organizations who are using video in the context of sales, high-value training, marketing, medical clinical trials — the list goes on. To first accomplish this, I need to be able to share the video with those outside of my orginization (which I don’t believe the current Google application allows). As an example, if I am a salesperson and I share a new product demo video with a prospect, having complete insight into how this prospect interacts with video allows me to assess how engaged they are with our messaging. Once I know that they are engaged, I can start a conversation with them within Wistia by giving them additional content or allowing them to ask questions timecoded to moments in the video. A prospect that goes to the page containing the video and takes no other action is much less valuable than a prospect who watched the whole video and then backed up to see information about a particular feature again. It allows me to spend more time on those prospects who are more engaged with the product and where I am more likely to close the deal.

    In conclusion, we believe that the release of the Google product, as with Cisco’s foray into “Enterprise TV”, validates that there is a significant market for video in business. However, from our experience helping companies use video in high-value ways, we know that companies need more than these basic services (i.e. robust analytics and tracking) in order to realize the full potential of their content.