A Closer Look at Video Conferencing — Major and Emerging Players in the Midst of a Pandemic

By Thomas Price Friday, November 6, 2020

The majority of workplaces and schools across the globe are still affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the onus has fallen on these institutions to find ways to continue to operate safely within the restrictions provided by local government officials. With that has come the meteoric rise of working and learning from home. To do so effectively, both businesses and schools have had to enlist the help of a variety of different video conferencing platforms to meet and work together as best they can. In turn, the video conferencing industry has exploded to meet the massive surge in demand. While companies such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams are well documented, other major players can be expected to emerge within the industry in the coming years.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting has existed for a longer time than many other platforms in the video conferencing world. The company was founded in July 2004 by combining the technology to screen share and gain remote access from prior ventures of their overarching company, Citrix Systems. The launch of these technologies was eventually followed by the adoption of video conferencing capabilities in 2010, making it one of the first platforms in the industry. Of the features offered by this platform, the hallmark ones are screen sharing, conference calling, video conferencing in HD, mobile conferencing, meeting recording and transcription, conference room equipment, and perhaps most importantly, no meeting time limit. GoToMeeting offers three major price points, each coming with slightly different available options depending on how much a user is willing to pay. The lowest-priced option is only $12 a month and will allow up to 150 participants. The mid-range option will cost $16 a month and allows up to 250 participants. If the needs of a business or school exceed the needs of those two options, they would need to contact the company in order to come up with a price point customized to their specifications.

Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex was born from the acquisition of Webex by Cisco Systems in 2007. The company has had some legal troubles in the past; however, they do provide a quality service. The major features provided by Cisco Webex remain consistent with many other video conference platforms as they offer HD video and audio, screen sharing capabilities, cross-device compatibility, meeting security, recorded and transcribed meetings, and calendar integration. Price points for Cisco Webex range all the way from being completely free with 100 participants for 50 minutes to priced by need with capabilities of up to 100,000 participants and 24-hour-long meetings. Average prices for standard services fall somewhere between $13.50 a month up to $26.95 a month.

ezTalks

Again, very similar to the other options in the video conferencing world, the features offered by ezTalks are as follows: HD video and audio, video webinars for up to 10,000 participants, meeting controls, file and screen sharing, interactive whiteboards, and instant messaging. Prices for the video conferencing platform range from a very limited version that is free all the way up to $50 a month for the business version. However, the limitations cannot be ignored, as only 300 participants are allowed on the most expensive version of the platform.

Future of Video Conference Market and New Developments

Due to the massive explosion in demand for the video conferencing market, there is major expected growth over the next few years. While it was valued at only $5.32 billion in 2019, by 2027, the entire industry is projected to be worth over double that amount at $10.92 billion. Of course, the increased demand of 2020 is a major factor for the expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) being at a staggering 9.7%; however, the potential secondary add-on market will help as well.

Video startup company, Mmhmm, is breaking new ground in what can be done during a video conference and has been rewarded handsomely for their effort. In fact, the company has raised $31 million before they have even launched to the general public. The service they provide allows for better-integrated presentations by having more options on the background of a screen, allowing two people to present together, and the ability to shift the size and opacity of the participants. The service is not meant to be a standalone video conference platform, but instead, an add on to the various platforms already available. Given the investments already made and the 100,000 person-long waitlist, Mmhmm has clearly tapped into a market that should grow alongside the video conference platforms themselves.

About the Author


Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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