In a sign of the times in events, Restream announced it has secured a big financing round led by Sapphire Ventures and Insight Partners. The company now aims to eat away at some of Zoom’s market share.
Photo Credit: Restream Press Kit
Restream is a platform that allows content creators to live stream to multiple social networks such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and more. Restream solves the problem that many face when streaming their event online in terms of distribution to multiple outlets.
Restream is not an event platform but it seems clear that it is looking to become one. In fact, the news of the funding comes as the company prepares to launch Restream Studio, a broadcasting production center that makes live streaming across social platforms ‘as easy as hosting a Zoom call’.
The product sits in the emerging trend of easy production tools, a vertical where tools such as Streamyard are gaining popularity. As attendees get tired of the Zoom call format, more elaborate events will require some level of production.
The problem that tools such as Restream are trying to fix is very valid. Not many can afford AV production teams or have the technical knowledge to implement advanced solutions such as open broadcast software (OBS). Therefore, easy plug and play tools immediately gain the favor of virtual event hosts.
This is where Restream is trying to position itself, talking in their press release about the rising trend of virtual events. Restream is actually a great solution to stream to multiple outlets, and now with Restream Studio, to create overlays and engage in a chat — but it is still far from what is expected in a virtual event platform.
That may change in the future. As the platform counts on younger generations streaming to social networks such as Twitch, it has a wide user base that can propel new developments in the virtual event space.
Features like networking, scheduling, and interaction tools are in fact required to elevate a live streaming platform to one suitable for virtual events. These are the features missing from Zoom that many event professionals are seeking in a more sophisticated virtual event platform.
It’s entirely possible that existing virtual event platforms will develop their own offerings to include overlays, multiple cameras, and layouts that would render services like Restream and Streamyard far less competitive in that market.
The fact is that $50 million has once again been invested in a live streaming tool, reinforcing that the market for virtual events is hot. Despite a timid recovery in live events, virtual is not going anywhere, it is actually growing and will become in the coming months a key component of hybrid events.