As the whole world suddenly got thrown in the throes of the coronavirus outbreak, almost everyone started finding themselves in uncharted waters.
Globally, now more than ever, people quite unanimously have become extremely reliant on the use of video conferencing tools to remain connected.
Be it for working from home, getting school lessons, or simply for catching up with friends and family, these video calling platforms have now emerged to become one of the primary needs of the hour.
Now, while the COVID-19 is still very much active and is showing no signs of retreating anytime soon, it is this very need on which multiple tech giants are betting big to capitalise on.
In 2018, the global video conferencing market was estimated worth US$3.02 billion and was projected to reach a whopping US$6.37 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.8%. Asia-Pacific region alone is estimated to account for 33% of the market. However, now with the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, these estimates most definitely will increase to a big extent.
The first key player that had the opportunity to leverage this situation towards their growth was Zoom. This particular video conferencing tool became the most favourite platform of choice for many globally.
The company saw a huge surge of users and went from just 10 million daily active users to 200 million users in the course of just three months.
However, soon enough the platform started getting accused of harbouring various security risks for which it currently finds itself in hot water.
Now, while Zoom was busy riding the waves of this newly presented opportunity, and challenges as well, other companies took note of it too. The first company to make a move was Facebook, the social media giant.
Facebook followed suit by modifying its existing Messenger App for the desktop wherein users will be able to do group calls with their existing contacts on the social media platform.
Soon after, Microsoft-owned Skype launched their very own version of Zoom by introducing a feature ‘Meet Now’. The new Skype feature functions more or less the same way as Zoom does.
Despite all the allegations, concerns and criticism that were levelled against Zoom none of the above newly upgraded features or tool have yet matched the expectations of users and failed to compete with Zoom.
Sensing this as a great opportunity to bank upon, other significant key players in the market, including Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Webex, Blue Jeans, have also set their eyes on the fast becoming popular market.
The Race To Dominate The Video Conferencing Market
With the recent news of Verizon agreeing to acquire the videoconferencing company Blue Jeans Network Inc. for sub-$500 million amid this outbreak, it has become quite evident that the race to dominate the video conferencing market has begun.
Bluejeans is albeit a very small competitor if compared to that of Zoom. However, Verizon believes that together with their own trusted brand and Bluejean’s enterprise-grade platform they will be able to capture a bigger chunk of the market share by offering it to their joint customer base.
Interestingly, it’s not just the players from the developed markets, i.e China and the US, that are willing to grab a sizeable share of the market. The startups and companies in developing markets, such as India, have also pulled their socks up to compete with the big giants. Recently, the Indian government has announced Rs 1 Crore (US$125,000) prize money for an Indian startup that creates the best video conferencing app.
Many experts now believe that the social distancing measures will be continuing throughout 2022 which if turns out to be true will be devastating for all major tech giants globally.
As of now, almost all businesses have come to a complete standstill. Therefore, amid this situation, there needs to be a new vertical which will be able to generate revenue for these tech giants and what could be better than the newly presented opportunity of the video conferencing market?
After the whole fiasco of Zoom’s security issues, people worldwide are now looking for more options and offerings when it comes to video conferencing tools that will not just be feature-packed but also be secure and reliable.
The entire video conferencing market is ripe for disruption with the accelerated digitization by the coronavirus. Now it remains to be seen which will be the companies coming out on top because the race to dominate this particular market has only just begun.
It wouldn’t be wrong to expect that there will now be more competitors big and small entering this space with new and more innovative offerings to give fierce competition to each other. We will keep you posted on all future developments.