Microsoft Stream is an enterprise video management service that lets people in your organization create, store, share, and view videos securely. Stream is deeply integrated within the Microsoft 365 app ecosystem allowing you to add and consume videos within other apps such as Teams, Viva Engage, Viva, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and SharePoint. Stream is commonly used at work to:
- Record and watch Microsoft Teams meetings with automatically generated transcripts
- Record video from user’s camera, screen or both
- Share videos such as leadership, human resources or training/compliance videos
- Watch videos
- Search or read video transcripts
- Share and comment on videos
- Embed videos into SharePoint portals and pages
Note: Currently Microsoft offers two versions of Stream: Stream (Classic) and Stream (built on SharePoint). Stream (Classic) is a legacy version of the application that is in the process of being replaced with Stream (on SharePoint).
Microsoft Stream (Classic) is being retired and replaced by Stream (on SharePoint) and Microsoft Teams live events. It is recommended to start using Stream (on SharePoint) by uploading videos to SharePoint, Teams, Viva Engage, or OneDrive, and to run your live events through Teams and Viva Engage.
Microsoft Stream (built on SharePoint) allows for high quality video playback and rich media experiences for files stored on SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. The benefit of storing videos in SharePoint/OneDrive is that if offers admin control of storage, management, compliance, governance, & life cycle capabilities. Additionally, SharePoint/OneDrive is compliant across many industry standards and offers enterprise security, sharing and collaboration.
Stream (on SharePoint) is an intelligent video experience that empowers you to record, upload, discover, share, and manage video just as you would any other file. Video is like any other document. It seamlessly integrates with apps across Microsoft 365, so you get the same experience no matter where you add or engage with video content.
With Stream (on SharePoint), users can:
- Upload video or audio files to SharePoint, Teams, or OneDrive just like any other file.
- Find and get back to recent videos, ones shared with you from the Stream start page in Office.
- Generate a transcript and closed captions for the language spoken in a video in SharePoint, Teams, or OneDrive.
- Manually add chapters, letting a viewer jump right to the part of the audio/video file they want.
- Collaborate with comments, just like with any other Microsoft 365 document.
- Add custom thumbnails, titles, and descriptions.
- Share videos with others, including external partners or guests, just like you share any other file.
- Feature videos in pages, sites, portals, and Microsoft Teams.
- Get analytics to know how your viewers are watching.
The Stream start page in Office lets you get back to videos no matter where they uploaded them across Microsoft 365. It helps you find videos and Teams meeting recordings and quickly pick up where you left off or discover new content that was shared or is useful to you.
The Stream web app improves the way you consume video content. It works seamlessly with the Stream start page in Office.
Watch a video while reading the transcript, use chapters to navigate to sections you care about most, and leave a comment for others. The playback controls work just as you would expect, with the addition of noise suppression, captions, and full screen support.
It’s also your video management tool where you can add a title and description to your audio/video file, set a custom thumbnail, add the chapters you want, generate a transcript, share videos, and even share your video at a specific time code.
From Stream web app you can upload videos, record your screen while presenting in a meeting or just by doing something that you want to show to your colleagues or clients, record while your camera is On and create Playlist.
Creating a Playlist is actually creating a Microsoft List where you can add, and group videos based on certain criteria.
Note: You’ll get to the Stream web app page for audio and video files in Microsoft 365 from share links, search results, Office start pages, and web parts. You’ll see the preview player when opening audio and video files directly from the OneDrive and SharePoint library lists. If you are in the preview player, you can click the Open > Open in Stream button to get to the Stream web app.
From Stream web app you can modify video files by editing the file name, add description, see where the video file is actually stored, choose the Thumbnail photo, enable or disable chapters, create chapters, enable or disable comments, see analytics etc.
Stream (on SharePoint) is a rethinking of the traditional approach to enterprise video. Historically, video was technically difficult to deliver at scale, so specialized vendors developed standalone services that managed, stored, and played video from their own specialized silos.
Stream (Classic) was the same. It was on the same network but isolated from the rest of the Microsoft 365 collaborative experiences. Being off to the side, video has been a challenge for most customers to integrate into normal workflows.
With a standalone service you can embed and link videos into other experiences, but these independent video products like Stream (Classic) still suffer from low usage, low awareness, and are typically the domain of experts.
Stream (Classic) had no connection to the rest of Microsoft 365 other than embed codes and links. Videos weren’t managed the same way as other content, and the services that help with governance and compliance that are available in Microsoft 365 didn’t apply to Stream (Classic).
Stream (on SharePoint) is deeply connected to Microsoft 365
For admins this means you no longer have to deploy and manage a special solution for videos that works differently from the rest of your infrastructure. Because all videos are now regular files in SharePoint, the services and tools built to work with SharePoint and OneDrive now work with video. You get all the core management capabilities that other file types in Microsoft 365 have, such as archiving and versions, eDiscovery, Legal Hold, Retention policies, audit logs, permissions and file life cycle, APIs, and analytics.
The idea of a single video portal for your whole organization wasn’t driven out of user need, it was driven out of how enterprise video technology has worked in years past. Videos had to be in a single portal because that was the only way to ensure that they’d play back at scale. However, when we talk to enterprise and education users and understand their past actions in Stream (Classic), it shows that they didn’t need a portal dedicated to a single content type. They found more use in bringing videos into other locations where viewers were already visiting. Videos were woven into organization’s intranet, news articles, lessons, posts, notebooks, wikis, sites, pages, and portals mixed with text, images, files, and video. These experiences where people watched videos the most were purpose built branded experiences. A portal limited to just video doesn’t meet that need.
For example, if you look at the aggregate telemetry from Stream (Classic) over the last few years, it shows that people weren’t visiting the portal to explore videos. Content owners were just using Stream (Classic) as a hosting experience.
- 83% of page views in Stream (Classic) came from direct links to a video or embedding videos into other locations outside of Stream (Classic)
- 12% of page views were to group, channel, and other pages in Stream (Classic)
- 5% of page views were directly to the home page of the classic stream portal
So, with a few exceptions, the single portal idea doesn’t really work. Instead, people are embedding videos where potential viewers already go and sharing the videos just like files.
With the Stream (on SharePoint), there’s no longer a special place you must put videos. Users do what comes naturally and don’t have to be taught. They can just upload or create new videos like they would any other file, directly in SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive, Office, and Yammer.
But because Stream (on SharePoint) is built on SharePoint, in addition to direct links to videos, you can setup destinations for people to watch videos inside your intranet with pages, sites, and portals. Create places just for videos on a specific topic or mix video with all your other content you need people to see.
There are many ways that people use and organize videos within their organization. Below is a rough guide to help you understand where you store your files when you’re using Stream (on SharePoint).
|Common use #1:|
Small scale sharing
|Common use #2: |
Organization-wide top down
|Common use #3:|
|Common use #4:|
|Need||Simple video sharing||Anyone in the organization can view, but only a few can add videos||Only team members can view and add videos||Anyone in the organization can add videos that anyone can view|
|Examples||Small scale sharing with a link||Messages from the CEO or other leaders|
Human Resources information
Onboarding training for new employees
|Any sort of team, departments, or divisions where everyone can contribute||Single organization-wide video portal destination|
Organization-wide video portal destination for specific topics or content
|What to do||Upload to OneDrive, Teams, or SharePoint|
Get a share link
|Upload to public SharePoint Communication Site or public Yammer Community||Upload to private Teams team||Option A: Rollup organization-wide video through a SharePoint communication site with highlighted content web parts scoped to videos across all sites|
Option B: Single destination for uploaded videos through a public SharePoint communication site that is open to all to upload
The web part is GA since 20th of September 2023. Users can configure a video or group of videos from a folder on a SharePoint page using the new web part. Simply edit a page and add the Stream web part:
Then you can edit the web part based on your requirements. Source could be Videos on this site, Folder or Single video. You can choose to show or hide the web part title bar. Videos can be displayed in Theater or Grid format, you can decide how many videos to be displayed in total and in a row, sort the videos by recently edited, recently added or by author.
When you are ready you just publish the changes to the page, and you are done. It is so easy to embed a video file (e.g., CEO video message to all employees, latest trending news about your company in a video format) on you Intranet page with new Microsoft Stream web part.
Microsoft Stream has evolved over time, and its features may change with updates and integration into the broader Microsoft 365 ecosystem. It’s primarily used by businesses and educational institutions to create, share, and manage video content for training, communication, and knowledge sharing purposes.
If you still need help or clarification regarding Microsoft Stream, drop us a message, we at Impactory GmbH are having 10+ years of experience in Microsoft 365 world, we will analyze your business requirements and propose you the best solution based on your needs.
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