Survey: Users prefer interactive Webcasts

Press Release: ON24 Survey Shows Dramatic Preference for Webcasts With Increased Interactivity and Social Networking

Next-Generation Platform Enables Greater User Control, New Applications

SAN FRANCISCO, CA –  ON24, the global leader in webcasting and virtual event solutions, announced today the results of its recent survey of webcast attendees participating in the company’s second quarter social webcasting beta program. The survey polled webcast participants on their webcasting preferences and on the value of new interactive elements.

The survey showed an overwhelming preference for increased opportunities for interaction and networking:

  • 77% of the respondents, representing a wide variety of industries, indicate that a social webcast is better or far better than other webcasts.
  • An equal percentage (80%) feel that social networking tools within a webcast are somewhat to very important in webcasting today.

Open Webcasting in the Cloud

Denise Persson

“The extensible, next-generation webcasting platform provides a new tool in the marketing cloud arsenal,” explained ON24 CMO Denise Persson. “This open platform offers the enhanced interactivity and custom options that we envisioned when developing social webcasting. We believed that these options would enhance engagement, and our customers and many industry analysts agreed with that assessment. Our primary objective with the beta program study was to confirm that belief — that attendees prefer a webcast that offers many widget-based choices for a more customized experience. The survey results have confirmed that loud and clear.”

Close to 80% (77%) of the survey respondents rated the overall experience of a social webcast as better or far better than traditional webcasts. “And a full 80% of the beta users said having social networking tools within a webcast to allow you to share and comment on the experience is important,” Persson explained. “Customers want increased interaction and social networking integration to make webcasts more engaging without distracting the attendee. The research shows that the so-called ‘distraction factor’ is not an issue, as 86% of the respondents think that adding interactive elements to webcasts makes them more useful and interesting.”

Survey findings showed a decided preference for interactive elements in a webcast for the following reasons:

  • Nearly half (49%) prefer social webcasts because they allow the viewers to tailor their own experiences.
  • In addition, nearly half (48%) said that they make the content more interesting.
  • Over 40% (43%) prefer the greater control over how webcast content is used.
  • Other advantages cited were:
    • Added entertainment value (32%)
    • Ability to share content with others (26%)

User Control of the Platform

The features that the respondents liked best are:

  • User controlled layout of the webcast (62%)
  • Toolbar with additional functionality (52%)
  • Social networking features (32%)

The respondents were also asked to indicate the event functions they actually used during their own social webcast experience. Cited most often were:

  • Maximized the slides (69%)
  • Changed the layout of the event (40%)
  • Opened the Twitter feed (27%)
  • Viewed the presenter’s bio (25%)

“This new cloud solution enables social webcasts today but will in the future enable a wide variety of third-party applications,” Persson added. “The result will be even more applications for which webcasting can be used.”

ON24’s new webcasting platform is now available from ON24 direct sales and channel partners throughout the world.

On24 Virtual Show Plaza (Image courtesy On24)

About ON24 Inc.

The recognized global virtual events market share leader, ON24 provides webcasting and virtual environments for corporate communications and demand generation. The ON24 platform is a complete Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud offering; no deployment resources are required. ON24 offers fully integrated, enterprise-wide solutions for applications ranging from training, user conferences and company meetings to partner expos and trade shows. More than 750 organizations, including IBM, Cisco, CA Technologies, Merck, AstraZeneca, Fiserv, Credit Suisse, GE and Oracle, rely on ON24. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices throughout the world. For more information, visit www.ON24.com.

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