What is a “video collection platform” and how does AnswerStage compare with Vouch, VideoAsk and Gather Voices?
We use the phrase “video collection and production platform” to describe AnswerStage. We realize that these are new concepts and it may not be clear exactly what they mean and what options are available to you. So, here’s a quick summary of how we use these terms and some other companies who provide similar services to help you with your research.
We’ll take it piece by piece:
- Video Collection. This Is a process by which you can send links to other people and they can record video responses that are automatically transferred to you. Prior to development of this technology, the primary method of gathering videos was labor intensive: a film crew would be required to schedule a time, set up and record. Of course there are other methods of capturing remote videos. A person could record a video and then transfer it using WeTransfer, Dropbox or similar service. But how many people know how to do that and are willing to take the time?
You can also record a Zoom call but that’s not designed for a single person responding and having the option to review their responses. The new collection technologies simplify this process and leverage the power of phones, tablets and desktop cameras. Admittedly the results are not as polished as what a film crew would capture with controlled lighting and higher end cameras, but in most cases that level of quality is not required. The ideas and commentary are what’s most valuable. An automated collection process also enables you to get videos from people located anywhere, at any time and using any device. It’s extremely efficient.
- Production Platform. The videos that you collect are only part of the puzzle. They need additional context: What’s the topic? Who’s speaking? They also require some level of branding or beautification. This is the role of automated production – adding context, branding and “sizzle” to videos so they’re more compelling and valuable when shared.
There are varying degrees of production sophistication. In some cases it may just be a logo and custom color around a video and in other cases it could be animations and professionally produced Intros and Outros to add to the overall impact. And some services build in some logic or workflow to how the video is ultimately used. This can be useful when creating a questionnaire or video FAQ that has if/then branches.
So who provides these services and how do they compare with AnswerStage? Here are very quick summaries of AnswerStage and some of the alternatives that we’ve compiled as we’ve been working in this space for the past few years. It’s worth noting that the information below is what we’ve gleaned from various web sites, example videos and feedback from our clients. If there are any inaccuracies, we invite representatives or clients of these companies to provide corrections in the comments below.
Primary applications: event promotion, testimonials, association membership, and thought leadership.
Notable clients: AUVSI, National Restaurant Association, NAB, ASIS, Innovation Women, SuperZoo (pet retailers) and PrimeGlobal.
Selling points: client-configurable branding for question Landing Pages and Video Themes. Several video templates with automatically applied animations, speaker labels, Titles, Intros and Outros. “Radio theme” with waveform or audio-only videos. Simplified sharing to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Pricing: Free for Basic with pre-designed video themes and watermark, $199/month when billed monthly or $159/month when billed annually for Corporate custom-branded, and $1500 fixed-fee option for larger events (with services).
Video by ASIS created with AnswerStage:
Primary applications: testimonials, recruitment and sales enablement
Notable clients: Canva, Atlassian, Dropbox, Shopify.
Pricing: Free for Basic; $99/mo for Pro which includes unlimited “seats*”, more advanced branding and custom sub-domains. (* It’s not clear how the term seats is used — perhaps someone can clarify.)
Selling points: simple UI, creation of “playlists”, effective handling of different aspect ratios, integration with Slack, Microsoft Teams and Jira.
Primary applications: recruitment, sales, testimonials, training and education.
Notable clients: fiverr, duolingo, Wolt, Recruiter, jobandtalent.
Pricing: Free for essentials. $30/mo for “Grow”, $50/mo for “Brand”
Selling points: Questions are presented as videos. Advanced workflow/if-then logic for presentation of video questions. Responses can be in video format, audio or text.
Primary applications: associations, events, healthcare advocacy
Notable clients: California Primary Care Association, NACAS, SmithBucklin, Northstar Travel Group
Advantages: wide variety of resources and best practices, editing tools, repurposing of existing video content such as Zoom sessions and webinars. Integration with Hire Logic. In-person kiosks.
While it’s more likely that people reading this blog post will be looking for business-oriented services, it’s worth noting that there’s a similar trend happening with consumer services. During the height of the pandemic, many of us used video collection platforms to create happy birthday or congratulations videos friends and loved ones when we couldn’t attend these celebrations in person. Two of the more popular consumer services are Memento and Tribute. It turns out that SaaSHub did a side-by-side review. You can read their side-by-side comparison. These companies provide automated collection and production services with an emphasis on creating montages or combination of videos to celebrate life milestones.
Memento (formerly VidHug, recently acquired by Punchbowl, Inc.)
Key applications: birthdays, anniversaries, graduation,
Pricing: $6.99 to $12.99 per month
Key applications: life events – birthdays, anniversaries, retirements and memorials.
Pricing: $29 for DIY, $99 for “concierge” assistance, and Enterprise custom pricing.