Competitive landscape

This page provides an overview of adjacent and competitive offerings in our space.

The competitive landscape is one component that feeds into our overall planning, but the strategy and direction page is where we define how we fit into this space. We are not trying to compete with every company here, just understand the world of video products and our place in it.

This page is organized into primary capabilities (project management, reviews, asset management, recording, editing, and distribution) but some tools bridge multiple categories.

Video project management

Part of producing a video is just managing the creative workflow around the process. This includes steps like coming up with, reviewing, and approving the concepts, scripts, storyboards, motion graphics/other assets, and everything else you need as you go through all the phases of the production process.

It could even include billing and time tracking, though most of the products today do not.

  • Milanote and Collato are specifically designed for creative workflows.
  • Monday, Wrike, Trello, and Asana are general project management tools that are light enough to not get in the way of creative flows but aren’t video native. Some teams use JIRA for video planning, but this is mainly in the enterprise space and the user opinion of the tool is often that it is not very effective at this kind of work.
  • Notion is not specifically a creative app, but it is flexible and some people use it. Slack is sometimes used similarly to coordinate everything in a low-touch way.
  • Google Drive is the least structured of all of these options, but some people are using folders and Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets to track everything.

A common complaint amongst all these options is that nothing works well with video and integrates a production process. You can sort of make it work, some better than others, but nothing is solving all the problems well.

Reviews

It’s common, especially for production agencies (who take requirements and produce content for you), to need a review process where steps of the production flow are reviewed and approved.

Frame.io is an innovative leader in this space that was recently acquired by Adobe. This article contains a strategic overview of why Adobe bought Frame.io. They are very upmarket, with competitive advantages in C2C (cloud connectivity for expensive cameras) and other features for professional film crews.

Alternatives to Frame.io include:

  • Ad-lib.io is meant to bring brands and creative media teams together in a collaborative app and also includes marketing analytics to help determine which creative assets work best.
  • Wipster supports all kinds of documents, including video, and is probably the closest direct competitor
  • Vimeo Review
  • Dropbox Replay
  • Assemble
  • Krock focuses on video and animation)
  • Trackfront has collaboration plus budgets, quotes, etc.
  • Kollaborate
  • Kitsu has progress tracking as the basic idiom.
  • Filestage

Most of these products, including Frame.io, focus on a “we film and produce for you” type of agency workflow, where collaboration is limited to defining requirements and then signing off on the result, rather than both parties working together closely for the duration of the project. In those cases, a production/project management tool is typically used instead.

Some agencies have also already built their own intake/collaboration apps, such as Lemonlight and Shootsta.

Editing and processing

Preparing recorded videos for publishing is an important step in the process.

  • There are open-source video editors like Olive and Kdenlive.
  • In the proprietary space, the standard professional editing app is Adobe Premiere, but there are also companies like Descript doing innovative things. Descript uses transcription to identify moments in the video and allows for editing/removing “umms” by editing the transcription text.
  • DaVinci Resolve is targeted toward professional film production.
  • InVideo and WeVideo aim at making the editing experience simpler and also include a large library of effects, transitions, etc.
  • Projects like FFmpeg, FILM, and OpenCV (and many more) have advanced capabilities for post-processing and performing contextual actions, but are not easy for non-technical people to set up and use.

AI-powered

  • Some products focus on AI-powered editing automation. Kamua does automated AI-powered video editing; they were bought by Jellysmack, and did a lot of the most painful manual editing flows. Wondershare is similar, and also provides effects.
  • RunwayML is a video editor that focuses on bringing AI editing to the forefront of the editing experience. Their longer-term vision includes natural language editing capabilities.
  • Fylm.ai focuses on AI-powered color grading.

Captions

  1. As far as captions, Instagram & YouTube have pretty good captioning built-in, but it isn’t perfect.
  2. Some are also using Otter.ai as an AI-powered option. Another one is Whisper, which is an open-source project for English speech recognition from OpenAI.
  3. AssemblyAI Audio Intelligence provides a suite of audio analysis features including sentiment analysis, entity detection, separation of content into chapters, and auto-moderation. It can also translate, automatically remove PII, detect the topic, emotion, and more.

Artifact creation

During production, you’re also producing or searching for various artifacts. Storyboards, mood boards, scripts, stock footage, music, and so on.

Scriptwriting

The vast majority of people we have spoken to who are using something for script writing are using Google Docs.

Storyboarding

You can use Figma or Miro as a general tool for structuring visual information, but Milanote brands itself as a creative visual tool and specifically talks about storyboarding in its product marketing.

Motion graphics, stock footage, and music

For creating motion graphics, most people use Adobe After Effects. There are many public resources for finding royalty-free or paid ones:

There are similar sites for finding stock footage:

And for music, there are also large libraries:

New in this space is AI generated elements, such as Beatoven.ai which can generate music per prompts.

These search engines for paid and free elements are tending to merge/index each other’s contents. For example, Shutterstock now has not just photos but videos, music, and vectors.

Asset management (CMS & DAM)

Video CMS tools allow businesses to organize, share, modify, and distribute videos internally and/or externally.

  • Panopto is a good example of a Video CMS.

Digital Asset Management (or DAM, sometimes also referred to as Media Asset Management or MAM) is another category of asset management tool focused on working with all kinds of digital media, sometimes including video. Typically, DAM tools are used by brand, developer relations, and sales/marketing teams to ensure consistent brand identity, and provide indexes of current assets, version control, and similar workflows.

  • Canto is an example of a Video DAM system.

Note that usage of the terms CMS (Content Management System) and DAM (Digital Asset Management) are not well defined, and different companies may use the terms inconsistently. In general, both of these categories contain products that are focused on building a library of assets and making them easy to discover and use.

Recording

All videos at some point require getting content from the camera into a file, and there are several options for doing so:

  • Adobe offers the free Premiere Rush app, which also includes editing features. On the Mac, there is also iMovie.
  • Riverside.fm provides cloud-connected recording from their mobile app and will do the editing and transcription for you.
  • On mobile, there are products like ProCamera that enable more powerful recording options.
  • Reincubate Camo allows for using your phone as a webcam, to increase quality. Apple released a similar feature allowing you to use your iPhone as a webcam with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura.
  • vMix is the professional standard for producing streaming content outside of gaming; typically OBS (see below) will be used for gaming.
  • Tools like Loom, Zoom, and Teams are used often by enterprises for recording meetings. As far as enterprise demos, a lot of people make videos where they sit at their desks and talk. Loom probably makes this look the nicest of the available options, but you could imagine AI-powered editing making this look a lot nicer and generating visual interest, removing silences, and helping show relevant content at the right time.

There are several companies focused only on gaming, which provide not just video management capabilities but audience management as well (for example, merch stores, chat plugins, etc.) Some examples of companies in this space are:

Gaming tends to have big differences from all other kinds of video production because it’s more about “going live” and recording the gameplay. It’s much more ad-hoc than other kinds of video production.

Apps4rent offers hosted OBS instances in the cloud that you control locally but handle file backups and processing on their end. It’s a very simple, no-frills offering but one that already provides value for some users. They describe their advantage over solutions like Lightstream as “Lightstream doesn’t use much CPU space but fails to provide as many features as OBS. If you want to enjoy the tons of features offered by OBS studio without compromising the lightness and portability that Lightstream offers, you can do so by subscribing to dedicated OBS hosting plans offered by Apps4Rent.”

Hosting and distribution

The classic social media publishing targets are YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, but other products also specialize in hosting. Vimeo specializes in enterprise/corporate hosting, and Wistia specializes in hosting marketing-related videos with special analytics and call-to-action capabilities.

As far as streaming, YouTube offers streaming, and Twitch specializes in gaming. There are also professional streaming platforms like Wowza which are used for large events; additionally, internet CDN providers like Akamai can get involved in ensuring reliability and throughput for very large global events.

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