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LogMeIn Revamps GoToWebinar Platform

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LogMeIn Revamps GoToWebinar Platform
    

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4 Sep 2018
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LogMeIn this week is firing a competitive salvo into the market for self-service online events with the introduction of a revamped GoToWebinar service and the formal launch of an associated site designed to showcase archived webinar content.

Most important among the product updates is the general release of LogMeIn’s GoToStage portal for presenting archived replays of webinar content. The GoToStage offering, released in its trial version late last year, is designed to be a destination that aggregates archived versions of live events presented via GoToWebinar into an on-demand portal.

LogMeIn views GoToStage as a potential differentiator that enhances the value of licensing the GoToWebinar platform by providing a venue that drives additional viewership for webinar content even after a live event is finished. Roughly 2.7 million webinars are produced on the GoToWebinar platform annually, company executives say, providing enough content to build a critical mass of valuable business-related information.

I generally buy the concept that aggregating GoToWebinar content in a single archive can help unearth some highly valuable business presentations that otherwise would be buried by the sheer volume of content on the web. (As part of this week’s product update, LogMeIn said it is launching a beta version of an automated transcription service that will convert speech into written text, making it easier for viewers to search for relevant content.)

The ultimate value of GoToStage for GoToWebinar’s licensees, however, eventually will hinge on its ability to generate added on-demand viewership for content creators using the platform.

Certainly, the idea of capturing and packaging live webinars for on-demand replay is not a new idea. But the sheer volume of high-value business-oriented content generated on the GoToWebinar platform at least gives GoToStage a fighting chance at building the type of critical mass that would make it an appealing destination for viewers hunting for presentations addressing specific business topics.

One potential source of viewers is to promote on-demand content to users that register and attend live GoToWebinar sessions on similar topics. That may boost viewership in an incremental way.

But, in order to drive enough traffic to make GoToStage a true differentiator for its customers, LogMeIn likely will need to employ some ninja-like search engine optimization to get videos to rank high enough on Google search queries on specific topics to drive traffic to GoToStage. It’s not an impossible task. Cross-linking related videos on GoToStage certainly creates opportunity to rise in search rankings. Even so, driving traffic to GoToStage likely will stand as the portal’s most significant challenge in its early days.   

The product update for the GoToWebinar platform itself mostly applies polish to previous shortcomings in the administrative interface for a one-to-many meeting platform that is now licensed by more than 50,000 organizations. One example: Requests to schedule webinar events that previously would spawn new browser windows for users now are managed in a self-contained, single page interface.

Other features added in the GoToWebinar update include an expansion of audience analytics reporting tools that allow for aggregation of viewership results across a series of webinar events, along with an enhanced administrative dashboard for planning and tracking an organization’s entire schedule of webinars.

In addition to the product updates, it would not surprise me to see LogMeIn tinker with its pricing structure in the weeks ahead. Prior to the product update, GoToWebinar’s website featured pricing / service plans ranging from $89 monthly to $499 monthly-based on contract commitments of at least a year. While LogMeIn executives have not yet committed themselves to specific changes in licensing terms, they have expressed interest in experimenting with different pricing models for GoToWebinar.

Note that LogMeIn uses different technology platforms for GoToWebinar and its flagship GoToMeeting collaboration service. None of the product updates announced this week will impact the GoToMeeting offering.