Videoconferencing company Zoom launches ZoomOn, its new live events platform where users can take classes, attend concerts, and watch events from home.
ZoomOn will be home to events that would typically be held in-person, had the Coronavirus pandemic not disrupted them. Similar to an in-person event, attendees will pay to partake in ZoomOn sessions, with each event capped at 1,000 viewers. ZoomOn is currently available only for U.S. users, who can create, host, and attend events on the platform. Users can also search for certain events or peruse recommended ones, including art classes and improv shows. Zoomers can also gift tickets to friends or fellow users and rate their event experiences. There is no set price or duration for events, giving hosts the freedom to create and monetize however they’d like and giving users the option to filter what kind of event they are looking for.
ZoomOn arrives on the heels of a video chat surge this year, as everything from classes to business meetings converged on Zoom. The sudden boom in business created a captivated audience, which Zoom could further appeal to through its events platform. Offering live, paid events could help Zoom differentiate itself from fellow video platforms such as WebEx, Microsoft Teams, and Skype, which have also seen usage surges during the pandemic. Additionally, ZoomOn could help Zoom maximize consumer engagement and open up an additional revenue stream that the brand could build upon for years to come, according to a Gartner report. The events platform could help Zoom boost loyalty with its users, which in turn could keep them coming back even after “normal”, in-person life resumes. Zoom’s virtual events are similar to recent initiatives from Facebook, Amazon and Airbnb, which bring recreational and travel experiences to homebound consumers via smart screens. By tapping into consumer demand for entertainment and engagement, Zoom could grow its user base and boost time spent on its platforms.
Expanding beyond online classes and family video chats to include paid, live events could help Zoom become a video mainstay, even after the pandemic subsides. By laying the groundwork now, Zoom could build up a loyal audience of attendees and become a tech leader in live events.