The New Microsoft Stream (2021)

Matt Kohn

November 23, 2020

Microsoft has been continuously modernizing the way that video assets are stored in Office 365. Users may previously recall storing videos in Office 365 Video, SharePoint itself, or the more recently launched Stream application; however, video is quickly becoming one of the most utilized forms of content in Office 365.

Video comes in the form of training videos, auto-recorded meetings, and other employee engagement. In this blog we will go over the current vision Microsoft has about establishing where video content ultimately is destined to be managed across Office 365 and what features will still be around when consuming video.

Why is the vision changing?  

The year 2020 has certainly been a wild one. The presence of COVID has understandably caused an explosion of Teams meeting and video sharing and put a spotlight on the importance of managing video content more than ever. In fact, deeper integration of Microsoft Teams has been driving so much more video usage that Microsoft acknowledges the more recent Stream application setup does not align as well with fundamental application in M365.  

Because groups and channel provisioning within Stream is fundamentally different from other areas of permissions in M365, it causes a continuous learning curve to educate users on a foreign way of organizing video content than they’re used to in applications like SharePoint or OneDrive.  

Other limitations of Stream include the inability to have more advanced organization and branding of video content, along with establishing more custom content types around their videos. While new Stream features are very favorable, they are only available when users upload them in the Stream application, making a migration from existing content in SharePoint or Teams a big headache.  

The New Stream  

The good news is that Microsoft is expanding the power of Stream across the entire ecosystem. This means that Stream features are going to apply across all videos in the system, not just the ones uploaded in the Stream App. The Stream app will playback video using the same model of office web apps which will feel much more familiar to users working in SharePoint and other content management areas.  

Additionally, videos will not need to be stored in the Stream application anymore. The application will leverage SharePoint as its video repository, which means that the standard M365 compliance, governance, permissions, external sharing, and integration opportunities you know to expect from SharePoint will apply to the video! Housing the content in SharePoint means users are better poised to setup custom branded video portals right within their intranets for various purposes, then customize those custom video playback experiences, all with the newer capabilities and end-user tools that the classic Stream has more recently introduced.  

This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the technical changes that will be coming next year to the M365 ecosystem. Expect more blogs to discuss the specifics of additional features, merging functionality, and migration road mapping. You can get a jump on many of these details by checking out the additional resources at the end of this blog.  

Takeaways  

  • Office 365 Video became classic Stream, but now classic Stream is becoming New Stream!  
  • Stream Videos will no longer be uploaded to a siloed repository in classic Stream with links to share out to other applications. Videos will be stored in either OneDrive or SharePoint and align with more traditional permissions setup that users already have established for frictionless sharing.  
  • SharePoint will roll out enhanced video portal templates to set up and customize areas of playback related to events, divisions, and other custom classifications.  
  • Stream adopting the web application interface means that playback will have a consistent and uniform feel with all the best features from classic stream, no matter where you play a video in M365.
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