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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sonic Foundry (SOFO): What's Behind Mediasite's 4th Consecutive Readers' Choice Award for "Best Webcasting/Presentation Solution"?

We hope to have brief commentary on Sonic Foundry (SOFO, $14.60) headed into fiscal fourth quarter results within the next two days. As a primer, those interested might revisit our August post, The Mediasite Franchise Alive and Kicking as Sonic Foundry is in the Black and Maintains Solid Outlook. In the meantime, we relay something else.

The other week, on 11/3/10, Streaming Media announced The 2010 Streaming Media Readers' Choice Award Winners and opened its press release with the following:
  • More voters, more votes, and more winners than ever before. The readers have spoken, and here are the winners.
  • Maybe it was something in the water. Maybe Streaming Media West's move from San Jose to Los Angeles had people more excited than usual about the event. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because 2010 saw more attention placed on online video than ever before.
  • But whatever the reason, the numbers in this year's Streaming Media Readers' Choice Awards blew away all previous editions. More than 7,000 voters cast more than 58,000 votes, which means each one cast their vote in an average of 8 of our 22 categories. By comparison, last year's awards drew just over 2,000 voters and a just over 5,000 votes.
Wow, the readership must be growing as Streaming Media certainly had a statistically significant sample size. AND, fantastic news, for the fourth consecutive year:
  • Best Webcasting/Presentation Solution
  • Sonic Foundry Mediasite
Sonic Foundry actually Webcast the awards ceremony for Streaming Media. As shareholders, we were/are pleased to see the continued recognition, which suggests that Mediasite is maintaining and likely gaining mind share around the world. This is consistent with the increased adoption we've recently highlighted by major companies such as Research in Motion (RIMM), as well as integration with third party systems such as TechSmith's Camtasia. We think more organizations are getting "the Mediasite Memo."

To illustrate our view on why Mediasite keeps winning the Streaming Media awards we share another, related point. For as long as we can remember, Sonic Foundry has advertised in Streaming Media Magazine (published bimonthly by Information Today, Inc.). The advertisements are usually 1.5 pages and wrapped around the magazine's masthead -- here is the ad from SM's October/November 2010 issue (click to enlarge):

It's a bit tough to read, so here's what the advertisement says (on right hand page):
You never have to worry about Mediasite. To me, Mediasite is more valuable than other webcasting options because it's so reliable and easy to use. For the viewer, for the presenter, for the technical team, it's plug and play. You can depend on it, and we absolutely do.

Helder Conde - Technical Director
Atitude Midia Digital, Brazil
BUT, this isn't just marketing propaganda. Mr. Conde has long been a proponent and significant user of Mediasite for large events in Brazil. He's also an active member of the Mediasite User Group.

For example, here's a great listen from Mr. Conde about his company's use of Mediasite (as well as other tools) for virtual events at this year's UNLEASH user conference:
Another, from UNLEASH 2009:
Finally, he participated in this Sonic Foundry Webinar (registration required):
In his UNLEASH 2010 presentation, he offered a revised definition of what Mediasite is:

From our perspective, he's spot on: Mediasite isn't just about efficiently capturing content, it's also about generating content for consumption, whether live or on-demand. This need should only increase with time and, in our view, has countless applications to improve life through the exchange of knowledge.

We think this is what's behind Mediasite winning the Streaming Media Readers' Choice Award for "Best Webcasting/Presentation Solution."


Happy investing,

Jeffrey Walkenhorst
CommonStock$ense

Disclosure: long SOFO.
© 2009 Jeffrey Walkenhorst
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