On the surface, Panopto and Microsoft Stream appear to be very similar solutions for recording, managing and sharing your organization’s videos. There are, however, a number of fundamental differences that may impact your ability to scale and deliver live and on-demand video. If you’re considering an alternative to Microsoft Stream, Panopto offers a more complete feature set that can better support any organization’s unique video communication needs.


Understanding the Differences Between Microsoft Stream (Classic) and the New Microsoft Stream

In September 2020, Microsoft announced the formation of a new Microsoft Stream product and the end-of-life (EOL) of the current Microsoft Stream, now renamed Microsoft Stream (Classic). Microsoft Stream (Classic) will sunset and no further product investments will be made. New Stream is not yet available, and does not have an announced date.

When compared to the prior Stream product, the new Stream product will have significant product deficiencies, including reduced playback quality, no mobile playback, no screen recording, no video search, no captioning, and no embed codes. Customers who migrate to new Stream will also find that all existing links and embed codes will break one year after retirement date. The migration path is complicated and may require multiple migrations. If you are an existing Stream (Classic) customer, or are considering new Stream, we recommend you understand and consider their announcement, product features, and roadmap.


Bundling Stream with Office 365 Doesn’t Provide the Benefits You’d Expect

Microsoft Stream, even when bundled with Office 365, lacks many of the productivity benefits that video offers for collaboration and communication. It does not include the features, capabilities, and third party integrations organizations need to make video easy and manageable.

Stream, for example, cannot be integrated with solutions outside of the Microsoft platform, including essential Learning Management Solutions (LMSs) such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Cornerstone, Saba, Bridge, and Brightspace that many organizations use to track viewing completion. It does not support integration with mission-critical enterprise solutions such as Salesforce, Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Slack.

The reality is that Stream is primarily intended as a video playback experience for Microsoft Teams users, not a solution for video creators, content managers, or administrators.


Furthermore, because Stream is included with Office 365, several organizations consider it to be “Free.” But is it?


Stream’s High (Hidden) Total Cost of Ownership

When comparing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Panopto vs. Stream, many discover Panopto is substantially more affordable because Microsoft Stream has hidden storage, productivity, administration, and support costs that are especially high for large organizations.

Additional storage, productivity, administration, and support costs of Stream can be more than $350,000/year for an organization with over 10,000 employees. Administration can be costly given the heavy dependency on the Office 365 tenant administrator to change Stream settings or permissions. This does not include the additional costs that will be incurred from maintaining Stream (Classic) during its EOL period and migrating to New Stream. With this shift to New Stream from Stream (Classic), organizations will have to absorb high migration costs and a significant loss of employee productivity, both for administrators and users. Administrators should be wary of the implications of using an end-of-life and/or significantly under featured video product.

In August 2020, Microsoft also introduced new changes for certain types of education customers that eliminate support for cloud recording in Stream. This means that many of these customers may need to upgrade to more expensive licensing plans, and also closely watch their Azure storage costs. You can read more about these new changes here.


Panopto Offers More for Your Money

The comparison table below summarizes the feature differences between Panopto and Microsoft Stream. In addition to third party support and total cost of ownership, there are significant differences in capabilities:

  • Recording and video input sources
  • Editing
  • Data & analytics
  • Search
  • Departmental vs. IT administration flexibility & ease-of-use
  • Deployment limitations
  • Licensing
  • Content management
  • Webcasting

Compare Microsoft Stream and Panopto



Microsoft Stream (Classic)

New Microsoft Stream

Video Creation, Editing & Tracking

Record from PCs ?
Record from Macs ?
Record from mobile devices ?
Basic webcam recording ?
Basic screen recording No
One-click recording from a website with no plug-ins to install, software to download, or sign-in required ?
Multi-source recording ?
Distributed recording ?
Upload existing video and audio files ?
Non-destructive video editing ?
Full-featured video editor ?
Edit videos in any web browser ?
Auto-upload recordings ?
Share videos with anyone ?
Video viewing and engagement analytics ?
SCORM support ?
Automatic framing when recording ?
Review and approve videos prior to publishing ?

Viewer Experience

Full playback scale and performance No
Create interactive video quizzes inside videos ?
Manage videos in a YouTube-like portal ?
Watch videos on any device, including mobile ?
Easily generate video embed code No
View transcripts, closed captions, and subtitles No
Change video playback speed (0.5x-2x) No
Channels No
Quizzing and note taking in the video player No
Dedicated mobile app No
Search videos for any word spoken or shown in the video No
Engage in discussions with other video viewers ?
Add comments with other video viewers ?
Auto-generated table of contents for skimming through video contents or jumping ahead ?

Administration & Third Party Integration

Single sign-on with any user identity provider ?
Single sign-on with Office 365 ?
Integrates with your learning management system (LMS) ?
Record and webcast online meetings from Zoom, Skype for Business, GoToMeeting, and BlueJeans ?
Integrates with your customer relationship management solution (CRM) ?
Conveniently share videos with all members of your organization ?
Conveniently share videos with all members of your team or department ?
Add human-generated captions for ADA accessibility compliance ?
Customize your video portal with your logo and brand identity ?
Departmental workspace for managing your team's videos ?
Works with your existing video capture appliances and live encoders ?
Departmental access control for users and groups ?
Centralized IT access control for users and groups ?
Centralized IT access control by Office 365 admin only, for users and groups ?
Extend the video platform with developer APIs ?
Custom implementation and security consultation ?

Total Cost of Ownership & Support

New customer onboarding and training ?
Adequate video storage included with license ?
Specialized product support for your video management solution only ?
Product support for video management solution bundled with Office 365 ?

Streaming, Webcasting & Scheduling

One-click live streaming in application ?
One-click live streaming from PCs, Macs, or mobile devices ?
Streaming enabled by Office 365 IT Tenant Admin and Live Events Admins only ?
Video streaming host included in license ?
Video streaming viewers included in license ?
Pause and rewind live webcasts ?
Schedule and remotely control your recordings and live events ?

Dive deeper into how Microsoft Stream compares to Panopto in our detailed technical white paper. In the white paper, we cover 18 questions you should consider when evaluating Microsoft Stream across the following:

  • Video Creation, Editing, and Tracking
  • Viewer Experience
  • Administration & Third Party Integration
  • Support & Total Cost of Ownership
  • Streaming, Webcasting & Scheduling

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