Webinar tools – the state of the market

I’ve been doing a lot of remote training this month, and quickly surveyed the landscape of webinar services.

For someone who needs to share their computer screen with someone out of the room, it’s a good time to be a buyer. There are a number of viable services which make it easy for your viewer (no downloads!), offer integrated audio conferencing, and have a good system for inviting people.

All prices approximate.

$50/month

  • Webex and GotoMeeting are the market leaders, and both offer a very polished experience for the viewer. If webinars are important to your business, you can’t go wrong with either.

 $10/month

  • YuuGuu. Requires you download a browser plugin, which is pretty standard for this space.
  • Zoho has been around for a while, and  “Meeting” is one of their suite of apps. It’s pretty effective. Screen redraws seemed a little slow when I tested them.

 Free

  • Skype. Only allows you to share your screen with one other person. Requires that the viewer have Skype installed; many people do already, but it’s not worth asking them to install it just for a webinar.
  • CRM gorilla Salesforce bought free webinar app Dimdim in early 2011, but shut it down in March. So cross Dimdim off your list. In its place we have…
  • Anymeeting. Formerly Freebinar, this is a relative newcomer in the space. Your viewers see ads alongside your screen.  My current favorite for one-off meetings.

 

 Update – January 20, 2012

Meetingburner, which was creeping out of Beta in 2011 and is now getting play at a Lifehacker bakeoff, is the new hotness. Free, no ads, and a somewhat more polished UI and design than Anymeeting. The two services are quite comparable, which is good because they will push each other for the near future. Consumers win.