Should have seen it coming...
Webinars and Zoom calls have now become a defacto way of life. Therefore, it should have been no surprise that Zoom launched its events marketplace last week, which involves allowing people to buy tickets for online events. I see this as a first part of a bigger plan that involves a gradual cannibalization of market share from companies such as EventBrite and XING, as well as a potential game changer for other industries such as education.
Event registration and management are incredibly commoditized processes and highly competitive on pricing. While it is relatively easy for Zoom to move into ticketing, the learning curve would be much steeper for companies such as Eventbrite and XING to acquire and successfully integrate good video conferencing / webinar capabilities.
The possibilities for Zoom going forward will be interesting:
Ticketing & Events (launch of On Zoom). Will this cannibalize market share from Eventbrite/XING?
Education (similar to Blackboard, Coursera and Masterclass). Is there a longer-term play at online learning and will this remain sustainable after recovery?
Telehealth. Should Zoom make a huge move into telehealth or continue to function as the reliable connector between telehealth companies and their customers?
Home electronics. Should they move into home appliances and electronics since video calls are going to be a huge part of our lives going forward? Check out Norwegian start up Neat.
In each of these scenarios, the question that Zoom needs to answer is whether it makes more commercial sense to (i) acquire capabilities in this area or (ii) better off playing the role of a technology enabler to their customers (and incumbents).