It’s not TV, it’s Salesforce+

Billy MacInnes is back from the future with the story of how a fledgling streaming service came good
Image: IDGNS

12 August 2021

Announcer: “And the award for best streaming site goes to….”

Compere: Wait, wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s go back to the beginning. Back to August 2021 and the announcement by Salesforce of plans to launch a streaming business TV service called Salesforce+ at its Dreamforce conference in September of that year.

Hard to believe isn’t it, standing here on this stage, looking around this emporium at the assembled great and good – and bad, ha ha – from the IT and media industry that one simple announcement would bring us to the heady heights – you might want to wipe your nose there sir – of where we find ourselves today.

Let me remind you of those prescient words uttered – for the sake of accuracy, I think they were printed – by Salesforce’s senior VP of brand marketing, Colin Fleming, that started it all just a few short years ago.

“The people watching Disney+, the people watching ESPN+, are the same people watching Salesforce content in a business setting, so why wouldn’t we follow that sort of direction? That’s really the genesis of this idea.”

Did someone call it Genesis 2.0?

“We see the content consumption models through Netflix and Peloton that are being developed and if that’s the future, then we should be first to market with that kind of thing and that’s exactly what you’re seeing us do,” Fleming added.

To think it all started from such humble beginnings: four broadcast channels – Prime Time, Trailblazer, Customer 360 and Industries – with just 100 hours of programming. Hard to believe how big it’s become since then.

When Fleming was asked whether other companies would follow Salesforce’s lead, he replied: “I think they’re probably going to watch this to see how successful it is. To be honest, I think we’ve generally tried to be first-to-market with these kinds of ideas. It feels right for us.”

Right for us? How little he knew.

So kudos to Salesforce for lighting the spark. And look where we are now. How many streaming services have we got today? Does anybody know for sure? We all know the big ones: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Dell, HPE, HP Inc, Samsung, Intel, Lenovo. But there are so many small independents and regional ones out there too.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the content, though. I mean, is it me or is it hard to get any actual work done in-between watching the biggest programmes from all the IT streaming sites? Work and play, play and work, it can be hard to know which is which sometimes, am I right?

It’s like the story a few years ago of a certain IT start-up – sorry, I can’t say which because I’ve been sworn to secrecy on the name – that launched its own streaming service at a very early stage because the CEO thought it would be a great way to promote the business. Anyway, after a year or so, he realised they were doing better at making programmes than tech so he ditched the IT and the company became a streaming service and now it’s one of the biggest in the world. How about that?

Now you look at some of the biggest IT companies in the world and they all have their own programme-making departments and production companies. Who would have thought?

Anyway, before I announce the winner of this year’s best IT streaming service award, let’s raise our glasses in a toast to the people who started it all.

To Salesforce!

Transcript provided by The IT streaming service awards (ITSSAs) 2028.

Like what you see?

Ireland’s ONLY dedicated news feed for the distribution and retail channel.

Our editorial mix includes channel news, trend analysis, Deals Done, regular ‘Channel Chat’ interviews and strategic product focuses. This is a vital medium through which the technology channel can network and identify new business opportunities.

Want more?

Read More:

Back to Top ↑