Explore the full 2023 list of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, 540 organizations that are reshaping industries and culture. We’ve selected the firms making the biggest impact across 54 categories, including artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, gaming, and more.
As streaming video has become an integral part of our lives, both in work and play, these companies are leading the way in pushing video capabilities to new limits. From improving the way we use everyday work tools such as Zoom to allowing us to shop while watching a TikTok video, these companies are making the video experience more seamless and pleasurable, not to mention utterly essential to the way we get through the day.
Twelve Labs, for instance, solved one of Zoom’s most vexing problems: how to search recorded videos for specific moments. The company does this by using its AI technology, which can track visual and audio cues. Loom, a short-form video platform, greatly reduces meeting times by leaning into asynchronous video and offering users handy tools such as speaker notes and the ability to comment at specific time codes. In the audio space, Riverside brings professional-level audio production to your iPhone.
Our off-hours are also benefiting from innovations in video. TalkShopLive has made shoppable video more turnkey for consumers and brands ranging from TikTok to Walmart. And iMemories has evolved beyond a company that transforms old, VHS home videos into digital assets; last year the company launched a Netflix-like app that allows users to store their personal videos on the cloud and watch them on TV with the push of a button.
At the same time, companies are showing how video has the power to create a deep, social impact by tapping into new audiences that have long been underserved. Canela Media is bringing free, original content to Hispanic viewers, while at the same time working with brands to create specialized programming directly aimed at Spanish speakers.
For TikTokking the workplace
As video has become a primary mode of communication among office workers since the pandemic, Loom has taken the trend even further. It is a short-form video platform offering new levels of customization and shareability that allows employees to exchange information and collaborate on projects in a fun and efficient way. Think of it as TikTok for work. New tools include a blur feature that allows users to hide confidential information in a document during a video presentation while keeping the other parts visible; speaker notes, which gives users the ability to remind themselves of key speaking points via a moveable window that doesn’t show up in the final video; and a feature that lets users comment on a specific time code. All of this adds up to less time spent in traditional video meetings. Name-brand customers include Netflix, Atlassian, HubSpot, and P&G’s Tide brand; when Tide adopted the Loom platform, the company’s meetings were reduced by 80%. In November 2022, Loom reported more than 18 million users at 350,000 companies. Together they had created 215 million Loom videos.
For giving advertisers an effective way to reach streaming viewers
Zigging where most streamers zag, Tubi offers a huge library of content (50,000 movies and TV shows in the U.S.) on its free, ad-supported platform. This huge portfolio has attracted advertisers hungry to get in on the streaming game, and Tubi serves those brands by offering more targeted ways to measure impact. For example, Tubi’s Campaign Insights informs advertisers not just that their ad was seen by 18- to-29-year-olds who watched dramas, but that the ad targeted the more specific category of Black History and Culture viewers. Tubi, which is owned by Fox, revealed in December 2022 that it has 64 million monthly active users, which makes it the leading free streaming service at a time when Netflix is slowly introducing a $6.99 per month ad-supported version and Disney+ is also likely to add its own lower-cost version of its streaming service with ads.
For creating a digital media outlet for an underserved audience
In the fall of 2022, Canela Media launched half a dozen original shows tailored for Hispanic audiences—including a Real Housewives–style unscripted series featuring iconic telenovela actresses—bolstering its status as one of the only streaming services fully devoted to Spanish-speaking viewers. Canela is equally specialized when it comes to working with brands. Rather than dubbing English-language commercials into Spanish, the company works with advertisers to create unique experiences such as Latinos in Hollywood Movie Night, a film series it launched with Lexus. Canela.TV now has 28 million unique users (less than two years after its launch), offering them more than 20,000 hours of content.
For being the Netflix of old family movies
In 2022, iMemories, which created a way to digitize old Super 8 film reels and Betamax videotapes, launched an app that lets users stream those photos and movies on their television screens. Available on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV, the app allows customers to browse through their family albums as though they were scrolling through Netflix. The innovation helped iMemories’ increase sales 26% in 2022 and add 82,384 new paid subscribers, who pay $5.99 per month or $49.99 per year for the service.
For making online video interactive in a compelling, easy-to-use way
In June 2022, Vimeo, which caters to professional and corporate video creators, launched a suite of interactive tools that allows a user—from a creator to a full-fledged brand—to turn their websites into proactive experiences with shoppable video, customized overlays, quizzes, and add-to-cart buttons. Food and cooking website Food52 and the International Food Policy Research Institute both turned to Vimeo to create more engaging video content, significantly increasing engagement. Since the debut of Vimeo Interactive, nearly 5,500 interactive videos have been created using the tools, with an average of three interactive actions each. For 2022, the company grew overall revenue 11% year over year to $433 million, and enterprise revenue growth, which includes Vimeo’s interactive push, was up 69%.
For letting anyone create high-quality video and audio content from anywhere
Remote video and audio platform Riverside allows users to record studio-quality podcasts, keynote speeches, and video presentations using their phone or browser, making it a trusted brand for creators. In the last year, the company has rolled out new features that make recording on the run even more seamless: Magic Editor streamlines the process of recording, editing, and uploading, and SmartSpeakerview automatically switches between speakers for video editing while ignoring sounds like coughs or sneezes. In April 2022, Riverside partnered with Spotify to power its video podcasting creation capabilities, and it’s been adopted by everyone from Marvel to Tim Ferriss.
For tapping local crews to streamline film and TV production
Hometeam simplifies projects for film and TV production companies by working with local crews to shoot footage, which is then edited using Hometeam’s cloud-based production tools. In 2022, Hometeam worked with NBC’s American Song Contest to film all of the show’s contestant stories across 50 states—without needing to send crews around the country, which saved on airfare, hotels, and per diems, expenses that can balloon to tens of thousands of dollars. The company also strives to build diverse teams: On a recent HBO Max project that focused on women’s empowerment stories, Hometeam built female-majority crews across 10 different shoots. The company has projects with Apple TV+ and Discovery+, and has done commercial and branded content work for such corporate clients as Google and Lego.
For making shoppable video a turnkey experience for brands, consumers, and creators
TalkShopLive has become the go-to platform for shoppable video for such brands as Microsoft, Walmart, and TikTok, based on its easy UI, extensive data and analytics, and features like smart contracts for publishers and creators. In 2022, TalkShopLive partnered with Walmart to launch Black Owned Business Week, which shared the stories and products of Black-led companies whose goods it carries. In November 2022, the company introduced livestream window shopping, with celebrity partners such as Dolly Parton and Gloria Estefan selling their wares in New York retail shop windows. (Passersby could scan the videos to purchase what they saw.) The following month, TalkShopLive became the first livestream shopping app to offer in-store pickup, in partnership with Best Buy. TalkShopLive’s publisher-partner network grew tenfold in 2022, with partners reporting a 1,500% to 3,000% sales lift from the company’s content.
For making video searchable
It can be hard to recall the exact words someone used during a Zoom meeting, and even if the session was recorded, going back and listening to the whole thing over again is not something a lot of people ever want to do. But, there’d been no alternative. Until now. Rather than having to pore through a Zoom recording to find a specific moment, Twelve Labs‘ AI technology allows users to type in a word or phrase to track down the instances where it was used. The software is able to read visual and audio cues and transform them into a machine-readable format, which essentially makes searching video akin to querying Google. In 2022, the company launched its “API playground,” which lets anyone upload videos and search them using Twelve Labs’ AI without having to write a single line of code.
For seizing the airwaves
Didja operates LocalBTV, which gives viewers in a given market free access to local independent over-the-air stations, community TV broadcasts, a smattering of national over-the-air networks, and international language offerings. All this content can be watched via a mobile app or on the big screen via connected TV accessories such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku. (The company, which started in 2017, has elided the fate of 2010s-era services such as Locast by getting permission from station owners and avoiding the major network affiliates that would seek a hefty fee to share its signal.) After having beta tested its service in six markets, LocalBTV expanded in 2022 to almost 50 markets, from Alexandria, Virginia, to Wichita, Kansas. For consumers, Didja adds the convenience of a cloud-based DVR to its live viewing experience. For the networks, in addition to a transmission fee, they get viewing data that they would not otherwise get from a customer accessing its signal via an antenna. And in March 2022, LocalBTV introduced dynamic ad insertion, allowing the broadcasters on its channel lineup to refresh or even replace the ads that it delivers to viewers watching via LocalBTV, creating a fresh revenue source for these networks.