Microsoft Stream Seismic Changes | Storage, Auto-expiration & More You Need to Know

For those of us confused and potentially heartbroken by the news that Microsoft Stream (Classic) is going away, we leave you with a classic tune from Dolly Parton, reimagined:

 

“Islands in the Stream
That is what they are
Recordings not Teams

or SharePoint, that’s wrong.
Sail away with Stream to a better world
we can rely on integration, ah-ha
from one app to another, ah-ha”

 

Microsoft has made it clear that no Microsoft 365 app is an island. And for those of us who enjoyed the functionality of Microsoft Stream (Classic) (yes, we’ve got another ‘classic’ Microsoft product and we’ll break that down for you), the new Stream looks to streamline the video features much like the rest of the suite, empowering users to leverage the holistic vision and capabilities of a digital workspace powered by SharePoint and Microsoft Graph.


Uncharted Waters

Back in September 2020, Mary Jo Foley gave us all fair warning, “Microsoft Stream users get ready to migrate again.

Microsoft describes the new Stream as an “intelligent video app in Microsoft 365 … being re-imagined and rebuilt to integrate seamlessly with applications across the suite, so you can create, share, discover, and manage video as easily as any Office document.” For a rundown of the differences between Classic Stream and the New Stream on SharePoint, check out this Microsoft documentation.


Fish out of water?

Stream (Classic)? If you’re scratching your head, you’re not alone. Let’s break it down.

According to Microsoft, the new version of Microsoft Stream is “Microsoft Stream (on SharePoint)”. Some features you may be used to in Stream (Classic) will be modified and/or removed in Stream (on SharePoint). Stream (Classic) will eventually go away, though a retirement date for Stream (Classic) has yet to be set.

Fortunately, Microsoft has clearly stated that, only after the needed features are built in Stream (on SharePoint), and a migration tool is provided will full capabilities, will they announce a retirement date. At that point, we can expect a 9-12 month notice.


Full Stream Ahead!

Some big changes are underway already.

According to Microsoft, incrementally, beginning August 16th, 2021, yes, just a few days ago, all users will no longer be able to store meeting recordings in Stream (Classic). They will be stored in SharePoint moving forward.

This sounds awesome, right?

Now we can take advantage of the power of SharePoint file storage with video! Well, that’s partially true, but there are some big gotchas.


Getting into Hot Water

For starters, this means Teams recordings will no longer be automatically uploaded to Stream (Classic) even if your organization explicitly set a policy to utilize Stream (Classic).

There’s also no formalized or clear migration strategy or a released and complete migration tool. Videos you currently house in Stream (Classic) will not be automatically migrated, and a migration tool to do so does not yet exist.

Based on what Microsoft has shared of their recommended migration strategy, which they call a “work in progress”, leads us to believe you should hold off on migration until they finalize their recommendations and the new tool, based on their Mover migration tool, is fully developed. As stated, once you migrate a video, you will not be able to migrate it again.


Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater

Currently, Stream (on SharePoint) is also missing many of the core features that made Stream (Classic) so powerful. The one most of our clients (and we) are concerned about are transcripts (which is on the roadmap, thankfully).

Auto expiration is also of concern, as we have not seen a clearly defined path from Microsoft on how to override this, though we have some recommendations below.


The Well Runs Dry

Auto-expiration is on the roadmap and looks to be rolling out as early as September. According to Tony Redmond, meetings will be by default set to auto-expire after 60 days. And because the expiration date is stamped in the file properties when the TMR is created, moving the file to a new library won’t do anything to stop auto-expiration.

So, according to Tony, if you don’t want recordings to expire, you either must “a) remove the expiration date or b) assign a retention label.” You can override the 60-day expiration date by setting up retention policies either for the meeting recordings or the folder where the recording is stored.

This concept of auto-expiration sounds very strange to us, and one that most of our clients are concerned about as well. This “feature” is going to land soon in your tenant, you want to be prepared with a plan that fits your organization.


Come on in, the water’s fine.

There is a greater expansion by Microsoft on auto-expiration from the roadmap, You should be able to set up policies to override the default auto-expiration policy. A specific comment that eases our fears a bit states, “If you do not like this new feature, you can extend the default expiration date via the Admin Portal. Remember that Microsoft will notify administrators when a recording is about to delete from the cloud. After a meeting has expired, IT admins will be able to retrieve that file within 90 days via Admin Portal or PowerShell scripts.”


Change Horses Mid-Stream

Yes, you read that right.

Based on what we’ve heard so far, our recommendation is to start preparing for these changes as soon as possible and pivot with Microsoft. Unless your organization explicitly postponed the change over to the new Stream, recordings are already likely stored in SharePoint by now.


Navigable Waters

So, now’s the time to rethink your path forward. Microsoft states they will provide us the tools we need to migrate, and there are workarounds for missing features (like transcripts) for the interim if your team is invested in them (like ours is).

Does your team need assistance setting a strategy for the recent and upcoming changes? A PixelMill Microsoft 365 expert would love to chat with you today!

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