View only attendees are coming to Teams Meetings!

Microsoft Admin Center / Message Center got a bulletin today that view-only attendees are coming to Microsoft Teams meetings. On default these are OFF and need to be enabled by Teams Admins.

Some points from the bulletin

  • Applies if organizer has E3, E5, A3 or A5 license
  • Until end of June 2021 there can be 20 000 view-only attendees
  • Beginning 1st of July there the number is reduced to 10 000
  • Attendees can use any Teams Meeting capable client (Desktop on Windows/Mac, Teams on the web or Teams mobile (Android & iOS)
  • First 300 (currently) attendees in the Teams meeting are interactive. After that people get to attend as view-only
  • Attendee counts will not be reflecting people attending in view-only mode
  • Make sure attendees can bypass the lobby (turn Lobby off if you expect > 300 attendees)
  • Available later February / Early March
  • I was already able to run the PowerShell command to enable Streaming Attendee mode (it will be enabled by default).

Here is the bulletin text from Message Center in full:

Teams meetings to support view-only attendees

Message Summary

Microsoft Teams will soon support up to 20,000 meeting attendees as view-only participants when the attendee is accessing a meeting via a Teams desktop application (Windows or Mac), Teams on the web, or Teams mobile (Android and iOS). This feature applies to those with E5, E3, A5, or A3 licenses.

This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 65952.

When this will happen

  • Phase 1, a temporary increase to 20,000 view-only participants runs from late February through the end of June
  • Phase 2, view-only participant capacity will revert to 10,000 view-only participants the first of July 

How this will affect your organization

Currently, Teams meetings are limited to 300 users. If someone tries to join a meeting after it reaches capacity, they are unable to do so. With this update, meeting organizers who are assigned an appropriate license will be able to host a Teams meeting that has overflow capacity.

  • Up to 20,000 view-only attendees may join a meeting from late February through the end of June
  • Up to 10,000 view-only attendees may join a meeting after July 1, 2021

Similar to Teams Live Events limit increases, during this peak remote work time, we have temporarily increased attendee limits.

Meeting organizers will not see view-only participants in attendee counts or reports; this feature does not support the e-discovery of data. Organizers cannot remove view-only attendees from a meeting.

When a meeting organizer enables this overflow feature:

  • After a meeting reaches capacity (300 users), people will be able to join as view-only attendees, with the maximum number limited by the phase
  • View-only attendees will not impact the normal interaction available for regular attendees (those who joined before the meeting reached capacity).
  • Once the view-only attendee limit is reached, no additional view-only attendees will be able to join.

View-only attendees do not need a special SKU to join the meeting in a view-only capacity. However, they do need permission to bypass the Lobby based on set Lobby Policies or Options.

  • View-only attendees will follow all lobby and security policy mechanisms.
  • View-only attendees will have limited access to meeting features. For example, view-only attendees will be able to listen to all audio and view a screen or window shared during the meeting. However, they will be unable to share audio or video, and they will be unable to see chat or other applications that are shared during the meeting.

What you need to do to prepare

This feature is OFF by default for your users.

You may use PowerShell to enable this feature for your entire tenant while you prepare to assign the licenses.

  • Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -StreamingAttendeeMode Enabled

Note: The view-only attendance feature is provided using Teams live events streaming services.

Learn more

6 thoughts on “View only attendees are coming to Teams Meetings!

  1. Hi, Vesa
    Does this require a Teams Advanced Communications license (Advanced Comms SKU)?

    Like

  2. I think it was first mentioned from Microsoft that Teams Advanced Communications license was a prerequisite, but maybe they changed their mind!

    From this doc
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/view-only-meeting-experience?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5003326#related-topics

    There is related topics “Advanced communications add-on for Teams” but nothing else seems to be left from the earlier communicated info about license for this option.

    Also I noticed the StreamingAttendeeMode is enabled by default in my tenant.

    Like

    1. Yes – originally Advanced Communications Add-on was required but it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

      The view-only attendees is enabled by default.

      Like

  3. View-only attendees do not need a special SKU to join the meeting in a view-only capacity. However, they do need permission to bypass the Lobby based on set Lobby Policies or Options.

    Your list does not include the F3 license. Will users with an F3 license be able to join as a viewer? (The view-only experience is enabled by default for any organizer who has E3/E5/A3/A5 SKU.)

    Like

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