Two sides of a stream: SaaS vs. Advertising
We’re intrigued by today’s news from Google’s I/O conference about how YouTube is making their beta live video service more available to certain select parters (those with more than 1000 followers and are selected through an application process). While some view this as a competitive threat to Ustream, we see this development as complementary and it certainly validates the significance of LIVE as the next wave in online video.
Since 2007, Ustream has built an open technology platform that allows anyone to instantly transmit live broadcasts over the internet, using anything from a simple mobile phone app to the most sophisticated digital camera. Many cameras like those from Panasonic, Samsung and Logitech now come with Ustream built-in. It’s literally “point, shoot, and stream live to Ustream.” On the back end, we’ve built the most scalable and easiest to use live video platform in the world. With more than 200,000 broadcasters and 80 million viewers per month, we have scaled out live video in a way that no other player has approached. We monetize this open platform with subscriptions to our Pro Broadcasting service (SAAS) that we sell to businesses and organizations of all sizes — from local churches, schools and non-profits to Martha Stewart, Dell, Microsoft and Sony. From company press conferences to CEO townhalls. In other words, Ustream is utilized across industries and is the unquestioned leader in live.
Unlike others in the space, our freemium SaaS model doesn’t discriminate against “content creators” vs everyone else. Nowadays, everyone is a content creator, whether they are creating content as simple as a tweet or as complex as a regularly updated Tumblr page. Similarly, anyone that wants to stream live video fits under that same umbrella. Consumer and business trends are quickly evolving toward this idea of universal content production and Ustream provides everyone, both individuals and companies, with the toolkit to broadcast their message using whatever business model they choose. Some of our customers use ads or pay-per-view to monetize their broadcasts, but most don’t. They simply want to reach their audience of customers, or fans, or users to communicate using the best live video technology available.
Because we’re a SaaS company and have a big vision for live video as a universal communications and marketing platform, we don’t care if broadcasters have 1 or one million followers; we open our platform to anyone with a voice because we see live video streaming as a much deeper phenomenon than just another advertising play. Our freemium service gives voice to breaking news and events and empowers citizen journalists across the globe to share their experiences, from the Arab Spring in Cairo, to hurricane Sandy, to the Boston Bomber tragedy. We can do this because the economics of a Saas business and our vision to empower everyone with live video tools have driven us to build the world’s most scalable, live video platfom. Our proprietary Ustream Network network can instantly handle millions of users concurrently, and we’ve already hosted single events with more than 8 million viewers.
We’re in an incredibly exciting market, with lots of ways to slice a massive opportunity. For any additional questions, shoot me a tweet at @bhunstable or email our communications director, Joellen Ferrer.