From the Inside Out: From One Ustreamer to Hundreds of Thousands

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Last night, we witnessed another example of the power and proliferation of citizen journalism, and I’m proud that we were able to provide a platform to empower individuals to do so. In the wee hours of the night, citizen journalists broadcasted the SB5 bill proceedings in Texas, allowing hundreds of thousands into the courtroom in real-time via the online streams. This filled a void for many, as traditional media outlets instead littered their programming with infomercials and re-runs that have become the standard for late-night television.

One Ustreamer in particular, ChristopherDido, quickly went viral, as his live mobile stream circulated across social networks and reached more than 275,000 captivated viewers. In case you missed it, below are two highlights from his stream.

Wendy Davis addresses the crowd after filibuster success:

Video streaming by Ustream
 Wendy Davis and the Democratic Caucus speak to the crowd and give thanks: 

Video streaming by Ustream

Long-Form Versus Short-Form

This brings us to a larger conversation about video length — throughout the proceedings, live video streams popped up in long-form (content over 7 minutes in length) and short-form (content under 7 minutes). Short-form is great for distributing snackable content; however in this instance, long-form proved to be the most engaging viewing experience because viewers were able to watch the events unfold without interruption. Cisco recently released their Visual Networking Index: Forecasting and Methodology, 2011-2016, which touched on some interesting stats around this topic. In 2013, they forecast that consumers will watch nearly 5 times more long-form than short-form content, and the numbers continue to grow.

The power of long-form content centers around heightened engagement levels, particularly when events are live. ChristopherDido’s stream exemplified this very notion, and what pulled it all together was the social media layer that came alongside it. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for more citizen journalists and we’ll report back more of our finds.

- Brad Hunstable @bhunstable

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Brad Hunstable founded Ustream more than six years ago with a vision to bring live broadcasting technology to the entire world; Ustream was originally created to connect military service members to family and friends across the world. Since then, the company has established itself as a socially-fueled communications platform for businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals of any size to easily reach an infinite audience and share experiences in real-time.

Brad serves as Ustream’s CEO and has grown the company to more than 250 employees and 80 million users globally. He has been ranked among 50 “Digital Power Players” by the Hollywood Reporter and on Variety’s Producers Guild of America’s Digital 25: Visionaries, Innovators and Producers for his work at Ustream. Brad is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds an MBA from The Ohio State University.

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