Category Archives: Enterprise

New Features: Embed Configurator and Combined Embed

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Recently you may have noticed we’ve added a couple of new features: Embed Configurator and Combined Embed.

Why the new capabilities? We’ve been listening to our customers, who needed a more convenient way to embed videos on their websites as well as a more streamlined user experience.

  • Previously, the video player and the Videos tab had to be embedded next to each other on the Web page.
  • If visitors clicked on the video, it automatically took them to the Ustream page instead of allowing them to watch the video on-site.

If you’re an enterprise customer, now you’ll find on your dashboard a new Combined Embed.

First, you’ll be able to determine the type of embed you want to use:

  • Player: A standalone player with the live content of your channel
  • Social: Chat, social stream and widgets
  • Combined: A custom combination of the Player, Social and Video Gallery embeds

screen_shot_2014-12-18_at_15.32.37Once you select an option, you’ll be taken to the new Embed Configurator. There you’ll see a full-page interface featuring:

  • A full-size preview
  • A sidebar with configuration options
  • An automatically generated embed code that can be copied to your clipboard

screen_shot_2014-12-18_at_15.38.05Based on user feedback, our developer team has implemented the following improvements:

  • A large video gallery, with search options
  • A new https option for the Player, the Chat/Social Stream and the Combined Embed
  • Http/https protocol included in the embed code; this is useful for customers on systems such as WordPress, in which protocol-relative URLs cannot be used in embed codes

Please tell us what you think of the new features — we want to hear from you!

Aberdeen Research: Video Is Key to Rocking the “Hidden Sales Cycle”

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How can video impact sales before a potential customer even talks to a sales rep?

That was the question we answered in our most recent live webinar, featuring guest presenter Maribeth Ross, Chief Content Officer, Marketing Effectiveness and Strategy of The Aberdeen Group.

In “The Impact of Video on the Hidden Sales Cycle,” Maribeth explored the new role being played by content marketing in attracting new customers and the unique advantages that video offers in building those relationships.

Click here to watch the full webinar.

Here are some of our key takeaways from Maribeth’s presentation:

  • Today’s buyers hold more power than ever before. They’re hyper-informed, they’re self-educated, and by the time they speak with a sales rep, many of them have already made up their minds.
  • The “Hidden Sales Cycle” represents the very top of the sales funnel, when buyers are still in “research mode.”
  • Content marketing enables businesses to reach and build relationships with buyers in the Hidden Sales Cycle, by answering their questions and providing the information they’re after.
  • 95 percent of Best-in-Class marketers are using video as part of their content marketing mix.
  • Companies using video see a 4.8 percent average website conversion rate, compared to 2.9 percent for non–video users.
  • Companies using video demonstrate a 19 percent lower average cost-per-customer acquisition — $93 versus $115 for companies not using video.
  • There is a 65 percent difference in the number of deals closed between companies who use video and those who do not.

For more information about how video impacts the Hidden Sales Cycle, download the Aberdeen research paper.

Aberdeen Study: 95% of Best-in-Class Marketers Using Video

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Did you know …

  • … that 95% of Best-in-Class marketers are using video as part of their content marketing programs?
  • … that companies using video require 37% fewer visitors to achieve the same results as companies not using video?
  • … that video users spend 19% less per marketing-generated lead?

Those are just a few of the results from a new white paper published by the Aberdeen Group, The Impact of Video on the Hidden Sales Cycle.

“In today’s marketplace,” the report begins, “the buyers have taken control of their journey, leveraging the Web to conduct research and educate themselves at their own pace. This puts pressure on marketing to own and nurture the buyer relationship earlier and longer than they ever have before — a phenomenon that Aberdeen calls ‘The Hidden Sales Cycle.’”

No question about it: more companies are leveraging content in their marketing than ever before. As the field becomes more crowded, the question becomes how to differentiate — and that’s where video comes in. “The use of video, both live and on-demand,” the report states, “coincides with important increases in performance on key marketing metrics.”

To learn more about how video has become a game-changer in the content marketplace, you can read the Aberdeen white paper here.

 

 

Ustream Leading Change as Corporations Embrace Live Video

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SF article

“Ustream made a name for itself by giving tens of millions of people the ability to broadcast live video around the Internet for free,” writes Patrick Hoge in the San Francisco Business Times.

Not so long ago, that typical live-video broadcaster was some guy in his basement commenting about the latest gaming console.

To say that “times are changing” would be an understatement. More and more corporations are recognizing the power of live streaming video for internal and external communications, and many are turning to Ustream.

“Video has hit a tipping point,” Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable told Hoge. “Everyone is using Netflix, Amazon, HBO Go. What usually happens is consumer adoption leads enterprise adoption.”

Wainhouse Research analyst Steve Vonder Haar agrees that Ustream is headed in the right direction, predicting that business use of live video would rise from 1.12 billion hours in 2013 to 2.92 billion in 2017, with the technology industry being the largest consumer.

To learn more, read the article on the SFBT website or download our Multichannel Marketing whitepaper.

LinkedIn: Taking Care of Business Through Live Video

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Remember when LinkedIn was seen as just a place for job seekers to connect with employers? How times have changed …

While other social network companies struggle with their identities, LinkedIn remains the undisputed king of online business networking. The average LinkedIn user is educated, accomplished, and keenly interested in the latest insights from the business world — in other words, the perfect audience for live streaming video.

Several years ago, LinkedIn’s leadership embarked on an ambitious quest to join the ranks of Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other power players in the world of business content publishing and thought leadership. Beginning with articles from a handful of key influencers, the network quickly made the leap to live video on Ustream to take their program to a whole new level.

Today LinkedIn is one of the most active brands in the streaming video space, broadcasting several times each week to a variety of audiences.

LinkedIn Speaker Series

Through the LinkedIn Speaker Series, the social network is leveraging live video to strengthen its position in the thought-leadership sphere. Talks by Arianna Huffington, Barack Obama, Deepak Chopra, and other luminaries have been broadcast live from the LinkedIn campus to a global audience.

To date the LinkedIn Speaker Series channel has garnered more than 250 million views worldwide. Most recently, LinkedIn hosted its first live broadcast from its Singapore office, featuring David Lim, leader of the first Singapore Everest Expedition in 1998.

Job Seeker Webinars

Every month, the LinkedIn Job Seeker Webinar channel presents a live 60-minute webinar to teach job seekers — from recent grads to seasoned professionals — the strategies and best practices that can help them in their job searches.

Download our whitepaper and learn how you can leverage live video for internal communication.

IBM Selects Ustream to Power Video on New Platform

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Video has become a must-have feature for apps of all shapes and sizes. That’s why when IBM created its latest tool for app developers, they knew that video had to be a part of it. And when it came to choosing a video platform, they looked no further than Ustream.

Earlier this year, IBM introduced Bluemix, a new cloud offering that enables organizations and developers to quickly and easily create, deploy, and manage applications on the cloud. By using Bluemix, developers can shorten their development times, allow for flexible capacity, and address any gaps in internal tech resources.

Ustream is the first and only video platform available within IBM’s new offering. Developers using Bluemix can easily integrate video into their applications or simply use it for communicating the benefits of their business. Other benefits include:

  • Command-line and script-based control of video streaming to simplify development of video-intensive cloud apps
  • Greater freedom in customizing and controlling the way video is used and presented
  • Easy-to-find, easy-to-manage content and API keys via the user-friendly Ustream dashboard experience

To learn more, check out the IBM Cloud channel or download our whitepaper to learn more about Ustream’s solutions.

How to Amp Up Holiday Sales with LiveAd

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If you’re in the retail business, better start eating your Wheaties, because the holiday sales season is in full swing. And if you find it a challenge to get your marketing message heard during the rest of the year, standing out amidst the eardrum-busting pandemonium of the holiday season can seem like an impossible feat.

Hey, we get it. That’s why we created LiveAd, a game-changing online advertising solution for brands looking to amp up their video marketing strategy.

Video is one of the hottest trends in online marketing, and LiveAd lets you take it one step further by harnessing the excitement of live streaming and targeting the exact audience you want to reach. Since we launched the service just over a year ago, hundreds of Ustream clients have discovered just how powerful this combination can be — clients like HBO.

True-ly Impressive Impact

When HBO released Season 5 of its True Blood series on DVD, it promoted the launch through a “Live From the Set” streaming video event featuring stars of the show answering fan questions. Thanks to LiveAd, HBO was able to create an interactive ad that allowed a targeted audience to not only watch the stream, but also join chats on Facebook and Twitter — and, most importantly, click through to Amazon to place their orders immediately.

How effective was it? The event drew over 135,000 viewers who watched an average of 14 minutes … and it racked up more than 60,000 clickthroughs.

So if your holiday advertising strategy could use a little fresh blood (pardon the pun), think about adding a live video element to pump up your engagement … and your ROI.

To learn more, visit our LiveAd page or check out the DemandGen Report On-Demand Webinar.

 

The SMBs Heard ‘Round the World

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Not so long ago, your typical small business was a neighborhood mom-and-pop shop that served a small, local clientele.

Fast forward to 2014, and small businesses are just as likely as IBM to have a truly global presence, with team members and customers located around the world.

With a worldwide footprint comes the need to communicate with audiences thousands of miles away, which can be a challenge for lean-and-mean companies. That’s where Ustream comes in.

Ustream enables thousands of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to realize the benefits of live streaming video. Our clients include some of the most innovative, dynamic SMBs around — businesses like Foster City, California–based Zuora.

Founded in 2007 by three guys in a tiny office, Zuora enables businesses to launch and monetize subscription products and services through its subscription management software. Today the company employs more than 400 professionals at its headquarters in California and at satellite offices throughout North America, Europe, and China.

As you can imagine, managing a team whose locations span nine time zones can be quite a challenge, especially for a small business. How do you keep all your employees engaged and aligned with your mission while still keeping a small-company feel?

Zuora’s leadership found their solution in live streaming video, provided by Ustream. The company began broadcasting its weekly meetings, enabling employees around the world to offer input and ask questions in real time.

But that was just the beginning: Now the company uses Ustream live video to evangelize their brand message. Last year the broadcast of their Subscribed conference in San Francisco attracted more than 20,000 viewers. “That blew away our expectations,” says CMO Brian Bell. “We never expected to get that many watching it live and engaging in the conversation. In fact, it was so successful that when we did the event again in London, we also chose Ustream.”

Read more about Zuora and check out their Ustream channel.

Ustream, the only video platform in IBM’s Bluemix Platform

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Great news! Ustream is currently the first and only video platform that is available within Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform for developers. Developers leveraging the Bluemix platform can easily integrate video into their applications, or simply use it for communicating the benefits of their business. Thanks to the depth of Ustream’s APIs, the Ustream platform can be directly controlled from Bluemix with little hassle.

Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture, leveraging Cloud Foundry to enable cloud application developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their applications. IBM has partnered with some of the leading SaaS applications to make this possible.

Cloud applications built on Bluemix will

  1. Reduce time for application/infrastructure provisioning
  2. Allow for flexible capacity
  3. Help to address any lack of internal tech resources
  4. Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  5. Accelerate exploration of new workloads – social, mobile, big data

To learn more about Ustream’s offering in Bluemix, check out our entry in IBM’s Bluemix blog.

Live Video Bigger and Hotter Than Ever, Ustream CEO Tells International Business Times

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Following Amazon’s acquisition of video platform Twitch for $970 million, many in the business media are taking a rejuvenated interest in streaming video and the companies driving its popularity.

One of those journalists is Jeff Stone of the International Business Times, who recently spoke with Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable. (Read the full article here)

Hunstable emphasized that the success of Ustream is no mystery, that it can be attributed to smart business maneuvering and a commitment to openness, both online and in the real world.

He also asserted that “live streaming is bigger and hotter than ever,” citing as evidence Sony’s recent live-video launch of the Playstation 4, which attracted 4.8 million viewers with an average viewing time of 45 minutes. “That starts to look like a primetime TV audience,” Hunstable noted.

On the issue of copyrights and illegal streaming, Hunstable affirmed that Ustream is committed to protecting the assets of its customers with “actual human monitoring, real-time fingerprinting and also with systems and algorithms,” an effort that began with our Viacom and UFC partnerships.

With all its success over the last seven years, Ustream is remaining true to its roots. Hunstable founded the company in 2007 with the goal of helping troops overseas connect with their families, a cause that is still close to his heart. The company is one of the main champions behind the Oscar Mike Foundation, which assists veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and is exploring further opportunities for acting as “a force for good.”

Hunstable notes that he has become inspired “to get involved and have a role socially. We donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to citizen journalists on the ground in Ukraine. […] The Internet is a tool for new emerging democracies and societies, [and] it’s important to leverage our technology as a force for good.”

Read the full article here or download our Wainhouse Research white paper to learn how enterprises leverage live video for business communications.