Category Archives: Product

Pay-Per-View and Subscriptions Update

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Hey, Sol from the product team here. I’m excited to announce some improvements to our Pay-Per-View and Subscription products, launching today.

Improved Pay-Per-View and Subscriptions Purchase Flow

We’ve updated our purchase flow so that the entire purchase process lives inside the player. The improved purchase flow will make it easier and faster to purchase access to paid events; we hope you’ll like it as much as we do. To see how the new purchase flow looks, check out our upcoming UFC event (just make sure to only complete the purchase if you want to watch the show).  Take a look at the difference between our old purchase flow and new purchase flow below

New Purchase Flow (One-Step)

Old Purchase Flow (Multi-Step)

Step 1

Step 2


Embedding your Pay-Per-View or Subscription Channel on your Website

If you’re embedding your Pay-Per-View or Subscription show on your website, when a user wants to purchase a ticket they’ll never have to leave your page.  The entire purchase process will work inside of the embedded player.  Note that this is currently a feature we’re only offering to our premium Per-Per-View Broadcasters.

To learn more about our premium Pay-Per-View and Subscription product offerings, please contact our sales team.

Keep Streaming!

Ustream

This Week in Product: Identity Selector

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Peter from the product team here with a big question for you: Do you lead a double life?

On Facebook, you’re a mild-mannered bank employee. You go to work at 8:30; you are home by 5. You have 2.06 children. You will probably live 78.37 years.

But on Twitter, you’re a legend. You’ve got a Ustream channel and your weekly show hits 10,000 viewers. You’re larger than life, and you’ve got an attitude to match.

A problem arises when you want to interact in the Social Stream: you can’t reveal your identity on Facebook — your real identity — but you’ve used it to login.

Here at Ustream, we’ve got you covered. Someone like you needs an Identity Selector. Besides a ridiculous name that we may have stolen from Minority Report, here’s what it looks like:

To use the identity selector, just click your icon next to the text input field. Out slides a control panel with your various “identities” to display. If you’ve connected them to Ustream, they’ll show up. And of course, your Ustream account is one of those identities.

To select an identity, just click the radio button next to the identity you wish to use. It will automatically save.

What does it do? When you select an identity, it loads your picture from the social network you selected. It does not change what social networks you post to. To do this, simply check or un-check those boxes below the text input area when you’ve closed the identity selector.

You can also manage banned users. While on your own channels’ social stream, you will see the users you have banned and can un-ban them quickly. (Tip: ban or ignore users’ messages by mousing over them in the social stream. You can only do this on your own channel.)

Enjoy this new feature, and be sure to check out our Premium Memberships product if you want to stand out and watch Ustream commercial free!

This Week in Product: A New User Dashboard

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Hello there! I’m Alden from Ustream’s Product Team. We have revamped your Ustream dashboard to make it even easier for you to manage your Ustream channel, and I want to highlight a couple of features you may not be using yet:

Default Channel

  • If you have more than one channel, you can now choose a “default” channel.  Simply choose your desired channel the first time and now you can access all your important settings directly from the dashboard landing page.


Schedule Events


Recorded Videos


Off Air Settings

  • Did you know you can set one of your recorded videos to play automatically when your fans visit your Ustream page?  You can also set up a slideshow with messaging about your upcoming events.  You can set this up using the “Off Air Settings” menu.  Click here for step by step instructions to set this up.



Happy Ustreaming!

If you have any feedback on our new dashboard, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at feedback@ustream.tv!

Ustream Premium Memberships – Keep the Fun, Cut the Ads

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Hey Ustreamers, my name is Jordan and I’m a product manager here at Ustream. Let me tell you a little story (that’s right… we do story time here at Ustream). When I first joined Ustream a little over a year ago, I was really excited to be able to see all the great content on the site. As luck would have it, my first week on the job there was a shuttle launch — pretty cool right?

Unfortunately, as soon as I landed on the channel page I was greeted by a 30 second commercial which obscured my view of the launch. By the time the commercial was over the space shuttle was just a spec in the sky, heading off into space (insert sad trombone).  As you can see, we all wish that we didn’t have to show these advertisements on Ustream, but we have to keep the lights on somehow, right?

I’m not alone here; many other loyal Ustreamers have voiced the same frustration. We’ve heard from fans that tune into popular channels such as the SF Shiba Puppy Cam and the Decorah Eagle Cam they would like to watch their favorite shows without interruption.

So, here by popular demand, I’m excited to announce the launch of Ustream Premium Memberships, a brand new service that lets you watch all of your favorite shows without advertisements. For $3.99 per month, you get:

  • Unlimited Commercial-Free Viewing – Never miss a moment of your favorite Ustream shows – you’ll stay live when everyone else cuts to commercial. Commercial free viewing also removes display ads throughout the site, so you won’t have to worry about distracting banners while you watch.
  • Premium Social Stream – Wanna stand out in the crowd? Premium members get special badges in the social stream, bold text, and a premium watermark. You’re sure to catch Justin Beiber’s eye when he’s answering questions from the social stream!

  • Premium Profile Icon: You’ll also get a premium members badge on your profile page–sure to elicit envy from fellow Ustreamers.

We’re really excited about this new service, and hopefully it will improve your viewing experience on Ustream. You can sign up now at our Premium Memberships page for only $3.99 a month.

On a side note, if you are a broadcaster looking to make your channel ad-free for everyone, you can check out our Ad-Free Broadcasting Page for more information.

Happy Viewing!

This Week in Product: Total Views in Player

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Oh, why, hello there Ustreamer. You caught me while I was in the middle of hatching plans for the next glorious version of Ustream Skynet, which goes live in 2031. I would do another post when it’s ready, but by then it will be too late for all of us.

Anyhow, it’s time for “This Week in Product” — the first time, actually. As we’ve started to push more new features your way over the last few weeks, we thought it would be worthwhile to tell you about them (brilliant, I know). You may have seen Matt’s post about our Facebook App or Felix’s about the new channel page. If you haven’t, check them out.

Well, my name is Peter and I’m the head of product management at Ustream, and I want to tell you about a change that is going live as you read this (or maybe not — maybe it’s already out; I can’t predict when you’ll read this. Ustream Skynet will have that feature, though.): Total Views in Player.

You’ll start to notice some new text in the video player on all of our channels, as well as our embedded players that reached 65 million people worldwide in April, who watched for over 90 million viewer hours (more about that in another post).

Previously, our video player showed only the concurrent viewers. These are the number of people watching a broadcast at that exact moment. Concurrent viewers can go up and down as people tune in and out. A show can have zero concurrent viewers or it can have hundreds of thousands of concurrent viewers, like the Decorah Eagles did a few days ago.

Now, our video player shows two numbers: the first (108 in the screenshot of Spacevidcast to the right) is labeled current. These are the old “concurrent viewers” and the logic has not changed.

The second (2276 in the screenshot) is labeled total views. This is the total number of views the show has since it started the current broadcast. If the show goes off-air and comes back later, this number will reset to zero. This number can only go up: as people come and go, concurrent viewers will go up and down, but total views will only grow.

We hope this change helps improve your experience on Ustream, both on our site and across the web. Enjoy!

Introducing the New Ustream Facebook Application

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When you broadcast live on Ustream we make sure that your event is viewable everywhere – on your Ustream channel page, on our mobile applications, and on embeds in blogs and websites throughout the internet.

Today we are excited to announce that you can showcase your Ustream events on your Facebook Page – giving you yet another place for your fans to view your content. It is viral, it is customizable, and it is absolutely free for everyone.

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Install the Ustream Facebook Application now
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Admin Features

Dead Simple Installation
• Login with your Ustream account and we will automatically populate the application with your content.

Showcase all of your Ustream Content on your Facebook Page
• Live, recorded and upcoming events.

Customize your Application
• Banners, background images, text colors, and more.

Social Features

Build your Crowd
• Viewers can join your crowd with just two clicks to receive email notifications every time you broadcast live.

Remind Me of an Upcoming Event
• Viewers can choose to share  and be reminded via email for an upcoming event with just two clicks.

Increase your Facebook Fans
• Choose to require viewers to like your page on Facebook before accessing your live events.

Invite Friends to Watch
• Viewers can quickly share your live event to their Facebook wall or specifically choose friends to send invitations to.

New Features: New + Improved Channel Pages, Check-In & Chat

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Hi fellow Ustreamers,

Today we released a new + improved Channel page. You’ll notice a sleeker and friendlier design across the board. Improvements touch on all aspects of the page from the Social Stream to the Recommended Live Show pane. I’m sure you’ll dig the changes – whether you’re a broadcaster or a viewer!

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Here are the top highlights of the new Channel Page:

Check-in & Chat with Ease

  • Improved log-in makes it easier to begin chatting
  • Share your chats more easily with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and AIM
  • Log into Ustream, chat and choose when to syndicate your messages to the Social Stream
  • See more of the conversation in Social Stream and Chats with one click of the “more” button [clear here]

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New Title Bars!

We’ve brought the same dynamic title bar found on featured streams on the category page to everyone’s channel page. Here are some of the key features:

  • Channel Picture, with live ribbon to inform viewers when live
  • Custom Event Titles displayed for scheduled events
  • Join Crowd, Tweet, and Facebook ‘Like’ buttons are now above the video player

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iFrames for Premium Members

A total of three new iFrames allow premium broadcasters greater flexibility in both the design and the functionality of their channel page.  Potential uses include:

  • Custom large channel banner at the top of the Channel Page
  • In-channel Stores for monetization
  • Links to Broadcasters other webpages

What’s Next

We’re working hard on similar improvements for our recorded video and user pages.  Look for these changes in the upcoming weeks.  Please send feedback and suggestions to feedback@ustream.tv.

Ustream Adds Live Video Applications for Television and Mobile Platforms to Complete Three-Screen Strategy with Panasonic, Verizon and Boxee

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We are announcing exciting news today from Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to kick off 2011! For the first time, our live content and interactive experience will be available across all “three screens” — television, mobile and PC — through new relationships with Verizon Wireless, Panasonic and Boxee. [clear here]

The live Ustream content you enjoy – red carpets, movie premieres, celebrity chats, concerts, breaking news events and more – will be available later this spring across devices in the digital living room and on next-generation mobile networks. Ustream Lounge, our 10-foot television experience, is optimized for Google TV and Boxee, and works in most modern browsers to provide a refined experience optimized for larger screens. Here is a glimpse of what’s to come: [clear here]

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• The Ustream Android application for Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network combines low-latency, high-quality broadcasting and viewing over Verizon’s 4G LTE Network into a single application. It also allows users to watch and RSVP to live events, join crowds, and share with social networks. It’s slated to launch later this winter. [clear here]


• The Panasonic VIERA Connect Ustream application, a first for live online video, provides instant streaming access of live and recorded content on Panasonic 2011 VIERA Connect-enabled HDTVs. [clear here]

Ustream Lounge on Boxee gives you access to the most popular live and recorded content in a simple interface tailored for the big screen. This will be available on Jan. 9th. [clear here]

Click here to test drive the Ustream Lounge experience.

Open Pay-Per-View and Ad-Free Broadcasting Coming Soon to Ustream Users

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We are so excited about a couple of new tools for Ustream users that we couldn’t hold it in any longer!

In the next few weeks, we are rolling out the Ustream Open Pay-Per-View program and Ad-Free Broadcasting.

Ustream Open PPV will allow any Ustream broadcaster to apply directly to Ustream for the ability to charge viewers for content. Once a broadcaster is approved for Ustream’s Open PPV program, they will be able to monetize their content via PayPal payments. Let’s say you host a weekly show, such as a music show, a cooking show or a conference on Ustream, but you decide to produce an episode with special content – such as high-profile guests or a private lesson. As an approved Ustream Open PPV user you’ll be able to charge your viewers to watch the premium content. And, voila – pay-per-view is democratized and broadcasters have a chance to attract some of Ustream’s 45 million monthly viewers.

Ustream’s Open PPV program is now available to a few Ustream-selected broadcasters, but we will soon open the doors to applications from the user community and announce special PPV content from Ustream and our partners. Please sign up here to be notified about the application process or submit your request for your own PPV show.

And, Ad-Free Broadcasting is just around the corner. With this new tool, Ustream users can quickly offer their viewers an ad-free viewing experience during their stream. When the service is available, broadcasters will choose from a range of options that give them more control over their viewers’ experience. We plan to make Ad-Free Broadcasting available in early November – stay tuned and we’ll let you know when it goes live.

We know that many of you will have questions about the details surrounding these offerings. We will give more details and answer your questions when these tools are available to the community.

Until then, we look forward to bringing you these great new ways to improve your Ustream experience!