Category Archives: Product

Introducing… [drum-roll]….Ustream Pro Broadcasting!

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The Next Generation of Ad-Free Broadcasting:

Last November, Ustream launched Ad-Free Broadcasting, a simple way for broadcasters to remove ads from their video and channel pages. Since that time, we’ve helped thousands of broadcasters send their message directly to their viewers.  Today, the Ustream Product and Engineering team is excited to announce the next evolution of Ad-Free: Ustream Pro Broadcasting.

With Ustream Pro Broadcasting, users will get all the benefits of an ad-free package with a ton of great new features to customize the broadcasting experience. To top it off, we’re giving away all of these new features for the same price as our previous ad-free plans. Each plan comes with a different set of features, so check the Pro Broadcasting overview to see which package is right for you.

New Pro Broadcasting features:

So what are these awesome new features? Here are just a few of the new benefits that are available!

  • Ad-Free Broadcasting – Ustream Pro Broadcasting packages remove all in-video ads, as well as display ads on your channel page. Each package comes with a set number of “Viewer Hours” (one viewer for an hour, two viewers for half an hour each, etc.  There is a “Viewer Hour Calculator” on the pro broadcasting page to help you decide how much you need)
  • Ustream Extensions –  Extensions is Ustream’s new “widget” framework that will allow you to integrate outside services to increase your social media fanbase, sell products, or just promote yourself with custom banners. Current extensions include Facebook Fan Page Like ButtonTwitter Follow Button, iTunes Promotion, Amazon Promotion, Thumbplay Ring Tones, and Custom Uploaded Banners. We’ll be adding new services in the coming months.
  • Branding: Want to control the look and feel of your broadcast? Co-branding allows you to upload and add your own logo to the Ustream player. Not a fan of the “Ustream Live” logo? Get rid of it with the Full-Branding make the player 100% you!
  • IFrame Access: Subscribers to the Enterprise package will have direct access to three html iframes within the channel page. These iframes allow you to embed banners, maps, widgets, and pretty much anything else you would need to customize your channel
  • Embed Controls: With Embed Restriction, broadcasters who want absolute control over the distribution of their content are able to specify a set of domains where their streams can be embedded. Broadcasters who purchase the enterprise package will also be able to remove their content from the Ustream site by hiding their live channel pages.

The iPad meets Ustream

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We have updated our Ustream application for iOS devices with a great new interface designed specifically for iPad users.  In addition to native support for Apple’s tablet we have made some key improvements to the application for iPhone and iPod touch users including access to all content through some extensive backend server updates.

You can download the application directly from the App Store or grab your iDevice and search for Ustream.

Want More ?!?  Check out these key features and some sweet eye candy while your waiting for your download to finish!

Navigate through featured channels, browse by categories or search for live and recorded content on Ustream… The best of Ustream at your fingertips on Apple’s beautiful 9.7 inch screen :-D

You can also start a live broadcast from your iPad 2 (from either camera) or switch in the middle of your broadcast using some intuitively placed controls ;-)

Share live moments with millions of potential viewers with the touch of a button across all Ustream applications including: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, desktop browsers, Google TV, Boxee, Panasonic Viera Cast, Ustream Lounge, and Ustream for Facebook.  Pretty much, Ustream Everywhere!

Some other cool features to check out…

Film Strip Button - While watching full screen video on iPad you can easily check out what’s going on across Ustream without stopping what you are currently watching.

AirPlay Support – Have an AppleTV then check out our sweet implementation of Airplay.  Just press the Airplay icon while watching a video and BOOM! You are now watching video on your TV set and best of all you can continue the conversation on your iPad or iPhone through Chat and Social Stream for the truly multi-screen interactive living room experience.

Thank you for your continuous support and we hope you’ll like this update as much as we do. Stay tuned for more updates and keep on streaming!

Ustream for Android tablets

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Hey, it’s Gergo from the Ustream Product team! Today, I am thrilled to announce the major update for our Ustream app on Android, which now brings the full power of the Ustream experience to Android tablets and mobile phones.

Ustream for Android

The new Ustream app, supported on Android 2.1 and newer, boasts a whole set of tablet optimizations in addition to several important mobile updates. Let me guide you through the top highlights.

Explore and Go Live on tablets

  • Discover live, upcoming, and recent events, or explore by category.
  • Go live and interact with your audience by issuing a poll or chatting.
  • Access shows from your Ustream Crowds and events that you’re attending.
  • Watch featured shows of recommended Ustreamers.
  • Navigate through brand new screens with spiffy dark design theme.

New tablet screens

Enjoy improvements on your phone

  • Move the app to SD card to free up storage space.
  • Watch even more shows and videos on mobile with new, enhanced format handling.
  • Use the app on even more supported devices, now including Nexus S.

Mobile features

Get it now!

  • QRread the QR code with your device or click it in your browser
  • you can also search for ‘Ustream’ in the Market app on your device

We’d love to hear from you! We are inspired by our users’ valuable feedback. Go ahead, drop us a note at feedback@ustream.tv. Also, we’re working on other exciting features to give you the best personalized Ustream experience, anytime, anywhere. Stay tuned for more updates!

Gergo Radnoczi
Android Product Owner
Ustream, Inc.

GergoRad

Gergo is responsible for the Android products at Ustream. He works in tight cooperation with the Android developer team, the designers, product architects, sales and marketing. He defines strategies, approves designs and specifications, prioritizes development tasks, reviews implemented features and schedules their release. You can follow @GergoRad on Twitter.

This Week in Product: Videos Widget

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Hi there — Peter from Product here…again (*sigh*). Honestly, if I had my druthers — and I rarely do — I’d release a bunch of features and I’d never tell the lot of you. But Joanna, Tony, and the rest of the Marketing Team here at Ustream insist that I keep our faithful users up-to-date, so I begrudgingly offer you the latest product update: The Videos Widget.

Some of you may have noticed that your favorite channels now have a new component to the right of the video. It’s no longer just the Chat and the Social Stream, but a Rolodex of the broadcaster’s latest recorded videos. This is our new Videos Widget, and it’s live today for all our broadcasters. Here’s how it works:

By default, the widget appears on the channel page in the same area as the social stream and chat. If you’re a broadcaster and you don’t like it, too bad. Just kidding, you can turn it off in your Dashboard > Manage My Channel > Chat and Videos Widget > Recorded Videos Tab.

The videos widget is the default widget to show first, unless the channel is live. If the channel is live, either the social stream or chat will appear by default (whichever the broadcaster has opted for).

Clicking the title of a video opens that video in a new browser tab/window. This allows you to stay on the channel page while surfing all the great recorded content.

If the broadcaster has more than 9 videos, a “View All” link appears at the bottom. Clicking “View All” will bring you to a new page with all of the broadcaster’s videos.

We only display the broadcaster’s own videos. So if you’re a broadcaster and your videos widget looks kind of empty, don’t complain to us; keep streaming!

The videos widget is embeddable. Just use the same embed code, accessed by clicking “Embed” on the channel page, and the videos widget will tag along for the ride.

Well, that’s all for now, but I’ll regretfully be back to share more updates with you soon ;) Keep streamin’!

Popular WildEarth Broadcasts to Deliver Live Multi-View Exclusively on Ustream

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via PR Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO, July 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Ustream, the leader in live online video, and wildlife broadcaster, WildEarth, announced the launch of a new interactive video channel that will engage viewers with a compelling array of professionally produced live wildlife streams. Using technology that adds immersion to nature from virtually anywhere, a new Multi-View Experience will provide unprecedented views of the spontaneous and exotic wilderness only rarely witnessed in-person. The various streams capture a diverse selection of animals including elephants, lions, giraffes, and more through global locations such as Africa and the United States. Available exclusively on Ustream, WildEarth will go live with seven new channels of around-the-clock wildlife broadcasts starting on July 1, 2011.

Ustream is introducing its Multi-View screen functionality on the WildEarth hub at Ustream.TV/PetesPond, giving viewers full control to customize their own experience alongside an active social stream and chat room. Available whenever connected to Ustream – on mobile devices, internet connected TVs, Google TV and Boxee – all 7 of the WildEarth channels will feature this immersive Multi-View capability from the Pete’s Pond Channel.

Live from Africa

In the heart of Botswana, viewers will encounter exotic wildlife at Pete’s Pond, where a camera overlooking this watering hole provides a rare glimpse into life on the African savannah, 24 hours a day.

Live from the Djuma Game Reserve in South Africa, the Djuma Water Hole features an unobtrusive camera that is virtually controlled by an international team of volunteer wildlife enthusiasts called “zoomies”. For the virtual traveler, Ustream.TV/wildearthsafari is a twice-daily, expert-presenter led, live safari that travels the bush and open plains of the Djuma Game Reserve.

“As we’ve seen with the now-famous Ustream Decorah Eagles,” says Ruby Tugade, Manager of Content & Distribution at Ustream, “interactive broadcasting is incredibly powerful in building, educating, and inspiring a community of millions. Now, with the addition of simultaneous live cameras via Ustream’s Multi-View technology, communities may share a panoramic view of the world together.”

The American Wilderness

Operation Migration will entertain viewers at Ustream.TV/migratingcranes, where endangered whooping crane chicks will be taught to accept and follow a specially modified ultra-light aircraft that will teach them a migratory route from the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Wisconsin to Florida.

Additionally, WildEarth and PixController have teamed up to broadcast live Multi-Views, using PixController cameras positioned near an automatic feeder that operates 24/7 all year round, where an array of wildlife is attracted.

“We’re hoping our WildEarth broadcasts become more than just a center of attention for wildlife buffs,” says Graham Wallington, CEO of WildEarth. “By not only bringing people to these Multi-View Ustream camera options, we are offering them a much broader and more visceral experience, and we’re putting a degree of virtual tourism on-line with an interactive learning environment that will ultimately help conserve these amazing animals and their environments.”

The WildEarth hub of channels available with the Multi-View Experience can be found at Ustream via these links:

www.ustream.tv/petespond

www.ustream.tv/djumacam

www.ustream.tv/wildearthsafari

www.ustream.tv/migratingcranes

www.ustream.tv/pixpredator

www.ustream.tv/pixwildlife

www.ustream.tv/pixwoods

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!