Monthly Archives: March 2012

Ustream For Android Hits 2.5M Downloads, Rolls Out Ad-Free App For Those Who Pay

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TechCrunch

Ustream is celebrating reaching 2.5 million downloads of its Android app today with the release of a major new version, Ustream 2.0. It’s been a long time coming for Ustream to hit this milestone – the original Android app waslaunched back in 2009, and the Android tablet version arrived just last year.

With the update, the company is finally providing a way for users to disable the banner ads within the app – news whose timing is critical, given the recent reports about Android ads and the related battery drains.

Explains Ustream of its in-app ads: “to maintain its development, the app is supported by unobtrusive banner ads appearing at the bottom of some screens.”

How “unobtrusive” those ads may be, however, is certainly subjective.

And with the report (PDF) that ads in these so-called “free” Android apps drain the phone’s battery at incredible rates – some even use twice the power they actually need to operate – any ad-disabling option will be a welcome addition for regular users.

Starting today, Ustream users can choose to purchase a premium membership, available to buy both in the app and on Ustream’s website, in order to have access to an entirely ad-free version.

While that’s the biggest news with Ustream 2.0, the app has also received a makeover as well as a new “quick broadcast” widget, as a part of the overhaul.

The updated user interface now offers a dark theme, and supports device rotation to landscape mode, swiping-based navigation, an improved “actionbar” (the screen header) functionality and other minor improvements.

Also new is a “Quick Broadcast” widget which Android users can place directly on their homescreen. When you see something you want to record, just tap the widget to immediately begin live streaming.

Although of lesser importance to stateside users, but of strategic importance to the company itself, version 2.0 of the Android app now supports the Korean language too, in addition to English and Japanese. This comes on the heels of last week’s announcement ofUstream’s launch in Korea. The company had partnered last fall with KT Corporation, a leading telecommunications provider in South Korea, while simultaneously raising an additional $10 million funding round from Japanese telecom provider Softbank. Korea is the second non-English platform for the company, following Ustream Asia, which launched in January 2010.

The updated version of Ustream for Android will roll out to the Android Market Google Play storetoday. For those who already have the app installed, just check for updates.

Ustream in the News: Expanding Its Presence In Asia, Live Video Streaming Platform Ustream Launches In Korea (via Techcrunch)

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written by Rip Empson – via Techcrunch (May 21, 2012)

Back in October, live video streaming platform Ustream announced a partnership with KT Corporation — a leading telecommunications provider in South Korea. The joint venture also included an additional $10 million funding round, much of it led by the sizable Japanese telecom provider, Softbank (whose independent by closely-connected VC firm, Softbank Capital, operates in the Boston, among other cities). The funding brought Ustream’s total outside investment close to $60 million.

Both the additional capital from Softbank and the partnership with KT Corporation came in the anticipation of Ustream’s launch in Korea., and today the streaming video provider is finally ready to officially announce its new Korean language service and portal, Ustream Korea .

Ustream Korea is the second non-English platform that the company has released, after its Japanese-only version, which launched back in January of 2010, headed by Ustream Asia CEO, Tomotaka Nakagawa. In partnership with KT Corp. and Ustream Asia, Ustream announced that Jimmy Kim would become the new CEO of its Korean entity in January of this year. Kim previously served as the Vice President at Viacom International, and has also worked with CNBC, Technicolor and Bloomberg Television.

The joint venture will also allow Ustream to expand its text-based social network experience in South Korea, which is to include a live, interactive experience, says Ustream’s Social Media Manager, Tony Riggins. At the outset, Ustream Korea will offer content like, the “Penguin Cam,” which airs live from SeaWorld in San Diego, as well as its live AP news channel, and events like the Olleh Smartphone movie festival and Indi Band Awards.

Ustream Korea will include all of Ustream’s established features, including co-hosting video, IRC chat, customizable channels, embeddable player, and viewing content in realtime directly from mobile devices, smart TVs, etc. Korean pop stars like Wonder-Girls and Park Jae Bum got an opportunity to test out the platform earlier this year in advance of its official launch, and obviously Ustream will be making a push to sign up more of these influencers in the coming months.

As Ustream Japan has established actual TV studios across the country (there are currently 12), which broadcast everything from news to messages from celebrities and advertising messages, along with the ability for anyone using the Ustream Asia platform to stop in and broadcast content, the company will no doubt be looking to establish a similar mix of TV and user-generated content in Korea.

Ustream Asia has already seen brands like NHK, Starbucks, and Nikkei come on board as partners, and there are plans to use Ustream Korea in a similar vein — both as a PR and marketing platform. In addition, KT Corp and other local Korean firms have said that they will launch new products and services using Ustream, along with blasting out those realtime, multimedia press releases.

As of February, Ustream had 14.2 million registered users and saw 29 million social stream messages created and 2 billion viewers access its content across the Web and mobile. According to Quantcast, 54.5 million people tune into Ustream every month.

Ustream continues to make moves to expand its presence in Asia, and has smartly been doing so with the help of major telecom providers. The service has seen growing traction there, and these country and language-specific platforms stand to give the service a boost, and though the team wouldn’t comment on whether or not China is next, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Ustream pop up in additional fast-growing Asian markets over the course of the year.

For more, check out the new Korean platform here.

Ustream Announces Live Hatch Watch 2012 for the Decorah Eagles

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USTREAM ANNOUNCES LIVE HATCH WATCH 2012 FOR THE DECORAH EAGLES

Ustream’s #1 Most Popular Live Broadcast of All Time is in Its Second Season; Hatch Watch to Begin on March 23

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.– March 19, 2012–Ustream Inc., the leader in live, interactive, streaming video, today announced hatch watch for its most popular channel, the Decorah Eagles. Three eggs were laid in late February and the first egg is expected to hatch this week around March 23 or 24, with each remaining egg hatching about a week apart. Last year, the live-streaming Decorah Eagles channel garnered more than 200 million views, making it the number one, most viewed Ustreaming video ever. To view the live channel of the Eagles nesting on Ustream, please visit http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles.

The now-famous Decorah Eagles attracted fans to revisit the Ustream channel in mass on December 29, 2011 when theEagles returned to the nest in Decorah, Iowa to start their nesting ritual. Since then, there have been more than 11 million total global views of the Decorah Eagles channel on Ustream and viewership has reached as high as 23 thousand live viewers at a time. Viewers can track the Eagles’ daily activity through an interactive map online at http://www.raptorresource.org/maps/latest.php.

“We’re thrilled to offer Ustream fans with another season of the wildly-popular Decorah Eagles,” said Ruby Tugade, non-profit content manager at Ustream. “Last year, viewership of the Decorah Eagles made history by becoming the most popular live video in the world.  With the improvements like night vision, HD, and panning cameras, we expect this year to be more amazing than ever.”

The man behind the camera is Bob Anderson, a modern conservationist and founder of Raptor Resource Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural habitat of birds around the country. Bob is dedicated to providing the world with a glimpse of the nature that surrounds us through his more than 24 bird cams across the country. Other camera technicians that are contributing to the Decorah Eagles channel include Jim Womeldorf, Charlie Forman and Willard Holthaus. The nest is about 80 feet high, about six feet wide and weighs nearly 1.5 tons.

“The Decorah Eagles channel on Ustream has touched so many people – from teachers sharing nature with their students, to the elderly and ill seeking comfort from the soothing sounds of nature,” said Bob Anderson, executive director of Raptor Resource Project. “Being able to bring a little nature to viewers around the world and connect people in new ways is what drives me to continue my conservation work and bird cams.”

This year, Ustream is also incorporating its Social Stream feature, where fans from around the world can communicate through a real-time and interactive chat module and share their insights, as the video streams. In addition, Ustream has created a Superchannel for fans to experience all Raptor Resource Project cameras in one, consolidated channel online at http://www.ustream.tv/user/raptorresource.

The Superchannel highlights other Raptor Resource Project channels on Ustream including; the Decorah Screech Owls, where the nest and camera are live but we are waiting on the Owls to appear; the Eaglecrest Nest with Canadian Geese nesting; the Great Spirit Bluff Falcons, which is temporarily undergoing repairs due to wind damage; and the Missouri Turkey Vultures. Viewers are able to navigate through this interactive and directory-like landing page where they are able to select between any of the five live broadcasts offered by Raptor Resource Project.

Decorah Eagles Timeline of Events:
Copulation & Nesting: Three eggs were laid in late February. Egg one arrived on February 17, egg two arrived on February 20 and egg three arrived on February 24.
Incubation: 35 days
Hatch Watch: Late March – Hatch watch begins March 23
Fledge Watch: Late June

Additional Resources:
For an infographic timeline of the Decorah Eagles events, please visit: http://www.ustream.tv/blog/2012/03/09/hatch-watch-2012/
For photos and snapshots of the Decorah Eagles 2011 egg hatchings, please visit:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150153917817378.307303.98541147377&type=3

For photos and snapshots of recent Decorah Eagles nesting moments, please visit:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150654711932378.419058.98541147377&type=3