All posts by Linda Williams

Ustream CEO Talks Shark Week in the Washington Post

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For the 28th year in a row, viewers around the world are tuning in for Shark Week, Discovery’s annual event celebrating one of the ocean’s most fascinating creatures.

While live video has been a part of the Shark Week festivities for several years — last year’s streams attracted more than 67,000 unique viewers — Ustream is adding a new dimension to this year’s event.

“Shark-lovers this year can tune into the live camera at the National Aquarium’s Blacktip Reef Shark tank,” writes The Washington Post‘s Hayley Tsukayama, “not only to watch the sharks swim, but also to chat live with scheduled experts who will be fielding questions underwater.”

The next diver chat will air on Wednesday, July 8 at 3:20 pm Eastern Time on the National Aquarium’s Blacktip Reef Shark channel on Ustream. Viewers can submit questions to the divers on the channel’s live feed or on Twitter using the hashtag #SharkDiverChat.

This event is the latest evidence of a broadening of the media experience beyond traditional channels. In engaging with brands, today’s audiences enjoy — and expect — real-time digital interactions, including social media as well as live streaming video.

In a chat with CEO Brad Hunstable, Tsukayama highlighted Ustream’s partnerships not only with media companies like Discovery, but also enterprises such as Intuit and Home Depot. “With our company,” Hunstable said, “a significant portion of it comes from enterprises.”

Read the full article here.

Ustream CEO on MLBAM IPO: “It’s a tremendous data point”

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As news spread of MLB Advanced Media, the technology division of Major League Baseball, considering an initial public offering (IPO), CNBC turned to Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable for his take on the issue.

In a joint interview with Ed Lee of Re/code, Hunstable remarked, “They’ve certainly done a fantastic job with streaming content. It’s a tremendous data point for all the video space, that a company [like MLBAM] can build a business model that’s actually able to go public.”

See the full interview here (Hunstable comes in just after 0:30).

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Live Video Is Key to Efficiency for B2B SMBs

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Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) employ nearly 50 percent of American workers, according to a recent article by the B2B News Network (B2BNN). When it comes to keeping these employees happy and engaged, salary is only part of the picture. Smart SMB employers are beginning to recognize a direct link between employee communications and job satisfaction.

In addition to internal intranets, e-newsletters and mobile apps, streaming video can play a key role in engaging the SMB workforce. “Video is powerful and engaging and doesn’t take a lot of resources or expertise to get started,” Ustream Director of Product Marketing Bob Lee shared with B2BNN. “In fact, a managers or CEOs can use the video camera built into theirs laptops to stream and record messages that can be sent to employees’ smartphones and stored on a secure channel.”

Read the full article here

Recently, Ustream addressed executives’ growing need to motivate their teams in the webinar 3 Things CEOs Worry About: How Communications Can Help. Research reveals that CEOs are spending more time and attention on organizational culture and communications, and we explored some of the ways they are using technology to engage their employees. You can view the webinar on demand here.

Ustream CEO to Bloomberg: Streaming Video Opportunities are in Enterprise

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In an interview on Bloomberg Business’ “Market Makers,” Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable shared some thoughts on Verizon’s $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL and the deal’s implications for the streaming video industry. (Watch the video here.)

“AOL is in a more stable position than it may have been previously,” Hunstable said. “They’ve been deliberately going into mobile, they’ve been deliberately going into video, and for companies like us, who partner with AOL, it’s a good thing.”

When asked about where the opportunities lie in the streaming video industry, Hunstable added, “For us, it’s really the enterprise space. We’re really focused on the business market, the B2B market. That’s where our growth is — companies like Salesforce, Cisco, Facebook, these are our customers. We’re helping businesses use video to connect in more engaging ways.”

Watch the full interview

Ustream CEO talks transparency, mobile and more on HuffPost Live

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Recently HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani sat down with Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable to discuss his take on issues such as the growing buzz around mobile streaming apps and the rise of citizen journalism. (Watch the video here; the interview begins just after the 21-minute mark.)

On the latest mobile streaming apps

Hunstable sees the popularity of new mobile streaming apps as a testament to the growing significance of video and the power it places in the hands of mobile users. “It’s another data point for how hot video is,” he remarked. “If you think about it right now, everyone’s carrying around a satellite truck in their pocket.”

On the responsibilities of citizen journalists

“One of the things that video brings — particularly live video — is some element of transparency,” Hunstable told Modarressy, “but it needs balance. It needs context.”

Recalling Ustream’s role in bringing global attention to uprisings in Russia and the Ukraine in recent years, he noted that “getting that unfiltered, that real-time access to what is happening is not a bad thing.” At the same time, “you need to get all the other facts that are associated with [the issue].”

On Ustream’s biggest moment so far

When Modarressy asked Hunstable what was, in his opinion, the most powerful use of Ustream to date, the self-proclaimed “space junkie” cited the Mars rover landing. “To be able to watch that moment and experience it — there were millions and millions of people watching it,” he said. “To experience this collective consciousness of people watching us visiting another planet was absolutely exciting and powerful.”

Watch the full interview here.

AdWeek: Live Streaming Video Is Nothing New

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In the last few months we’ve seen ample buzz about streaming video … but is all the hype warranted? Not really, according to a recent AdWeek article.

Writer Kimberlee Morrison noted that Ustream has been providing streaming video since 2007 and has now evolved past the consumer phase to focus on the needs of enterprises. Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable commented that the recent buzz over new apps simply highlights the growing popularity of online video. “In a lot of ways,” he told Morrison, “the Internet is becoming video.”

Hunstable also commented that, while newer apps offer integration with social platforms, they lack the analytics that companies need to attain real business goals. “Ustream,” on the other hand, “is building capabilities for brands to be media companies in their own right.”

Read the full article here.

Bloomberg: Ustream a “Pioneer” in Live Video

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In the recent article “Meerkat, Periscope, Been There, Done That,” Bloomberg Business contributor Olga Kharif reminded readers that new apps Meerkat and Periscope are not the first tools to enable live video streaming from smartphones — far from it.

While the new apps have attracted considerable buzz, both in the media and among consumers, Ustream ranks among the “pioneers” of streaming video, dating back to 2007. And while newcomers focus on consumers, CEO Brad Hunstable points out that Ustream has evolved to a new level, offering a secure, high-performance tool to help enterprises reach customers and employees.

Read the article here

JVC Partners With Ustream for One-Click Video Streaming

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At last week’s NAB Conference in Las Vegas, JVC Professional Video announced a partnership with Ustream that will offer organizations a streamlined experience when broadcasting live video.

Two new JVC cameras support the industry-standard Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), which allows up to four Ustream channels to be stored for easy access via the camera menu. Users can either stream video live or record it for immediate on-demand viewing with the touch of a single button. A planned firmware upgrade will add the capability to three additional JVC models.

“Ustream’s partnership with JVC enables a one-click solution for organizations to create high-quality live and on-demand videos to engage with internal employees, stakeholders, and even global audiences,” said Ustream CEO Brad HUnstable. “From employee town halls to sharing live events, the applications are virtually limitless.”

Read more about JVC’s partnership with Ustream.

Ustream’s Pro Broadcasting Video Marketing Module: Driving Conversions From Live and On-Demand Video

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Yesterday, Ustream announced the launch of our most powerful marketing tool yet: Ustream’s Pro Broadcasting Video Marketing Module, the only video marketing platform to enable lead capture from both live and on-demand video. Combined with our existing LiveAd tool, Ustream Pro Broadcasting Video Marketing Module enables marketers to generate higher-quality leads at a lower cost per acquisition than non-video solutions.

“We’re offering the first marketing platform for combined live and on-demand video content,” said CEO Brad Hunstable. “Ustream Pro Broadcasting Video Marketing Module enables marketers to easily incorporate all of their video assets into their integration campaigns, leveraging the most powerful video tool available for lead conversion and lowering customer acquisition costs. Combined with Ustream LiveAd, marketers can extend the reach and impact of their video to thousands or millions.”

Before Ustream Pro Broadcasting Video Marketing Module, marketers had to use a convoluted set of tools to create, manage and distribute live video content, a second set of tools to create and distribute on-demand video — and yet another array of solutions to measure the lead-generation performance of both. Ustream Pro Broadcasting Video Marketing Module combines creation, management, distribution, lead capture and analytics capabilities to offer a streamlined solution that delivers real results.

“To succeed, marketers today need viewer information and consumption behavior data to build customer profiles and nurture campaigns,” said Mukul Krishna, senior global director, Digital Media, Frost & Sullivan. “In such a scenario, Ustream Pro Broadcasting Video Marketing Module is designed as a complement to leading marketing automation and CRM platforms. This means that deployment can be quick and economical, with minimal disruption of processes already in place. Ustream’s video marketing platform is focused on streamlining the capture of user information and video consumption behavior and empowering marketers using digital marketing platforms to fully leverage the power of video as an integral part of their marketing campaigns.”

Click here to learn more about Ustream’s Pro Broadcasting Video Marketing Module

CEO Brad Hunstable to Time Magazine: “We’re Optimizing for Quality”

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As the buzz about mobile streaming video reaches a fever pitch, Time magazine’s John Patrick Pullen points out one aspect of the issue that no one’s talking about: the impact on our mobile data plans.

Highlighting that Ustream has been in the live-streaming game for more than five years, Pullen sat down with CEO Brad Hunstable to get his take on live video apps will impact the mobile data landscape.

Live-stream users should expect their data bill to reflect how they use these apps, says Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable. “If you broadcast for one minute, once to twice a week it’s not a big deal, “ he says. “But if you broadcast for an hour once or twice a day, you could have some sticker shock.”

Fortunately, Ustream already addresses the issue of bandwidth and data usage by dynamically adjusting the video feed for the network or device.

“We’re optimizing for quality in the background,” says Hunstable. “If someone is on a poor connection, we’re actually going to send them a lower quality file to make sure that it gets delivered and works, and is not choppy.” In comparison, Meerkat and Periscope only play in standard definition.

While both AT&T and Verizon have both capped their data plans, unlimited data options have thrived among other providers looking to differentiate themselves. Whether the growing popularity of mobile streaming video will force a change in the status quo is still uncertain.

“My personal opinion is that we’re in a temporary place where they charge a lot for this data consumption,” says Hunstable, who is looking forward to technologies like 5G networks to make prices more reasonable and bandwidth bigger.

Read the full article here