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 Demand: 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 Demand, the only video marketing platform to enable lead capture from both live and on-demand video. Combined with our existing LiveAd tool, Ustream Demand 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 Demand 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 Demand, 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 Demand 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 Demand 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 Demand

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

Software-Defined CDNs: Scale and Quality at a Savings

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Ustream has earned a reputation for being able to accommodate some of the world’s largest streaming events with as many as 1 million concurrent viewers and 14 million total viewers during large events and regularly hosts 70 million viewers per month. And, while that alone is impressive, what’s more interesting is that Ustream has developed technology that meet the needs when audiences start quickly, grow quickly and then leave once the live event is over.

The solution for these problems has been seven years in the making at Ustream. It’s a unique technology we call Software Defined CDN, or SD-CDN. This blog from online video “voice of the industry” analyst and blogger, Dan Rayburn speculates on the possibilities of this technology platform as a stand-alone service or bandwidth exchange.


The Politics of Mobile Streaming

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Live mobile broadcasting was one of the hottest topics at last week’s South by Southwest event. And while live video — even mobile live video — is nothing new, conversations around its applications are springing up in several sectors, including politics.

Some pundits are holding up the latest mobile streaming video apps as political game-changers as the 2016 election season approaches. Are they right?

Not quite, says Matt Browner Hamlin in a recent article on Medium. Smart campaigners have actually been leveraging the power of live video streaming since the very beginning. Hamlin goes on to describe how he, as deputy Internet director for Christopher Dodd’s campaign way back in in 2007, Ustreamed speeches and Q&A sessions:

People following the presidential primary were able to engage in the same dialogue with a candidate as residents of the early states. Using UStream’s embedded chat functionality, as well as monitoring comments on the sites where our streams were embedded, we were able to bring in questions from people across the country into Dodd’s Q&A sessions with voters in New Hampshire and caucus-goers in Iowa.

Read the rest of Hamlin’s article here.

Ustream: Mobile Since 2009

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If you kept up with some of the discussions at South by Southwest (SXSW) this past week, you surely noticed a lot of buzz around live streaming video from mobile devices. And while some are talking about mobile streaming like it’s cutting-edge stuff, you might be surprised to learn that Ustream has been doing this for years.

Back in 2009, Ustream introduced the world’s first mobile app capable of streaming live video from the iPhone to the Internet. Almost six years later, it seems the rest of the world is finally catching up.

Since its introduction, Ustream Live Broadcaster has seen more than 15 million downloads and last year, Ustream delivered more than 75 million mobile live broadcasts.

In a recent conversation with Will Oremus of Slate magazine, Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable shared that he isn’t surprised by the sudden success of other mobile apps, nor is he worried.

And yes, he thinks casual mobile live streaming is here to stay. “It’s a different thing, like Vine versus YouTube,” he said of the difference between Meerkat and Ustream. In his view, Meerkat will bring attention to live streaming and lower the barrier to people creating videos themselves, and that will benefit the whole sector. Between the coming 5G mobile data networks and cameras that can shoot 1080p video, he said, “there are a lot of very natural forces that are pushing this industry toward an explosion.”

Not that Ustream is resting on its laurels. Earlier this week, Ustream opened its live mobile broadcasting SDK and APIs to the public, allowing any company to build a Meerkat-like or other creative live video solution and to leverage Ustream’s live video platform for immediate scalability. TechCrunch’s Kyle Russell broke the news for Ustream in this article which was shared and gained enough traction for the SDK to land on new tech product sharing site Product Hunt and gain upvotes from around the world. Click here to cast your vote. The APIs and SDK will be free for developers to use in creating and testing their applications.

So while a couple tiny startups ride the media wave from SXSW, we’ll continue to innovate on the proven, technology platform that started it all. As noted in last week’s NPR All Tech Considered article by Tajha Chappallet-Lanier, we’re delivering video solutions highly tailored to the needs of marketers, executives, HR professionals, and professional broadcasters. And, we’ll adding powerful, enterprise-class features like security, SD-CDN, eCDN and SSO that enable organizations to use business-ready video solutions.

Net Neutrality and Ustream, CEO Brad Hunstable on Bloomberg “Market Makers”

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Today, the FCC voted on the issue of net neutrality. A 317-page proposal put forth by Tom Wheeler, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, detailed plans that reclassifies the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. (Previous “classification” dates back to 2002 when the FCC ruled that cable modem “broadband” services for Internet access be were an “Information Source.”)

Passed by a 3:2 vote by party line, the proposal gives the FCC some regulation authority over ISPs and sets some ground rules with the purpose of providing an open, level playing field for anyone accessing or broadcasting legal content via the Internet.

The proposal put forth is based on input by millions of voices from the public, the White House, and numerous expert testimonials from this past year and even earlier.

This morning, Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable, discussed this hotly debated, politically charged topic on Bloomberg TV’s “Market Makers” with co-hosts Stephanie Ruhle and Matt Miller along with Bloomberg’s Washington DC correspondent, Peter Cook. You can view the program below.

In a nutshell, Brad noted how the Internet is like a new country being formed and that the passage of the plan by the FCC is a good first step in the right direction to creating the initial “bill of rights,” so to speak, in protecting the openness of the Internet and making sure all bits and bytes are treated equal. He noted how the openness of the Internet enabled the creation of Ustream and the company’s continued innovation. Brad also pointed out how the real area needing more openness, more competition, is in the last mile of connection to the consumer where often the viewer has two, one or even no choice of ISP.

The vote today, arguably the biggest of the FCC in a decade, is just another step in the evolution of the Internet and the rules used to guide consumers and companies alike in how to keep this incredible resource open to all and available for innovation. And, just like a new country, the Internet will continue to change how we live, work, play and communicate. Ustream will continue to monitor this topic and any others that might impact our commitment to innovation and delivering the most scalable, reliable, high-quality video communications solution.

Super Bowl Highlights Need for Scalable Streaming

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When the New England Patriots squared off against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIV, more than 1.3 million people experienced the event through NBC’s live streaming video — a 50 percent increase over last year’s online viewership.

According to NBC’s press release, the stream also set Super Bowl records for average viewers per minute (800,000), concurrent users (1.3 million) and total minutes (213 million).

While it was an impressive achievement for live streaming video, it was not without its challenges. As the game progressed, the overwhelming demand resulted in some online viewers experiencing time delays and other technical difficulties.

“NBC is great at streaming live events,” Ustream CTO Gyula Feher told The Daily Dot in an interview regarding the event. “They were the first to stream the Super Bowl in 2012. And, the Super Bowl is the ‘Everest’ of live events: Let’s remember that Super Bowl XLVIII was the most watched television event ever. It’s likely that the peak load on the NBC livestream was similarly record-breaking.”

One of the biggest challenges in streaming a live event, however, is anticipating the bandwidth required, which can vary dramatically from one minute to the next. For example, during Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference, the streams of keynote speeches by CEO Mark Benioff and Hilary Clinton drew record-setting audiences.

One way Ustream has addressed this challenge of being able to scale and anticipate required bandwidth is through a unique technology we developed called Software Defined content delivery network (CDN), or SD-CDN.

SD-CDN provides the ability to scale automatically without manual provisioning of resources, dynamically adding and removing edges and providers as demand requires. The system can leverage a combination of edge resources (e.g. CDN providers, transit lines, peering and ad-hoc edges, etc.) and instantly route traffic among those sources as needed. A built-in monitoring system evaluates in real time the performance and efficacy of each source and can make automatic adjustments as changing conditions require.

What does all this mean for the individual viewer? The best possible quality from beginning to end — and the ability to pre-empt issues that could disrupt the viewing experience.

Now that’s what we call a big win.

Learn about the best solution for your big event here.

Ustream Launches New Live Video Platform for Secure Internal Communications

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Ustream Align with enterprise-grade security gives businesses confidence for engaging, powerful, employee communications

Today we officially launched Ustream Align, the easiest and most scalable video platform with enterprise-grade security.  Designed specifically for internal communications, Ustream Align allows organizations to engage employees around the globe. Viewers can watch securely on any device, inside a company office or in the field. Ustream Align is built on Ustream’s world-class, award-winning online video platform recognized for reliability and scalability by millions of users.

According to a recent Dale Carnegie research study, companies with engaged employees outperform the competition by as much as 202 percent, yet currently only 29 percent are engaged.

Brad Hunstable, Ustream CEO stated, “We conducted a study last month and found that nearly 72 percent of employees don’t fully understand their company’s strategy.  Video, especially live, is a powerful way to engage and communicate with a broad audience in a way that helps create a greater understanding and alignment with corporate goals. However, in the ‘bring your own device’ world of work, security is a top concern. Ustream Align provides an easy, secure and highly scalable platform to reach key corporate stakeholders on any device at any time.”

Ustream Align is the ideal, one-to-many live video platform to securely stream all-hands, board and shareholder meetings; customer, employee and accreditation trainings; executive presentations; product previews and events to internal audiences ranging from small groups to large global teams.

“More than 50 percent of our customers were already adapting our existing platform for internal communications,” said David Gibbons, vice president of marketing, Ustream. “With corporate security continuing to increase in importance—and the recent attack on Sony is a prime example—our customers were requesting enhanced security functionality to protect their internal communications.”

Visit Ustream Align to get more details on the new platform’s enterprise grade security, scalability and ease-of-use.

Is 2015 “The Year of Video?”

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When that famous ball dropped in Times Square to mark the start of 2015, millions of viewers around the world had access to the event thanks to Ustream’s six-hour live streaming broadcast. It was a most appropriate beginning to what Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable is calling “The Year of Video.”

“I think 2015 will be the year of video,” Hunstable recently told the International Business Times, “so it’s sort of fitting that we bring this into the new year with this really interactive, really HD, high-quality New Year’s Eve presentation.”

So what is driving this surging interest in live streaming video? One word: business.

“The business model for Ustream has been traditionally advertising,” Hunstable said, “but what’s interesting is over the past few years we’ve really doubled down our efforts to become a SAAS [Software-as-a-Service] company. We’ll license and sell our technology to media companies and enterprises that need really powerful and highly scalable video solutions.” (Read the full article here.)

Hunstable echoed those same sentiments when he spoke with SiliconANGLE at IBM Impact 2014:

“If you look at where the growth is happening in video — most people don’t realize this — most of the growth in this next wave is going to happen within the enterprise … The enterprise is a tremendous opportunity, and what you’re going to see coming from Ustream, we’re going to continue to provide really robust solutions that solve the needs of these organizations for productivity, transparency, to connect with consumers and their employees in deeper ways … Every corporation today is a media company.”

The data supports Hunstable’s assertions: According to a recent study by The Aberdeen Group, 95 percent of Best-in-Class marketers are using video as part of their content marketing mix.

So, will 2015 be “The Year of Video?” We think so!