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.”