Tips & Tutorials

Get the latest streaming video tips and read in-depth tutorials on broadcasting, live streaming, VODs, asset security and video content delivery strategies.

Live Video is Reshaping the Ad Game – Here’s How to Make it Work for Your Brand

What does Martha Stewart, Playstation, Salesforce, HBO’s True Blood and radio station Hot97 have in common? Each have become digital influencers in their own right, by utilizing the latest, innovative tool reshaping the advertising landscape: Live Video. In an era when technology and human interaction are intersecting in new ways, adapting multi-dimensional means of engaging your audience is key.

 Curious on how to optimize the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns to global audiences? Get ready to take notes, people. In this week’s live webinar, SVP of Marketing David Thompson showcased each brand’s boundary pushing strategies on the Ustream platform, and the number shattering stats surrounding their successful live-streamed campaigns.

 Read more for a recap of our SVP’s informative webinar and educate yourself on the latest trend in digital engagement optimization: the live video experience.


Live on the Go: How to Ustream from your Smartphone or Tablet

How to Ustream from your Smartphone or Tablet

What if I told you (in my Morpheus voice, of course) that an entire global audience sits right in your palm, within the convenience of your smartphone or tablet? Yes, my dear Neo, there’s an app for that. With Ustream’s mobile app (for Android and iPhone) you can easily share moments or capture breaking news events in real-time, wherever and whenever they happen. Integrated chat? Check. Audience polling and GPS mapping? Double check.

How do you broadcast from your mobile device? I thought you would never ask 😉

Read below for more details on broadcasting using your mobile device. If you are looking instead, though, for advice on doing a higher quality broadcast using cameras and a mobile Internet source, please watch our Wireless Multi-Camera Live Streaming webinar.


Live Video Meets Public Relations and Advertising: How to Extend Your Reach and Win New Customers

Last week Ustream’s SVP of Marketing, David Thompson, and the Vice President of Digital & TV Entertainment at Emmis NY, Lin Dai, hosted a workshop at PRSA’s 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia titledLive Video Meets PR and Advertising: How to Extend Your Reach and Win New Customers.”  It became clear during the workshop that publicists are interested in integrating live video into their publicity plans, but many of them either didn’t know where to start, or they already had a plan, but weren’t sure how to get the best ROI.  Integrating video into your B2B and B2C plans has been such a hot topic lately; we’re fielding inquiries like these more and more lately. And because we get questions like these so often, I decided to write an article highlighting David and Lin’s five points for how to seamlessly integrate live video into your publicity plan.


I Stream, Do You Stream? Here’s How to Ustream Pt.1

 I stream, do you stream?

Better yet, do you know how to Ustream?

Knowledge IS power, and today is your lucky day to bulk up on some broadcast know-how. Welcome to my weekly How-to blog series, nicely packaged in a Cliff-Note format – for those whose heads immediately begin to throb when the conversation gets too technical.

Let’s start with the basics shall we?

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Ustream Like a BOSS: 5 Tips to Take Your Broadcast from Lukewarm to Legendary

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What is the most memorable thing you have seen on Ustream in four years?

Having covered all different aspects of curation at Ustream for such a long period of time, this is a question I am constantly asked, and I am always ready with the same response:

I remember sitting down at my desk in the morning, turning on my computer, and one of the first channels to catch my eye was a black screen that for some reason had 20,000 simultaneous views. I checked the profile for a location and it was located in Egypt. We were witnessing in live time a whole nation’s cry in the dark for help. The power of Egypt’s chants for freedom resonated loud and clear, and we soon realized we were witnessing a nation’s history being written. That morning we watched the birth of Egypt’s Arab Spring.


Streaming Weddings As Easy As 1, 2, 3

Streaming Weddings As Easy As 1, 2, 3

Summer has officially started, and with that comes the likes of beaches, barbecues, and our topic of the day: wedding season. At Ustream, we’ve seen a huge uptick in wedding webcasts, as an increasing number of couples nowadays are weaving technology into their wedding planning. In fact, nearly 20 thousand streaming weddings have been broadcast on the Ustream live platform over the last 12 months. Not only that, but we expect the numbers to keep climbing as well.

Check out the infograph below for more numbers. Wedding planners and videographers are well aware of the growing trend, as they realize the opportunity to further expand their offerings. If you are a first time broadcasters, though, and want some generally applicable advice please read our 5 Pro Tips for Live Video Production before your first live stream.


The Anatomy of a Successful Music Broadcast Event

Guiding countless artists and musicians through the live broadcast experience, you learn a tip or two regarding the science of a successful broadcast. There are a few elements involved that really contribute to a successful music broadcast: content, interactivity, promotion, and most importantly, distribution (aka embed syndication). Half of my job entails that our featured broadcasters hit on as many of those criteria as possible.

Enter Amalgam Digital. The indie online record label with a penchant for innovative online initiatives put together a pitch perfect broadcast event for their newly acquired star talent, rapper Joe Budden. Once upon a time, Joe Budden was a Grammy-nominated, major-label artist with a monster single in heavy rotation.

Half a decade later, Joe Budden and the Amalgam Digital team organized a broadcast event that far outperformed most of the bigger name, currently “hot” artists that have passed through the broadband walls of Ustream.TV.

Here’s how they did it…

Content:
The concept was simple but effective: Joe Budden would start the broadcast with a Q-and-A webchat, then segway into the final studio session as he worked on the finishing touches of his upcoming “Padded Room” album. This works on several levels:

1.) Interactivity: Live video allows for real-time interactions — take advantage of it. Viewers can watch recorded content anytime they want and leave one-off comments, but there’s only one chance to BE a part of the content. Give your fans that in-the-moment excuse to show up on time.

2.) Exclusive peak at the creative process: Watching two hours of someone’s workday can be boring if it’s pre-recorded. But there’s a certain magic to hearing snippets of an anticipated album for the first time, especially AS it’s being created. Give your fans a chance to say “I was there when…”

3.) Stamina: Broadcast events are like real-world music events; sometimes folks show up late. Joe Budden planned on going 3+ hours, giving his fans plenty of time to gather around and build viewership momentum. Too often, artists shut off a broadcast after chatting for 30 minutes, leaving their fans hanging at the peak of their interest. Give your broadcast a breathing chance to go viral… go for the distance!

While the Budden event was clearly a one-off, I should also mention that regularly scheduled programming also plays well over live video.

And that’s content for ‘ya… let that marinate as you cook up some creative inspiration.

Promotion:

If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?

Amalgam Digital did a great job making sure that forest was full of people. Two days before the broadcast, Amalgam sent out a press release announcement to their network of bloggers and online pubs. Pitching it as an innovative live broadcast event that it was, several online publications bit:

Myspace, Myspace, Myspace…

… and Purevolume and Facebook and Virb and blogs and websites and label sites. Make blasts, embed onto your profile.

Get creative. Ask your fans to take embeds and throw it up wherever they can. Give out an autographed CD to the fan that embeds and blasts on the most amount of websites, blogs and landing pages.

Embed Syndication:

But more than just getting the word out, Amalgam took the next critical leap and hooked uber hip-hop blog Nahright.com to syndicate/embed the entire experience from it’s own eyeball-heavy domain:

Once it hit Nahright.com, a trail of copycat blogs picked up the syndication embeds, effectively creating an instantaneous viral trail on a LIVE event! Check out some of the stops on the trail:

Tapedown.com
DigitialUnderground.com
YoRapper.com
Realtalkny.Uproxx.com

Sometimes broadcasters get protective over their content and their own destination sites. Indeed, 90% of the Budden studiocast was viewed via embeds outside of the Amalgam/Ustream domain.

Ask team Budden yourself, and they’ll tell you that embedded distribution via Nahright was directly responsible for their record-smashing traffic on AmalgamDigital.com. Taking advantage of Ustream’s hyperlinkable text overlays (see below), Amalgam brought Joe Budden front and center to where the eyeballs were already glued. The in-video hyperlink overlay effectively converted those viewers who were already hooked:

Lesson being, be very open about your content. Don’t have access to uber-bloggers? Start with the sites you have control of. Post and embed on your Myspace and Purevolume accounts, your blogs, your sites, etc. Give your fanclub or street team the embed codes, and let them go wild tagging up the clean white walls of the internets. Send out text message blasts to your friends.

Point being, go directly to where the eyeballs are at. Attenion spans are short these days, so fid ways to reduce the amoun of clicks it takes to get to your show, and you’re golden.

The Aftermath:

Digital Amalgam smashed their previous single-day traffic numbers, translating into a spike in pre-order sales for their digital music storefront. With an ounce of creative vision and a dash of inspired execution, Jay and Felix over at Amalgam Digital took advantage of Ustream’s gratis platform to the fullest, garnering the type of Buzz and PR normally reserved for big budget marketing campaign.

Do you have the next killer idea for your artist or music event? I’d love to hear it out and help you execute. Shoot your idea and contact on over to music ustream dot TV. Let’s make it happen!

Stream videos at Ustream


Shave your head for charity – Viral game captured on Ustream

Gary Vaynerchuk didn’t become huge on accident, everything was calculated and intelligently planned out. He is the example of a pro social marketer, a person who creates buzz without even spending a dollar on ads. Gary is a genius.

The day before yesterday, Gary woke up and shaved his head live on Ustream. The viewers went nuts. Now, your average Ustreamer would stop there and call it a day, maybe quietly complain that he has a shaved head – Not Gary though, he turned it into a game.

In this video you see Gary challenging Kevin Rose to shave his head. If he does it Gary will donate $300 to a charity of Kevin’s choice. Kevin then has the power to call out the next soon-to-be-bald contestant.Kevin Rose took the challenge…live on Ustream as well.
In front of 1000 people, the god of Digg shaved his head. The recorded video was so ridiculous that it later made the front page of Digg with over 2500 diggs. Ridiculous!


Who’s next?


Your Daily Music Lesson With Walt

Recently I’ve seen an increase in out of the box thinking on Ustream – Comics drawing new strips on camera, cooking shows, screen casts of new video games, the list is endless…

Now we have music lessons. The teacher, singer-guitar-player- extraordinaire, goes by “Walt”.

walt_screenshot.pngEvery weekday Walt goes in front of his camera and gives music lessons to 200-300 people. Using our co-host feature he encourages willing viewers come on and perform their various musical talents – giving them a chance to have some one of one time. His show is well produced, consistent, and he posts on Twitter whenever he goes live – Walt gets it.

According to his bio Walt started playing guitar at the age of 16. He has an associates degree in Jazz Performance and a Bachelor’s in Music Composition. Over 50,000 total Ustream viewers and 750+ YouTube subscribers. Walt’s audience is growing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down – at this speed he’s going to teach the entire world to sing and then he’ll have nothing left to teach!

Walt – Ustream commends you on your expertise in music and your ability to captivate an audience and handle a class of over 200. Keep it up.

P.S. – We usually post on Twitter when he goes live, so follow us here and subscribe to our blog here.


Get It Embedded: How to Attract Viewers to Your Live Shows, Part 2

Inspired as I was by Matt’s Social Marketing entry, I wanted to add my 2 cents worth on the topic: embedded syndication.

By the way, we are completely open to your tips and tactics on how successful ways of promoting live online shows. Leave them in the comments, or write an entry about it in your own blog for us to link to.

Syndication: Get It Embedded

Sometimes it’s hard to get people to watch a show at a prescribed time. Instead of getting viewers to come to you, try going to where the eyeballs are already at.

Whenever possible, embed your stream on web properties that already have inborn traffic. Get stakeholders involved in promoting the show, and while you’re at it, give them your embed code to throw up alongside any online promotion they might do. Think strategically about all the stakeholders involved in your content, if/where they have an online presence, if any other web properties might be interested in these stakeholders, and how to get your stream up so that it makes sense for everyone involved.

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For example, if you have a guest musician on your show, have them throw up an embed to the video right on the destination page they might be promoting their appearance, whether it be a Myspace, a blog, or any other online social media presence. Perhaps this artist has an online fan club that might be interested in the content – shoot ‘em an embed code along with the URL. Perhaps the artist himself can put out a call in the beginning of the show to have his fans throw up the embedded video on their pages. And so on and so forth until the point of diminishing return.

It’s a way to hypnotize convert entice eyeballs that happen to be on any given stakeholder site during the actual live stream. The embed code is short, easy, and innately promiscuous; don’t be shy about sharing it far and wide!

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