All posts by Brad Hunstable

Yes CIO, You Will Soon Be Dead.

We hear it more and more: a blaring warning signal to CIO’s, as their roles are quickly fizzling out. In my latest post on Medium, I dive into the rise of the CMO in today’s consumerized and cloud-based world. CMO’s will increasingly own more budget (that has traditionally been allocated to technology services), as their marketing tools start to cross further over into the technology space.
Check it out HERE — would love your feedback!

Enter the PS4… So What?


Exactly seven years ago, Sony dramatically changed the gaming landscape with the launch of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) game console. Fast-forward to the present, and Sony is uniquely-positioned to repeat history with the launch of the PlayStation 4 (PS4).

One of the most important features of the PS4 will be its live video streaming capabilities, with both Ustream and Twitch integrated into the console. It’s a game-changing feature (literally), and earlier this year, I chatted with EngadgetForbes, and The Wall Street Journal about the potential for the PS4 to become the “modern day cable box.”

Who Put The Consumer In My Enterprise?

Consumerization, the growing tendency for new technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into the enterprise sector, has and will continue to pave the way for innovation. What first started as “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device), has led to the harsh (yet exciting) realization by enterprise companies that software in today’s constantly connected world needs to be both easy to use AND easy to the eye.

At Ustream, we’ve also experienced consumerization, and I’m happy to say that — as a result of all the hard work from our Ustreamers across the globe — the dual notions of “easy to use” and “easy to the eye” can indeed co-exist in this live video streaming world we thrive in. We’ve got a ton of work to do in order to meet the growing needs of our customers, but we can certainly credit our early adopters (largely consumers) and plan to continue to improve the user experience.

I’ve started writing regular posts on Medium, check out the full post here: Who Put The Consumer In My Enterprise?, via Medium

We’re Two Billion Strong, Thanks to You!

Six years ago, we started Ustream with the mission to bring live video broadcasting technology to the entire world. Today, we are the world’s most scalable and social platform for live video streaming, enabling millions of content creators to reach global audiences and share experiences in real-time. We were born in the tech capitol of the world — San Francisco — and in celebration of Innovation Month in our big city, we have some exciting news to share!

Thanks to all our Ustreamers across the globe, we’ve recently hit a company milestone: Our platform has powered more than two billion viewer-hours! Consider what two billion hours actually looks like…

Ustream: Fastest Growing in US! Inc 500

This week, Inc. 500 announced its 2013 Inc. 5000 List of the “Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.” We are thrilled to announce that Ustream was ranked #343 overall!


Congratulations to all companies ranked; we are delighted to be in great company. As the Founder & CEO, I want to personally thank our dedicated Ustream employees and our loyal Ustream broadcasters!

Two sides of a stream: SaaS vs. Advertising

Two sides of a stream: SaaS vs. Advertising

We’re intrigued by today’s news from Google’s I/O conference about how YouTube is making their beta live video service more available to certain select parters (those with more than 1000 followers and are selected through an application process).   While some view this as a competitive threat to Ustream, we see this development as complementary and it certainly validates the significance of LIVE as the next wave in online video.

Since 2007, Ustream has built an open technology platform that allows anyone to instantly transmit live broadcasts over the internet, using anything from a simple mobile phone app to the most sophisticated digital camera.  Many cameras like those from Panasonic, Samsung and Logitech now come with Ustream built-in.  It’s literally “point, shoot, and stream live to Ustream.”

New Media vs. Old Media: Which Side Did You Partake In Yesterday’s Play-By-Play in Boston?

Yesterday, we at Ustream — along with millions across the globe — were taken in by the events that quickly unfolded as the second suspect of the Boston Marathon was captured.  Last night, we saw heightened engagement from a scanner that surfaced on Ustream (, which enabled nearly 2.5 million people to share this live experience.  At its peak around 8:15/8:30pm Eastern, over 265k viewers were watching/listening concurrently.  Even more eye-opening was that nearly half the viewers were tuning in via mobile devices.

Ustream was created six years ago to help bridge the gap between the physical and virtual live experience, and we take pride in our ability to connect people to the things they value most.  We highly value Internet freedom, and we’ve seen impactful citizen journalists utilize our platform throughout the years.  Yesterday’s events were quite the validation of how things have quickly evolved — consumers crave instant gratification and social media has given them access and insight unlike ever before.  Over the course of the last 24 hours, a number of news articles have acknowledged how social media has come to the forefront for consumption of information, particularly in times like this.

Our mission at Ustream is to empower anyone, anywhere with a digital camera to broadcast live and share their experiences with the world in real-time.   This mission has put Ustream front and center of many breaking news stories, such as the Arab Spring, the uprising in Syria, Hurricane Sandy, and many other important events.  We strongly believe live broadcasting on the internet is a force for open, transparent communication.  If we are ever asked by a law enforcement agency to remove a channel for fear of endangering a public safety officer or the public, we would honor that request.  In this instance there was no such request.

The police scanner that surfaced on Ustream yesterday was broadcast over one of our free accounts via our open platform.  We routinely monetize these free channels as they are created, and we don’t proactively sell ads against them.  Rather, their costs are automatically offset by ad networks.  Ustream has processes in place to respond to any violations of Ustream’s Terms of Service (including copyright infringement notices) and any requests from the law authorities.

Where did you tune in yesterday?

For any questions or more information, please contact Joellen Ferrer, Ustream’s Communication Director at or @joellenferr

In case you missed the NAB Show…

This year’s annual NAB Show, appropriately themed around the metamorphosis of broadcast media, centered heavily on social media and consumer engagement.  This year, I had the pleasure of hosting an NAB Info Session about the “Reinvention of Live Media,” where I got a chance to update the audience about what we’ve got in the hopper at Ustream.

We’re in the middle of a major shift in consumer habits, as social media has created the expectation of instant gratification and real-time connectivity.  All of us in the broadcasting space need to adapt and be nimble, in order to stay relevant and innovative. I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done over the years to create such a robust, yet widely adopted platform to connect our global community to the things they care about. The Ustream Cloud Platform fuses live content with social media, providing the most engaging shared experiences for both broadcasters and viewers. Check out how “fans are rushing the stage,” now that Ustream has provided a means to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual live experience

We also put together a unique panel of our customers to chat about their use-cases, which I feel really helped to connect the dots between live video streaming and consumer engagement. The industries ran the gamut — education (Arizona State University), media (POPSugar), religion (Saint Monica Catholic Church), non-profit (, and sports (Premium Sports) — but the goals for each one all centered around connectivity and audience engagement.  Watch it here:

Video streaming by Ustream

San Francisco Bay Area locals may recognize Lisa Kim in the above video stream, who was moderating the customer panel.  She spent many years anchoring and reporting, most recently at NBC 11.  Lisa spent some time with us at the NAB Show, as we created an all-day live show last Tuesday to give viewers a flavor of the showroom floor.  From this, we captured a variety of content from companies and attendees, including product demos and interviews. Click the “Ustream Livepack” tab and choose from a variety of videos from the day:

Free desktop streaming application by Ustream

I also spent some time walking the floor throughout the course of the week, and I couldn’t help but notice several consistent topics of conversation: 4K, second screen monetization, and broadcast distribution were the most popular thought starters. While Ustream doesn’t necessarily play directly in these areas, it’s certainly something we, as a company, need to innovate towards.  For example, TVs will continue to get smarter and sharper, and I see a future where viewers are seamlessly watching Ustream content in whichever quality will eventually overtake 4K.

As with any major conference, there are a number of events off the showroom floor.  We sponsored the Technology Awards Luncheon, where the National Association of Broadcasters gave recognition to some of the most innovative people in the industry. NASA Administrator Charles Boldin gave the keynote speech and talked about some of their upcoming missions, including plans to capture an asteroid, bring it closer to earth, and launch a manned ship to it.  Hear him talk more about this incredible mission (beamed in via satellite in true NASA fashion):

Video streaming by Ustream

Over the years, we’ve done some incredible things with NASA, including live video streaming their ‘Curiosity’ rover landing on Mars for over 3 million captivated viewers last year.  Even more recently, Ustream enabled more than 7.5 million viewers to watch the Russian meteor fly-by live through NASA’s stream.  You no longer have to be an astronaut to see the surface of Mars — and soon enough, you’ll be seeing an asteroid-capture!


We’ve got much more to come, but in the meantime, you can read more about our latest news in our Press Box:

Join Ustream as we celebrate Veterans Day

Please join the Ustream community this Sunday, Nov. 11, in celebrating our country’s veterans.

Ustream began with a vision to connect deployed troops separated from their families and friends; enabling a soldier in Afghanistan to watch his sister’s recital in Iowa or for that same soldier to broadcast to his loved ones and tell them he’s okay. We are proud to be a veteran-owned and operated company whose technology and products today connect tens of millions of people every month around shared broadcast experiences.

This Sunday, we hope you will join Ustream in sharing your own tribute to veterans. Using the Ustream mobile app for iPhone or Android, a webcam, or a professional video camera; add the #UstreamVets hashtag to your broadcast title and submit your info to our editors here so that we can share your event with the world. Visit us on Veterans Day for an all-day, worldwide celebration of courage, commitment, and sacrifice.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Stream a thank you message to a veteran(s), ones you know or not.
  • Broadcast your hometown Veterans Day parade or flag raising ceremony.
  • Go live wherever you’re celebrating the traditional 11 a.m. moment of silence.
  • Share a reflection of a veteran who has made an impact on your life.
  • Read an open letter to veterans.
  • Perform a song inspired by veterans.
  • Interview veterans and have them share their own story.

Use one of the ideas above or submit your own along your channel in the form below. If you need help setting up your channel, you can go to Ustream University or fill in your contact info below and a Ustream editor will get in touch.

Thank you,

Brad Hunstable
Founder/CEO, Ustream
U.S. Army veteran

Streaming Wars: Ustream thinks YouTube’s numbers not so Stratos-pheric

“And since we’re in debate season, I’m willing to debate YouTube at Streaming Media West about their arithmetic” – Brad Hunstable, CEO
Over the past few weeks, several large live broadcasts on the Internet highlight the tremendous popularity and growth of live events.  Whether it was the Mars Rover landing, the first Presidential debate or a live PSY concert from Seoul, live broadcasting is on a roll at Ustream.  Our chief competitor in live video, YouTube, has run into a few bumps in the road lately.  In the face of huge demand, YouTube goes down when pounded with requests for live streams while still claiming “record breaking” audiences. This forced them to use a third party CDN, Akamai.

With all three of their most recent large broadcasts, including the Red Bull Stratos Jumper, YouTube’s claims keep getting bigger and bigger, and frankly harder to believe.  In the case of the RedBull Jumper, YouTube claims they had 8 million concurrent views, the largest live broadcast “ever.”  Dan Rayburn of Streaming Media called out this claim in his blog yesterday. He pointed out that YouTube’s assertion is probably off by a factor of 8 according to Akamai’s public reports.

Meanwhile, Ustream is able to easily scale to millions of simultaneous viewers.

During the most recent Presidential debate on October 3rd, Youtube was unable to support the load.  Ustream easily supported over 3.5 million views during the debate.   The next day, Ustream streamed 1.5 million viewers for a live concert by PSY, the viral music phenomenon of “Gangnam Style” fame.  Ustream received double the viewership of Youtube and ultimately Youtube crashed around the world.

We will follow-up with more posts about Ustream’s world class infrastructure and the differences from YouTube.

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