Brad Hunstable, Dr. Gyula Feher and I have been building Ustream, the leader in live video, for over two years now. Throughout the history of our company we’ve been asked about our thoughts on Live video. In answering this question, we answer another simple, yet powerful, question: “Why Live?”
Live unlocks the viral potential of the internet. Over the past few years, the internet has proven itself to be a “viral” medium. With web tools like Facebook and Twitter and the emergence of smart phones, sharing has never been easier — people who “care to share” are fully equipped and have the potential to catapult notable content to worldwide notoriety. We have seen this proven most recently with the quick and global spread of one of our very own streams, the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam! In under 2 months, this Live stream was shared throughout the world and reached over 18 million people, becoming, almost over night, the most watched Live video in history.
With that, Ustream’s predictions for our space in 2009.
1. 2009 is the “Year of LIVE.” The use of Live streaming as a social media tool will continue to grow, and prove to be an invaluable solution for individuals and companies around the world looking to reach their online communities in innovative ways. The emotional connection formed by seeing it happen Live versus recorded is a compelling frontier in social media marketing.
2. LIVE drives VIRAL and VIRAL drives LIVE: LIVE and VIRAL have a symbiotic relationship. Live is more virulent because it’s event based. Live events like a Taylor Swift live webchat or the immediacy around a community of millions watching LIVE gives us something to talk about, something to share — a vehicle by which we disseminate our message throughout the viral internet. In return, the viral internet brings viewers back to the live event.
3. Proven Scale will matter MORE: With high profile live events like Google serving the RNC through Ustream, rock solid technology and infrastructure will continue to be critical. When you have millions of people at the same place, at the same time, watching the same thing, you will need a solution that has proven scale with a scale stress test.