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Top Live Streams of 2008

Millions discovered the power of live streaming in 2008. Viewers watched an average of 18 years of content every day on Ustream. Check it out: we put together a highlights video and a list of the most-watched live moments this year!

1. Shiba Inu Puppy Cam:  When dog owners set up a cam in their home to keep track of six newborn Shiba Inu pups while they were at work, millions tuned in to watch the cute puppies sleep, eat and play. Nearly 900 years have been spent watching the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam, making it the most-watched internet video of all time. From a Digg user: “Most people say I tend to be dramatic, but in this case I’m not…I swear this video has changed my life! It is truly the greatest thing I have ever seen on the internet.”

2. President-Elect Barack Obama: Ustream powered Barack Obama’s live campaign events across the nation this fall. Obama’s victory night speech on the evening of Nov. 4 was one of the most-watched live online moments of the year.

3. Republican National Convention: Ustream was the exclusive live streaming partner at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.  Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s daughter Piper Palin was captured smoothing her younger brother Trig’s hair on Ustream, among many noteworthy moments streamed online during the event.

4. Jonathan Davis’ Studio Cam (Lead Singer of Korn): Jonathan Davis installed three cams in his studio to show the world his creative process as his new album comes together. He streams all day every day.

5. Obama Sign: When a Portland, Oregon family’s campaign yard sign for Barack Obama was stolen in April and again in September, 16-year-old Preston Fosback decided to set up a live stream of his handmade Obama sign that ran all day every day to capture the culprit. What followed was one of the most-watched videos of the year. From Preston Fosback: “The Internet has a way of taking simple things and making them

6. Hurricanes Ike & Gustav: When these storms plowed through the Southeast in August, residents in affected areas live streamed the storms and their aftermath, providing access to millions of viewers.

7. TechCrunch50: One of the biggest tech events of the year, TechCrunch50 was held in San Francisco and Ustream was the exclusive live-streaming partner. During the  two-day September show,  50 companies were launched and highlighted. Ustream delivered live streams to millions of viewers worldwide to virtually attend.

8. Taylor Swift:  One of country music’s standout stars hosted the most-watched artist live question-and-answer stream of 2008 in November.

9. 50 Cent: Hip-hop star conducted two live streams in 2008, enabling fans to interact with him. He conducted a live Q&A from his hotel room in South Africa in spring and live streamed his G-Unit radio show on Sirius XM in December.

10. Dalai Lama: The Dalai Lama held a press conference in Ann Arbor, Mich. in April, at the height of the Chinese/Tibet discussions in the U.S. with the Olympic Torch Relay.

Founder’s Predictions For 2009

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.

2008 Viral Video of the Year And Puppy Cam SONG!

Most of the world now has seen our beloved Shiba Inu Puppy Cam (maybe the world is a exaggeration, but 10 million people have tuned it).

They been on TV and radio, in magazines and blogs.  The pups were on CNN atleast 20 times. John our other Founder and I even got to be on the Today show live (yes, I was nervous).

Did you hear this? They are also one of the Top 10 Most Viral Videos of 2008, perhaps even the most viral LIVE video of all time.

All of this because a SF family decided to put a puppy nanny cam on their 6 adorable little puppies. Who would have thought!

And now, they even have a song! Enjoy and Happy Holidays..

UPDATE:  NBC Nightly News Piece from today!

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