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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:

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