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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