Live on the Go: How to Ustream from your Smartphone or Tablet

How to Ustream from your Smartphone or Tablet

What if I told you (in my Morpheus voice, of course) that an entire global audience sits right in your palm, within the convenience of your smartphone or tablet? Yes, my dear Neo, there’s an app for that. With Ustream’s mobile app (for Android and iPhone) you can easily share moments or capture breaking news events in real-time, wherever and whenever they happen. Integrated chat? Check. Audience polling and GPS mapping? Double check.

How do you broadcast from your mobile device? I thought you would never ask 😉

Read below for more details on broadcasting using your mobile device. If you are looking instead, though, for advice on doing a higher quality broadcast using cameras and a mobile Internet source, please watch our Wireless Multi-Camera Live Streaming webinar.

Getting Started

Download the Ustream App!

Download and run the Ustream application on your smartphone by searching for ‘Ustream’ in your devices App Store or Marketplace. You can access download links to the Ustream app by clicking on your preferred device’s image below.

Ustream App for AndroidUstream App for iPhone

Setup your Channel

Press the Camcorder Icon in the Top right of the application

broadcast button on mobile

Select the ‘Go Live’ button to bring up the login or channel selector screen

Select your channel or Login with your Ustream account credentials. New to Ustream? Click here for quick, easy steps on how to create an account.

TIP: Another easy way to create a channel is by using your Facebook account. This is especially important if you have a Facebook fan page, as you can utilize our Ustream for Facebook application that allows you to broadcast live directly from your Facebook page. 

Once you select your channel you will see the camera preview. Now you’re ready to start spreading the word and attracting viewers!

Build an Audience

If you build it, they will watch. To gain viewers, provide a short description of what you are broadcasting to share with your followers & friends on Facebook and Twitter. This will send a link people can follow to watch your broadcast on their computers, mobile phones, tablets, or web connected TV’s.

Ready to Broadcast

Now we are ready to push the Red Broadcast button. And we are LIVE!

Ustream App for Smartphones


Gain Viewers

Encourage your audience to invite their friends and retweet to their followers. Spark the virality of your broadcast by energizing others to help get the word out. Inform viewers of when you will be live (start/end) in advance. Talk to friends and family, Post to your Twitter and Facebook before, after and during your broadcast.

TIP: Always remember to include your channel URL whenever you promote your broadcasts!

Ustream App for Smartphones

Engage with your Audience

Ask your viewers to enter questions in the Social Stream or Chat module and press the Chat Bubble to see those comments. You can either verbally answer their questions, follow their directions, or provide text based responses that syndicate out to Facebook and Twitter.

Ustream App for Smartphones

Shoot Great Video

Hold the camera steady and don’t make frantic moves. Think of the camera as an extension of your own eyes and viewers will see what you show them, so it is best to keep the motion smooth and steady. You are the best zoom available. To be a good videographer you need to be able to go where the action is. Don’t be afraid to move closer to the action when safe to do so. If you are not close enough viewers may not be able to see or hear what you are trying to film.

TIP: Most modern smartphones come with a small LED light on the back of the device. You can activate this light by pressing the torch icon while broadcasting. This will illuminate what you are recording and works best when 3-5 feet from what you are trying to film.

You are the eyes, ears, and often times need to be the voice explaining what is happening to your viewers. Compelling video should be supplemented with your verbal explanation of what you are filming and why the viewer should care. Remember if something was said that was difficult for you to hear chances are it was even more difficult for your viewers to hear as well.

Ustream App for Smartphones

Keep the dialog with your viewers going by providing commentary of what you are filming. Read what your viewers are saying in the Social Stream/ Chat and ask them if you are doing a good job or what they would like to see or hear.

Don’t Forget!

Before you launch your Ustream broadcast there are a couple of housekeeping things you need to do:

First, make sure you have a good broadband connection.

Second, go into your smartphone/device SETTINGS to activate DO NOT DISTURB mode.  Do not use Airplane mode because this will disable your internet connection. Use Do Not Disturb instead so that you won’t get any phone calls, texts, or push notifications during the time your iPhone is functioning as the broadcast camera.

Advanced Tips

Mobile Phone and Data Packages

Broadcasting quality live video requires a decent amount of upload speed. Look for and purchase a smartphone device that uses 3G or 4G LTE or WiMax high speed wireless networks and make sure you are in a coverage area that supports the advanced data rates. (Best Pick Samsung Galaxy S4 on Sprint 4G or Verizon LTE networks)

TIP: If you are going to be broadcasting a lot of video (Multiple Hours) it is probably a good idea to invest in an unlimited or higher tiered data package.

Mobile HotSpots

If you have an iPhone or other 3G smartphone you can buy a 4G LTE or WiMax mobile access point and create a mobile Wi-Fi HotSpot to enable faster broadcast speeds. (Best Pick: Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G Hotspot )

Extra Battery Power

Devices are getting thinner, faster and have bigger screens. This all means battery life is going to be an issue. You can look at purchasing extended batteries for your particular phone model or if you want some real staying power look at an external battery pack that continuously recharges your device while you are broadcasting. (Best Pick Energizer XP18000)

Now Get out there and Ustream!


Need Some Inspiration?

Here are some of my favorite broadcasts streamed LIVE from a smartphone or mobile device.

Trey Songz at Ustream HQ

Remember when Trey Songz went live from Ustream HQ? The broadcast was shot entirely from an iPad!


Tim Pool Ustream App for Smartphones

Tim Pool’s 21 hour Ustream coverage of NY’s Occupy protests made him a TIME 100 nominee & the face of citizen journalism

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