Posts Tagged 'Personal Broadband Broadcasting'

What’s the real business potential of Personal Broadband Broadcasting?

I’ve written a lot lately on products that enable users to broadcast themselves live over the interment. These products are mature enough to be used by almost everyone, and hype is building up in this field, slowly but surely.

But what is the real potential of this segment? Are we looking at companies that will become the next YouTube, or at a niche market segment with limited growth potential?

The difference between live broadcasting and edited content is a major one. While edited content allows creators to correct their mistakes, add visuals to their content and create an overall better experience for users, live broadcasting requires special kind of creators – ones who can immediately respond to their audience, talk fluently on a specific topic and interact on the fly with viewers and co-hosts.

Therefore, I don’t believe we will see as much traffic and content in live sites as in the YouTubes of the world. Add the fact that live content usually does not contain copyright infringing material, and you get a content arena with original content only, most of it by unknown creators.

What kind of usage pattern will increase the economic value of this medium? In my opinion we should not look at this medium as a stand alone technology, but as another tool in new media creators’ tool box. I’ve started a discussion about different ways to use this medium here. Companies that will tailor their products to the specific needs of their customers, rather then leave the platform as a general purpose site, can increase both usage and loyalty.

Another way of increasing the economical value of this medium is by helping Indie creators use it as a part of covering live events – just like any other news organization. Technology provider that will embrace Indie content creators, and enable them to cover events of their interest, will create a new kind of media arena – independent and alternative live coverage of niche events. Companies can encourage users to use their platform by providing them with specialized equipment such as wireless cams, to cover high profile events. Creativity, like in other area, is the key here.

There is no single answer to the question I’ve raised in the headline of this post. However, one thing is certain – plain feature wars are not the answer for creating economic value in this emerging market.

3 Ideas on How to Use Internet Live Broadcasting

Live broadcasting over the Internet is gaining ground. BlogTV, Mogulus, and Ustream, are only some of the companies offering similar products, and fighting for market share.

Some are using this medium as another tool to express their opinions. Jeff Pulver is a great example.

Some are exposing their life and looking for support. Some are just exposing themselves…

But, can we do more with this medium? How can Internet TV shows enhance their content with this technology? What kind of shows can be solely based on this technology?

Here are some of my ideas:

Do a Q&A session with your viewers, live, with the main characters of your show (Ninjas included…)

Join forces with 3 other video Bloggers and do a multi-location online event, covering one common topic

Announce a trivia session about a topic, get some sponsorship for a prize, and do a live session around it. Whoever answers the questions first using the chat application – wins.

What do YOU think? How can we use this medium in an innovative, exciting, and useful way? please add your comments below. We can then aggregate all our ideas and publish a nice, long and useful “best practice” post.

Mogulus – Professional Live Broadcasting

I was lucky to be included in Mogulus closed beta this week. Mogulus is another Personal Broadband Broadcasting platform, similar in some aspects to BlogTV and Ustream.

Mogulus is loaded with top notch features. You can add logos, tickers, backgrounds, show schedule and other information to live broadcasts. A major feature of the platform is the ability to use several cameras in one show, with contributors from all across the world. Furthermore, you can rate your show as it fits all audience, R rated, etc.

It doesn’t stop there. You can search for video clips, online and on your computer, and add them to your show seamlessly. You can also create a storyboard for your show. These features, combined with the use of multiple cameras, make this platform by far the most professional application out there.

Moguls has a full blown control room, where a person can control all these abilities. Therefore, It enables a professional work flow, separating the presenter and the producer.

The Show can be embedded in other sites as well.

The most interesting point is a missing feature – you can’t chat with the presenter.

So, what’s the difference between Mogulus and BlogTV or Ustream?
Mogulus offer different experience and aimed at different media creators.
BlogTV and Ustream have two strong attributes – they are easy to use, and enable interaction with the presenters. You just plug in your camera, and you are live. The interactivity feature makes these applications more community oriented then Mogulus.

Mogulus setup time is relatively long, as you need to go through a long list of features and decide whether to use them or not. It also has a structured work flow, including creation of storyboards.

In case Mugulus are aiming at high end users, who want to create a high quality live broadcasting experience, they have a very compelling offering. However, the product is too complicated for people who just want to broadcast quickly, and build a community around their content.

In a way, BlogTV/Ustream is the live broadcasting equivalent of basic UGC clip with a guy crashing into a wall, while Mogulus is similar to high end shows, that requires planning, script and time to create.

It is not that Mugols can’t approach BlogTV/Ustream market. If they just add a shortcut button on the first screen of the studio site, allowing users to immediately go online, they can have a decent offering for the UGC crowd.

I’d love to hear Mogulus team’s views on this market and their future plans.
More to come…

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BlogTV Announcement – embedded player with co-hosts and chat

The buzz yesterday was true – BlogTV released a new version of their product. See Jeff’s blog post for the full announcement. I was lucky to be one of the first 10 people who got access to the new product, and saw an impressive piece of software.

It is great to see that BlogTV has moved from their portal concept to a more open approach. As I’ve mentioned here – context is a crucial part of live internet boradcasting, and the easiest way to achieve that is by letting users to embed their live streams in their blog.

More to come…

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Buzz – A major blogTV announcement ahead?

I wasn’t sure if to post it or not, but here it is – there is a major buzz among my circle of contacts about an announcement today regrading BlogTV. I wonder if it is a new episode in the feature war in this segment, and I hope some of the key features I’ve covered in this blog will be included.

Stay tuned for more information.

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3 Tips for Succesful Live Broadcating

Last night, Jeff Pulver and I broadcasted and recorded two short live shows from TLV and Frankfurt airport, en route to Stockholm. It was a lot of fun, we just opened a laptop and started broadcasting.

However, since we didn’t have a lot of viewers, it made us think about the means of increasing internet TV viewership in general, and particularly live broadcasting. Some of the things we found crucial:
1. Announce your show early enough, through blogs, Twitter and such.
2. Define a concrete topic to each show, so people would know what they are getting.
3. Find hosts that have good chemistry, so non scripted situations will flow and be as funny as the rehearsed ones.

We look forward to do several additional shows like these while in Stockholm – Hopefully with interesting and creative people from Podcamp.

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BlogTV vs Ustream.tv – it is not technology, it is strategy

My friend Jeff wrote about one of the most interesting products in Israel – BlogTV. BlogTV enables users to stream live shows from their webcam to the internet, and 3G phones. It has advanced features such as multicam support. Does it ring a bell? Did anybody say Ustream? Yes, both companies have similar products technically, though Ustream is a bit behind from feature perspective (see my previous post detailing missing features in Ustream). Ustream is the new kid on the block – while BlogTV exists for years. As Ustream features covering all basic functionality of its predecessor, we see another example of technology being a sidekick to the main show – marketing and strategy.

There is a major difference between the companies – while Ustream enables users to embed their player in their own website, BlogTV requires viewers to login and watch the content in their portal. It is not a technical barrier – embedded players are yesterday’s news. So, again, it is only a business question.

I am not sure that this is the right approach to this segment. For years BlogTV was a place where adults showed their days (and nights) to the public, kids showed their face with music in the background and that’s it. The reason is lack of context.

Ustream enables me as a blogger to add another dimension to my work, and serve as another item in my multimedia toolbox. I am not sure that this is the case for BlogTV. The simplest proof to that is that I know BlogTV for ages, but only when I played with Ustream a bit, I fully understood the potential of Personal Broadband Broadcasting. It was great to see Jeff’s stream from his lecture in Stockholm as part of his post describing the event itself. It is true that I still go to both Ustream and BlogTV sites to watch interesting shows, but it is less compelling for me as a potential broadcaster who is interested to enrich his offering with new content types.

So, my personal conclusion is – if you love your stream, set it free!

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He also believed in setting things free…

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