Live TV on the Internet

Searching for innovation in live, streaming video brought me to Mogulus last night. I’ve been enamored with uStream, Stickam and BlogTV but realize how limited and “Webcam-centric” they are currently.

Since Mogulus is in beta right now, I’ve not yet had a chance to put it through its paces. Viewing the video, going through this online presentation (that had too many people in it which caused a hiccup on Adobe’s servers), looking at the screenshots absolutely blew me away.

Here’s what excited me about this service:

a) The capability to deliver a live show with graphics, over-the-shoulder images like the news, crawls and more which look professional

b) Having multiple other people — all connected through their own webcams or cameras — allows a host or producer to switch between “feeds” instantly (“…and now let’s go to our correspondent live at the conference…”)

c) In advance of a live show, a storyboard can be created of assembled videos that can be in the queue and inserted into the live show at the click of a mouse

d) Assembled content can be delivered sequentially so a “channel” or “station” you create can broadcast programming 24/7. This meets the old broadcaster mantra of “no dead air” on a channel, but archived content needs to be available on-demand and I didn’t see how Mogulus could achieve that for viewers.

Just days ago I wrote in this post:

I’ve brought up scale over-n-over again on this blog and I know that streaming video is really hard and the bandwidth needed is expensive. What if a hot ‘show’ is streamed on Stickam or uStream and has even 1% of the disappearing network TV show audience (37.5 million viewers in the US in March for broadcast networks), there is NO way that any of these lower end solutions would be up to the task of streaming to an audience of 375,000 people…let alone millions.

When individuals, companies or organizations start down a path of choosing superior communication technologies, they are placing a bet. I view many solutions — Skype, Stickam, uStream, and many Web 2.0 solutions — are bleeding edge and not a safe bet.”

If you have a small audience, no problem. An important event that you need to have rock solid and guaranteed uptime? I wouldn’t use any service that wouldn’t provide me with an SLA (Service Level Agreement guaranteeing service parameters).

Mogulus will be one to watch as will similar live streaming offerings coming from Brightcove as well as the recently announced Flash streaming service from Akamai (more info here and a video with Akamai’s streaming product manager here).

Figure out right now how you’ll be delivering live TV over the Internet starting this Fall or expect that this time next year you’ll be kicking yourself you didn’t start sooner!

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.