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Is Live Streaming Going Mainstream?

October 2, 2008  

Do you have a live Internet video channel in your future? You may scratch your head wondering how such a Web presence might improve your business. But, even though it's not a mainstream marketing vehicle today, real-time streaming is a trend to watch. What started as live sports and concerts on the Web is expanding to eclectic programming ranging from weddings and celebrity interviews (eg, 50 Cent, Dalai Lama), to business events and training, political coverage, and more.

Early-stage companies like Justin.TV, Stickam, and Mogulus have made it easy to go online with compelling live video. Just set up an account, plug your camera into your computer, and direct your video broadcast to the Web. A simple widget allows other sites to carry your channel.

One start-up, Ustream.TV, was even selected as exclusive Web video provider for the Republican National Convention, offering continuous live feeds of interviews and speeches to the entire planet as they occurred. According to founder John Ham, Ustream's live channels are not just for watching: they're for connecting and creating brand loyalty. "Ustream is not a destination," says Ham, "it's a platform for 'live moments'" that is becoming a social networking foundation.

These are early days for live streaming business channels, but as MarketingProfs' upcoming Digital Marketing Mixer Keynote and Internet Wine Library TV host Gary Vaynerchuk says: "This is where the world is going," and where you need to be "spending time building your brand, building your community."

The Po!nt: Dive in. Or at least keep your eye on the Live Stream: it may indeed be flowing mainstream.

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