Mobile TV Comes Into Focus
Online streaming video provider Ustream is making a stronger push into mobile. The recently released iPhone app we wrote about now has almost a million downloads. This isn’t pure mobile television because it’s pulling from Ustream’s online feed (via Wi-Fi) as opposed to a broadcast signal, but it’s showing the way for mobile video delivery and user experience.
Now Ustream is taking it a step further with a new business unit that will focus solely on mobile applications. Its first initiative? An application for a series of devices (iPhone app pending) to shoot and broadcast video. This has clear social implications and will come with lots of tie-ins to Twitter and other ways to alert users and friends to watch live video. It will also kick off with some celebrity Ustreamers (Josh Groban, Lil Wayne) that will shoot video from their mobile devices.
But for the rest of us, there are local implications as well. Some of the local search players we talk to are looking for ways to stay ahead of user trends, behavior and expectations. Some, like Yelp and Qype, are talking about video production: evolving their local business reviews and community interaction to include user-generated video. The capability for this exists already because it involves shooting then uploading a video file.
But we’re starting to see the development of more real-time local video broadcasting capability on the mobile device. Ustream is pushing this with the software apps and back-end capability. It will also require hardware penetration, and more widely spread cultural adoption of shooting and sharing video via mobile.
This will be partly a generational thing but we are moving in these directions, thanks to people like 26-year-old Lil Wayne, who Ustreamed the Grammys from his handy mobile device …