Ustream.tv will announce tomorrow that live feeds on the company's website and distributed video players got a combined 10 million unique viewers last month. If those numbers are solid, it's a major validation of live streaming video on the web.Live video broadcasting service
When YouTube Live launches later this year, this medium is only going to get bigger.
Churches, rock stars and politicians have been taking UStream out of the tech blogger niche, there's now an impressive line-up of live and recorded content on the site. Each of the videos below, for example, has been viewed more than 25,000 times. The live video of Obama's victory speech only has 75,000 views - so there's a lot more going on than just that! Ten million monthly uniques is surprisingly high, but appears to be a credible claim.
The company says that these 10 million uniques come from the whole UStream network, which presumably includes embedded players. Third party traffic analysts Quantcast says that UStream participates in its traffic monitoring program (using embed codes) and reports that the UStream global network gets just under 8 million uniques as far as it's concerned. UStream says Quantcast is new to them and will take some time to catch up in its reporting. That may be a viable explanation, but the numbers are close enough. UStream also reports that their number equals 10 million people actually playing a live video stream - not people who have loaded pages that happen to have an unplayed UStream player embedded in them. It also doesn't include views of recorded videos. That's impressive.
Competitor Mogulus also uses Quantcast, and Quantcast says they have a global network that sees 4.5 million uniques.
Those are serious numbers. We've argued for some time that live video was going to be big, but the pace of growth is a little bit surprising. Note also that UStream was established just over a year ago, in March of 2007. When we reported this week that social news site Mixx hasn't been able to surpass 1 million unique visitors per month in their first year despite links from every story on CNN.com, USAToday, Weather.com and a list of other major media sites - we said there was an integration or audience targeting problem. UStream's 10 million and Mogulus's 4.5 million monthly uniques are what new media technologies look like when they really start to catch on.