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Ustream, Inc.
Ustream Logo 2013.png
Blue Logo 2013
Web address
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Video streaming
Registration Optional
Available language(s) English, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Korean
Owner Ustream, Inc.
Launched March 2007
Alexa rank 880 (April 2013)[1]
Current status Active

Ustream is a company founded in 2007 that provides video streaming services to more than 80 million viewers and broadcasters. It is based in San Francisco and has more than 180 employees in their San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Budapest offices. Company partners include Panasonic, Samsung, Logitech, CBS News, PBS NewsHour, Viacom, and IMG Media.[2] It received $11.1 million in Series A funding for new product development from DCM (Doll Capital Management) and investors Labrador Ventures and Band of Angels.[3] It is owned by an American company of the same name, Ustream, Inc., based in San Francisco, California. Ustream will be the live game streaming service for Sony's PlayStation 4.[1][4]


Ustream was born when the founders (John Ham, Brad Hunstable, and Dr. Gyula Feher) wanted a way for their friends in the Army, who were deployed overseas in Iraq during the war, to be able to communicate with their families. A product like Ustream would provide them with a way to talk to all of their relatives at once when free time in the war zone was limited.[5]

Launching their public beta in March 2007, Ustream is one of a series of live video sites, including, Livestream, and Bambuser. The company has seen significant growth in the political, entertainment, and technology fields.[6]

Ustream has witnessed many notable people streaming from politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards,[7] to artists like Tori Amos and the Plain White T's.[8] Notable lifecasters such as iJustine & E-TARD The LifeCaster[9] have made their mark on Ustream as well. The technology community has also adopted Ustream to include Robert Scoble, Leo Laporte, Chris Pirillo and Klasic Kumputerz.


In 2007 and 2008, Ustream won a CNET "Webware 100" Award.[10]

In 2008, Ustream won the SXSW People's Choice Award.[11][12]

In 2010, Ustream, Inc. was recognized as one of the "Hottest Silicon Valley Companies" by Lead411.[13]

In 2013, Ustream in partnership with SuiteSpot, Mullen and Unit 9 won a Shorty Award for "Best Mid-Sized Agency" for their Jet Blue Getaway With It campaign.[14]

In 2013, Ustream won Streaming Media Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards for Best Live Video Platform. [15]


Ustream's basic service is free and supported by advertising revenue. A paid service called Watershed was formerly available, charging broadcasters on a per-viewer basis and allowing either ad-free service or broadcaster-supplied advertisements.[16] In 2013, Ustream phased out the Watershed program for their Pro Broadcasting Services, based on monthly charges to broadcasters.[17]

Automatic content blocking[edit]

Ustream uses a copyright enforcement service provided by Vobile, which uses a proprietary fingerprinting system to automatically detect copyrighted content.[18][19] This system has been known to generate what are considered by some to be false positives, blocking content that should fall under fair use, or which has been specifically licensed by the stream originator. In one such incident, the official livecast of the 2012 Hugo Award ceremony was terminated because it incorporated authorized clips of nominated television shows and movies, causing "a flood of livid Twitter messages". The following day, Ustream apologized for the incident and temporarily disabled automatic blocking while they adjusted the system to "better balance the needs of broadcasters, viewers, and copyright holders".[20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " - Traffic Details from Alexa". Alexa Internet, Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  2. ^ CrunchBase Ustream Company Profile" CrunchBase, April 19, 2013
  3. ^ Cynopsis: Digital. April 14, 2008.[dead link]
  4. ^ , June 18th 2013
  5. ^ WebWare, Merry Christmas, Mom: Ustream links soldiers with home, December 14, 2007
  6. ^ "Ustream.TV Experiences Significant Business Growth; Company Adds New CEO, Industry Partners and Thousands of Users". 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  7. ^ November 26, 2007 Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins View Comments (2007-11-26). "YouTube and UStream Go Political". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  8. ^ Brad Hunstable, Founder November 16th, 2007 (2007-11-16). "The Ustream.TV Blog » Blog Archive » Plain White T’s Event Serves 130,000". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  9. ^ "E-TARD The 24/7 LifeCaster". E-TARD.TV. September 5, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  10. ^ Needleman, Rafe (2008-04-21). "And the Webware 100 winners are". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  11. ^ SXSQ People's Choice[dead link]
  12. ^ Brad Hunstable, Founder February 13th, 2008 (2008-02-13). "SXSW Finalist 2008". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  13. ^ "Lead411 launches "Hottest Silicon Valley Companies" awards". 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  14. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ . 2013-12 Retrieved 2014-04-11.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ John Ham, Founder February 17th, 2009 (2009-02-17). "The Ustream.TV Blog » Blog Archive » Today, Ustream launches Watershed". Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  17. ^ Ustream, (2013-04-22). "Looking for Watershed? You've found something better.". Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  18. ^ Hunstable, Brad (2010-07-16). "Launch of Improved Measures to Protect Copyright Holders and Vobile Integration". Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  19. ^ "Vobile Core Technology". Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  20. ^ Ha, Anthony (September 3, 2012), "Ustream Apologizes For Shutting Down The Hugo Awards Livestream, Says It Will ‘Recalibrate’", TechCrunch 
  21. ^ Gross, Doug (September 4, 2012), Ustream apologizes for killing Hugo Awards webcast, CNN 

External links[edit]