Thanks to a boisterous group of startups, it’s never been easier to broadcast live video on the Web — for free. The live streamers have been adept at soaking up venture funding, even though meaningful revenue has been elusive. Now the big guys are getting in on it, too: Yahoo launched its own live service in February and YouTube is launching later this year.
So how big is the demand for live Webcasts? Given the hubub, not nearly as big as you’d think.
The biggest site, LiveVideo, had 1.13 million unique viewers in February, according to Nielsen’s VideoCensus. That’s enough to earn it 49th on Nielsen’s list of top video sites — and to beat Sony’s Crackle (nee Grouper). But it drops off dramatically from there.
Second-place streamer uStream, supposedly a Microsoft buyout candidate, ranks 142nd among the top video sites. That puts it between iVillage Network (141st) and one above Atom Films (143rd), in terms of unique viewers of video. And Justintv, the supposedly redhot home of iJustine? Just 82,000 unique viewers, Nielsen says — enough to earn it #369.
Here’s now the live streamers measured up in Feburary compared to all video sites, according to Nielsen’s VideoCensus.
49. LiveVideo: 1.13 million unique viewers
142. uStream TV: 354,000
229. Stickam: 178,000
369. Justintv: 82,000
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