Why I Hate Live Video (User Generated)

So tonight I was having dinner with a fantastic group of entrepreneurs (David Cohen, Stan James, Eric Marcoullier, Micah Baldwin, Heather Capri, Danny Newman, Ingrid, Judd and I am sure a few that I am forgetting) and the topic came to live video. Danny immediately had a cell phone camera on the conversation, which went something like this.

I don’t like Live Video on Cellphones in general and as a startup play for the following reasons:

  • Compelling Content Is Hard to Produce. There has been some very interesting bits on qik, ustream and other sites, but mostly it is not interesting. You are asking a lot from your users.
  • Actual Quality is Low.If you care about video, you care about quality. Shaky quality, horrible audio, and sub par compression rates is not what you want when capturing a memory.
  • Demand Is Lacking. I still think live video broadcasting is solving a problem that isn’t there.
  • You Can’t Control the Content of Live. Photobucket looks at every photo that is uploaded to their servers before it is put up live. National TV shows sometimes have a 7 second delay just in case. As a startup, you will be responsible for the content, especially if your service is used to break federal law.
  • Are Peoples Lives Really That Boring? So in a way you are saying that a low quality lens into your life is better than a persons current situation. I see how YouTube videos are passed on and watched over and over, but you don’t have that luxury with live.
  • Does It Have to Be Live? Putting together some amazing event or conversation? Why does it have to be live? Why don’t you get a high quality version and edit it down? Don’t waste the time of your audience (unless they are looking for it). I love interactivity, but there is something to be said about just being there.
  • Lack of Compelling Stories. I think my attitudes would be much different if there was a major need for this (ex. a political coup where the news teams can’t move around, for instance). Watching someone walk around a conference can be fun, but I don’t see massive user adoption.

Now this isn’t to say that there are some fantastic uses for live video, and even live cell phone video, but right now, you won’t see me holding up my phone at a concert to live broadcast it (and even if I wanted to, it is an iPhone and can’t do that).





5 responses to “Why I Hate Live Video (User Generated)”

  1. Zach Hale Avatar

    I completely agree though your friend does have a bit of a point in that video there that there is no demand because people don’t see it as a viable solution yet.

    But really, who cares? People who are interested in observing others’ lives. And surprisingly a *lot* of people enjoy this. You can see this from the complete boom of reality TV shows which are, in essence, just live streaming of peoples lives. Yes, you did specify that you wish for people do respect viewers’ time and edit it down. While that makes a lot of sense if what you’re doing is actually solving a need other than ambient entertainment, what live streaming solves is a need that post production does little to add to compared to the amount of time and effort it takes.

    Your argument, though, is that live video on cell phones is dumb. While I am not personally interested in watching such footage, lots of people are. It’s all about bringing this live aspect that you see on peoples home webcams on other services to something a little more engaging and interesting to watch.

    I do think it’s stupid though and I never plan on getting involved in such activities, but I do see a place for it in the grand scheme of things. I would rather watch something produced, but that I feel is a whole different type of entertainment with a (subtly) different audience.

  2. […] you can see from this video, Andrew believes that user generated live video is before its time and something that will never take off. […]

  3. […] amazing conversation, which built up because there was interaction happening at home (contradicting my dislike of live video).  It was very cool seeing the interaction of the at home […]

  4. Jay Avatar

    I feel that the logic behind Andrew’s statements made above shows complete ignorance for the use of emerging technologies… When approached appropriately live streaming video to the Internet can produce compelling and relatively high quality content (Check out iClips.net or the AT&T Blueroom). I am surprised that someone with such entrepreneurial spirit can simply write off something as useful as these services. While uStream and the like offer anybody on the Internet a peek into others’ daily lives, I agree may not be “interesting” content. However, this should certainly not be used as an example of the usefulness of live video streaming (for that matter nor should the use of a cell phone for streaming be used as an example). In my opinion, which is apparently what this blog is about (simple opinions not founded in facts), you should consider doing more research before creating blanket observations and stereotypes thus making yourself appear simply uneducated in the ways of the world.

  5. Andrew Hyde Avatar

    @Jay as I said “I don’t like Live Video on Cellphones in general and as a startup play” and after using it quite a bit, I still feel this way.

    It is solving a problem that isn’t there, but can be used in amazing ways. Not for me, and I explained why.

    Perhaps this is what you meant? http://tinyurl.com/2q9j9y

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