Roku and Ustream.TV Cashin’ In on OTT Video

The Money Machine is Working for the Over The Top Video Market

Press stories based on SEC filings show that two of the premier OTT providers have turned on their money magnets:  Roku has raised at least $24 million over four financing rounds, including a $6 million investment from Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) according to Paid Content.Org. In the meantime, Ustream.TV pulled in another $2M for their live streaming service.  Not bad when times are still considered tight.

Takin’ the Net to the TV: Roku will also offer Major League Baseball’s  MLB.TV streaming service with live and on-demand games through the $99 Roku Player.   The MLB service starts at $34.95 for the whole year.  What a bargain! With Amazon Unbox and Netflix movies and TV shows already in it’s partnership stable, Roku is poised to really set the OTT market on fire.

Ustream.TV Coming On Strong:  Pulling in another round of venture funding is just one of the recent accomplishments for this UGC (User Generated Content) streaming service.  Besides their extensive lineup of YouTube puppy channels and the latest stupid human tricks, they also offer an extensive array of professionally produced live entertainment and political events on the web.

Watershed is the private label version of Ustream.TV’s flash-based live, interactive webcasting product.  Its geared toward those who want to create a semi-pro or very professional web video presence on the net.  Channel hosting services with a ‘pay-as-you-go” option allow newbies to test the waters before making a major monthly cash commitment.  Channel costs increase as viewer hours and recorded storage space is increased.

How to Monetize Video on the Net: Both of these small start-ups are showing the big boys how to make money by presenting video on the net with either a service or simple broadband to TV box.  Perhaps Anthony Wood at Roku and John Ham at Ustream.TV should get together.  Ustream.TV on a Roku box seems like a great idea.

Keep pushing forward

Jeff Vinson

jeff_vinson@sbcglobal.net

[You may contact Jeff directly for Consulting or Trade Show speaking engagements]

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