A new video broadcasting service that enables anyone with a mobile phone or PC to became a live broadcaster is planning a monetisation strategy that could see teenagers everywhere armed with mobile phones emerge as the new paparazzi.
Ubcam.com, a start-up of six led by Paul Kinsella and based in Wexford, is aimed at enabling phone and PC owners to broadcast live events as they happen.
The service will provide live chat interaction between live broadcasters out in the field and online viewers.
“In a sense, we will enable people to speed up news dissemination,” Kinsella explained. “If you are a teenager and you meet Colin Farrell on the street, you can interview him there and then and broadcast it to the web.
“Most content will be free but if people wish to make money out of it, we will enable a billing engine so when you start broadcasting you can set up a flat fee and open it up for US$2 via PayPal for people to view.”
Users can also then push feeds onto their Facebook, Bebo or MySpace pages, tapping into a ready-made audience for their personal TV stations.
Kinsella said there are also security implications for the service. “If you witness a crime on the street and you filmed what happened, even if the perpetrator grabbed your phone the live feed would be automatically saved to the internet.”
According to Kinsella, some 600,000 short movies are loaded onto YouTube every day and this presents a very tempting market for Ubcam.com to attack.
“We are also talking with traditional broadcasters like radio stations and TV companies about using Ubcam.com as a way to monetise on feeds around the world. We started off working with a Swiss radio station and advanced the product from there.
“A recent client has been a Moroccan TV station that wants to broadcast religious feeds to Muslims around the world for a fee. We would make a percentage on each transaction.
“Irish radio stations are our next step and we’ve begun negotiations with some of them,” Kinsella said.
The Ubcam.com server was built using Java broadcast servers and C++ programming.
By John Kennedy