Video streaming service Livestream is making some significant changes to its business model in order to compete with rivals such as Ustream, enabling free, live broadcasting from mobile devices and dropping advertising altogether. As part of a re-vamp known as New Livestream, the New York-based company is modifying the functionality of its free service while launching a new, $45 / month producer option, significantly cheaper than the $269 / month Premium account which still stands as Livestream's top tier.
"[Our site] looked like a MySpace page from five years ago."
With New Livestream, free users are able to create ad-free event pages and broadcast live video without any pre-roll or mid-roll ads — according to CEO Max Haot, the decision to drop advertising was made when he looked at the site and realized that it "looked like a MySpace page from five years ago." Broadcasts can be made from the company's PC and Mac apps, or from the recently-updated Livestream for Producers iOS app, which, despite the name, is not limited to users with Producer accounts. The catch is that all viewers are required to create a Livestream account in order to watch the stream — a relatively simple process with Facebook Connect integration, but one that will do a lot to boost the company's user numbers.
Customers with Producer accounts are able to bypass the login requirement, making the tier more suitable for broadcasts with large audiences. They are also able to archive their event pages and videos for more than 30 days, whereas free users have their content deleted. The Premium option, meanwhile, continues to offer a host of high-end features, including video embedding, analytics, and phone support.