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Summary:

Justin.tv is deleting all of its archived content next month. The company is also getting ready to nix its premium account offering.

Pioneering live video streaming site Justin.tv is getting rid of all of its archived content, and won’t offer the ability to record and archive any live streams going forward. The company made the announcement in a blog post this week, which read in part:

“We found that more than half of our VODs are unwatched (with 0 or 1 total views), while the vast majority are rarely watched (with 10 or less views). This data was essential in better understanding how our service is being used. (…) It’s quite clear: JTV is a home for live broadcasts. Viewers come to justin.tv because they want to consume content and interact with their communities in real-time.”

The changes will go into effect on June 8, which is also when Justin.tv will delete all previously archived content. Also affected will be broadcasters who have been paying for a premium account, which previously offered unlimited storage for live streams. Justin.tv admin Dylan Reichstadt added in a FAQ posted on the company’s website that it is “planning to discontinue” the premium service. Links to the premium account signup page have already been removed.

Getting rid of archives as well as paid accounts an interesting move for Justin.tv, which pioneered live streaming, but has since been eclipsed by competitors like Ustream as well as its own video game-focused spin-off Twitch.tv, which is reportedly being eyed by YouTube for a possible acquisition. My hunch is that the archive deletion is primarily about controlling operation costs while killing off premium accounts seems to be an admission that competitors like Ustream have done a better job catering to brands and enterprises willing to pay for live streaming.

  1. Reblogged this on Carpet Bomberz Inc. and commented:
    Always remember, clouds may come and clouds may go but always cover your butt. Get local copies of everything even when it seems like a rock solid, long term player. If all your stuff is in Google’s Cloud, can you really say you “own” your videos hosted there? I’m sure more than a few people felt the same way about any of their Justin.tv videos too.

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  2. The number of comments here mirror the number on Jtv. Coincidence?

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  3. Justin.tv (JTV) had announced a few months ago that the archived videos would be deleted, and they already had eliminated the ability to make and save “highlights” of casts. What is new here (for me, anyway) is the elimination of the feature whereby all webcasts were saved for 48 hours and then automatically deleted. So if there was a cast that you missed or you only caught the tail end of, you could still go back and watch it within 48 hours. No more.

    By the way, this will also make it more difficult for webcasters to test or troubleshoot their own casts. You won’t be able to do a cast and then go back and watch it as it was delivered through your own channel.

    I guess JTV is saying that neither of these functionalities was worth the cost. For a lot of the committed JTV users, this is just another in a long line of unwelcome decisions. Over the past couple of years JTV declined to fix and then eliminated the Following system (now you can’t see whose channels you follow or who follows you). They did not replace the IM functionality that they lost when Google closed Meebo (which JTV used). They eliminated the ability of users to message each other e-mail style. As previously mentioned, they eliminated the ability for users to make highlights of recent webcasts. They adopted the practice of inserting mid-roll ads which pre-empt the webcaster’s content (Ustream also does this). They closed their forum which was the best opportunity for user discussion and feedback. To much fanfare, they created a meme feature for their chat around the first of the year only to quietly drop it about 10 days ago. I could go on. By the way, don’t read this as a rant. I’m just recounting some of their key business decisions that have impacted their user base (of which I am a member, if you hadn’t figured that out by now).

    JTV has lost a significant cohort of its webcasters and viewers to competing services. Go to Alexa.com and look up the 3-year ranking for non-porn live streaming video websites. Ustream, Livestream, YouNow, Vaughnlive, Twitch are all either flat or up. Justin.tv is steadily down. The only ones that fared worse are BlogTV (which had to sell tiself) and Stickam (which simply disappeared). Some of JTV’s decline was people switching over to Twitch, their sister website, but that story is over. JTV continues to lose share even after Twitch absorbed all the gaming content.

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  4. UsedToLoveStreaming Saturday, August 2, 2014

    Consider this: Twitch TV for gaming content has never truly separated from Justin TV at all like they want us to believe. At the same time Twitch TV is growing we notice JTV going down the drain by removing features. Could it be to fix problems over at Twitch TV at the same time because it got so popular? Still the same company, but Twitch TV has preference, so they just slowly kill JTV to fix Twitch TV.

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