NowLive Gets Traditional (Media)

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Personal broadcasting site NowLive is adjusting its business model, taking its focus from straight, create-your-own-call-in-shows to providing services for traditional media companies like movie studios and radio stations.

NowLive provides users with free tools to create their own web broadcast audio and video shows, and to interact with listeners through live chat and calls. With the personal broadcast space already crowded with arguably better-known companies like uStream, Justin.TV, and BlogTV, NowLive CEO Kevin Bromber is trying to differentiate his company. “I think it’s a natural evolution of the business,” said Bromber of the strategy shift.

NowLive recently did high-profile red carpet events for Sony Pictures’ Walk Hard and Screen Gems’ First Sunday. Live, multiple-camera interviews with the stars were held at each premiere, and audience members were able to submit questions to the celebrities. According to Bromber, the First Sunday event had nearly 10,000 live viewers.

The company is also doing live webcasts from the studio at Utah’s X96 radio station. Video streams of the DJs are available throughout the day (that is, when the DJs actually turn on the camera). Bromber said that through the NowLive platform, listeners can upload photos of news events like fires or accidents as they happen and the DJs can push them out for viewers to see.

Bromber sees these initiatives as the real opportunity for NowLive. “There is more money in the short-, medium-, and long-term,” said Bromber. “There are 40,000 traditional media companies.” But he’s not abandoning the personal broadcasting side of things altogether “The user-generated broadcast side is still there,” said Bromber. The company has done 50,000 live shows since launching in March of 2007, he added.

NowLive has raised $1.5 million in two initial rounds of funding. While the company is generating revenue, it is not profitable. It’s looking to raise another round of funding to take the product to market.

It’s not like NowLive is the only personal broadcasting service trying to hook up with established players. Major political candidates are bringing their brand recognition with them to uStream and is hooking up with bands to rock out on the service. In effect, the personal broadcast space isn’t paving the way to find the next big star. Rather it’s behaving like the rest of the video space, which is becoming increasingly more professional as networks and other established creators throw their hat into the new media ring.

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