Justin.tv has released a free API for live video, offering developers the opportunity to customize the company’s live video player and build applications on top of its platform. While competitors Stickam and Ustream posed their own similar API offerings as major extensions to their business plans through paid white-label live video services, Justin.tv makes no mention of the money side of things. (Another competitor, Livestream, which says its paid service is profitable, has released APIs for its data and accounts and promises more will be available soon.)
Rather, Justin.tv is aiming for maximum market adoption of its platform, which it says can make live video incredibly cheap. “Our network has capacity for 100 million hours of video viewing per month — that’s about 2.5 percent of Comcast’s capability and our company costs about 0.05 percent as much to run,” Justin.tv VP of marketing Evan Solomon said via email.
But it’s not yet clear that live video being treated as a utility will result in particularly meaningful applications. Apps already built on the Justin.tv platform include Camtweet, a simple integration of live video and Twitter, and a live version of Hot or Not (oh lordy).