Ustream Joins the Pay-Per-View Fray

Ustream has rolled out a new pay-per-view offering that will allow its customers to charge viewers for events using its live streaming video platform. Aimed at artists, entertainers and brands, the pay-per-view offering will be available to premium customers looking to make a little extra cash by opening up their live broadcasts to the global Internet audience.

By offering a pay-per-view option, Ustream is opening up new revenue models for its customers, which previously were limited to advertising against their live streams, if they chose to monetize them at all. It also will provide an additional revenue stream for Ustream, which will take a cut of sales generated through the pay-per-view service. (Ustream has not yet responded to a request asking how much of a cut they’ll take.)

The first performer to take advantage of the service will be Dane Cook, who will use it to broadcast the final show of his “ISolated INcident” tour from Miami, Fla. on Saturday, Feb. 6. In addition to the live performance of his comedy act, viewers will also have access to a pre-show chat with Cook, a “behind the scenes” viewing of Cook’s opening acts, and backstage access to a private after-party. Tickets to the event cost $5 and can be purchased at ustream.tv/danecooktickets.

With the launch of the new service, Ustream is also positioning itself against competitors like Justin.tv, which announced last month that it will soon be rolling out pay-per-view capabilities. Meanwhile, Stickam has been offering a pay-per-view service for about 18 months now, but just recently opened it up to all users of its platform.

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