Justin.tv: One camera broadcast to a website with 35 million users
Justin Kan, Founder of Justin.tv
Our last ZURBsoapbox with Justin Kan of Justin.tv was rocking! Justin shared his story of how he came up with the idea of a 24/7 live broadcast, how he became an international celebrity, and the sharp turn Justin.tv had to make to shape the company into the successfully operating business it is today.
You can listen to the entire podcast below or download it on iTunes. Below is a quick summary and highlights from the event.
Google Calendar & the birth of Justin.tv
Back in 2005 Justin Kan and Emmet Shear built Kiko, the first AJAX web calendar. It was hot. Early customers really liked Kiko but right before their launch Google came out with their own calendar which was already integrated with Gmail. Kiko was a YCombinator funded company so Justin and Emmet went to Paul Graham of YCombinator and pitched their next idea: A way to turn your blog into a magazine.
“Ummm. Do you have another idea? ” Paul said.
“Well I thought of a site where I can broadcast myself 24/7 and we can make a reality tv show out of it.”
“Tell me more…” Paul responded.
In 2006 Justin got his seed capital from YCombinator and moved out to San Francisco with Emmet and Mike to start Justin.tv
In the beginning...
A friend at MIT helped out with creating prototype of a laptop in a bag with a camera attached to Justin’s cap. Technology was still a bit unstable but the group consensus was that they’d go ahead with the launch of the site on March 19th, 2007. Now Justin had to do what he promised all along:
“Strap a camera to myself to run around and be interesting for the rest of my life”.
Justin started broadcasting right away. Local news picked it up a week after the launch and the week after that the San Francisco Chronicle contacted Justin to do a story. News sources from around the world followed in following months.
Change of plans
After a little while Justin realized that “I’m not that interesting all the time." People weren't sticking around to watch Justin and, instead, were asking for an ability to broadcast themselves instead.
So the team went back to the drawing board to add this feature to the site. Six months later, in October 2007, Justin Kan turned off his video stream and the “anyone can broadcast” feature went live on the site. Since then they've focused on making it simple and easy for anyone to use live video and broadcast themselves.
We asked Justin a lot of questions during the event, here are some highlights:
What makes it tough to build your product?
"We make decisions based on data now. We log every action on the site and we parse all the data. We know everything that goes on our site. This type of tracking took a long time to build and take a lot of time to monitor and report on. Before we used to make decisions based on team consensus. One good decision we made this was chat. Other features such as groups we probably did not need to spend time and money on. Data driven decisions is an investment but it certainly pays off."
What’s the biggest obstacle in reaching your goals?
"Convince an average person that Justin.tv is an easy to use tool for broadcasting your video. Building an easy channel sharing mechanism – it’s not fun to broadcast yourself when you have no viewers. We’re trying to make it easier to share."
What sets Justin.tv apart from ustream and Livestream?
"We focus on community and lowering the barriers for broadcasting. Livestream and Ustream focus on quality broadcasting for professionals. It’s great but it won’t change the world."
We truly enjoyed Justin's talk—we hope you did too! Be sure to check out the rest of the photos from Justin's ZURBsoapbox on Flickr. See you this friday for the next ZURBsoapbox with Alex Faaborg of Mozilla!
Justin: Someone should just broadcast 24/7 what they're doing and just see what happens. Robert Morris who was there was like, "I'll fund that just to see you make a fool of yourself."
Then we kind of realized, wait, we're not that interesting. People aren't sticking around. Nobody wants to watch Justin.tv.
Moderator : Thanks for coming out everyone. We've just Justin from Justin.tv. I'll give you a quick bio of Justin, and then we'll just get started. We have about 20 minutes of talking, be interactive. And then you guys can do Q&A, any questions that you have from the talk.
So, Justin came out of Yale and went out to a company called Kiko software, where they were doing an Ajax calendar that was going to compete with Google Calendar. Actually if you were here for UserVoice, we mentioned this company. They ended up selling that on eBay and turning quite a profit from it. After that, Justin.tv. It was sort of an idea I guess when you were just hanging out with a couple guys, drinking beers.
Justin: Something like that, yeah.
Moderator : And just ended up taking off. Media sensation, everybody was talking about it, NPR, probably every news . . .
Justin: It was in a couple hundred news sources around the world.
Moderator : . . . covered it, and it picked up tremendous steam. So, I invited him here to kind of find out what he was drinking that night.
And how it all got started, how you gained traction with it, how the product has evolved, how your role in the company has evolved. So, why don't you just start and tell us how it began, and how it took off, and how it started evolving, and how you came to the place you're in today?
Justin: Sure. So, thanks for having me. My name is Justin. I am one of the cofounders of a site called Justin.tv, which currently lets anyone broadcast and watch live video online for free. The company actually started, as you mentioned, as something completely different. When we had originally started thinking about Justin.tv, Emmett and I, my cofounder on Kiko, which is a web calendar, had been thinking, "How do we get out of this business?"
So, we built this calendar and launched it in February 2006. It was the first ajaxy calendar online. You could drag and drop. It looked like Outlook, kind of the Web 2.0 colors. We thought it was really great, and actually Rich from User Voice also worked with us on the design side. We were thinking about the things we could do with this cool calendar. You could integrate with Gmail and everything.
And then a month later after we launched, Google came out with a calendar that looked like Outlook with Web 2.0 colors. So we're thinking, "Okay. This is probably not good for us." A lot of the early adopters who had used Kiko were like, "Okay. This is exactly what we wanted. A calendar that works like Gmail and is here in my email." So we worked on it. We thought about, "what can we do with this calendar?" for like six months, didn't really come up with anything. We realized that we didn't really use calendars, so we probably weren't the best people to be working on one.
We were thinking, "What do we do now?" So, I had this idea of selling the company on eBay, all the assets really. We sold the website and the user base and the URL and the code. So, we put it on eBay. Rich has already told you about that. It ended up going for like $258,000. That was great. So we were like, "Now what do we do? No we can actually start the business we really want to do." Kiko had been a Y Combinator funded company. Y Combinator is a group of seed investors that invest in younger people with less experience but they think have the potential to do something really interesting, largely in websites and technology, because that's what they know.
So, we were like, "Okay. We need some more funding." We went to Paul and were like, "Hey. We want to do another business." The business we went to pitch actually was in Cambridge. We went to his house. He was there with Robert Morris, who is a professor at MIT and also at Y Combinator. We were like, "Okay. We have this business idea. We want to allow people to turn their online blog or website into a physical magazine. We talked about that, and he was like, "I don't really like that idea. Nobody really wants to do that." He had written a bunch of stuff online. He has his own site, and he wasn't really interested.
So he was like, "What else do you have? What other ideas do you have?" I was like, "Well, I have this idea that we're calling Justin TV that I thought of a couple weeks ago, and I've been talking about it nonstop to everyone." I was like, "Someone should just broadcast 24/7 what they're doing and just see what happens. It was like, "Okay. Yeah, tell me more about that." I think I actually had mentioned it to him before. I went into like, "Well, you could have this guy broadcasting. We think you could build something on the cell phone data networks and send live stream from places. We don't really know how you'd do it. It seems like it would be interesting." We started getting excited about it, and he was like, "Okay." Robert Morris who was there was like, "I'll fund that just to see you make a fool of yourself."
So we were like, "Okay. We're doing it. Justin.tv, that's our next business." So we took the investment for the company, decided we wanted to move out to San Francisco. We took a road trip. I emailed all my friends. "We're going to go move to... Emmett and I are moving to San Francisco, so we'll never see you again. Goodbye, everyone on the East Coast." One of them, my friend Mike, said, "I've never been to San Francisco, so I'll just drive out with you." So we had to throw a third of our stuff, because it had to fit in the car, this Honda Civic. He took one seat and his own stuff, so we end up throwing out another third of our net belongings, and he came out with us.
We took four days to drive across the country. We got here. It was awesome. When we drove into San Francisco, it was Fleet Week and Blue Angels were flying over. I was like, "Mike, you should really think about joining this Justin.tv thing. It could be really big. Quit your job and everything, and start a startup." There was no business plan. The idea was just, let's make our own reality TV show on the web. So, he ended up doing that. He's now the company CEO. We got set up in San Francisco, started thinking about how you would actually create something that would let you broadcast 24/7 on the Internet.
Before we had left Boston actually, where Kiko was based, we had recruited another friend from MIT, Kyle, who's the fourth cofounder. He was an electrical engineering major. "How would you create a live broadcasting mobile camera?" We asked him that, and then we left. A couple weeks later, he sent this 17 page PDF on how exactly to create a live broadcasting mobile camera. It was like, "You need all these things. If you manufacture 1,000, it would cost this. One unit would cost this." Everything down to CAD drawings of the molding for the plastic. We were like, "Oh. That's a good idea. Let's do that."
So, he came out actually a couple months later with a prototype of this camera. It was basically a computer with an EVDO card and a video encoder that he could fit into this backpack. So, the first prototype was literally a backpack with a computer inside and a camera hooked up to that that streamed data over a cell phone data card. At that point, it took about six months to get a prototype going on. All the while, I remember all the guys from Y Combinator were like, "You guys should just launch it. What are you waiting for?"
It was totally unstable. We would try to broadcast, and it would like for three minutes, and then something would break. Technology was really, really horrible. It was an analog video camera going into a card that encoded in MPEG4 that steamed that to this Linux computer basically, which multiplexed it over multiple modems basically, and then sent it back to our sever, which would ingest the different streams, recombine them into video. And then we needed a translator from MPEG4 to something that Flash could read. So the only way we figure out how to do that was to have a Windows box screen capping this MPEG4 stream and then re- encoding it into 3P6, and then that would send it through Flash Media Server to our site. A visitor showed up on the site, but at that time FMS, Flash Media Server 2 was horrible for streaming live video, and that would break just as much as everything else.
So, we finally got it kind of stable. We did a demo, and then we were finally like, "Let's do this. Let's launch this site." The I realized at that point, I would actually have to do what I had been saying for six months that I would do, which is strap a camera to myself and run around trying to be interesting for the rest of my life.
So I was like, "Oh, well shit. Okay. We're going to do it." So, we still at this point had no idea how we were going to make any money or what would happen. But we were like, "Okay, let's launch." We got a hold of a TechCrunch writer, Nick Gonzales, and said, "Will you write a story about this." He was like, "Okay." So, he wrote a write-up of Justin.tv of what we were going to do, a plan. We were like, "We're going to launch it Monday morning at 10:00am. We have a whole thing of activities to do, and it's going to be great." Then the story went out at like midnight on Monday. They refused to take it out and post it at 10:00, because it had already been out. It was too late.
People started coming to the site, and we were all sitting around trying to make everything work. At various points, everything started breaking. So Kyle and Emmett, two of my cofounders who are the technical ones behind the whole thing, basically spent the next eight hours, they just stayed up that entire night, and subsequently for the next probably seven days. They were sleeping like three hours a day making everything stay up. We just started the show then. That Monday, I ran around trying to be interesting. A lot of people came and poked their heads in and were talking in the chat room like, "What's going on with this?" It was pretty fun to do actually, for a while.
So, let's see. What happened? The first week, there was some blog coverage on TechCrunch and stuff like that. The second week, there was some local news. The NBC affiliate picked up the story, and the CBS affiliate. So they followed us around with a camera for a little bit. The third week, there was a front page article in the Chronicle, because we had known one of the Chronicle reports, the technology reporter for the Chronicle. After that, there was MTV, the Today Show, and all this stuff. There was buzz around it, because it just snowballed, and it was a human interest story.
So all these people started coming to the site, and we were like, "All right." It was just going around doing media interviews and in between trying to figure out interesting parties to go to for about a month and a half.
Then we kind of realized, wait, we're not that interesting. People aren't sticking around. Nobody wants to watch Justin.tv. So we were like, "Okay. Now what are we going to do?" So, what we thought of, I guess, was we should make this . . . the number one thing that people had asked us was, "Hey, how do I do my own stream? How do I make my own stream? How do I do my own broadcast?" We were like, "Okay. I guess we should make this a platform for anyone to do their own broadcast, and hopefully some of them will be more interesting than I am."
So, we basically went back to the drawing board and spent the next four months working on making a platform for anyone to broadcast live. Then, at the same time, it was trying to keep what little traffic we had alive by running around with this camera. Then we, in October of 2007, turned it into a site for anyone to broadcast, a platform. We also turned off our own stream so that we could focus on actually running the platform. That was the big pivot we did, and that's how Justin.tv started.
Audience Member: How many people were watching what you were watching?
Justin: How many people? It was in the 200, 300,000 uniques a month between March and October of '07.
Audience Member: So, if you're on the Today Show, somebody would turn on Justin.tv and watch you being on the Today Show. It's a circular thing there.
Justin: It was, but it wasn't that interesting, because when you're a remote guest filmed in a studio, the only thing I was looking at was . . . the studio was entirely black, except there's this backdrop of San Francisco behind me. So what I was looking at was actually a big bright light.
Audience Member: So, if I went to your website, I'd just see this big glow.
Justin: Yeah. At that time, you would've just seen the studio lights and a camera that was washed out. The whole meta angle wasn't particular fascinating. I think the cool thing was to see what these startup guys are doing behind the scenes to try to generate some traffic and buzz around their project. So along the way, we raised our venture ground from some great angels aside from Y Combinator. A lot of cool guys. Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail. And then we launched this new site and have spent the last three years working on that. So, it's been pretty interesting. It's almost the fourth anniversary of Justin.tv.
Audience Member: How small a camera can you get? Because I want to put one on my dog and see what he's doing right now.
Justin: There's tons of ways to ingest video onto Justin.tv. Basically we take anything that's virtualized as a webcam on your computer. So, there are solutions that are wireless. People put a wireless camera on their animal actually, and then that goes through their computer, and they broadcast from their computer to Justin.tv. You can ingest capture cards, so people play video games and they'll broadcast their stream onto the site. We have these guys in Africa that do the safari, and they broadcast with a really high quality camera over satellite. So, there's probably thousands of ways to actually get your video in, and we support a lot of different broadcasters. Some of them we make ourselves, like the default one on the site, but also more advanced things if you want advanced editing and cutting and stuff like that.
Audience Member: Do you have any regrets in that first six months of trying to launch your startup in the way you did?
Justin: First of all, we would never have gotten to the point that we are now. We weren't thinking, "Let's make a live video platform." We were thinking, "Let's do this crazy idea and see what happens." So, we saw what happened, and then we promptly decided on something and pursued that. It's easy to say, "If we had done these six things or three things, we would be so much further ahead today." I say that a lot, but a lot of people have also said to me, "You never know that it would have worked out like this if you had done those things, made those mistakes."
Audience Member: If you had an option to do something differently . . .
Justin: Having a platform ready to go would have been awesome. Get all this buzz and instantly convert it to millions of people working on this flawless platform that the video server was completely stable and always stayed up. That would be amazing. Unfortunately, it's taken us like three years to get to that point where we have technology that we think is rock solid. We have a video system that supports over 100 GB of concurrent usage. So that's like hundreds of thousands . . . actually, upwards of a million concurrent streams. We can support thousands of people broadcasting to one person all the way to people broadcasting to streams of hundreds of thousands of people.
Audience Member: How about personally in that six months? Obviously, you put yourself out there quite a bit. Is there any part of that that isn't so fun anymore?
Justin: There were certainly times that it was like . . . the thing weighed 30 pounds after batteries. So it was like, "Well, this really sucks. It's like I'm carrying around a 30 pound ball and chain." But I think it was good. Personally, it was a very fun thing to do for the large majority of it, because I got to go around and be a pseudo-celebrity, and that was awesome. I think it was pretty good on a personal growth level. I was always introverted before, and being able to go out and meet people and tell people about what I was doing was a very enriching experience.
Moderator : So you have this idea of people broadcasting and everybody was up there, and they've got their channel. How do you make money off it, or how does it generate income?
Justin: Justin.tv has ads on it, like there's probably an ad on the ZURB page.
Moderator : It's like Bank of America.
Justin: Well, you should sign up. So, just like a lot of media websites, we have advertising on the site.
Audience Member: Are you thinking of going premium [inaudible @19:38]?
Justin: We have a pro account that you can buy. It gives you some chat colors, obviously so you can chat, and you can make your user name black in the chat. But in terms of selling something premium to broadcasters, our goal is really to lower the barriers to broadcasting. With a premium broadcaster account that gives you more broadcasting features, most people are never going to get there. If you sold that on YouTube, most people would never get there. Our goal is to make it easy for everyone to use live video and get some benefit out of it. Even if you just wanted to log online and chat to friends and family, not necessarily produce your own live television show. The things that we think about on a day to day basis are, how do we make things easier? How do we make the user experience easier? How do we provide more value to the everyday person? How do we make data driven decisions on the product to reach those goals?
Audience Member: If you had to look at your own team, what would you say is the hardest thing about building a product? You said you have 20+ people on your team now. What would you say makes it tough to build your product?
Justin: I think the hard part for us was really . . . today, I can say that we make a lot of decisions based on data. We measure it when you copy the link out of your URL bar and send that to somebody. When they click that link, we know that you shared it. We track every user action on the site. We log 4 TB of logs every month, and we parse those all on our own Hadoop cluster.
We know every user, everything that goes on the site. That took a long time and a lot of man-hours to build and didn't get done until recently. For the past three years before that, we were really making decisions based on, "Hey, let's do this. Sounds like a good idea." Maybe have a big debate about it. That wasn't really that effective. We did some good things, like we were the first site to have video and chat for live broadcast. I think that was a fundamental good decision. A lot of our subsequent things that we build, like group features or lots and lots of extra features actually, were probably things that if we had been measuring usage and really figuring out what people wanted, we didn't really need to spend time on it. I think it's true of almost any product team that they build things that oftentimes are maybe not the most informed.
Audience Member: [inaudible @22:13] make that switch to trying to be more data driven in your decision making?
Justin: Actually, a lot of it goes to our VP of Products that we hired, who has a very data driven mentality. He was like, "It's really important that we do this." After a couple years of trying to guess what people wanted, we were like, "Okay. That makes sense. Maybe we should try it. It couldn't hurt to try." So, I think that was a big driver of it. I'd love to take all the credit, but I had pretty much nothing to do with that part.
Audience Member: What got you thinking about trying to build something yourself versus using tools on the shelf to help you [inaudible 22:48]?
Justin: On the data side?
Audience Member: Yeah. It sounds like on the data side, you're parsing it all yourself.
Justin: We've look at what we think of as every tool out there, and it was very hard to... there are a lot of specific things that we want to measure, like cohorts, the virality of cohorts. There doesn't seem to be any tool to do on the scale that we want to do. With virality of cohorts, that may be in multiple AB tests and examining all the funnels for those people concurrently. I don't know. We've actually been going back to the drawing board recently and said, "Maybe there is a tool that can help us do all of this. Then we wouldn't have to maintain this gigantic tool." But we weren't able to find anything really. So, we use a lot of different tools out there for user testing and stuff like that, but for our statistics, we have that in-house and have people work on that full-time.
Audience Member: Don't keep looking at me. I've got a lot to talk about.
Audience Member: I'm just kidding with you.
Justin: Anybody else?
Audience Member: Who's your arch enemy?
Audience Member: How big is your data center? How many servers? What kind of network bandwidth do you have to sign up for.
Justin: About a year ago, me and my cofounder Kyle were working on all the network engineering stuff together. He was really working on it, and I was helping in whatever capacity I could, racking servers or something. But we actually hired a great network team. That's the few specialists that we have hired, our network engineer, and they'd taken mostly over. So my data is probably a little incorrect, but we have over 100 gigs of in-house capacity that's 100 GB per second. So, we pure off a lot of our traffic. We're in four locations globally. We have data centers in four locations and probably three to 400 servers now, about half of which are video servers. Don't quote me on any of this. If you want to know the real numbers, tell me later.
Audience Member: What's your top application? How are most people using it?
Justin: We only really have one thing, which is live video and chat.
Audience Member: Right, but for what purpose?
Justin: People do everything on the site. Watch every from watching foreign content to just chatting, broadcasting themselves and chatting with random people who come into their room. One that's pretty popular and that I like to watch actually personally is people playing video games. These guys play video games, broadcast the stream of it, and then record over. You also get them speaking over it. Sometimes they'll do picture in picture, like an action shot of them sitting on the couch, and just do a live podcast of that. That's something I like to watch, because I don't have . . .
Audience Member: Musicians, right? You have musicians?
Justin: Yeah, we have musicians on the site that broadcast. We've had Chris Brown release a single in the past on the site. We have a lot of indie musicians that I can't name, because I'm not cool enough.
Audience Member: And they always put up something whenever I go on there. Broadcasting a new song. I think somebody's coming over to your office to play a song or something.
Justin: Maybe. We've had that before, people come in. The marketing team actually arranges a lot of the musician outreach and sometimes bring people into the office. Sometimes we'll be sitting around talking about some features or doing work, and then all of a sudden, someone's playing guitar in the back.
Audience Member: I'm curious, you mentioned your cofounder quite a bit. Obviously, the name of the site is based on you. Did that present any conflict when you first started . . . "Who are you to say what's going on?"
Justin: No one else wanted to wear that camera around. So it was kind of like, I had this idea, and it was like, all right, I'm going to have to do it. Everybody else was like, "All right. You're going to do it."
Audience Member: You were aware of the sound of the name, Justin.tv, right? Was that not just a coincidence?
Justin: It was a coincidence in that, if my name was Dave, we probably would have named it Dave.tv. At the time, we weren't thinking, "We're going to turn this into a big platform." If I had any choice though, I would have chosen a .com name, because nobody knows that .tv is a TLD in the mainstream world. So, nobody really was fighting for that right.
Audience Member: I guess I'm more curious after about six months when everyone was like, "Oh, he's going around. He's on all these shows." Did that influence the dynamic of how you were six months before and then you were like, "We're not going to do this anymore. Let's switch our platform."
Justin: I think it was universally agreed upon that keeping the same domain was good, because we had some traffic to it. People knew about it, and it associated with live video. So, we just went with that assumption. It wasn't very scientific. It wasn't a huge debate.
Audience Member: Less on the name and more about the dynamics on your team. You were getting all this attention, and everyone was looking at you, and then you had two cofounders.
Justin: I had three cofounders, and I think that they were quite all right with the way everything worked out. We have a pretty good division between the four of us. That really doesn't speak to all the other people who have joined the team since then. They probably are much more critical than I am. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, Justin.tv would still go on and function probably much smoother.
When we started, Mike, who is currently our CEO, was really responsible for all the fundraising and operational sides of the business. I was doing the broadcasting, and as we started doing the platform, I guess project management and technical hiring. Emmett's our CTO, and he was doing basically the front-end architecture. Then Kyle was doing the video system and the backend architecture. So, we had a nice division of labor and still do actually.
Audience Member: What next?
Justin: For us, 2010 is all about mobile and data driven development. So we are making sure that the culture of the company is very much around doing experimentation, doing small experiments, measuring everything, and then conclusively determining what the results of an experiment was on the product side. So an experiment could be anything from a different work flow to a feature to changing the text of an email. We want to track everything. Our goal is really to increase our usage, that everyday use case among people in the US who we call social broadcasters, people who are just creating content on a smaller scale. If we make a tool for that, it'll be a tool that's good for people who want to do something more powerful or invest more time in it.
I think Twitter is great example for that. They built a tool that's very easy for anyone to use, but clearly lots of celebrities and people who are trying to self-promote themselves or social media experts, there's always billions of those, are using it despite its simplicity or because of it. So, our goal is to really make our product work, much easier to use. I think it's extremely difficult to figure out how to use live video or why you would ever want to use it as a normal person. Our goal is to overcome that barrier, and our methodology is really building the smartest product team that we can and letting them do the experimentation in a framework that lets you measure results. So, we want to do that on the website, and we also think that mobile is a very interesting space for us, and we're working on that, too. You could clone Justin.tv from those words today.
Audience Member: So, in that [inaudible 31:19], what do you think is the biggest obstacle you have to overcome from a market standpoint?
Justin: I think the biggest obstacles you have to overcome are, how do we convince people that it's something for the average person, somebody's who's not a celebrity who wants to broadcast. How do we convince them that it's an easy to use tool, and then how do we build in the sharing mechanisms for them to have a good experience? If you show up on the site and you do a broadcast, and no one shows up and there's no one to chat with, or there's no interaction. Justin.tv is all about the social interaction. Even when people spend a lot of time producing content, the best shows are the ones where people are chatting, where they're interacting with each other, where they're interacting with the broadcaster. So, one thing that we've noticed is that a lot of people start broadcasting, but no one shows up. That sucks. That's like having a party, and you're the only guy there. I've done that. It's not fun.
So, one of our things that we want to do is help people solve that problem, either through sharing or figuring out how to get people on the site, figuring out better discovery mechanisms for the site.
Audience Member: How similar are you to Facebook [inaudible 32:46]?
Justin: You mean like the news feed?
Audience Member: No, they have this CNN thing covering Barack Obama live stream.
Justin: Oh yeah, on CNN. I guess in a sense, that's video and chat, so it's pretty similar. Not everyone can create their own CNN live feed with chat.
Audience Member: I'm thinking of you as a platform in terms of just a platform.
Justin: In order to get a live feed and do that, you have to go make a business deal with Facebook. To do that on Justin.tv, you can just click the broadcast button. You don't get all the promotion and stuff that Facebook provided CNN, but it's kind of a platform for anyone to be able to do that on whatever scale that they want.
Audience Member: What sets your company, Justin.tv, apart from another [inaudible 33:44] like Ustream or something where you do a live [inaudible 33:46]?
Justin: One of the things that I think is important is our focus is really on building that community and empowering people who are, I guess, beginners to broadcast, and really making it simpler and lowering the barriers. You think it's extremely difficult to set up a live broadcast or to figure out why you would want to do it. I think that because we've been operating this company and allowing people to do it for three years and have heard that complaint over and over again. I think our competitors, Ustream, Livestream, a lot of them are focused on, how do we enable professional quality broadcasting on the web. That's something that I think is interesting, but it doesn't change the world. People can already watch quality live content. They can do it on the web with CNN already, or there's lots of it on TV. So, that's kind of the big difference.
Moderator : Cool. We're pretty much done here.
Justin: All right. Anything you guys want to ask. It could be anything. It doesn't have to be about Justin.tv.
Audience Member: I've got a question. There is a revenue model for you and your company. Is there any plan to split that somehow with the broadcasters to create a source of potential revenue for broadcasters themselves.
Justin: No, not right now.
Audience Member: I know that's not part of the mandate.
Justin: I'll tell you why. One, we're focusing on people who are doing it, I guess you could say they're new or amateur. Most people who go to sites online and try them out, unless they're explicitly looking like, "How do I make money?" are not thinking about how it makes them money in the context. Two also, the money that an average person makes from your advertisements are very small. Only in a massive aggregate do we make any money at all. So, I think people would be disappointed with the results, and also it changes the equation. When you pay someone to do something, it's not as inherently fun for them. So, we want to not introduce that into the community. So, a lot of people do, who are interested specifically in making money, will create a stream, put it on their own site, tell people to go to that site on their Justin.tv page, and then have advertisements or other ways to monetize their community on their site, which is good. I'm all for that. But I don't think we're planning on doing that in the future on site.
Moderator : I'm going to break it up [inaudible @36:36].
Justin: Most important part of the day.
Moderator : I'd like to thank you.
Justin: Thanks a lot for having me.