It's not spring yet, but Justin.tv is cleaning house. On Tuesday the video host is rolling out a new version of its broadcasting tool that makes it easier to get a live video stream going.
According to the company, a simple change has led to a 700 percent increase in the number of people who make it from clicking the "broadcast" button on Justin.tv's front page to actually beginning a live stream. At least that was the metric for a beta test the company ran on 10 percent of new users who were beginning a stream from Justin.tv's front page.
Now, when a user clicks the large, red broadcast button on the front door of Justin.tv, the site takes them to a page that requires just a few settings to get going--many of which can now be skipped. That quick transition means more streams, and a bigger potential to turn first-time Justin.tv users into frequent live streamers.
Another part of the change entails putting everything in one window, whereas before the options were spread out. For publishers, this means no more jumping back to their channel pages to stay on top of user chat, which now sits to the right of the video player. Also, the publishers now get a better view of what they're streaming since it displays the same sized viewer and chat window their viewers will be looking at. Previously the show controller tools looked akin to an airplane cockpit (see the side by side below):
What I think is more interesting than the tweaks to Justin.tv's broadcasting tools is the shift in what its users are broadcasting. A Justin.tv representative told me that one of the biggest changes in the past year has been the growth of people who start live streaming themselves playing video games--be it consoles or on the computer they're streaming from.
For Justin.tv this ends up being a boon, not only for being able to sell the often-lucrative game related ads, but also for its users who can often see a game ahead of its street date release as gamers in "future" time zones can get the title a day early in some cases. More importantly, Justin.tv is filling in the gap left by places like Vimeo, which actually banned video game clips back in 2008, and YouTube, which does not yet offer live streaming with chat.
Justin.tv's revamped broadcasting tool should be out to all users Tuesday morning.