UPDATE, my original post is below. I tuned in for the Charlie Sheen show, but only about 200,000 people were in the channel at peak and the show was very boring and viewers quickly went away. So, this won’t be the “event” that proves this post’s thesis right.
UPDATE2: Ustream now claims that more than 666,000 views were generated during the course of the hour last night. Wild.
Tonight Charlie Sheen will be on Ustream.tv in what could be a massive night for that video network. How massive? Sheen broke all records on Twitter, gaining 1.78 million followers in less than a week. No one else, not even Oprah or Obama or Beiber, has gotten so many so fast.
I talked with one of the guys involved, Barry Schuler, who told me his partner, Brad Wyman, is the one who convinced Sheen to tweet and convinced him to break all the rules, get rid of the press and PR, and go directly to his fans. Sheen’s show is part of “WyTV” on Ustream.
But that’s all fun and games compared to what YouTube is facing tonight.
See, YouTube looked like it was going to score the final touchdown in video. One where they were running down the field 50 yards ahead of the opponents, but 10 yards from the goal line it looks to me they are stumbling and fumbling the ultimate goal: where the entertainment comes over and starts making the real money.
See, as Apple’s Steve Jobs has shown the rest of the tech industry that we can live in a world without Microsoft (even Microsoft’s biggest partner, HP, shows off devices that don’t have any Microsoft code on them now) Charlie Sheen might be the guy who shows the entire entertainment industry that they can live in a world without YouTube.
See, we all know YouTube can stream live content. We’ve seen them do it with FarmAid, Haiti, and U2.
But they don’t let US live stream. Why? The entertainment industry lawyers hate that idea. They know that thousands of people will turn on live streams of the Oscars, of the SuperBowl, of their movies, and other things.
That is a box that they don’t want opened.
But Charlie Sheen might, tonight, open that box anyway and BLOW IT UP!
This is the day that YouTube could end up fumbling on its most important goal right before the REAL money starts coming to the Internet.
Ustream, who should be counting their lucky stars (if their service stays up, already, with hours to go there are 650 people in the chat on Sheen’s channel).
*Amazon, who is ready with live video streaming service to jump in and compete with Netflix.
*Netflix, who already demonstrates to me every day they can stream live content and make money doing so.
* All these services need to do is let US stream and they win and knock YouTube’s ball right out of their hands.
It’s too bad that the Google of new isn’t as brash and fun to watch as the Google of old. The Google of old would have turned on video streaming long ago.
By the way, Google, this is one HUGE lever you have to get us all interested in owning a Google TV box and also getting us onto Android.
See, my iOS device isn’t very good at playing Ustream’s live streams.
But if you did live YouTube streams, I bet my Android devices and my Google TV would view those, right?
Now THAT is how to make my “apps are the only thing that matters” argument go away quickly!
But, instead, it looks like you’re fumbling the ball.
Go Charlie Go!
Photo credit: Leann Arthur (thank GOD for Creative Commons licensed images!)