Stickam, a live video streaming service that competes with the likes of Justin.tv and Ustream.tv, is releasing a new API that effectively allows anyone to build their own streaming video startup with a minimal amount of effort. The service is normally pay-as-you-go, but the first 100 users to sign up will be able to try it out for free.
StickamAPI allows developers to leverage Stickam’s infrastructure – which handles handles everything from actually hosting videos to bandwidth and streaming – to integrate video streaming into their own sites. While most video services have allowed users to create their own ‘channels’ (typically videos associated with a group or theme) and embed their videos wherever they’d like, the Stickam API allows for much deeper integration of live video streaming.
CEO Steven Fruchter says that live video can be incredibly engaging – Stickam’s site is reporting an average 18 minute staytime for new users to the site, and 70 minutes for those that are logged in. He expects that the new API will appeal to businesses and social networking sites looking to increase their engagement without having to pay and wait to develop their own live video platforms.
It’s a smart move from Stickam, which is likely trying to find a way to differentiate itself from Justin.tv, which continues to lead in this space. Many sites with established communities (like forums or niche social networks) would probably love to offer a tightly integrated video service. That said, live video is very expensive (YouTube has apparently canned its own plans because of bandwidth costs), so the success of StickamAPI will likely come down to its rates and how effectively the live video streams can be monetized.