Time spent watching live video is up 650 percent in the U.S. over the past year, thanks to the proliferation of a number of live video publishers including Justin.tv, Ustream, Qik and Livestream. In particular, Justin.tv has been one of the leaders of the pack, serving more than 300 million live videos per month. And a few weeks ago, the startup launched an Android app for broadcasting live video. Today, Justin.tv has added the same functionality to the iPhone, launching a new iPhone app that allows you to broadcast video from the device on Justin.tv. You can download the free app here.
The biggest change in the new app, is as we wrote above, the ability to broadcast video on Justin.tv directly from your iPhone, which was not included in the previous version of the app, which was view-only.
The app itself is designed to provide a standalone service from the Justin.tv website, allowing users to broadcast immediately after downloading the app without having to visit the website. However, a user’s broadcast videos from the app are archived on the website forever. Via the app, you can share your broadcasts via Facebook and Twitter, chat with friends in real-time, switch between the front-end and back-end camera (for iPhone 4 users), and broadcast in landscape mode Plus, the app adjusts the bitrate at which the video is uploaded, and will switch between Edge, 3G and Wi-Fi without dropping your video stream.
Justin.tv says that the Android app has been adopted by 20 percent of the company’s unique broadcasters and expects faster adoption of its iPhone application.
The live video space, however; is competitive. Ustream and Qik already have mobile broadcasting apps for the iPhone. But even though Justin.tv may have released their app later than their rivals, the startup promises additional functionality with its new iPhone and Android apps, including hardware video encoding, real time chat and more.
And CEO Michael Seibel remains confident that Justin.tv will continue to grow, despite YouTube’s entry in the live video streaming space. As he tells TechCrunch, many of Justin.tv’s competitors are focused on partnerships for live streams of events and premium content, whereas Justin.tv is more focused on the UGC realm. This, he says, will help the startup maintain a unique competitive advantage.