Live video startup Ustream is making a big push into mobile. Today it is launching a mobile business division, as well as a new set of mobile video broadcasting apps (which can be found here, after login). Right now, the apps work on a wide variety of Nokia phones, including the N95, and on the iPhone, but only jailbroken ones. Alas, the company is still waiting for approval from Apple to release the app through iTunes. Meanwhile, its view-only iPhone app for watching live video streams is approaching one million downloads.
The broadcasting app, however, is what we are excited about. It includes integrated chat, audience polling, and GPS mapping. The polling lets broadcasters ask their audience what they want to see or what actions they should take in a live broadcast situation. Another key feature: mobile video broadcasters can send out a message via Twitter or Facebook to their audience to tell them when they are about to start streaming live. (See video below). Under the hood, Ustream has developed its own low-latency streaming technology which reduces the amount of transcoding that needs to be done on the server as well as the amount of buffering that needs to be done on the phone.
Ustream wants to bring its large audience for live streaming videos on the Web (it claims 15 million monthly uniques across both its site and embedded players) over to mobile phones. In the mobile video streaming race, it is fighting for position with Qik and Kyte (their official iPhone apps don’t allow for broadcasting yet either, although Qik has one for jailbroken iPhones). But this is a battle for the hearts and minds of tomorrows mobile video streamers. Taking a page from Kyte, Ustream is getting celebrities and rappers like Lil Wayne to broadcast using Ustream.
Below is a promo video showing UStream’s new mobile app on an iPhone: