Interview: CEO, Ustream Korea: “Content can be created and shared by all in real time and it will change the world.”
Jimmy Kim, CEO, Ustream Korea & SVP, Korea Telecom, Korea is speaking on Day One of the LTE Asia conference taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about what makes Ustream unique, how he sees the impact LTE will have on its growth potential and what the benefits local operator partnerships will bring.
Tell me all about Ustream, and what makes it such a unique proposition?
Ustream is a global leading live platform service company. It originally focused on live broadcasting but has accumulated many relationships, references and gained experience of live services. However the most important thing is that Ustream encapsulates a full ecosystem taking in content provider, broadcast equipment, software companies and production teams worldwide. Live broadcasting is not easy one; it needs lots of proper equipment and software for each scenarios. We have developed a great relationship with many relevant companies regarding broadcasting infrastructure and the application of online live services.
The beauty of Ustream is that is a scalable and proprietary platform. Our engine efficiently ingests more video per minute than any competitors by a wide margin. The platform’s flexibility and global scale enables us to respond to market demand, while maintain the highest levels of reliability. We can support over two million concurrent viewers on a single broadcast stream. A total of 15 million broadcasters are using Ustream for their own live broadcasting every month to an audience 70 million viewers in over 190 countries. There are more than 10,000 channels broadcasting over Ustream at any time worldwide.
You have two local operators invested in Ustream. Why are these telco partnerships necessary, and what are the benefits for all parties?
As strong operators in each of their local market KT and Softbank wanted to add value to provide customers with a better experience. For them it’s a step toward offering a complete package of network pipes and services. In addition, the local telcos finally get an opportunity to become a global platform for content/media partnerships. By offering a global window for local content players, they demonstrate that local telcos can be global operators. Lastly, strong network infrastructure, healthy capital investment and additional in-house services such as KT’s CDN business enhance Ustream’s overall capability and business environment.
What changes are you seeing in usage as broadband becomes more widely deployed?
Everything is easily shared. Everybody can be connected with anyone. It means that content can be created and shared by all in real time and it will change the world. Nobody can control this trend. Internet video usage per month in 2012 was 12,000 petabytes and according to Cisco research data this will increase to 33 thousands petabytes in 2015. The world will become more open and as broadband becomes widespread people will be able to watch what they couldn’t before, and at high quality.
The LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.
How important are LTE roll-outs for companies such as Ustream?
According to Informa data, LTE subscription numbers in 2012 were roughly 63 million and will surpass one billion by 2018. More LTE roll-outs mean higher quality and less buffering for Ustream and as a result the Ustream service will grow dramatically. Nowadays people want more on their smartphone and as we are based on on-line streaming technology I believe that the quality upgrade that LTE will bring will enable the Ustream business to grow faster. I hope many countries offer sophisticated LTE services so that the users will be able to enjoy live broadcasting better with high quality on their mobile devices.
As a leader of an innovative technology company what drives you on a day-to-day basis?
Live, new and exciting things! I encourage my team to enjoy “now”, not only because we are live streaming service provider, but also because the “present” is too precious not to appreciate every moment. That’s one of the reasons I closed a 10- year exclusive deal with the Korean Baseball Association for global broadcasting and business rights. You can enjoy live baseball games via Ustream while you have loads of fun.
What’s your favourite mobile technology or gadget out at the moment and why?
I used to love Blackberry phones before the iPhone/Galaxy era. But now services and apps are more important than the devices themselves. As of today, I use a Samsung laptop and a monitor for my desk – iPad and iPhone 5 on the go.
What are you most looking forward to at the LTE Asia conference?
I am looking forward to meeting with the different stakeholders in our value chain and sharing insights and experiences from different markets and I’m excited to hear challenging questions from the audience.