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Ustream launches PPV for online video broadcasters

Social online video community Ustream has launched a monetisation engine for its 12 million members in the form of Open Pay-Per-View (Open PPV), allowing broadcasters to charge for viewing streams online.

Open PPV allows broadcasters to schedule a pay-per-view event, set the price and begin promotions through social media. It supports a range of content types as well, from high-end, multi-camera HD productions to last-minute mobile broadcasts.

"Until now, the multi-billion-dollar pay-per-view industry has been a big-boys-only game," said Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable. "Ustream's Open PPV service blows open the pay-per-view market for broadcasters of any size and skill set to become the next Oscar De La Hoya, who's generated hundreds of millions of dollars in pay-per-view tickets."

More than 4,500 pay-per-view events have been streamed live via Ustream during the course of the beta rollout, including: the Bridge School Benefit Concert; King of the Dot presents Blackout 3; Six Nations Rugby individual games; UFC's Silva vs. Sonnen II; Insane Clown Posse's Psychopathic Live; and the USA vs. Guatemala World Cup qualifier.

Broadcasters utilising Ustream's Open PPV can do so with no upfront fees, and ticket sales are deposited directly into their PayPal accounts. The company said that some of the most successful pay-per-view events on Ustream have generated upwards of $70,000 for a single event and $300,000 for a season-long series of events.

"The monetisation possibilities are limitless, as Ustreamers can now transform their live social video streams - from large-scale concerts to global sporting events, industry conferences or educational seminars - into profitable events," Hunstable added.

Open PPV events on Ustream can be purchased with all major credit cards and watched from around the world on Ustream.tv.

"Since we launched pay-per-view in beta, we've also seen an increasing number of small, independent broadcasters who are finding success, proving that viewers are willing to pay for quality, niche content," said Ustream's director of product marketing, Jordan Meyer. "Pay-per-view is a great addition to any real-world event - if you're going to charge people entry into a concert or seminar, why not set up a camera and monetise the fans that can't make it in person?"

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