Livestream, Ustream and newrow_ have defined high quality live stream productions and now Meerkat and Periscope are defining instant live streaming over Twitter. While Meerkat and Persicope have shaken up the media industry there are still many limits. These include, needing an iPhone or Andorid, lack of major capabilities beyond Twitter and more.
Rhinobird, cofounded by Harvard Fellow Felipe Heusser is aiming to become even bigger than the current live streaming options by making it easy to share to Facebook and WhatsApp in addition to Twitter and allowing you to live stream from any WebRTC-enabled browser. Found Remote interviewed Heusser about the capabilities and potential for TV networks.
Found Remote: Why did you launch Rhinobird?
Felipe Heusser: I co-founded Rhinobird after exploring the powerful independent media coverage of the 2011 Chilean Student Protests (by using aerial live streaming footage captured from helium balloons). I wanted to create a community-driven streaming service, so I launched Rhinobird.tv to allow anyone to experience an event in real time from multiple angels. Rhinobird.tv’s vision is to enable individuals and communities to share their personal experiences as they unfold, with the ultimate goal of democratizing the way live media is produced and distributed.
FR: How does it compare to Meerkat/Periscope and Livestream/Ustream?
FH: Our ultimate goals or motivations may be a bit different, and we come from different backgrounds. Rhinobird’s team has a track record of commitment with open and civic-minded technologies. We work hard to have the best product possible, but what motivates us every morning is the idea to open and democratize media, by focusing on the vision of a people-driven TV network that is more free, diverse, and genuine than the one that exists today. We now have the technology to make this possible.
From a function stand-point Rhinobird.tv offers the following benefits:
- Zero lag time. Built on WebRTC it streams real time with zero lag, enabling multiple views of live streams. Other live streaming apps like Periscope or Meerkat deliver video to viewers with an average lag of 20 seconds.
- No app needed. You can start broadcasting without an app or plugin from any WebRTC-enabled browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, among others) on PC, Mac, Linux or Android.
- On Android now and iOS soon. For app lovers Rhinobird is also available from Android’s Google Play and will be available on iOS later in 2015.
- Mobile and Desktops. Users can broadcast from both their mobile and desktop devices.
- Easy to share across multiple platforms. When going live on Rhinobird, users can instantly go live on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Seconds after recording you’ll have a permalink that can be downloaded and embedded anywhere.
- Open motion. It uses WebM, one of the only truly free and open video formats. The code is vastly available in Github.
- Never miss a live event. You won’t miss the action, you can find and watch live-stream or recorded content when you need it.
- Get the bigger picture. Experience events such as graduation, a marathon, a concert or a football game from multiple viewpoints, all in a single web page. Rhinobird introduces collaborative broadcasting.
- You control your content. There is also no time limit on videos and users have the ability to control what gets stored or completely destroyed.
FR: How can TV networks use it?
FH: TV networks can use Rhinobird in many ways. They can certainly benefit from the live feeds of our community, and switch videos in real time. They can also use content available as archived clips of videos, that can be downloaded and embedded anywhere. That said, I think Rhinobird offers TV networks something even more powerful. We envision TV networks as communities of content producers and audiences. Rhinobird can help traditional TV networks to engage in real time with their audience, by inviting them to contribute with live video feeds, for example in the context of breaking news, public demonstrations, or cultural events. With Rhinobird, the audience of a TV network can participate by streaming live with a specific #hashtag that is meaningful to a particular TV network (eg: #HuffPostLive ). That way, the TV network will know that live content is being flagged their way, and may decide to share this content in real time with the wider audience. With Rhinobird, the audience can become real time content contributors.
FR: How will the live streaming market change over the next few years?
FH: This is a huge question. I think we are witnessing a more mature stage of a video streaming technology that has been around for several years, and benefitting from many contributors that have made possible what we can do today. I believe we will continue to experience sharp progress in the next couple of years, and the result of this progress has to do with a more open and competitive TV market. We will see more creativity channeled to a media ecosystem where it has become cheaper, easier , and more enjoyable to produce and distribute TV that is mainly powered by mobile technology. Rhinobird is part of that future.
FR: How did your platform help capture the Pride Parade in NYC?
FH: Everyone was invited to download the Rhinobird application on their Android devices, or simply start broadcasting from the browser (via rhinobird.tv) using the hashtag #Pride. These videos can be viewed from any WebRTC-enabled browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, among others) on PC, Mac, Linux or Android by searching and clicking on the hashtag #Pride, or going to rhinobird.tv/pride