RFS 4: New Ways to Use Live Video
TV is gradually being replaced. The new ways people spend the time they used to spend watching TV fall on a continuum, from things quite unlike TV (Facebook) to TV repackaged for computer screens (Hulu). Many of the most promising options remain to be discovered. Live video seems a particularly promising area, especially now that the Justin.TV API enables startups to use their infrastructure for free.
Most people know Justin.TV as a site with a lot of traffic (they're roughly tied with Hulu in monthly uniques), but their infrastructure may be even more impressive. Live video is a harder problem than recorded, because the options for caching are so limited. Plus JTV had to build everything on comparatively little money, which forced them to create a live video infrastructure of unparalleled efficiency.
With the release of the JTV API, they've opened up this infrastructure to everyone. It's the perfect platform for startups experimenting with live video, because (a) it's free, and (b) they give you direct access to the video stream, not just a player. Which means startups can now treat moving bits as a solved problem, and focus instead on new ways to use live video.
Justin.TV has agreed that any startup we fund that wants to use the
JTV API will get direct access to the JTV founders and the engineers
working on JTV's infrastructure.