Sunday, June 15, 2008

Scoble Declares Kyte.tv the Winner in Live Mobile Video Broadcasting Space

Admitted tech geek and ├╝ber blogger Robert Scoble wrote a guest post in TechCrunch yesterday titled, Why Kyte.tv will kill Qik and Flixwagon in cell phone video space. As an early adopter of live streaming from cell phones Scoble has tested each platform and has been a huge advocate of Qik on his blog and incorporated it into his Fast Company Live channel.

So why the sudden change?

In the post he lamented,
"This is a post I didn’t want to write. Why? For the last six months I’ve been using Qik’s live video service off of my cell phone. I’m the top user there, with most views, most videos, and all that.... At the same time a company in Israel, FlixWagon, has been competing with Qik. I liked FlixWagon too... Last year I was Kyte’s top user too. Why did I switch to Qik? Because I saw that cell phone video would let me extend my brand into places no other video network was letting me get to..." (more...)
Scoble explained that,
"Qik has done something remarkable: it put a TV studio in my pocket. I can get live video onto the Internet faster than I can make a phone call (Qik takes two clicks to start streaming, a phone call takes 12 clicks on my phone’s keypad). Even better, while doing a video you can watch live and you can send text chat messages to my phone while I am filming."
He pointed out that he's received a lot of support from Qik and that his use of their live mobile streaming technology has helped him gain a lot of attention and followers. So why is Scoble now embracing another platform like Kyte.tv?

As Scoble said he's also a top user at Kyte and that for months he's tried to convince Kyte’s CEO, Daniel Graf, to get live streaming into their product. That finally changed when Scoble used Kyte to broadcast live from the set of FastComany.tv. Now he says, he's taking a second look and has detailed a number of points on why he thinks Kyte will dominate over Qik and Flixwagon.

In his opinion, Kyte has a better distribution system (embedded player with customized branding), better chat room features, ability to mix a variety of video sources, Kyte works on the iPhone and can play your own and other videos on a Nokia, Kyte is partially funded by Nokia (which may give them an engineering advantage) and has mainstream recording artists like 50 Cent, David Banner, Against Me, Mudvayne and Wyclef Jean are Kyters "which means its growth is way stronger."

Scoble's controversial post generated a lot of comments and discussion on TechCrunch, Twitter and Friendfeed. Like the following on his Twitter page:

flixwagon flixwagon @Scobleizer says we'll get our lunch eaten for us but we respectfully disagree. Stay tuned for cool new flixwagon features http://is.gd/xAt

Robert Scoble Scobleizer @flixwagon disagrees they'll have their lunch eaten by Kyte. Funny, @michaelf disagrees with me too about Qik's prospects. Love competition!

A sampling from his Friendfeed discussion:
  • The first to NAIL the iPhone / YouTube experience will win, Robert. - l0ckergn0me
  • Interesting...I just read you're article. From what I've reviewed basically, is that Kyte is more produced/interview content, where as Qik/FlixWagon are more random streams...I will say that Qik/Flixwagon have far better browsing options from the web. I don't want to page through 4 stream at at a time...I want to see a bunch of thumbnails and choose from that.... - clarke
  • It's that sort of thing that will finally push one of these live video services into the mainstream. Someone is going to see a political event or catch a police officer being a jerk or see someone committing a big crime... and all of the media outlets are going to direct their huge streams of viewers to the sites. This technology has too much potential in that regard. - Andrew Burd
  • Scoble says Kyte.tv will kill Qik and Flixwagon in cell phone video space. He's wrong. http://offonatangent.blogspot.... - Steve Garfield
  • I think they offer two similar but different services, Qik seems better for live stuff and has more merit for news, magazine style use, it's better for companies or organizations than families and ordinary consumers, which is where Kyte seems more comfortable. Maybe Qik needs to start fighting on a different battlefield, Kyte seems better positioned to win the mass market...with their endorsements. http://technoboogie.squarespac... - Shawn Roos
On TechCrunch, his post generated 119 comments by Sunday evening with the majority of people saying that it's too early to call a winner and that Qik still has a chance. Others said that overall features, ease of use, integration, quality of service, video quality and customer care will help the best service prevail. There were also several interesting comments by Daniel Graf of Kyte, Ken @ Flixwagon, Bhaskar Roy of Qik and michael @ qik who simply said, "Stay tuned :)"

Oliver Thylmann wrote about this on his blog and agreed with Scoble that, Kyte.tv will rule them all and referred to Kyte "as a full channel management application."

As mentioned above, Steve Garfield countered both on TechCrunch and on his Off On a Tangent blog, Scoble says Kyte.tv will kill Qik and Flixwagon in cell phone video space. He's wrong, and offered his support of Qik by saying,
"Watching videos on a Nokia
As others have said in the comments, your bullet list has a few facts that need to be corrected including the fact that you can now watch Qik videos on your Nokia device. They have 3GP files.

A Broadcast Studio with Mogulus
When you combine Qik with Mogulus you get the "ability to mix videos from your webcam, live videos streaming from your web cam, recorded videos from camcorders, or from places like YouTube, along with both recorded and streamed videos from your cell phone.

Extensive Testing
I've also got Kyte, Flixwagon and Bambuser on my phone, but haven't "extensively tested" tested them as you have because Qik just works for me and the people are super.

Qik is People
It's a lot like the video hosting space. When I first started videoblogging I used a couple of services that had great features, then I moved to blip.tv, where in addition to having lots of features, they have a lot of great people providing support.

Kyte.tv will not kill Qik and Flixwagon in cell phone video space." - Steve Garfield / SteveGarfield.com
So there you have it. The lines are drawn and the race is on for the best of breed in the mobile video broadcasting market. Bambuser is another live mobile streaming service that is more popular in Europe and has not received the attention of it's competitors but that may change as the mobile video war is waged.