The live video streaming market, though pretty much in its infancy, is a fiercely competitive one. A number of companies are constantly one-upping each other with new features and related products though the competition so far seems to outweigh actual user interest. Still, this hasn't made a dent in their enthusiasm and Justin.tv, one of the biggest players, has announced that it will open up its API and infrastructure for free, a first in the market.
“We know there are dozens of use cases that live video would be perfect for: customer support, pay per view entertainment, remote education, collaborative gaming...the list is expanding every day. Unfortunately we can't build all of them, there are just too many,” Evan Solomon, VP of Marketing , said on the Justin.tv blog. “Instead, we want to let all of you build these applications. We know how hard it is to do, so instead of asking each of you to pay for servers and bandwidth, we just released our open, free API to the public and I am extremely excited to be the first to tell you about it.”
This will allow any developers to use the Justin.tv platform for free to create custom applications. The API is free, as in developers don't have to pay for it, but it will be ad supported, with a premium, ad-free paid version coming sometime in the future. Still, considering that its competition charges for similar services, the new offering is hard to beat.
To get developers interested and aware of some of the things possible with the new API, the Justin.tv team has released some tools based on the API. One of the first, which has already been available, is CamTweet, a product that incorporates live video into Twitter. Other projects include a browser-based remote desktop app and even a baby monitor. All apps are available at the new Application Gallery setup.