Communication between influencers and their fan bases are in a funk; a text-based, asynchronous funk. Yes, the likes of Quora and Twitter have made it easier than ever to “connect” with individuals not normally within reach, but it’s impersonal and not in real-time. Instant gratification is nice says the gen-y girl.
Google+ Hangouts and a few other services are starting to offer folks that instant gratification through live video chats; and influencers are taking note. The problem? Hangouts only supports ten people on-screen; pretty sure more than nine ladies wanted to ask David Beckham a question. Livestream offers a nearly unlimited audience size, but has a sad, lonely stage for one; perfect for Shiba Inu puppies however.
That’s where our newest app of the week, OnTheAir saw an opportunity. Recently launched in private beta, OnTheAir enables anyone to host their very own 2-seater video call-in show that airs to large scale audiences. As Josh Constine of TechCrunch said so simply, “OnTheAir wants to prove the Internet is not a broadcast medium”.
Using OnTheAir, that hot-shot entrepreneur can work with a followers to improve their pitch. The food blogger can take questions about where to get the best pho, pizza and pie in San Francisco. Or, the political candidate can smooth over his latest twitter scandal with his constituents.
OnTheAir makes the process of hosting a show, and viewing one, seamless for users. Setup involves a simple process of naming and setting a time for the show. The host is given a show URL and can distribute it however they like. OnTheAir makes promotion as easy as possible through their “tweet at critical times” tool. The host can schedule tweets to go out in advance of the show, whether it’s 2 days, an hour or a minute before.
Host view (see “bring live”)…
When the host is camera ready, they simply hop on stage. Once the show has begun, viewers can either text chat or choose to “call in” to the show to get some face time with the host. The host hand selects who they want to bring on stage with just one click. The best part is that you can make sure they are “camera ready” by checking out their video stream backstage, and review what they’d like to discuss in advance.
By using OpenTok for live video, the OnTheAir team has been able to dedicate an extraordinary amount of time and effort on the user experience.
“OpenTok allows us to focus on our core user experience and not worry about many of the hard technical problems that come with running an interactive live video service. More importantly, they’re great people and highly responsive to our many demands as a partner.” Josh Schwarzapel, CEO of OnTheAir.
Next week you should check out one for yourself! The current schedule of events is below.