UStream Crisis Looms

The UStream CrisisFirst I wanted to say on behalf of Jacci and everyone at the center, thank you for being such loyal supporters! Second I wanted to apologize for what appears to be a radical change in how UStream works. By ‘appears’ I mean that we just dont know. There really is no information about what specifically is going on and how things will be different at the end of these changes but it looks like from now on we will be dealing with forced video ads all through the broadcast and that is that. No more unstructured, uninterrupted broadcasts from the center. Period.

Since we are waiting for any kind of response from UStream, today I am going to just do some bullet points which will be straightforward and succinct, but I also wanted to explain that FFRC gets a significant monthly income from the ads on the kittycam which we have come to depend on. Since we dont know any actual useful information about the new program we are concerned about the program and the future of the kittycam revenue. So in the short term we ask that you not block the ads while we try to figure out what is going on and what to do about it. If you block the ads – no revenue for FFRC from your visit.

Sorry if i am sounding a little melodramatic but there is a bit more to the story which I will explain. I want to make it clear though that with this change we have no idea what to expect from UStream. They are not doing a good job of telling us what EXACTLY is happening or going to happen – let alone why. The information here is a summary and conclusion based on how the site functions now and what precious little we could find in the online docs. Check this blog often as when we learn more we will come on here and lay it out for you.

So here is what we figured out so far (We think)

1. UStream is changing the way it collects advertising revenue. They plan to no longer use googles adsense to provide the ads on their channels. FFRC had to sign up for the new one – no choice.

2. What the new ad structure, frequency, and function will be is still unknown. The program does not kick in until May 21 but it appears to revolve around forced, regular video ads, rather than banner ads or click boxes. But there are no details on the UStream site – we will just have to wait and see.

3. It is our understanding that from now on there will be forced video content (ads) on all UStream channels, both the basic and the pro packages. So even if we pay through the nose to eliminate those ads, there will still be times when the ads will be injected regardless. For example – late at night. This means that there will be no more unstructured 24/7 channels on UStream at all. Sorry but we will have to deal with the ads.

4. They have said that FFRC will be able to control the frequency of the ads. So far we have not been able to find the controls for changing the ad frequency but we are working on it.

5. If you choose to “block all ads”, and no longer get the video commercials or banner ads, then FFRC will make no revenue from the time you spend watching the kittycam.

We love our viewers and chatters and want you to enjoy every visit to the kittycam more than the last – so naturally we are not happy with this new program at UStream ourselves. We will continue to be in contact with them trying to work this out but their customer service moves at a glacial pace, their tech support is non-existant, and their online documentation is quite inadequate.

I was going to open up comments on this post, but for now I think I will just say this. If you have any questions or comments please email us at

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