GoPro launches Hero4 with streaming built-in
In the same way that Red Bull has successfully shifted attention to its brand as a lifestyle and not about shifting cans of drink, so GoPro’s business model has achieved lift-off as a media phenomenon. Perhaps it had to, with basic hardware costing around $100 it would have had to sold a lot of units, but as The Guardian pointed out this week ‘to GoPro’ has become a verb for the use of wearable cams to capture and post online any kind of video from the high-octane to the mundane. In its latest development, GoPro users can now stream — broadcast — their videos straight to the internet.
This is possible by way of an updated Livestream iOS app which connects an iPhone to GoPro’s Wi-Fi network and then uses the phone’s 4G network to live-stream video from the camera to the Livestream platform. The app, devised by Livestream, also supports live video filters, snapshot posts, and chat.
GoPro's latest product launched this week is the Hero4 which costs U$500 (£370) and is 4K-capable at 30 frames per second. It can also record 1080p at 120fps and features built-in Wi-Fi combined with Bluetooth to deliver a 50% improvement on connecting to the GoPro App for remote camera control. The Guardian article [http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/04/rise-of-gopro-wearable-cameras] was another example of the way the US camera-manufacturer has succeeded in getting the mainstream media to promote its products.
GoPro plans to emulate Red Bull by becoming a media company. It has struck deals with Microsoft for a GoPro channel available to users of Xbox game consoles and with Virgin America for a GoPro channel on Virgin's in-flight entertainment.
“But GoPro has a long way to go in video to catch up to Red Bull,” suggests The New York Times. “The energy drink maker has 3.3 million subscribers to its YouTube channel and over 700 million views for its videos, compared with 1.7 million subscribers for GoPro’s channels and over 400 million views. And Red Bull TV, the company’s entertainment network, recently became available on Apple TV. Those are the types of deals GoPro is now also after.”
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