YouCastr Pro: A Great New Digital Media Tool to Broadcast Your School’s Events

Logo00The convergence of media and the Internet has made it easier than ever to distribute long-format video to larger, more directed audiences. For schools, that means the ability to increase the exposure of their previously limited content through a simple and free technology.


“In this century, video on the Internet is the way they our students going to watch. They’re not going to watch TV like we did growing up. Their world is going to be on-demand, so having the ability for us to team with Youcastr and get these games out to anybody, anywhere, anytime is fantastic”

 

-Theresa Jay, Xaverian Brothers High School, Director of Technology

YouCastr has developed a broadcasting platform that allows schools to easily broadcast video of their events live or on-demand online. “We met with many administrators, educators and students in developing our product, and heard the growing interest in digital media and the desire to have a safe and cost-effective way to expand broadcasting of school events,” said Brad Johnson, YouCastr Co-Founder.Vid01

Through its easy-to-use broadcasting platform, YouCastr Pro, schools can either broadcast events live, or they can record and upload their events afterward. To broadcast live, all the school needs is a digital camcorder, a computer and Internet access. All broadcasts are automatically archived and available indefinitely for on-demand viewing. Even with no Internet connection at the venue, events can be recorded with any digital camcorder and uploaded to YouCastr later on for on-demand viewing. For a brief overview of the YouCastr solution, see http://www.YouCastrPro.com/about.

Increasing Students’ Hands-On Experience

Students often manage and broadcast the events, allowing an excellent educational opportunity in broadcasting and in digital media. “YouCastr provides a great way for more students to get involved in digital media, which is the future of media. Filming and managing the school sporting events offers a great real-world setting for them to learn key broadcasting, production, and editing skills,” said Doug Cabot, head of TV production at Salem Memorial High School in Salem, Massachusetts. The technological component is taken care of in the background by YouCastr, essentially making the service a plug and play solution. That leaves the rest of the broadcast to the students to coordinate, allowing them experience with everything from the pre-event preparation, event audio, and the actual filming of the event itself. YouCastr works well with producing tools including NewTek’s TriCaster.

“I want to broadcast as a career, so getting real-life experience broadcasting sports has been awesome for me to get started with,” said student broadcaster Jeremy Adler, who is a Junior at Sharon High School in Sharon, Massachusetts. “The setup is really quick and simple, so all I need to worry about is calling the event and not all the other stuff that used to worry me about broadcasting.”

The educational aspect has proven to be invaluable to the students involved, and YouCastr is continuously working to ensure the value to educators and students. Recently, they partnered with the New England Patriots; with plans to work together to strengthen the educational opportunities provided to New England high school programs broadcasting with YouCastr. The Patriots plan to host a series of seminars at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts for all the student broadcasters involved with YouCastr in the New England area. The Patriots will bring in some professional NFL broadcasting personnel who will give the students a look at what broadcasting on the next level looks and feels like. “The Kraft’s and the Patriots have always been supportive of youth sports in New England and the broadcasting program with YouCastr is yet another example,” said Fred Kirsh, New England Patriots Publisher. YouCastr is continuing to work to duplicate this program with other sports franchises in other cities.

Focus on Safety and Controlled Distribution

With schools and students involved, safety of the content is critical, and the YouCastr solution is entirely safe for schools. Safety features include requiring school approval, no inclusion of outside advertisements, school control over all broadcasting, and most importantly, making content easily accessible from the school or team website.

Youcastr02YouCastr provides a number of simple syndication tools such as widgets, embeddable frames, live links, and RSS feeds that make it easy to display broadcasts on any website a school chooses. The most popular place parents and alumni look for school news is directly on a school’s website, so the opportunity to provide rich media content directly on their school’s site without worrying about the hosting costs is exciting for schools.

Depending on how the school broadcasts, viewers can watch events live and/or on-demand with no software plug-ins or downloads necessary -- the service is completely web-based. However, audience members can also download the regular and high quality broadcast files to make DVDs, highlight videos, recruitment videos, etc.

Broadcast All School Events for Free

Founded in 2007, YouCastr’s broadcasting platform has already been the platform for thousands of sporting events, however it also enables schools to broadcast their non-sports events as well. While schools’ most popular events are often sports, the platform is easy for other events also, such as graduations, debate competitions, and conferences.

There are no costs for a school to broadcast with YouCastr Pro, rather schools can actually earn money doing it. During a time when school and athletic budgets have been under pressure or even being cut, the ability for schools to further monetize an asset, their events, is proving to be very popular.

When schools broadcast events on YouCastr Pro, they can earn money by charging their audience (Pay To View) for live,Youcastr03 archived and downloadable broadcasts. The school sets the price and splits the revenue with YouCastr. Schools can also group their events into “seasons” and sell Season Passes as a fundraiser and keep a portion of the revenue. While there is often a large number of friends and family willing to pay to attend school’s games and other events, there is also the portion who are unable to make it out to the event itself. They have proven more than willing to pay “online gate fees” to have the same access to the events, especially considering it’s financially benefiting the school as well.

For additional revenue, the school can even sell advertising spots during the broadcast and they can upload banner ads on broadcast pages and keep 100% of that money as well. Schools also have the option to offer events as Free To View for a payment of $100 per event. Free To View events are often underwritten by sponsors or advertising.

Getting Started

To begin broadcasting school events, all you need to do is go to www.YouCastrPro.com and click “get started”. From there, you will be prompted to get a school approval form signed, and then you’ll have access to a free school account.

“We are excited about working with educators and providing a platform that supports digital media curriculum and learning, enables schools to expand access to their events, and serves as an easy fundraiser for schools,” said YouCastr Co-Founder Brad Johnson.