Qik out of private beta

Over the weekend, Qik came out of private beta. Jennifer Leggio has all the technical details, along with some insights in Robert Scoble's outburst about how kyte.

Over the weekend, Qik came out of private beta. Jennifer Leggio has all the technical details, along with some insights in Robert Scoble's outburst about how kyte.tv would kill off Qik and Flixwagon.

One claim the company makes over at VentureBeat is that they have gotten latency down to around 1 second. I'm not so sure. Where I live, the connections can be pretty ropey and delays of up to 2 minutes are not uncommon. I assume they're talking about optimal conditions.

The other curious part of the story centers around the company's business model. When I met co-founder Bhaskar Roy earlier in the year, he talked about a commercial business model:

Last month I met with co-founder Bhaskar Roy, who said that Qik has application in emergency services, insurance and healthcare. The company claims to have early contracts with law enforcement but would not be drawn into naming names.

In May, Roy said that the business model comprised:

They are a subscription model, advertising, revenue share with carriers and revenue share with handset makers.

It now seems that is being revised. Jennifer notes that:

Roy maintained that Qik will not move to an ad-based revenue model and will continue to be free for its users, at least for basic capabilities. In the future, Roy says, the service may consider charging for service enhancements or for some commercial services but it wants to remain a transparent service for its users and integration partners.

My guess is that the business models for services of this kind are in a state of flux and that like any other start up faced with a fast moving environment, Roy is adjusting in real time. It seems to me that ad revenues are a non-starter. The format doesn't suit video. On the other hand I've always maintained that business specific charging models make more sense than any other. Unlimited bandwidth plans render deals with carriers dodgy at best and certainly not a long term play. All of which begs the question about how services like Seesmic will monetize.

Bonus link: my recording of Space Shuttle Endeavour's night time launch.

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