Justin.tv gets rid of its archives, discontinues premium service

Pioneering live video streaming site Justin.tv is getting rid of all of its archived content, and won’t offer the ability to record and archive any live streams going forward. The company made the announcement in a blog post this week, which read in part:

“We found that more than half of our VODs are unwatched (with 0 or 1 total views), while the vast majority are rarely watched (with 10 or less views). This data was essential in better understanding how our service is being used. (…) It’s quite clear: JTV is a home for live broadcasts. Viewers come to justin.tv because they want to consume content and interact with their communities in real-time.”

The changes will go into effect on June 8, which is also when Justin.tv will delete all previously archived content. Also affected will be broadcasters who have been paying for a premium account, which previously offered unlimited storage for live streams. Justin.tv admin Dylan Reichstadt added in a FAQ posted on the company’s website that it is “planning to discontinue” the premium service. Links to the premium account signup page have already been removed.

Getting rid of archives as well as paid accounts an interesting move for Justin.tv, which pioneered live streaming, but has since been eclipsed by competitors like Ustream as well as its own video game-focused spin-off Twitch.tv, which is reportedly being eyed by YouTube (S GOOG) for a possible acquisition. My hunch is that the archive deletion is primarily about controlling operation costs while killing off premium accounts seems to be an admission that competitors like Ustream have done a better job catering to brands and enterprises willing to pay for live streaming.