Another unwelcome decision by JTV brass. I have viewers that watch my cast after the fact when they weren't able to watch live. And as a viewer, I often would watch the late, lamented Community Chat from the Videos page.
Isn't this decision going to be a TOS violator's delight? With no record of a cast, won't it be a lot more difficult for the Admins to do their job of following up on TOS violation reports?
Also, this will make it more difficult for the casters to troubleshoot or test their own cast. No longer will we be able to replay our own cast to experience it like the viewer did. That's not the same as recording the cast on your own computer. I do that. Sometimes I need to see the cast after it has been through JTV's servers in order to track down a problem or for some other reason.
Finally, I noticed memes kind of quietly disappeared about 10 days ago. I didn't see any blog post or tweet on that.
The industry press picked up the story. I get the Gigaom newsletter summary every day and saw it there at http://gigaom.com/2014/05/30/justin-tv-gets-rid-of-its-archives-discontinues-premium-service . I put a comment there, too, which I reproduce for you here:
Justin.tv (JTV) had announced a few months ago that the archived videos would be deleted, and they already had eliminated the ability to make and save "highlights" of casts. What is new here (for me, anyway) is the elimination of the feature whereby all webcasts were saved for 48 hours and then automatically deleted. So if there was a cast that you missed or you only caught the tail end of, you could still go back and watch it within 48 hours. No more.
By the way, this will also make it more difficult for webcasters to test or troubleshoot their own casts. You won't be able to do a cast and then go back and watch it as it was delivered through your own channel.
I guess JTV is saying that neither of these functionalities was worth the cost. For a lot of the committed JTV users, this is just another in a long line of unwelcome decisions. Over the past couple of years JTV declined to fix and then eliminated the Following system (now you can't see whose channels you follow or who follows you). They did not replace the IM functionality that they lost when Google closed Meebo (which JTV used). They eliminated the ability of users to message each other e-mail style. As previously mentioned, they eliminated the ability for users to make highlights of recent webcasts. They adopted the practice of inserting mid-roll ads which pre-empt the webcaster's content (Ustream also does this). They closed their forum which was the best opportunity for user discussion and feedback. To much fanfare, they created a meme feature for their chat around the first of the year only to quietly drop it about 10 days ago. I could go on. By the way, don't read this as a rant. I'm just recounting some of their key business decisions that have impacted their user base (of which I am a member, if you hadn't figured that out by now).
JTV has lost a significant cohort of its webcasters and viewers to competing services. Go to Alexa.com and look up the 3-year ranking for non-porn live streaming video websites. Ustream, Livestream, YouNow, Vaughnlive, Twitch are all either flat or up. Justin.tv is steadily down. The only ones that fared worse are BlogTV (which had to sell itself) and Stickam (which simply disappeared). Some of JTV's decline was people switching over to Twitch, their sister website, but that story is over. JTV continues to lose share even after Twitch absorbed all the gaming content.