After a soft launch November 1st, 2021, Louper officially launched on Monday February 7th, 2022. Since then, we’ve had a tremendous influx of users from all over the world. And we’re lucky to count top creative talent across film editing, sound design and color grading among our userbase.
In the film industry, wide adoption of new technologies has traditionally been slow. And industry-specific real-time collaboration tools have been prohibitive - both in terms of hardware requirements, and pricing. We saw things differently.
When we set out to create Louper, we wanted to build a real-time remote collaboration platform that would serve all tiers of media creators, from independent freelancers to large post-production facilities, agencies and studios. We wanted to democratise and demystify high quality, real-time remote collaboration.
If gamers have for many years been able to stream high quality, low latency content on a public platform, like Twitch, with a very low barrier to entry, then why couldn’t professional media creators do the same - on a private, secure platform built specifically for them and their clients?
The six core concepts we followed when building Louper
The concepts listed below can be distilled into a single sentence: "build a truly awesome product that serves its users". But what exactly does that mean?
Ease of use
Both for hosts (the creatives who are actually streaming) and for clients. We obsessed over details to create an intuitive UI that’s a joy to use. And enabling people to join rooms, watch streams and video chat directly in the browser without any accounts or plugins was essential.
Hardware and software flexibility
Users had be able to stream to Louper using their existing workstations without any additional hardware. There was a frustrating misconception in the industry that hardware I/O and capture devices are required for high quality streaming. We wanted to provide a simple, software-only solution, whilst at the same time supporting hardware-based workflows for the users that wanted them.
Low barrier to entry
In addition to affordable paid plans, we really wanted to offer ‘Free Forever’ accounts. This would, in keeping in line with our democratisation effort, enable users to instantly sign up and use Louper - no credit card required.
Excellent picture and sound quality
It goes without saying that the video and audio quality requirements of those working in the film industry are high. Using standard video conferencing tools for ‘DIY’ collaboration was unusable at worst, and felt like a huge compromise at best. Since Day 1, Louper has supported high bitrate video and audio streams in resolutions up to 4K.
As a tool that would be relied on by professionals and their clients, reliability **and stability is paramount. From the way we support various browsers and devices to the way our servers are architected to keep latency low and data throughput rates high, we spent (and continue to spend) a lot of time on ensuring platform stability and reliability.
We didn’t want to be prescriptive in how users stream to their rooms or exactly how they collaborate. So, for users who do want to use hardware encoders or capture devices to stream HDMI or SDI feeds to their room - Louper supports those use cases. And for users who want to communicate with their team using voice-only instead of video chat, or use an entirely different tool for communication and Louper just for their livestream - Louper supports those use cases too.
Many early mornings, late nights, and a few hundred thousand lines of code later, we’ve achieved what we initially set out to do. And the response from the industry has been brilliant. But this is only the beginning.
We’ve found the best collaboration tools are the ones that disappear into the background when you use them. You stop noticing the tool itself, and instead focus on the experiences and workflows that the tool affords you. Much like film editing - when it’s done well, you usually don’t notice it.
With that in mind, there are a lot more product features, improvements and integrations on the way. And we look forward to continuing to serve our users and execute our broader vision for democratised, real-time remote collaboration for media professionals.
So, whether you’ve been with us since we launched our private beta in the summer of 2021, or if you’ve just signed up, we want to thank you for your support and feedback. There’s a lot more coming!