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TheStreet Open House

Stream Monkey: Live Church Streaming That Won't Drive You Bananas

ORLANDO, Fla., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This Easter, hundreds of millions of people worldwide will go to church. But not everyone will come through the front doors. A growing number of believers will worship where they are using their laptops, tablets, smartphones and other streaming devices.

"More and more houses of worship are starting to explore the idea of live church streaming," says Chris Gerrish, founder of Stream Monkey. "In fact, the fastest growing segment in many churches today are those who have never set foot in the building."

Gerrish is something of a legend in church streaming. In 2009, he built one of the first Web apps for live streaming services on the iPhone. In 2010, he created the first-ever live church streaming channel for the Roku media player—which gave rise to the now-ubiquitous "religion-and-spirituality" category in Roku's channel store. He even helped LifeChurch.TV launch their channel on Roku and has helped other churches do the same.

Over the last several years, he has traveled the world helping set up live streaming at churches in Ukraine, Brazil, China and Egypt.

He started Stream Monkey in 2011 while working at one of the largest churches in America. You might say he had a monkey on his back:

"Over and over again, our CDN kept failing. So we decided to create a backup system, and it worked! Eventually, we began to realize we're spending a lot of money on a primary CDN that's significantly less reliable than our much-cheaper backup system. So after repeated failures, we decided to flip the equation—make the backup the primary. Low and behold, it didn't fail."

Gerrish began hearing from other churches about their CDNs failing and having to constantly apologize to their online worshipers for technical difficulties. What initially began as a homegrown solution for his own congregation became a means to help other churches experience the same freedom from failure.

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