On Friday YouTube officially began the initial roll out of YouTube Live, the new live streaming service that will offer live video capabilities on the site. Starting this off is the introduction of the new browse page youtube.com/live, where you can tune in to live events, subscribe to live-streaming partners, and add events to your calendar.
According to a YouTube blog post issued yesterday, the plan is to gradually roll out the live beta platform, allowing partners with accounts in “good standing” to start streaming live content to the site.
“The goal is to provide thousands of partners with the capability to live stream from their channels in the months ahead. In order to ensure a great live stream viewing experience, we’ll roll this offering out incrementally over time.”
This is not the first time that live streams have been incorporated in the Google-owned video site. Live concerts such as The National’s performance back in May, interviews, and sports events have been streamed in the past; however, up until this point these have been singular events rather than continuous live stream channels and have not been available to the vast majority of YouTube account partners.
This roll out follows The Wall Street Journal report earlier this week that Google Inc. is possibly planning on investing as much as $100 million in the site with the hope of commissioning low-cost content exclusively for the Internet. Many have speculated that this money will be pumped primarily into this new live streaming project, as this new feature will theoretically allow the web service to recreate itself as a happy medium between user-generated content and broadcast and cable television streaming services where users can find a cache of professional grade original Web videos. Google’s ultimate goal would seem to be to continue providing the same type of content it has for the past seven years while expanding their services to include the ever growing demand for video streaming services, ultimately making YouTube more competitive with sites like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix.
This move to live streaming will likely be a big hit with users and push YouTube back into the online video spotlight. While it has not yet been announced if YouTube Live will be accessible on smart phones and tablets through its app, it is likely that this will be the case. The ramifications of this will be revolutionary, as the slight delay between recording world events and posting them on the Internet will be removed, allowing people to witness things like the Japan tsunami, the turmoil in the Middle East, key political speeches and rallies, or cats sucker punching dogs in the face at precisely the moment that they are happening. Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix can’t say that about their “premium content.” If this streaming service roll out is successful and lives up to its potential, it could potentially change fundamentally how we see user-generated content both in terms of entertainment as well as news and information.
Link: YouTube Live