Google's Youtube Goes Live - Streaming

written by: Richard Kastelein

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According to reports from Jake Coyle at the Associated Press today, YouTube is now going into live streaming by launching an experimental trial with four new media partners and the live streaming offering will be available for two days in a trial beginning Monday, but is expected to later grow considerably soon..

Four YouTube partners will be involved to start... the celebrity-focused Young Hollywood; the online television outlet Next New Networks; the how-to guide Howcast; and Rocketboom, the Internet culture vlog.

"This is just an initial trial, a first step," said YouTube product manager Josh Siegel. "We're going to look at a whole bunch of data about the performance of our new platform and then, based on that, make decisions about how we'll open it up, with the goal of opening it up to all of our partners over time."

YouTube has offered numerous events live over the past couple of years such as a U2 concert, cricket matches in India and President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address - however, for all of those events, YouTube relied on third-party technology to enable the live webcasts.

More from the report:

Chris Hamilton, a product marketing manager at YouTube, said live streaming is "a natural evolution to online video" that "adds an extra level of engagement" for the site's audience.

YouTube, though, is far from the first company to step into the streaming video space. Startups such as Ustream.tv, Justin.tv and Livestream have already established themselves.

But YouTube remains the largest video platform on the Web and is expected to quickly become a considerable force in the rapidly growing live streaming video business.

ComScore recently announced the amount of time American audiences spent watching the major live video publishers grew by 648 percent in the last year. The advertising possibilities are also good, since the average live streamed video view is 7 percent longer than the average online video view, according to ComScore.

Ustream is the current leader in live video, with 3.2 million unique viewers in July. But Google video sites, which are primarily driven by YouTube, drew 143.2 million unique visitors in July, according to ComScore.

Hamilton said YouTube will be monitoring the live trial to see how well the video looks and how well servers handle any bandwidth increases.

...And probably the most interesting point in terms of Social TV:

"Any time you can bring your viewers into a broadcast — like making a shout-out to someone who left a comment — the audience really gets excited about that, on YouTube in particular," said D'Emilio. "It breaks down any kind of wall between the people on camera and the people who are watching."

 

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