As Charlie Sheen Appears On Ustream, Has YouTube Missed The Live Streaming Boat?

1 min read

Charlie SheenCharlie Sheen has a new show on Ustream. No, seriously. But the question has been raised as to whether YouTube is missing out by not allowing all its users to stream live on its website. YouTube’s loss is Ustream’s gain?

Charlie Sheen

As you’ve probably noticed, Charlie Sheen is in the news at the moment. The man who has for years expressed a love for hookers and coke seems to have deemed 2011 the year in which he’ll do whatever the hell he wants and screw the consequences.

So he’s risked his $2 million-per-episode pay packet for Two and a Half Men by demanding a raise, taking public potshots at the show’s creator, and boasting of a life that’s really not becoming of the star of a family television show.

Sheen has done a number of interviews in past weeks, and the last few days has seen him take to Twitter in order to stay connected to his fans. And after gaining a record number of followers in a short space of time, Sheen is now turning to live streaming video.

Sheen On Ustream

Sheen has a new show on Ustream called Sheen’s Korner. It’s a daily show broadcasting from Sheen’s house at 7pm PST every day that is part of WyTV, and it’s available to watch live or in archive form.

Having watched the first episode, Sheen’s Korner appears to be Sheen and a bunch of his mates sitting around chatting shit. The draw is, I guess, that Sheen will talk about all that is happening, answering questions coming in via social networking sites.

Exciting only if you’re either a fan of Sheen or someone who can’t get enough of the world of celebrity. So while it may not be my or your thing, there is a definite built-in audience there.

YouTube Missing Out?

Robert Scoble asks whether Google has made a huge error in not allowing its users to live stream through its ubiquitous platform. And while I don’t usually agree with Scoble, he does have a point on this occasion.

This is a huge win (to use Sheen’s own parlance) for Ustream, with viewing figures likely to be huge. If even a small portion of Sheen’s Twitter audience watches, he and Ustream will have succeeded.

YouTube has been flirting with live streaming for years now, but while large-scale events are one thing, allowing all its users to stream live is quite another. And for whatever reason (I’m guessing fears of copyright infringement and lawsuits are top of the list), Google has resisted allowing anyone other than a select few partners to stream live to viewers.


It’ll be interesting to see how many viewers Sheen’s Korner gets, for this first episode and beyond. But it’ll be even ore interesting to see whether this event encourages Google to allow live streaming on YouTube in a big, bad way sooner rather than later.

If not then YouTube risks being left behind.