youtube-logoYouTube has experimented with live streaming various events over the last couple of years, but there’s been no attempt to expand the effort to a wider audience. Until now, possibly.

YouTube Live Streaming

YouTube isn’t a complete noob when it comes to live streaming. The biggest event it has far streamed live is the U2 concert from Pasadena last October. And 10 million people are estimated to have tuned in to watch.

There have also been presidential speeches and healthcare debates. But then came a definite upscaling of the effort when YouTube streamed all 60 matches of the Indian Premier League tournament over the course of 45 days.

New ‘Live Stream’ Option

YouTube could be about to expand its live streaming option radically, with more events, and more user options. At least that’s the rumor based on nothing more than a screenshot of the YouTube Help page for Google Moderator spotted by TechCrunch.

YouTube Live Stream

On the right hand side of the channel settings for a YouTube content producer is a ‘Live Stream’ option.

It’s easy to assume this is only an option open to YouTube employees, but Max Haot, CEO of Livestream suggests this is ”strong evidence that YouTube is about to launch a live streaming feature.” However, he’s “not sure about their choice of name.” And expectedly so.

But Why?

If this turns out to have any basis in fact, then what would Google’s reasons for expanding its live streaming options?

Most obvious is the amount of traffic it could bring to the site. All of the live streaming efforts have so far proved popular, so there is obviously an audience there. And while it isn’t cheap in terms of bandwidth and copyright issues, it could also have a positive effect on advertising spend.

There’s also the appeal for YouTube of competing with and trying to kill the likes of Ustream, Livestream, and Justin.tv.

Conclusions

This is merely a rumor at this point, and one based on very thin evidence. However, I can certainly see YouTube wanting to move into this arena in a bigger way very soon. It’s proved it can handle the audience demands, so why wouldn’t it?

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