YouTube has finally, after literally years of promises, gone live. YouTube Live suggests Google is serious about turning its online video site into a viable alternative to cable television for the increasing number of people cutting the cord and turning to the Web instead.
YouTube’s desire to have a live element on the site goes back at least three years, as it was in 2008 that YouTube co-founder Steve Chen teased live streaming was on its way.
There then followed some high-profile events which did air live on YouTube, including a U2 concert and Indian Premier League cricket matches. But these were rare and completely controlled by YouTube itself, with no one else able to join in the streaming fun (apart from watching, obviously).
Last September saw YouTube finally testing its long-awaited live platform, with a select band of partners invited to be the first to try it out. Unfortunately poor video quality and choppy streaming suggested the product wasn’t yet ready for the big time.
Seven months on and YouTube Live has launched, with the site clearly confident enough that the earlier issues have been resolved to offer it on a wider scale. However, that wider scale still limits the platform to “YouTube partners with accounts in good standing,” at least during the initial roll out.
I’m not sure whether YouTube Live will ever become available to us ordinary folk who haven’t got the YouTube seal of approval as the goal is stated as being to “provide thousands of partners with the capability to live stream from their channels.”
YouTube Live has its own page which lists all the live streaming content currently available to watch, as well as the shows (for want of a better word) beginning in the near future. And some are worth watching, even if it’s only to test the system out.
YouTube Live is another step on the ladder towards YouTube being a real, user-driven alternative to cable. Alongside the $100 million drive to launch vertical channels packed with original content, this strongly suggests Google has huge ambitions for the site.
As for YouTube Live itself, it’s too early to judge whether it’ll stand up to scrutiny. It’s sensible to limit it to video producers YouTube trusts, as it’ll prevent the kind of rampant piracy which afflicts the likes of Livestream, Ustream, and Justin.tv. But it will also make it harder to tempt people away from those other live streaming sites.
[Via Official YouTube Blog]
Have Something To Say?
Be The Second Person To Say Something:
Subscribe to Web TV Wire by Email
Keep up to date with Web TV, Video and IPTV News:
Subscribe to Web TV Wire via RSS