Live Streaming Video On YouTube – Not Happening Due To Costs, Lack Of Returns

1 min read

YouTube Logo 2YouTube currently doesn’t offer any form of live streaming, with all videos pre-recorded and uploaded. But is that set to change any time soon?.

Live streaming video sites are one of the largest growing band on the Internet. It seems like they’re breeding, with another one starting up almost every month.

Few Big Names

Most of these fail to gain any traction whatsoever as a tool for life casting, but some do make it at least to be known to the wider Web community. UStream, Justin.TV, Stickam, and Mogulus are probably the best known of them all.

But it seemed for a while that the live streaming market was about to have another big player enter its midst, in fact, the biggest player of them all in the form of video on demand leader YouTube.

Steve Chen Fuels Rumours

Many had long suspected that YouTube would one day enter the live streaming market – it would certainly seem to be a logical next step. YouTube co-founder Steve Chen then seemed to confirm the plans and even set a time frame for the move.

Back in February he told Pop17’s Sarah Meyers:

“Live video is something we’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the resources to do it correctly, but now with Google we hope to launch something this year.”

But now it seems he may have spoken out of turn, or at least before discussing the move in depth with his new paymasters at Google. A denial now comes from a source speaking to Silicon Alley Insider.

Costs Vs Returns

The source claims that YouTube has never really looked in to live streaming seriously. The notion was discussed briefly, but due to the costs involved in setting it up, and the lack of returns involved, the idea was thrown out.

YouTube executives estimated that if 10% of the site’s users began live streaming, the company would have to add 25% to its server and bandwidth infrastructure to support it. Which just isn’t going to be viable.

Money In Live Video?

Maybe if there were money to be made from live streaming or life casting then YouTube could have decided otherwise. But it’s well known that the live video sector is even harder to monetize than the video on demand sector that YouTube currently owns.

Google is already struggling to turn the enormous volume of traffic that YouTube can boast in to a profitable business, so the time doesn’t seem right to add to the inventory it’s already trying to sell to advertisers.

Copyright Issues

There’s also the little matter of copyright. YouTube is already locked in a battle with Viacom over copyright infringements, and live streaming sites are locked in a seemingly eternal battle to prevent copyrighted content from being broadcast on their sites.

This seems to be a sensible decision by YouTube, and one which I’m sure fills the hearts of current live streaming businesses with glee. If YouTube had gone the other way, it would have been even harder to compete for viewers and advertisers.

Related Ad

Use Replay Media Capture to record streaming video on sites like YouTube