YouTube is finally taking the plunge into live video with the debut of a new service called ‘YouTube Live’. Although it has dabbled in live video before, streaming a number of concerts, sporting events and interviews on a one-off basis, this will be YouTube’s first official move to permanent live streaming.
"With over 2 billion views a day, it’s easy to think about YouTube as a place to watch videos recorded in the past,” says Joshua Siegel, Product Manager. "But you’ve told us you want more - and that includes events taking place right now.”
YouTube live will start off with select channel partners only, but once all the details are worked out it will become available for enjoyment by the masses. The system will include live streaming capabilities and discovery tools built directly into the YouTube platform, as well as the option to subscribe to YouTube live-streaming partners to be notified of upcoming events on your homepage.
"This begins with a new YouTube Live browse page (www.youtube.com/live), where you can always find the most compelling live events happening on YouTube and add events to your calendar,” Siegel explains.
The company will also gradually introduce a live streaming beta platform, "which will allow certain YouTube partners with accounts in good standing to stream live content on YouTube,” he adds.
There are already other services out there devoted to live streaming content such as Ustream, Justin.tv and Qik, but all of them are now facing some major competition as they go up against the YouTube name.
You can take a look at YouTube Live at youtube.com/live, but keep in mind that it is still in its early stages so you won’t find much outside of Indian Premier League Cricket at the moment.