It finally seems like the rumors were not completely unfounded- YouTube has launched a live streaming platform albeit for a two day trial only. This platform will allow YouTube to showcase streaming video from its various content partners. This means that YouTube will now be competing with Justin.tv, Livestream and others.
Although YouTube has previously dabbled with live streaming by providing its politics channel CitizenTube, this is a much bigger effort to go into serious live internet TV. Right now, there will be four sources of content on the trial run- Next New Networks, Howcast, Young Hollywood and Rocketboom. While this is quite exciting, do remember that this is just an alpha test and YouTube will be taking off the service within 48 hours.
The company has however announced that in future all of its content partners will get access to the live streaming platform. Right now, you cannot view the live streams in embedded widgets, and have to visit the YouTube website. YouTube will also not archive the videos being streamed. Comments are active on all four streams and the providers can respond to your comment in real time.
The interesting thing is that YouTube is focusing on providing content from partners, and not from users. Surely if the millions of YouTube users could stream their own videos, it would be great. But it has to be understood that probably YouTube is playing it safe, because such huge amount of content will be difficult to moderate.
YouTube has made successful attempts at live streaming by broadcasting concerts, important speeches and more recently, a cricket competition in India. But most of these have been done using third party CDN’s. This time, however, the infrastructure has changed and YouTube has its own CDN network.
The four content providers will be running shows both today and tomorrow, which mirror what you get on TV. There is stuff such as morning shows, talk shows and others lined up. Special equipment such as video switchers and multiple cameras are being used to deliver the best possible live show. But the possibilities are immense and that being said, why not check out the live programs that are scheduled for today 😉