Mobile live streaming is the video trend of the moment, and the two biggest players are Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope. But at long last, a third is entering the game: YouTube.
Google’s ubiquitous video-sharing app has supported live streaming since last summer, but it was only available to a hand-picked group of five partners, The Young Turks, AIB, Platica Polinesia, SacconeJolys, and Alex Wassabi. Now, it will be much more widespread, with Google opening the feature to anyone with more than 10,000 subscribers, which will bring it to “hundreds of thousands” of additional content creators, according to a Google blog post.
Like Facebook Live and Periscope, eligible publishers can start streams right inside the YouTube app. A new Capture button will automatically begin the live broadcast, which “will have all the same features as regular YouTube videos.” In the post, Google says that stream can be “searched for, found via recommendations or playlists, and protected from unauthorized use.” It also says it has been working with content creators to “refine the mobile experience,” and it has implemented tweaks like slowing down live chat and enhancing streaming quality across devices.
YouTube’s live streaming will incorporate Super Chat, which allows publishers to monetarize their broadcasts.
Furthermore, Google is officially launching its new interaction feature to help streamers make some money off their broadcasts. As Google describes, “Super Chat is like paying for that front-row seat in the digital age: it lets any fan watching a live stream stand out from the crowd and get a creator’s attention by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. Super Chat gives viewers a chance to add a little visual flair to their chats and gives creators a new way to keep connected to their fans while earning a little money on the side.”
Super Chat is available to creators in more than 20 countries (and viewers in twice as many), and Google is promising that all YouTubers will be able to live stream soon.
Stream a little stream: YouTube might be late to the party here, but its name recognition and deep catalogue of performers will likely make it a major player. For example, an election night live stream of The Young Turks across YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accumulated more than 4.5 million total hits during its broadcast. However, YouTube broadcast was by far the ratings winner, with more than 130,000 concurrent streams and some 3 million total viewers.
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