Youtube Live Launched

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update 6/11/2024: this is a post from a blog that I contributed to in 2011 called TechHacking, it shut down eventually but I was happy to be able to find some of my work through the internet archive.

Yesterday, Youtube announced that they are launching a live service which will provide live streaming events such as concerts, sporting events, and interviews. There have been a variety of companies that have popped up over the last few years that have attempted to bring live content, and original web content to online viewers but unfortunately these services have not taken off, and web series are not nearly as popular as television.

It seems the average person still wants to use their television as a primary form of video entertainment, and use online services such as Youtube, Hulu, and others as a quick means of catching a missed episode, or watching a funny video. With Google TV and other competitors such as AppleTV and Roku attempting to bring online content to the big (home) screen, perhaps the very popular Youtube service can finally create a spark that puts the final nail in the coffin of cable, and change the way that we consume television as we know it.

In addition to bringing sporting events and concerts, Youtube also plans to bring original content to their new live channel, effectively making it a television. It seems like these original web shows will air at a certain time and people will have tune in to watch them similar to the way that people tune in to watch television shows. Although this is an exciting new development for the online community, in a way it seems that we are moving backwards. For example, many people use the DVR service simply because they do not have the time to sit down and watch shows when they are on air. They simply record them, and watch them later, sites such as Hulu and Netflix are also useful for this same purpose because they allow you to have instant access to the show that you may have missed. Bringing the live aspect of television to the Internet may seem like a good idea for sporting events and concerts, but may not work so well for unpopular web series. Americans value their time, will they be willing to commit the 30 minutes to an hour that these series will require to watch? Especially if they are low budget, unknown series, with D list actors?

Then there is the issue of advertising, and paying for premium content. Youtube currently does not have a pay to watch service like Netflix and Hulu, but I predict that they will adopt a similar model in the future in order to bring live content to viewers, especially if they are able to secure streaming rights for big ticket events such as professional American sports, maybe even the Superbowl? How much will it cost? And furthermore, are we going to be bombarded with ads like Hulu all of a sudden did? Perhaps we will get an answer to many of these questions in the near future.

In the meantime, the Youtube live service is up now and streaming. You can check out a Cricket game now, and tune in tomorrow at 06:00 AM for a live Safari in Africa!

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