YouTube has been dabbling with its own live streams for almost two years now. It’s live streamed presidential speeches, healthcare debates, cricket matches, and a U2 concert. But so far it’s stayed away from opening up live streaming to the general YouTube populace. The copyright liability would be insane.
Nevertheless, the shadow of YouTube hangs over the budding live video streaming industry, where startups like Livestream, Justin.tv, and Ustream are making their mark. Rumors persist that YouTube is planning to enter live streaming in a bigger way than it has so far. The screenshot above hints at what that might look like. I grabbed it from this YouTube help page for Google Moderator on YouTube. It shows the channel settings for a YouTube content producer (in this case, obviously someone who works for YouTube). The last button, which I’ve circled above, is for “Live Stream.”
Max Haot, the CEO of Livestream, believes the screenshot provides”strong evidence that Youtube is about to launch a live streaming feature,” despite the fact that it looks like the “Live Stream” button is only enabled right now for YouTube employees. “We are not sure about their choice of name,” he adds.
The simple explanation here is that the screenshot, which was put up to illustrate a different feature (the Moderator module), comes from a YouTube employee with producer access to CitizenTube, the YouTube political channel that often shows live streams. Inside YouTube, that is the button they use when they want to run a live stream.
But the button is there, and if YouTube wanted to it could roll it out as a feature to trusted partners such as brands or politicians. In fact, YouTube is actively courting political candidates and their advertising dollars with all sorts of campaign tools. It would make sense to add live video to the mix. Live virtual town hall meetings could be very popular. Officially, however, YouTube says it has no immediate plans to do so.
YouTube provides a platform for you to create, connect and discover the world’s videos. The company recently redesigned the site around its hundreds of millions of channels. Partners from major movie studios, record labels, web original creators, viral stars, and millions more all have channels on YouTube. YouTube is predominantly an ad-supported platform, but also offers rental options for a growing number of movie titles. YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who...
Livestream’s mission is to connect people and live events. Livestream offers event owners a complete set of hardware and software tools to share their events with a growing community online. More than 30 million viewers each month watch thousands of live events from customers including The New York Times, Facebook, ESPN, SpaceX and Warner Bros. Records. Founded in 2007, Livestream is headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles, Ukraine and India. http://www.livestream.com.