YouTube Live, Google’s live streaming platform, celebrated its first birthday over the weekend. To mark this event, YouTube is adding a number of new features to Live today. Most of these (new production software, improved publishing flows and real-time analytics) are mostly of interest to video producers. The most important new feature, though, is the addition of pay-per-view as a monetization option for all publishers. Until now, pay-per-view was only an option for select publishers who worked directly with Google.
Now, YouTube publishers in the U.S., Canada, France, Japan and Great Britain who have access to YouTube Live can set up this service in a few minutes and start monetizing their events this way. Publishers, of course, can also chooseto display Google ads as well. Publishers will now also be able to see how many users are watching a live stream in real time.
It’s worth noting that Ustream and a number of other live streaming services have offered pay-per-view as an option for a while now.
Google today also announced that it will make a special YouTube Live version of Wirecast, a professional webcasting solution that generally retails for around $449, available to all of its partners. With this, YouTube’s partners should be able to produce more live events and make them look more professional. Wirecast for YouTube Live will enable producers to easily capture and switch between different sources and add live effects and overlays to their videos.
Sadly, though, this first anniversary doesn’t mark the full rollout of YouTube Live to all publishers. As YouTube’s partner product manager Varun Talwar notes, the team “developed these features with the expectation many more of you will eventually use YouTube Live, and like we said last year, this process takes time to roll out broadly.”