YouTube moves into live streaming

With four media partners, YouTube entered an experimental trial last week for live streaming. If successful, the trial is expected to grow considerably across the Google-owned YouTube.

Young Hollywood; Next New Networks; Howcast, a how-to guide; and Rocketboom, an Internet culture video blog, participated in the streaming trial. YouTube monitored the live trial to see how well the video looked and how the servers handled bandwidth increases.

YouTube product manager Josh Siegel called it a first step. “We’re going to look at a whole bunch of data about the performance of our new platform and then, based on that, make decisions about how we’ll open it up, with the goal of opening it up to all of our partners over time.”

For the last two years, YouTube has offered numerous events live, including a U2 concert, cricket matches in India and President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address. But for all of those events, YouTube relied on third-party technology to enable the live webcasts.

With the trial YouTube has become the largest Internet video platform to experiment with live streaming. Smaller startups such as, and Livestream have already established themselves in the video-streaming category.

ComScore recently announced the amount of time American audiences spent watching the major live video publishers grew by 648 percent in the last year. The advertising possibilities are also good, since the average live streamed video view is 7 percent longer than the average online video view, according to ComScore.

Ustream is the current leader in live video, with 3.2 million unique viewers in July. But Google video sites, which are primarily driven by YouTube, drew 143.2 million unique visitors in July, according to ComScore.