Finally, after months of speculation, Google has officially announced that they are entering the live streaming video arena. Services like Meerkat, followed by Twitter’s Periscope, popularised the category of mobile live streaming video. Following that Facebook announced their Facebook Live streaming service, which has now hit Australian shores.
During this time we have all been wondering where is Google? With both YouTube and Hangouts on Air Google has had a strong early presence in online video for years, and yet they have been strangely absent from this nascent category. The question is, are they too late, have they already missed the boat?
In the vast world of tech it’s doubtful they are ‘too late’ however, the better question is are they the right platform for live streaming video discovery? I’d argue with their daily users and app install base they could be.
YouTube mobile live streaming (OK Google, get a new name) will be built right into the core YouTube app, for both creators and consumers. For creators simply press the ‘capture’ button and instantly start broadcasting. The app will include a live chat interface for direct interaction with your live audience. Being powered by the YouTube peerless infrastructure, Google thinks their service will be faster and more reliable than any other offering on the market.
For consumers, it looks like the app will provide channel subscriptions, with the corresponding notification of a live broadcast, the same chat interface to interact with your favourite creators, as well as the ability to browse the live stream you may have missed.
Announced at VidCon today the service is currently restricted to a select group of current YouTubers, including The Young Turks, AIB, Platica Polinesia, SacconeJolys, and Alex Wassabi. Following this trial, the service will be rolled out more widely to everyone, there is no indication how far away that will be.
YouTube’s strategy for attracting live viewers is simple, on mobile if you have the YouTube app installed, and you’re signed, or on the web if you’re signed into your Google account, then you should get a notification that someone your following is streaming. For diehard YouTube watchers and Google/ Android users that is more likely, for mum and pop, it may not be, however, I’m not sure they’re the audience here just yet.
Either way, we’re excited Google to finally make their step into the Live streaming category, the more offers we have the more likely the platforms will improve and no one service will dominate the landscape. When the service launches we’ll definitely be giving it a go just to see what it does.
Are you a fan of live-streaming video? What kind of content are you looking for? Let us know below.