YouTube pushed forward today in its measured approach to live streaming video, launching YouTube.com/live with hundreds of its content partners including Revision3, Streamin’ Garage, The Vlog Brothers, Pop17 and WheezyWaiter.
Technically the service is still in beta, even though public testing of live streaming partner channels goes back to September of last year when a handful of shows went live with little chance to alert fans. This left channels like HowCast, The Key of Awesome and Rocketboom unable to mobilize any serious audience to tune in on short notice. Then in January, testing continued with Revision3’s Diggnation going live on YouTube and capturing about 17,000 live viewers according to Revision3.
Today with the launch of the new live streaming page on the site, it’s still just a handful of channels that are already scheduling live sessions, many of which are coming from Revision3 which has the infrastructure to handle live streaming and mixing on the fly at their San Francisco studio. Today they have Hak5, Bytejacker, The Totally Rad Show and GeekBeatTV going live in the afternoon.
YouTube itself will go live as well, broadcasting a kick off of The DigiTour at 7:00 PM (PT) today, and other partners like WheezyWaiter, JRSportBrief, TheWillofDC and WildEarthMedia. Yes, I did spend the better part of an hour today listening to The VlogBrothers’ John Green share his deep literary knowledge in his first live session.
Streamin’ Garage, a longtime user of Ustream for its live shows, will be testing YouTube’s new feature tonight with its flagship show Stupid For Movies which goes live at 8:00 PM (PT). The live network has long been using Ustream for its streaming, though it is planning on being a regular with YouTube as well.
“We plan on using YouTube live for all of our live shows,” said Streamin’ Garage founder Mike Rotman. “We will also continue to use Ustream as we have built up such a huge fan base on there with over 3 million live views. So for each of our shows we plan to be on both platforms for the immediate future and then we’ll let our fans dictate where they like to watch us.”
As of now, actual viewers of the live streams are not available publicly, though it appears creators will have access to them. A YouTube spokesman told us, “We’re still heavily in beta, so view counts are not currently available. If they do become available, it will be up to the content creator as to whether to publish.”
Although hundreds of partners now have live streaming capability on YouTube, notably missing from the lineup of shows are some of the Most Subscribed channels. Philip DeFranco said he plans to “test around with it this week.” Some quality issues may be what’s holding up mass adoption just yet, as the on-demand versions of the live videos leave something to be desired. Their length, often over 2 hours, also throws a wrench in terms of courting existing audiences used watching much shorter videos from creators.