Following reports in February that YouTube was seeking to realize 360-degree, live streaming video, the video giant announced today in a blog post — and onstage at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show — that the feature is now live.
“All of us have had the feeling of wanting to be somewhere we couldn’t,” writes chief product officer Neal Mohan. Building upon the rollout of on-demand 360-degree videos last March, he describes, creators will now “be able to do even more to bring fans directly into their world.”
YouTube is set to test out 360-degree live streaming this weekend during select performances at Coachella — of which YouTube has offered standard live streams for several years going.
At the same, YouTube today launched “spatial audio” for on-demand 360-degree videos — also with the goal of making viewership more immersive. “Spatial audio allows you to listen along as you do in real life, where depth, distance and intensity all play a role,” writes Mohan. Android users can try out the new audio feature for themselves with this playlist.
Mahon also noted that YouTube has worked with virtual reality companies VideoStitch and Two Big Ears to make their software compatible with YouTube’s 360-degree live streams and spatial audio. Soon, these technologies will be available at all of the YouTube Spaces around the globe.
YouTube’s recent developments within the streaming space arrive at a fortuitous time for the medium. Rival Facebook, which owns Oculus VR and has created a number of 360-degree videos, recently overhauled its livestreaming platform with a handful of new features — though 360-degree streams isn’t one of them, yet.