YouTube and Implications of Live Video

RedOrbit reports about YouTube’s plans for live video, but most of the discussion since this Sarah Meyers Pop17 scoop (see below) has centered on the implications to networks.

Says RedOrbit: Back in February, US video blogger and self-styled chronicler of online celebrity Sarah Meyers sidled up to the YouTube founder, Steve Chen, at a New York party and secured something of a scoop. When asked by Meyers when YouTube was going to launch live video streaming, Chen said this had been a long-held ambition and one that was about to be fulfilled with the backing of his company’s deep- pocketed new owner. “Live video is just something that we’ve always wanted to do, but we’ve never had the resources to do it correctly,” he said. “Now with Google, we hope to actually do it this year.”

jetsons_l.jpgSarah was focused more on the possibilities of iJustine and other “famous” first adopters of posting their lives live. Then the media turned its curiosity to live television shows appearing on YouTube, which seems to miss the point entirely (especially since we’re all moving to time-shifted television, and the “live” notion seems to be important only when the content is live, or so important we’ll need it to survive the morning’s water-cooler conversation. There’s an irony here, not unlike this image from the Jetsons. While we could envision flying cars, we couldn’t quite conceive that a TV set might get bigger and actually not need antennas.

If done correctly, live YouTube video can have some fairly significant impact on personal communication, and radically change the way we interact remotely (kinda like the telephone did).

Chronic YouTubers routinely meet on Stickam, a site that allows people to meet in “rooms” or conduct live video shows — where select viewers can appear via video while the rest can interact via chat and messaging.

old_phone.jpgAd-supported live video streams could bring videoconferencing to the mainstream. It seems like just yesterday that I used a device and 56K modem so I could show my grandmother in New Orleans our newborn child (who is now almost 10). Now imagine a quick video call to with your teenager, where you can see their surroundings and ensure they’re sober. Could text messaging be a relic? Will a phone call some day seem as archaic as calling an operator to be patched to a neighbor?

Do you know I was invited to that NYC YouTube event in February, and bailed because I got swamped at the day job? Man do I have my priorities wrong. I would have so stalked Chen.

20 Replies to “YouTube and Implications of Live Video”

  1. The problem with live shows is you have to program people to watch/listen exactly when you do it. I mean, it’s a LOT of fun once it’s going, but building a base for something live is hard – especially on the Internet, where people attention span is 3 microseconds.

    That is why morning radio works so well, people pretty much listen to the radio on the way to work, so putting funny people on is a good idea.

    I don’t know if I will get in on YTLive (or whatever its name) or not. I love doing live broadcasts, but I also like having a life and the only times I’ve been able to attempt broadcasting in the past is after work, obviously.

    And anything I’ve done live just sounds like morning radio anyway.

  2. I have no desire to watch Renetto walk around his house in his underoos picking his nose and wiping the boogers on the wall.

    Now If you did it, I might change my mind. But only if you put on a pair of pants.

  3. From there’s only a step towards killing seesmic 🙁

    Also, think big… think Big Brother meets YouTube… are the domains of those word combinations registered yet? 😛

  4. is becomming popular with YouTubers. They’ve even put up an ad banner announcing “YouTubers LIVE on blogTV” which I thought was pretty funny. I think the term “social broadcasting” is being used to describe live video.

  5. “Live” TV via YouTube has huge implications. Viral Broadcasting will bring 10 of millions of worldwide viewers to niche channels, and at the expense of traditional broadcast media. I would sell my viacom stocks now!

  6. Oh wow! We could have 24-minute shows called “programs.” We could get sponsors who run 6 minutes worth of 30-second ads called “commercials.” It’ll all be so new and shiny!

  7. I’m chronic? When did this happen? Must be a slow transformation, from casual to chronic.

    I’m not so sure about Live YT. Too much like Stickam. The attraction of YT is that you can polish your product (or not). Different venue altogether.

    Next thing you know YT will start putting red corners on the partners thumbnails. Hurmph! (smile)

  8. Hi, thanks for your blog post and link- I have your blog in my bookmarks. You are one to read:-P

    @Peter Coffin, I know what you mean by the radio style talk show. It’s fun and I think I’m going to start co-hosting the show Saturday 2am GMT and Friday 9pm Eastern time on

    @JimmerSD, it’s a whole new experience jump right in. Though I do go on stickam, my favorites are, and I have tried them all and personally those are my favs.

    I know what you mean about YT. I’m chronic there too. I add a lot of videos to my favorites. I just started a new account on youtube two months ago (though it says i have been there for 2 years… It’s just that I got the account from someone else who already had it, but didn’t want it). You can subscribe at

    @z-lot interesting comment, however, due to the widespread technology of lifecasting from your mobile phone will have a greater opportunity in the end if google were to ever want to do a deal with them.

    Google is behind about a year. It will take them a long time to perfect the technology. They will probably build in house, but if they were to go for a company they would go for the one with the best technology.

    I think there is a possibility that YT fails at live and Yahoo or someone else dominates the market. What do you think?

    Will YT fail?


    Sarah Austin (just changed from Meyers. I didn’t get married or anything, but that was a stage name I used for about three years).

  9. I think the only thing that might be interesting about YTlive is the 24/7 live cam..It could be a new twist on “Reality TV”.

    Other than that, I see no real difference than Paltalk or Skype. And those lose their novelty after about 2 uses.

  10. Live Streaming on YouTube is going to be a total disaster. If you think we are having issues with spam and harassment now, just wait until youtube has a live section.

    Of course people are going to use it to broadcast movies and sports just like they did to

  11. Live YT is a very bad idea, IMHO. I watch when I can & one of the things I love about Tivo is that it allows me to watch TV shows I want to watch when I want to watch. That’s the same thing I like about networks putting their shows up on the Internet for me to watch whenever I can. As much as I say I don’t have a life, I guess I have too much of a life to watch Live YT if it is not a convenient time. Also, YT videos benefit much from editing, which would be lost if everyone streams live.

    Unlike sukatra, if you post live video of yourself walking around picking your nose, I think I’ll pass.

  12. while I think there’s value in stickcam and great potential for live web cam; interviews, politics, how to… a good number of these live shows on [very long rant] just STOP IT! STOP IT NOW! it’s little more than live ego masturbation. CUT IT OUT!

  13. That sounds like one long drawn out boring ass vlog. How painful! I love the lack of interaction that is involved. People need to get out more.

  14. Marquis wins best comment of the week for #6, but that me because Sukatra’s reminded me I don’t have pants that fit.

  15. Nalts: Do you not have pants that fit because they are all too big for you since you’ve gotten so svelte and attractive from your “Nalts gets fit” campaign?

  16. Would they call it “Live Video” though for fear it is confused with that other site… the one with LiveVideo? lol

Comments are closed.