Live streaming is taking the internet by storm, evidenced by a giant rise in viewers watching live streams on YouTube since last year.
Live streaming has become commonplace across the internet with sites like Amazon owned Twitch, Twitter owned Periscope and of course YouTube gaining millions of live viewers every day. YouTube dominates the world of online video and, since introducing live streaming to it’s platform, is quickly becoming one of the biggest platform for live streams.
YouTube’s head of product, Neal Mohan, recently revealed that users watching live streams on YouTube has risen by a massive 80% in the past year. It’s not just the fans that are increasing though as Mohan also says that they’ve had an 130% increase in the number of livestreams, showing a massive demand for creators as well as viewers.
Mohan said: “When consumers think about video, whether that’s on-demand or live, they think of YouTube. Live is one part of the picture.” Whilst a new-ish addition to YouTube’s website they’ve been taking it seriously having recently added the ability to live stream 360°, virtual reality video. Just earlier this year YouTube were attempting to develop 360° live streaming cameras saying the technology had to be created almost from scratch – 2 months later they did it.
YouTube have had to face up to competitors like Facebook and Snapchat who have seen massive success with live streaming on mobile. As the world moves mobile for everything, particularly video sites like YouTube, they had to keep up and add live streaming to mobiles for both viewers and streamers.
Tim Mulligan, a senior analyst at Midia Research said that as smartphones are “increasingly the gateway for video everywhere – YouTube has to adapt to that quickly”. Whilst Facebook may seem to hold the advantage with over 1.6 billion users boosting their user engagement, YouTube’s Neal Mohan seems sure that YouTube’s platform provides a more profitable environment for live streams.
Whilst Facebook may have more people watching Mohan says that YouTube was distinguished in it’s ability to monetise content. YouTube is also unique in that once a live stream is over it can be kept on YouTube to rewatch and continue earning money.