The world’s largest online video sharing website, YouTube, started a two-day pilot project that has brought live video streaming to YouTube Channels for select accounts, set to end tomorrow.
The company says it has teamed up with four current content partners, including: Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood.
The pilot project comes as the company tests the service and systems as part of a broader plan to expand the service for every one.
Producers simply need a video camera connected to their computer to begin broadcasting live content.
YouTube has already broadcasted live events on its website, most notably probably being President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
The move by YouTube to make live streaming mainstream is also part of becoming more competitive as start-ups like Justin.tv and ustream, among other well capitalized firms, already offer users the ability to easily broadcast live and even the ability to seamlessly connect with viewers with a chat system.
Additionally, as more mobile devices support YouTube, and with even television makers adding direct YouTube support in their televisions, the ability to stream live content for viewers and producers is strategically significant for Google who is still waiting for YouTube to become profitable.
The company pools revenue from different operating segments, like YouTube, into a single account on its income statement on competitive grounds, thereby no segregated information is currently available as to how much revenue YouTube earns for the company.
Publically, Google executives have said that the service is not yet profitable for the company, but they said they expect it to be soon.
Last January 20, we reported YouTube was readying the launch of a paid movie rentals service. During that time, Google made movies available from the Sundance Film Festival for a price, with revenue being shared between YouTube and the filmmaker.
Google previously said it planned to expand that service, but has yet to do so.
Google is also readying the launch of Google TV, a set-top-box for televisions that is expected to launch by the end of this year. Google TV is powered by Google Android, and would bring Internet browsing, email, YouTube, and other content to the service. Additionally, Google has inked a deal with Sony to distribute streaming content on the service.
Google still faces intensifying competition, with established competitors like Netflix (that recently launched in Canada) that already offers movie streaming and rental services across a variety of platforms, including PCs and gaming console devices.