YouTube starts live stream trial today

YouTube launched live streaming broadcasts today, testing the market to see if more streaming is the way forward for the website.

Google recently acquired YouTube, and as reported earlier by Techvibes, the service is still not yet turning a profit. YouTube hopes that this move could be their path out of the red.

The company is initially launching just four live streams for the test broadcasts on Monday and Tuesday. The streams are:

YouTube staff had more on the tests:

“This is just an initial trial, a first step,” said YouTube product manager Josh Siegel. “We’re going to look at a whole bunch of data about the performance of our new platform and then, based on that, make decisions about how we’ll open it up, with the goal of opening it up to all of our partners over time.”

Chris Hamilton, a product marketing manager at YouTube, said live streaming is “a natural evolution to online video” that “adds an extra level of engagement” for the site’s audience.

YouTube has streamed video live online in the past (including a U2 concert and Obama’s first State of the Union), but those broadcasts relied on third party technology. These streams are being done entirely in-house.

YouTube is hoping to compete with other live stream providers like Ustream.tv, Justin.tv, and Livestream, but YouTube’s increasingly tight controls on copyrighted content could be a problem for them, as other websites are less stringent about whose content is being broadcasted. Take sports broadcasts, for instance; just about any sports fan who’s ever procrastinated from work knows plenty about how to get free games from these websites. I have my doubts that YouTube will be so lax with their content controls as to allow copyrighted content to be streamed.

Any Techvibes readers planning to check out YouTube’s newest service? If so, we’d like to know what you thought!