Bring on the school holiday pageants, local baseball games and armchair poetry slams… YouTube today announced that it is expanding its live video services to the masses. Everyone who has a verified account can now stream live video on YouTube, and verified accounts can now create a Google+ Hangout on Air.
The company today has not given an update on how much take-up the live service has seen overall, but big-name, high-profile live events have proven to be major draws on the platform. The Red Bull Stratos Mission, for example, drew 8 million concurrent viewers.
Live events give Google a way to complement the role it plays as the archive of the long-tail and keeper of viral clips. “Appointment” viewing around live events presents specific kinds of advertising opportunities and helps YouTube position itself more securely as a TV alternative.
Whether that positioning can work in the context…
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