If you were around back in the initial days of this blog, you probably saw that I used to do a live streaming video show every Sunday evening. I announced that I’d be taking a “break” from it for a while near the end of 2009 as I had just too much going on in my life, and was about to start Top Trending Topics. I was doing the show on BlogTV, usually by myself, but a few times with my friend Marc (like this cooking segment that was quite fun & had a good sized audience) and even one co-hosted by Michael Buckley of the What The Buck Show (that was actually my first one – he launched me with a bang)!
You Tube has been experimenting with live video streaming sporadically in the past year; the first was a U2 concert in October and the second one was an Indian Premier League match in January. The site has also streamed webcasts of US President Barack Obama’s press conference as well as San Francisco’s “Outside Lands” concert, and just last night a Bon Jovi concert live from NYC. Google (who owns YouTube) said it doesn’t want to go into the realm of live video because it’s too expensive, but it doesn’t seem to be the case now since YouTube recently held a two-day trial of its live video streaming platform allowing four users to feed live broadcasts to their You Tube channels. It’s now generally expected that YouTube will provide live streaming to everyone (or at least all Partners) within the near future.
I think it’s definitely a smart move for You Tube and a good thing for its millions of users. It’s really fun and different to go “live” on the web for both the video producer and the viewers – it feels like the audience is there with you, and vice versa. It makes the videos more exciting in a way – especially when there’s the ability for the viewers to do live chatting with you (there’s a spot for text chatting below the videos). They can ask questions for you to answer, give suggestions on what you say and do next, etc. Also, there’s more room for spontaneity and fun without all the extra work that comes into the editing. The time saving factor of no “post-production” work alone is a huge plus.
Talking about it now makes me miss doing it. When I had the live show back there were regular viewers who would come watch me every week and there would be almost a mini “community” within the chat room, who would often stay and chat with each other for quite a while after I stopped broadcasting. And yet despite these regulars hardly missing a single webcast from my BlogTV webshow, many of them would miss some of my You Tube videos. So another important factor of live streaming is that it can attract a different type of audience. Just as you could easily point out that a lot of people who regularly watch my YouTube videos didn’t come watch my life shows.
I’ve been highlighting the use of social media tools in my previous posts as a great way to get more exposure online and find different audiences. You want to do as many different things as possible to attract all kinds of different people and doing live videos is yet another way to attract more of them to check you out and build your following. It’s fast, easy, and you get to reach out your audience in real time… and if YouTube starts doing that too, then there really won’t be any reason not to do it!
In the meantime stay tuned for what may soon be an announcement of my return to a weekly live streaming show elsewhere…
What do you think? Do you think live videos are better than recorded ones? Do you regularly watch any live web shows?
You Tube Comment of the Day: