Having dominated the online video market for years now, Youtube is beginning to branch out into new and different areas. Their most recent expansion involves the live streaming of major events around the world, the company being very busy in securing global events to broadcast.
The latest partnership is with Dell computers who have teamed up to live stream four major music festivals in the U.S.. The festivals that will be streamed include the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans), Bonnaroo (Manchester, Tennessee), Lollapalooza (Chicago) and Austin City Limits (Austin, Texas). These music festivals are being held over the next few months, the first being the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival being held at the end of April.
Youtube’s Head of global content Robert Kyncl said that the partnership with Dell is “an exciting example of our commitment to music and Youtube is thrilled to join Dell in bringing four incredible festivals to the world’s largest stage and a diversity of music to fans worldwide.”
Non-Profits & Olympics Live Stream
These aren’t the only events that Youtube is planning, the company are allowing non-profits subscribed to its program the ability to live stream from their channels. The program, which is available to registered organisations in the U.S., the UK, Australia and Canada, allows charities to engage with their audiences live and raise awareness about their causes and drive donations in real-time.
They also struck a deal with NBC to help cover the London 2012 Olympics. They will provide the technology behind their NBCOlympics.com video player in the U.S., allowing American viewers to watch up to 3,000 hours of footage and live streaming the majority of events on at least one NBC platfrom (either broadcast, cable or digital).
While it’s not broadcasting the event on Youtube’s actual site, it does set a precedent for the company as they will have a better understanding of the logistics required to cover such a large scale event. The experience may prompt them to try and bid for streaming rights of future events in a bid to stream exclusive content.
While Youtube is massively popular, its one shortcoming is that the average length of time spent on a single video is quite low in comparison to TV streaming sites like Hulu. By streaming these events live, they’ll ensure that people will spend longer on the site and not only will it increase both the average time spent on a video, and on the site.
This can only be a good thing for Youtube who are looking for new ways to monetise the site, and these deals could be the start of a much bigger move for Youtube, from viral video portal to a fully fledged streaming service and online station.