YouTube have been teasing us for a while now. Back in 2008, they gave us a live all-star event, beamed to the world from San Francisco and Tokyo. Last September, they did some alpha testing for a couple of days with shows called Rocketboom, Howcast, Young Hollywood, and Indy Mogul. Then they quietly slipped into beta testing at the start of the year - so quietly, that you're probably not the only person to have missed it.
But whatever happened in their San Bruno headquarters during those cold, dark January days, must have paid off, because now it's official: YouTube has gone live!
Okay, so at the time of publication, there was only one event actually being broadcast on YouTube Live. But it is up and running, and there is plenty in the works, with at least 20 different programs available over the coming week.
Even this, in itself, isn't worth writing a blog entry about. There are plenty of places online where you can watch at least 20 different things live over the course of the next week. But not one of them has an audience as big as YouTube, which experiences over 2 billion playbacks a day. Not many of them have them have the power of a company like Google behind them, either.
No, this is - without doubt - a game-changer. Not only does YouTube already have some high profile partners, such as Indian Premier League Cricket and Stanford University, but its own high profile ensures that it is being accessed the most creative minds in the business. As they start to come on board, anything is possible.
If you have your own ideas of how YouTube Live could best be utilized, you may just be able to give it a try. They have begun incrementally rolling out their live streaming beta platform to targeted partners, with the aim of having thousands of live streaming partners within the next few months. If your account is in good standing, and has had a bit of success, you could be receiving your notification from YouTube any day now.
Here's how you'll do it: