Commentary

Google Enters Mobile Live-Streaming Arena

Search giant Google, owner of YouTube, creator of Android, and nemesis of Facebook, is reportedly creating a live-streaming app called YouTube Connect.

The app is modeled after Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live, and will be available for Android and iOS.

It seems the general trend in staying relevant across many different industries has been to pursue immediacy and unfiltered content. Jack Dorsey, in an interview with Bloomberg, mentioned that Twitter’s whole platform is built around live media. 

On Facebook, people already collectively watch about 100 million hours of video every day. More than half of YouTube's views come from mobile devices, and the average viewing session is more than 40 minutes, according to the latest statistics.

Overall, the push into live video from so many different platforms is the logical next step in the progression of content consumption that has emerged in the last couple of years.

Despite all the potential viewers, advertisers may have a hard time jumping into live video content. After various “wardrobe malfunctions” and on-air tragedies, the Super Bowl and most newscasts have several-second delays these days.

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Lack of editorial control is perhaps the greatest strength and stumbling block of live video. It will provide a raw look at events from the mundane to the noteworthy, but live-streaming services will also have to attract brands and advertisers in order to sustain themselves. However, the platforms launching such services tend to be large enough to sustain them at a loss if necessary.

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