Google on Tuesday gave YouTube content creators a tool letting them monetize live streams in more than 20 countries to viewers in 40 countries.
Super Chat, a revenue share tool between the content creator and YouTube, allows fans watching a live stream to purchase chat messages. The messages are highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours, allowing fans to gain the attention of the content creators.
It's like paying for an online front-row seat that lets any fan watching a live stream stand out from the crowd, YouTube product managers Barbara Macdonald and Kurt Wilms write in a post.
Along with the tool, YouTube put the ability to live stream content in the hands of every YouTube content creator with more than 10,000 subscribers, with a more general roll out scheduled soon.
Built directly into the YouTube mobile app, live streaming brings back the glory days of broadcast television when hosts on game shows and characters on serial soap operas connected in real time with their audience.
This new feature allows creators to tap the capture button to go live. Streamed videos will have the same features as regular YouTube videos, explains Macdonald and Wilms.
YouTube visitors can search for the live stream, find the streams via recommendations or playlists, and protect content from unauthorized use, similar to non-live streaming videos.
The ability to stream live on YouTube puts Google's video investment in par with Facebook Live, which opened its service to everyone in April 2016.