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YouTube Rethinks Live Video Monetization

Fighting back against Facebook’s live video efforts, YouTube is expanding its live-streaming service.

Effective immediately, the Google unit is rolling out a new mobile live-streaming feature to every “creator” with more than 10,000 subscribers.

“The rest of you will have it soon!” Product Managers Barbara Macdonald and Kurt Wilms promise in a new blog post.

To help creators earn revenue from live streaming, we’re also excited to launch Super Chat -- a new live stream monetization tool available to creators in more than 20 countries (and views in some 40 countries).

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“Super Chat is like paying for that front-row seat in the digital age,” Macdonald and Wilms explain. “It lets any fan watching a live stream stand out from the crowd and get a creator’s attention by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours.”

YouTube has been in the live-streaming business since in 2011. Now, however, mobile live streaming has been built directly into the YouTube mobile app.

“All you have to do to start streaming is open YouTube, hit the capture button, and you’re live!” according to Macdonald and Wilms.

Streamed videos should have the same features as regular YouTube videos. In other words, users can search through live offerings, peruse recommendations or playlists -- all of which will be protected from unauthorized use.

Based on feedback from content creators, YouTube also did its best to maximize video quality across media, and “slow down” live chat.

“It turns out receiving 2,000 messages per second is a little too fast!” Macdonald and Wilms joked.

This column was previously published in Moblog on February 7, 2017.

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