YouTube has had quite a year. Not only has the company updated its video player and released its new beta premium service, but the team has also been hard at work expanding the reach of YouTube Live. We’ve told you about how streaming live events can garner attention and interest in your channel; Q&As and live concert broadcasts are great ways to interact with your fan base. Now, YouTube is calling attention to live streaming in a different way.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Twitch (we’ve written about them too). This video game-centric live-streaming video platform gained mainstream popularity when it crowdsourced a public, live-streamed playthrough of Pokemon Red. Seven thousand people logged on to type directional commands into the chat sidebar, (slowly) moving the character through the game. This is a quintessential introduction to what Twitch is all about: providing the gamer community with a platform to share the game-playing experience.
Following in the same vein, YouTube recently launched YouTube Gaming. Released as a standalone app and website, it aggregates the millions of hours of gaming content already on YouTube and sorts them all into individual game pages. This means that all your favorite “Let’s Play” videos are already there waiting for you. YouTube Gaming will feel familiar to fans of Twitch, with the addition of all of YouTube’s social functions at your disposal. Sidebars streamline the search process, so you can follow certain games and featured channels right away. YouTube Gaming functions as an extension of YouTube, but all videos are searchable through the main website and channels can operate both inside and outside of Gaming. For more casual players, this new website will make it easier to find video walkthroughs and discover cheats for your favorite games. For the more immersive gamer, YouTube Gaming aims to be the destination for eSports broadcasts and gaming events like E3. Competitive gaming and spectating are at the heart of YouTube Gaming.
YouTube’s existing Live capabilities make Gaming a force to be reckoned with: YouTubeboasts high frame rate streaming (60fps) and DVR. Live events can automatically be saved and converted into searchable videos available anywhere on YouTube. In a shift from its previous policy, YouTube Live now allows you to launch a live event without pre-scheduling. YouTube Gaming puts the Google spin on Twitch’s features so that YouTube regulars can keep all of their favorited content and subscriptions in one place.
So, what does this mean for audio content owners? YouTube’s broadening focus on live streaming reveals a glimpse into the company’s future. It’s targeting a very specific market with gameplay spectating and using it to improve upon its existing YouTube Live functionality. We now suggest you take a look for yourself: many of these channels are extremely profitable and target their audience impeccably. Take famous YouTuber PewDiePie as an example: His comprehensive game playthrough videos and distinct style have made his channel the most subscribed on YouTube. See how he and others use live events to bolster their popularity, and learn how you can do the same!