Gamers love watching other people play games. It's the only way to explain of popularity of Let's Plays and live streams on YouTube, Twitch.tv and other sites. The only problem is that those who do live streams must have video capture equipment or software thus preventing a number of players from broadcasting their exploits.
At GDC 2013, YouTube announced its intentions to change all that with a new API that allows game developers to integrate YouTube live streaming into their games. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 proved the API's popularity last year when the game allowed players to live-stream matches without the use of any third-party program.
YouTube isn't reserving live-streaming capabilities just for the hardcore crowd eiher. The API will be available to iOS and Android developers soon so mobile gamers can start sharing their screen with the world in real time.
An interesting aspect of the new API is that YouTube may be helping content creators monetize their streams. There are tools in the API that would allow live-streamers to drop ads in the middle of their stream. It's unknown if the live streamer would actually be able to make money off of their content though. Some publishers have rules in regards to monetization of in-game video so those rules may be left up to them.
These APIs come at a time when YouTube faces stiff competition from other established, and more gamer centric, live streaming services like Twitch.tv. Twitch still requires extra software or hardware to stream, however, so YouTube's APIs may just help bring more streamers and viewers to its side.[h/t: The Verge]