Report: YouTube Avoiding Live Video

    August 13, 2008

Anyone who’s dying to see more teenagers whine in real time is in for a disappointment: despite earlier indications to the contrary, a fresh report indicates that YouTube won’t be entering the world of live video anytime soon.

Yes, so much for wishes of Steve Chen and other longtime YouTube employees.  Michael Learmonth relayed the news about 2008 and live video earlier today, and added that 2009 looks unlikely, too, "according to a source familiar with [YouTube’s] plans."

YouTube Logo

We’ve already discussed some of the headaches that live video might have created for YouTube’s administrators; all sorts of copyrighted content or clips featuring naked people could have popped up if some of the barriers to uploading were removed.

Learmonth mentions a financial concern, too, writing, "We’re told that YouTube execs estimated that if just 10% of the service’s users took advantage of live streaming, the company would have to add 20% to 25% to its huge server and bandwidth infrastructure to support it.  Given that advertising dollars for live streaming are even scarcer than they are on conventional Web video, that’s a significant investment with minimal near-term return."

Avoiding live video seems like a sound decision, then.  And if there’s some tech breakthrough or the economy takes a turn for the better, this is the sort of choice that can be reversed in short order.