We've been expecting this for a long time, but now YouTube is really and truly ready to give live video streaming a try in a test Monday and Tuesday with four partner sites.
Next New Networks, a producer of series programming for the Internet, said Monday that it is among four alpha testers of the new YouTube live-streaming platform, with three of its series joining the live stream over the two-day period.
Web entertainment company Young Hollywood said Monday it will present live celebrity interviews, starting with skateboarder Tony Hawk. YouTube's other partners on the project are Rocketboom and Howcast.
"Online video continues to grow in popularity around the globe, and so it is thrilling to be among the alpha testers of this new chapter in original Web programming," Vanessa Pappas, vice president of audience and strategic partnerships at Next New Networks, said in a statement.
"We think of live as the next chapter in online video," YouTube product manager Joshua Siegel told USA Today ahead of the launch.
But as with all trial runs, things may not go smoothly. "Bear with us as we test this new platform as there may be some bumps along the way," Siegel said in a blog post.
Siegel further describes the testing:
This new platform integrates live streaming directly into YouTube channels; all broadcasters need is a Webcam or external USB/FireWire camera. Included in the test is a "Live Comments" module which lets you engage with the broadcaster and the broader YouTube community. For the purpose of the trial, this offering will only be available today and tomorrow. Based on the results of this initial test, we'll evaluate rolling out the platform more broadly to our partners worldwide.
YouTube has experimented with live video in the past. Just last week, it Webcast the Google press conference unveiling Google Instant. But this appears the first test of a full-fledged live streaming platform the likes of Ustream and Livestream, TechCrunch pointed out.
Updates at 3:54 a.m. and 6:27 a.m. PDT on September 13: Statements from YouTube, Next New Networks, and Young Hollywood were added.