As mentioned on the official YouTube Partners & Creators blog earlier today, developers have added the ability for publishers to charge a pay-per-view fee during streaming events on YouTube Live. The UFC, for instance, can charge YouTube viewers to watch a specific match after setting up payment options on a particular video or event. Charging users to watch a live streaming event on YouTube Live is currently limited to viewers in the United States, U.K., Japan, France and Canada. Paying for access to streaming video has been included as an option on other streaming services. For instance, UStream has included the option since October 2010.
In addition to adding the ability to charge for access to a live streaming event, content creators can include banner and Google Adsense advertising on the video page. YouTube developers have also added real-time analytics as well as a way to preview live events before pushing the video page live on YouTube.
Access to real-time data will allow content creators to immediately see what regions of the world are streaming the video in addition to information such as number of playbacks, the amount of current viewers and the average time spent watching the streaming feed.
As of today, YouTube Live publishers will also get free access to Wirecast, a $449 piece of software that allows content creators to manage multiple feeds during a broadcast. For instance, if a popular comedian’s stand-up act was being broadcast over a live streaming feed, the person managing Wirecast would be able to switch between multiple camera angles and audio feeds provided from equipment within the venue. The software also allows users to integrate various media files as well as special effects during a live broadcast.
While access to YouTube Live is still limited to a select group of partners, YouTube management plans to roll out the service to a wider group of users over the rest of the year. However, there is no official announcement regarding a date when YouTube Live will be pushed out for all public users.