February 2017


In more recent history, YouTube, has jumped on the bandwagon of steaming video live. Surely adding features is a good thing, they give the publisher more freedom in how they go about getting their work out. They can now broadcast in real-time. Just like the breaking news that you might get on TV. While this may work well for newscasts where teams of experienced professionals well rehearsed in the medium report breaking stories, it seems to work less well for most YouTubers.

So, what effect does live-streaming have on content? Well, the actual live-steam is not a terrible idea if it’s used correctly, in a way to connect viewers to the broadcaster and alter the path that the stream takes.  There are many cases however, where live-streaming isn’t necessary, and is a detriment to the video.

Since the start of the initial rollout of live-streaming, I have come across it more and more in my day to day YouTube experience. Some of the time, the effect on the videos isn’t that large. It depends on the quality of the videos to start with. Some people polish their videos, and some just let them record for hours working on a project even while they are sidetracked. So a lot of time gets wasted, and that largely falls into the lap of the viewer. Other videos where the publisher used to be talented in creating a nice final product, and took the time to make a interesting comprehensive video, may now just be winging it, this shows. Lately I’ve run across a few videos where projects where started, and never finished, and the viewer has basically just wasted time. Videos like these also can take a fair amount of time, and the results are anything but appealing.  Even if the outcome of a video of a project is successful, the videos can take large swaths of time. I’ve come across a previously live streamed video that took five hours. Does any publisher think that their viewers are going to be interested in watching a video of a previous live stream that is that obnoxiously long, especially without any chapters? I’m not going to sit and watch a 5 hour video, while someone fumbles around even if the video does seem appealing. The final product needs to be cut and edited.

There is however a growing live stream crowd, people who will tune into live streams for hours at a time, and live comment, to feel as though they are part of a community.  I have no problem with this, but the resulting video published to YouTube is going to be of lower quality.

In the end, live steaming is not going to change, but viewership will. If a publishers content takes a hit because of this, they will lose followers. They cater to their live viewers, but these viewers aren’t going to be around all the time when videos go live, or simply have better thing to do at that time, and will not watch a live-streamed video at a later date. Not all publishers have the skill to make good live stream videos, they require better organization, or make errors that need to be edited out of the video. Laziness is also a factor, some publishers don’t want to bother editing their videos, and the quality suffers. Where this is the factor, I won’t be wasting my time.