YouTube to launch live channels?

Janet Harris
Janet Harris -

YouTube, the popular video-sharing site, is planning to launch new live channels, which could take it into competition with established broadcasters.

The site, which is owned by Google, is believed to be planning to enable users to provide real-time entertainment, or report on a news story as it happens, to viewers around the world. Site users would also have access to live chat services.

The plans were revealed informally by co-founder Steve Chen, to ‘videoblogger’ Sarah Meyers, and have not been officially verified.

As well as taking the site into competition with traditional news sources, the move will also take YouTube into competition with existing video streaming websites, such as blogTV, Mogulus, Seesmic and Ustream.TV.

However, these are generally geared to the teen market, while YouTube could have wider appeal.

With online TV viewing becoming more popular in the UK, the time could be right for YouTube’s venture. Approximately 17 million TV programmes were watched on the BBC iPlayer in the first seven weeks after its launch.

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