After months, even years, of speculation of whether or not YouTube would compete in the video streaming space, YouTube is now preparing to launch a live streaming platform. Beginning September 13 and ending September 14, four select YouTube partner channels - Next New Networks, Howcast, Rocketboom, and Young Hollywood - will begin testing YouTube's live streaming platform, which is currently speculated to be available to YouTube partners only.
Currently, viewers can only view the live stream on YouTube (embedding of live streams is not currently available) and YouTube does not archive the footage, meaning streamers will be required to separately edit and upload their own videos to maintain an archive. However, it is not a stretch to imagine YouTube implementing both of these features before the public rollout of this feature. By public, however, YouTube does not mean a rollout to its millions of 'regular' users. Instead they are focusing entirely on partners.
The availability of live streaming on YouTube opens new doors to a service that has become a major part of people's lives. Now comes the inevitable infrastructure adjustments to allow for such live streaming to occur, and hopefully the eventual rollout of live streaming to all users.