Google has finally rolled out what it’s calling YouTube mobile live streaming. The live-streaming feature will be built directly into the regular YouTube app. The app sounds easy to use. You’ll tap on a “capture” button, optionally take a photo that will serve as a thumbnail, type in your description of the video to come, choose whether you want people chatting over your video, then start streaming. As with Hangouts On Air, YouTube mobile live-streamed videos will become regular YouTube videos in your channel. The feature was rolled out last week to only five prominent users, with Google promising a general rollout later. The late entry into mobile by the first-mover of desktop live-streaming changes everything.
Mobile live video streaming has been around for a while, but Google’s entry is a game-changer. Here’s why: YouTube is a star machine. Felix Kjellberg, a.k.a. Pewdiepie, made $12 million last year from advertising on his video-game-centric YouTube video channel. He has 46 million subscribers. YouTube has made millionaires out of dozens of hitherto unknown people. Many YouTube obsessives are teens and children, who know YouTube stars better than they do TV stars. As the young get older, they’ll bring their YouTube-viewing habits with them, squeezing out and simultaneously influencing TV even further than has already happened.