It’s been a few days now since Yahoo launched their experimental live video service called Yahoo! Live. It launched with such quietness and without fanfare that many of you probably haven’t even heard about it yet. In a nutshell, it’s an “experiment in live video from the Advanced Products team at Yahoo.” Isn’t it ironic that Yahoo launches a service called Yahoo Live right around the time that Microsoft is trying to acquire them? I guess the difference here is that Yahoo’s Live service actually has to do with something “live” whereas Microsoft’s doesn’t.
Unlike services like YouTube, Yahoo Live is all about live video versus pre-recorded content you find elsewhere. Other sites that stream live video haven’t really been able to hold-up when it’s been needed most. One example I can think of is Macworld when many sites were trying to stream the Steve Jobs keynote while thousands of people tried to tune-in. Sites got bogged down and weren’t able to keep up with the demand. Other sites limited the number of people who could be viewing the content just to prevent a crash. If Yahoo does it right, given their resources, they could become the “go-to” place where people go when they want to watch something live, like the Steve Jobs keynote.
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Above is a screenshot of what the site looks like when you’re viewing a broadcast. It actually looks pretty slick if you ask me. One the main page, for easy navigation they display “Popular Live Channels” along with “Recently Live Channels” so that if there’s not anything in particular that you’re looking to watch, you can “channel surf.” Using your Yahoo I.D., you can create a profile where you can have you very own channel. Each time you are viewing a broadcast, you’ll be able to see how many people are tuned-in and you’ll also be able to chat with other viewers. Additionally, you can get the code to embed the video into your own site.
Overall, I’d say that for an experiment, Yahoo Live is not bad at all. With all of the election events going on in the United States, I could see Yahoo Live as a great place for rallies to be streamed to. The possibilities are endless and it could turn out to be a great place for people to go to get live content, assuming that they are able to keep up with the demand and provide the necessary bandwidth when it’s needed most. Check it out and let us know what you think.