The first live stream using Hooli's Nucleus technology was an utter failure. The feed of the UFC fight Hooli sponsored stuttered before ultimately freezing, causing viewers to miss the knockout blow.
Apps like Twitter's (NYSE:TWTR) Periscope, Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Twitch, and start-up Meerkat have worked tirelessly to avoid similar problems to the fictional company from HBO's Silicon Valley. But none of them may be a match for YouTube's live streaming capabilities.
With the support of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) infrastructure, YouTube is capable of streaming live 1080p video at 60 frames per second to viewers without a hitch. The only thing is it needs more people to actually use it. And that's where Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) comes in.
Live streaming built in
Samsung just released two new phones: the newest model of its extremely popular Galaxy Note phablet and a phablet sized version of its Galaxy S6 Edge. Aside from the updated specs and the introduction of Samsung Pay, the most notable new feature is that live streaming is built into the new camera app. And it's supported by YouTube.
Samsung isn't the first company to support live streaming directly to YouTube from its camera app. Sony was the first to support live streaming on YouTube, and HTC even made a little camera to stream things directly via YouTube. But Samsung's market share means that its support for YouTube's live streaming capabilities could actually have an impact on how people choose to share the things happening around them in real time.
Samsung sold more than 20% of the world's smartphones during the second quarter, more than any other manufacturer. The previous version of the Galaxy Note sold 4.5 million units within 30 days of its release. With the camera app being one of the most popular uses for smartphones, YouTube is about to get a ton of free advertising for its live streaming feature.
Catching up to Periscope and Twitch
Earlier this month, Periscope announced that it had 10 million registered users streaming "40 years" worth of content every day. Twitch has 100 million viewers coming to its game-streaming site every month, streaming 106 minutes per day on average -- or 20,167 years in Periscope terms. Amazon bought Twitch last year for around $1 billion.
YouTube has more than 1 billion users watching billions of hours of video every month, but most of that content is on-demand streaming. It's recently gotten more live content, streaming the Dota e-sports championship, the kickoff to the German soccer season, and a not-quite-legit broadcast of the first Republican primary debate. But it doesn't have the same user-generated content of its on-demand service or Periscope and Twitch.
Making live streaming accessible to millions of smartphone users without having to download a new app or sign up for a new service ought to help YouTube gain a lot of new streaming content providers. That should push it back into competition with Periscope, which has taken the industry by storm over the last six months.
Why live streaming works for YouTube now
The biggest advantage YouTube has over Periscope, and even Twitch, is that it has a ton of advertising infrastructure in place already from its on-demand service and parent company Google. If live streamers want to monetize their feeds, YouTube is probably the best place to do so. The company is working on the ability for streamers to take "commercial breaks" and place video ads in the middle of their stream.
Not only will this let live streamers take a bathroom break every now and then, it will let them make some money from their audience. And nothing motivates people like money (and bathroom breaks). YouTube will also archive video to its website, so creators can continue making money off of a stream well after they've stopped filming.
Getting more users to stream content and watch live streamed content could help YouTube finally produce a profit while maintaining its position as a leader in online video content.