Introducing YouTube Premieres, Livestreaming That’s Not Really Live


At VidCon on June 21, YouTube announced a bunch of new changes that'll redefine the site's relationship with creators, especially mid-sized ones.

One of those changes is called YouTube Premieres, which allows creators to upload pre-recorded content and schedule it later as a livestream. This way, creators can better engage with their audiences. For example, they can focus on answering questions or even just simply talking to fans as the pre-recorded video plays.

YouTube Premieres Explained

The arrival of YouTube Premieres means that elements once reserved exclusively for live videos are now available on pre-recorded content, including Super Chat, where users pay to get their comments highlighted and linger much longer within a live chat.

YouTube group product manager Kurt Wilms said Premieres is YouTube's answer to appointment television, as Polygon reports. Essentially, YouTube is allowing creators to livestream pre-recorded content as a way to build a more interactive and more engaging experience for fans. Not only that, though — it'll also help creators make money in the end.

"This product is going to help creators make more money, and it unlocks two new big revenue streams," said Wilms. The first revenue source is the aforementioned Super Chat, which has only been available for live streamers in the past, he noted. The second is channel memberships, which includes perks that were previously reserved only for live videos.

"The key point here is for creators, this unlocks two new big alternative monetization options," said Wilms.

He expects creators won't be the only ones who'll take advantage of Premieres. Studios such as Disney, for example, can use the tool to tease their trailers a couple of days in advance, allowing it to build up hype and engage with audiences once the content streams. YouTube is rolling Premieres over the next two weeks but will hit beta test partners first.

Watching Together On YouTube

Some YouTubers, including Jacksfilms, have already tested the feature. He said Premieres is a good way to establish hype, but also remind users that everyone is watching the content at the same time — both fans and the creator.

"The whole audience watches it all together — I watch it with them too — and that's so cool. Also, with Super chat baked in, it makes so much sense," he said.

The news comes after months of ire from creators who claim YouTube has made it more difficult to profit from videos by introducing new algorithms that demonetize content. These updates won't fix those issues, but at least YouTube appears to be listening.

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