The video platform seeks to extend its lead in virtual reality with live immersive broadcasts.
YouTube is developing the capability to livestream 360-degree video on its platform, BuzzFeed News has learned. Multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans confirmed YouTube has been meeting with 360-degree camera manufacturers about adding support for immersive live-streamed video broadcasts to its platform. The launch timeline remains unclear.
Live 360-degree video would be the latest in a series of moves the company has made since launching 360-degree video last March, in an attempt to own the next big video format. In June, it launched support for Google Cardboard, which lets viewers experience 360-degree videos by converting their smartphones into basic headsets. In November, YouTube debuted 3-D capabilities — what it calls “virtual reality videos” — that are only available in Google Cardboard and give immersive videos a sense of depth not possible with straightforward 360-degree video. This month, it hired a “Global VR Evangelist” to recruit more content partners to develop VR content for its platform. Live 360-degree video would be perhaps the biggest step its taken since first launching support for the format.