How YouTube Is Making The Next Big Leap In Digital Events


Aug 16, 2016, 14:52 PM by Alex Kozak

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When attendees participate in digital events, there’s always been something missing. Sure, they can watch a presenter on-stage, jot down key educational takeaways and submit questions to their fellow remote community members, but the remote viewing experience has never been able to deliver the real feeling and energy of being in the face-to-face audience. However, the “you had to be there” adage may be poised to disappear with YouTube’s new 360-degree live streaming experience. While Facebook Live has captured plenty of attention in recent months, YouTube takes the live streaming landscape to a new level with the move.

In April, YouTube partnered with Coachella to live stream performances from Run the Jewels, The Kills and Matt & Kim using the 360-degree live capabilities. “What excites me most about 360-degree storytelling is that it lets us open up the world’s experiences to everyone,” Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer at YouTube, wrote in a blog post. “Students can now experience news events in the classroom as they unfold. Travelers can experience faraway sites and explorers can deep-sea dive, all without the physical constraints of the real world. What were once limited experiences are now available to anyone, anywhere at any time.”

SEE ALSO: Live Streaming Takes Center Stage at 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions

Digital experiences aren’t just about seeing, though; they’re also about hearing. With that in mind, YouTube is also offering spatial audio for on-demand YouTube videos. Rather than simply listening to a band or an on-stage theater performance, spatial audio simulates depth, distance and intensity for more authentic listening.

Consider how these updates might translate to a traditional convention broadcast for remote attendees. Forget watching a general session with one camera operator’s perspective; attendees can choose to sit in the middle, the back or the front row and adjust the view to see other on-site attendees. Who needs to sit in front of the breakout panel? Attendees will be able to enjoy the view from the stage. And if you’re looking to really create the sting of FOMO for remote attendees, put them on the dance floor at the late-night evening reception.

Want a preview of how 360-degree video feels? Click here to check out an example.