Home > Uncategorized > Google: YouTube Launches Real-Time Video News Service

Google: YouTube Launches Real-Time Video News Service

Summary

  • GOOG-owned YouTube is launching a real-time video news service called YouTube Newswire.
  • This will be a direct competitor to Twitter, Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • YouTube is teaming up with News Corp-owned Storyful to provide verified eye witness video and reporting as a part of the service.
  • I question the early traction Newswire will show but can’t deny this is a good defensive move for YouTube longer term.
  • YouTube will fight an uphill battle in developing a consensus view that Newswire is something different than the YouTube we’ve learned to love.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)-owned YouTube is launching a real-time video news service called YouTube Newswire which will feature verified eyewitness videos. I think this is a brilliant move by the Google child and it couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. Recently innovative competitors to the broader video-social network space have emerged with both Twitter’s (NYSE:TWTR) Periscope and private company Meerkat offering live-streaming options while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has substantially built out its video capacity via both Facebook and Instagram. This is as much a defensive move for Google and YouTube as it is offensive.

Still, even partnering with News Corp-owned (NASDAQ:NWS) (NASDAQ:NWSA) Storyful, a “social news” organization that specializes in “the ability to discover, verify, acquire and deliver the most valuable real-time content the social web has to offer (SOURCE: storyful.com)”, I have to wonder the traction that this service will show.

Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible to change public perception but I don’t believe consensus views YouTube as a source of news, let alone real-time information. For that, I would think, and clearly its engagement metrics show, Twitter is the go-to source. That said, I also don’t think consensus views YouTube as a source of high quality journalism outside of a few channels that are primarily subscribed to, meaning subsectors of consensus are already using this platform for the intended purpose of Newswire.

I also have to question exactly how fast Newswire will be able to load content into the platform with the verification process, although providing much more reliable “eyewitness” accounting, no doubt slowing the time to market. In news, at least social news, being first matters. Again, this is something that sheer streaming capability and having a real-time feed are conducive to – both areas that Twitter excels in.

But, all taken into account, with YouTube’s size and reach (and Google’s promotion) I don’t doubt that this will cause some level of disruption to Twitter, Facebook, Meerkat, etc. The question is, how much? The other question to be asked is, if Newswire sees success or if it doesn’t see success which of those scenarios might position Twitter for an already-speculated Google buyout? Does either scenario?

To be clear, I’m long Twitter. With that out in the open I’ve never thought that the Twitter/Google buyout chatter made a whole ton of sense outside of the obvious integration into Google search and providing real-time tweets as a contributor to the results. Even then, I still don’t think a Twitter buyout makes perfect sense considering Twitter’s struggles and Google’s lack of a need.

BUT, with Google/YouTube now overtly expressing a desire to get into content delivery from a news standpoint I can’t help but to acknowledge the obvious synergies that would take place between Newswire and Twitter. You also have to consider seriously how the talent at Google and the overall integration into the broader Google model might change the economics of Twitter. I just think now, in light of this news, the chatter is at least based on something tangible.

All told I think this is a good move for Google/YouTube but how good remains to be seen. I think that YouTube is going to be fighting an uphill battle in which this is one of the rare instances where its maturation and scale hardly benefit it. It’ll be interesting to see exactly how aggressive Google gets in trying to make this work (M&A?) at the very least.

I continue to recommend a long position in Google and in Twitter.

Good luck everybody.

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