YouTube takes on Facebook with live 360 video

20/04/2016

YouTube has launched live 360-degree clips designed for VR headsets, with the Coachella festival being the first brand to make use of the feature.

The new tool lets film makers livestream 360-degree clips and is designed to be viewed using virtual reality headsets.

A handful of concerts at Coachella music festival in California are the first to make use of the feature allowing viewers to navigate around the arena as if they were really there.

Google has also rolled out a 'spatial audio' feature to simulates the effect of sounds coming from different directions and distances, to make the experience feel even more real.

Just as watching a concert in 360 degrees can give you an unmatched immersive experience, spatial audio allows you to listen along as you do in real life, where depth, distance, and intensity all play a role," YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan said in a blog post.

The company has created a YouTube playlist to show off the two new features, which can be done from an Android device.


YouTube is also now accepting content at 1440p and 60 frames per second to support live 360-streaming, as well as enabling support for DASH and VP9 ingestion to reduce the size of data transmissions required for a super high-quality stream.

Live 360-streaming doesn't support spatial audio or 3D video.

The features will allow the video platform to go head-to-head with Facebook, which is making a grab for the VR market with the launch of a 360° camera and a content hub for it, which it unveiled last week.

YouTube first launched support for 360° videos a year ago, with brands like GoPro and Nike experimenting with it.

Read the full blog here

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