YouTube Live-Streaming, Vulgarity and All


youtube_small.jpgADOTAS – For years upon years, I prayed that one day I could see either Steve-O from “Jackass” or comedian Dane Cook video-streaming in real-time on my computer. I’m a simple boy with simple wishes, but on Monday YouTube made my dreams come true… Doubly so.

Young Hollywood, one of YouTube’s partners in a two-day trial of its new self-service live-streaming platform, aired a live interview on its YouTube channel with both Steve-O and Cook discussing bodily fluids and sexual acts as well as employing most of George Carlin’s seven dirty words.

Oh yeah, it was uncensored — in the hopes of not being labeled a prude, I give a thumbs up to YouTube for bleeping out nothing and letting some racy characters stream their vulgar selves. However, I could have lived without knowing that Cook enjoys InTouch magazine while relieving his bowels (I really can’t print what Steve-O talked about when asked the same question — but know that YouTube streamed it).

And I doubt brand advertisers would be thrilled with such content either — though I can imagine a display banner with Cook on the commode, reading an InTouch, and the tagline “Read it in a sitting.” YouTube spokesperson Chris Dale told Forbes that flagging features similar to those for uploaded video content would be added later, and the broadcasters were warned to steer clear of pornographic images. However, writer Oliver Chiang noted (as well as Cook during the broadcast) that the “Live Comments” were offensive on just about every level.

It’s not the first time YouTube has dipped its toes in the live stream waters before with events such as the last presidential inauguration, but this is self-service, baby. A Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that advertising around the live streaming will soon arrive along with sponsorship opportunities. Beyond that, brands could simply host live programs on their YouTube channels and perform customer relationship management. Imagine if such a feature was available for United Airlines during its guitar-breaking days.

I’ve written before about advertiser-sponsored, digitally streamed events, such as Hewlett-Packard and Intel bringing an intimate Weezer concert to the masses, but the self-service streaming opportunity YouTube will really open new doors in both social media and video marketing.

But let’s reiterate this was only a test — guinea pig/partners Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood experienced some technical difficulties and TechCrunch noted that during a far less vulgar Live Hollywood Interview with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, the audience counter never passed 500 viewers. TC live events get something between 2,000 and 3,000 concurrent viewers, the website snorted.

It was YT’s first time with this new platform, guys — we don’t all perform like stallions on our first go. Also, none of the video partners were allowed to promote their live and there’s a bug in the counter, another reason for testing…

Google said it will evaluate this two-day test period before a wide platform rollout to its partners — though brands may think twice before inviting Steve-O to host a stream….


  1. I’m truly not sure what to think about this yet (which is highly unusual for me). Even though profanity, vulgarity and what would have been considered adult content not suitable for mixed company earlier in my lifetime have gone mainstream that does not mean all people find it acceptable.

    Brands once eschewed content others found objectionable but perhaps today they believe there are more who embrace violence and vulgarity than there are people like me who avoid it.

    It amazes me that when I was growing up television shows put two beds in married couples’ bedrooms (remember I Love Lucy) and now from what free television portrays one would think that watching pole dancers, doing drugs and serial murder are common everyday events in the lives of average Americans.

    As one person from another country shared online (paraphrased and I don’t know the source): judging from American television I would think that half of all Americans had been murdered and the other half are busy trying to find out who killed them.

    The pendulum has definitely swung too far (for me) toward “normal” being worse that for what was purported to be going on in Sodom and Gomorrah.

  2. I have to agree with Gail. I can appreciate a new income stream. What I don’t appreciate is the “anything” goes approach to getting attention. I hope the brands and advertisers keep their wits about them, check the polls even. A “large” number of Americans still comprehend the meaning of decency.


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