YouTube Launches 360-Degree Live Streaming, Spatial Audio For VR Creators

It just over a year ago when YouTube launched support for 360-degree videos, giving content creators a neat way to further immerse viewers in their world. Taking it a step further, YouTube has added live streaming and spatial audio to the mix so viewers can jump into a 360-degree scene as it's taking place.

Adding live streaming to 360-degree videos might sound like a relatively minor update, but for some viewers, it has the potential to be a big deal. In announcing the added, YouTube Chief Product Office Neal Mohan waxed nostalgic about missing out on seeing Magic Johnson, his favorite basketball player back in the day, compete in person as a kid.

YouTube 360-Degree Video

"Whether it’s a sporting event or a concert or even a family gathering, all of us have had the feeling of wanting to be somewhere we couldn’t. But these days, virtual reality and 360-degree video can help get you one step closer to actually being at those places and in those moments," Mohan said in a blog post.

There's also a big upside for today's musicians and athletes looking to enhance their brand through social media and online services. Live streaming in 360 degrees gives them an opportunity to bring fans into the fold no matter how far away in the physical world they might actually be.

"After years of live streaming Coachella for fans around the world who can’t attend the festival, this year we’re bringing you the festival like never before by live streaming select artist performances in 360 degrees this weekend," Mohan added.

The addition of spatial audio will further enhance things, particularly for music events. If you have an Android device, YouTube has put together a playlist of videos with spatial audio that you can experience right now.

It will take some time for content creators to fully utilize the new tools available to them in fun and creative ways, but even at this early stage, you can see there's lots of potential.