YouTube to blast 360-degree live video streams and spatial audio from Coachella

19 Apr 2016

YouTube will stream live 360-degree video from Coachella this weekend

YouTube is to begin streaming live 360-degree video and spatial audio, starting with select performances from Coachella this weekend.

In February, we reported that YouTube was about to get real with 360-degree video and was working with camera makers to create a live 360-degree feature that could impact on experiences like live sporting events and music festivals.

In March last year, YouTube began supporting 360-degree videos.

‘What excites me most about 360-degree storytelling is that it lets us open up the world’s experiences to everyone’

In essence, YouTube is in a race for dominance of the new 360-degree video genre. Last week, at F8, Facebook revealed a 360-degree camera that can shoot in 4K and 8K called the Facebook Surround 360.

Immersive 360-degree experiences and storytelling

Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, said that YouTube will begin by live streaming artist performances in 360-degrees from Coachella this weekend, the second weekend of the sun-soaked California festival.

He said that the video giant will also be launching spatial audio for on-demand YouTube videos, bringing a real-life depth and intensity to audio.

Mohan said YouTube has been working with companies across the multimedia industry, such as VideoStitch and Two Big Ears, to make their software compatible with 360-degree streams.

YouTube also plans to make 360-degree live streaming and spatial audio technologies available at all YouTube Space locations around the globe.

“What excites me most about 360-degree storytelling is that it lets us open up the world’s experiences to everyone,” Mohan said.

“Students can now experience news events in the classroom as they unfold. Travellers can experience faraway sites and explorers can deep-sea dive, all without the physical constraints of the real world.

“And today’s kids dreaming of going to a basketball game or a concert can access those experiences first-hand, even if they’re far away from the court. What were once limited experiences are now available to anyone, anywhere, at any time,” Mohan said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years