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YouTube Opens its Live Streaming Service to Nonprofits

Google continues the slow roll-out of live streaming on YouTube. Until now, YouTube mostly worked with select partners and a number of sports leagues to stream events like the Copa America or U2 concerts. Today, the company announced that nonprofits that register with YouTube are now eligible to use the live video streaming service as well. This will allow nonprofits to stream their conferences, benefit concerts and other events live on YouTube. In addition to the video stream, Google notes, these organizations will also be able to add "donate buttons/overlays, custom thumbnail selection and channel branding" to their videos.

The program is open to nonprofits in the US., UK, Australia and Canada.

What About the Rest of Us?

YouTube opened up its live streaming service to select partners last April. Since then, it has continuously added new high-profile events to its lineup, but participation in the service has been, for the most part, invite-only.

By opening up this service to non-profits, YouTube will likely spark a new round of speculations about when anybody with a YouTube account will be able to use this service. Right now, YouTube users can only record videos from their webcam, but they have to use services like Ustream or Stickam to stream videos to a wider audience. At the same time, though, video chats are a major focus on Google+, but there, too, the "Hangouts on Air" (which are basically live video streams of events), remain invite-only affairs.

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