YouTube to live stream UK royal wedding

Ah, how the world has changed since the UK’s last big royal wedding all those years ago in 1981.

Back then, a tablet was nothing more than a small white pill-shaped object that we took when we had a headache; the web was simply that wispy gray thing that keepsappearing at the back of the closet no matter how many times we swept it away; and a smart phone was one which had buttons instead of a dial, and which used to elicit the comment, “Wow, that phone is really smart,” from visiting friends. Meanwhile, three little boys called Chad, Steve and Jawed were running around their respective gardens, just out of diapers, with no idea that they would one day create the game-changing video streaming service YouTube (although maybe they had an inkling even then).

And it’s YouTube that will be live streaming what many are considering to be the wedding of the year (unless you also happen to be tying the knot in 2011, of course). This will be the first ever royal wedding streamed live by the Google-owned video sharing website, and it’ll be doing so on The Royal Channel.

The Royal Channel, which has been up on YouTube since 2007 (we love the idea of the Queen sitting at her PC, dutifully filling in the various fields to sign up), currently has a total upload view count of more than 10 million, and more than 38,000 subscribers.

The channel’s home page is currently showing a video inviting one and all to forego the traditional broadcast media and instead join the masses on YouTube for Kate and William’s big day. Coverage kicks off at 10am UK time (oh dear, that’s 2am PT and 5am ET), and promises to stream “every moment as it happens,” although let’s face it, it’s likely that there’ll also be a lot of moments where nothing is happening.

In a blog post on Tuesday, YouTube said their coverage will cover “the wedding procession, marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey and balcony kiss.” And this message to ardent royalists around the world who might be sleeping through the main event: “…the footage will be reshown in its entirety directly following the event and will be available in full on the site to view afterward.”

And if all that wasn’t enough, the royal household will be tweeting during the day, and also posting photos on Flickr.

YouTube has prior experience of live streaming major events. In 2009, U2′s “360” concert generated some 10 million streams around the world, though this month’s royal wedding is expected to break all records.


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