The Five YouTube Live Shows Worth Watching

Click to viewYouTube's rolling out their new live streaming platform trial today and tomorrow. It sounds neat! But you're not really going to watch two full days of YouTube programming, are you? Here are the five shows actually worth your time.

YouTube has streamed live content before—most notably a U2 concert and E3—and there have been rumblings for some time that they'd expand it. Today's the first small step in that process. Four YouTube channels (Next New Networks, Howcast, Young Hollywood, and Rocketboom) will be streaming select shows live to viewers. And eventually the feature be available to all of YouTube's content partners (though not, it seems, individuals). Of all the pickings between now and tomorrow night, these are the shows—in chronological order—that seem poised to have the most success with this format.

1. Magic Secrets Unlocked! (Monday, 4PM EST)

From Howcast, one of YouTube's four partners, this thirty-minute program features magician Matt Wayne sharing tips and tricks for prestidigitation. Like this one!
Click to view
Watch closely and take careful notes—it's live, so won't be able to rewind it.

2. Key of Awesome Live! (Monday, 4:45PM EST)

Barely Political's Key of Awesome introduced the world to Obama Girl, Tron Girl, and a pretty wicked Owl City parody. While their songs are consistently hilarious, so much of their appeal lies in the accompanying videos that I'm genuinely curious to see how they handle a live show.

3. Steve-O Crashes the YH Studio (Monday, 7PM EST)

Putting the Jackass crew's arguably most unstable member on live anything can't be a good idea—unless you're the one who gets to watch the wreckage. YouTube partner YoungHollywood also has one-on-one time with Dane Cook and Tony Hawk, but this is the one that should best highlight the unpredictability of the live format. It should at least have more fireworks than this recent YH Chris Parnell interview:

Click to view

4. Know Your Meme: Do It Live! (Monday, 9PM EST)

Rocketboom pops up a few times on the YouTube Live schedule, but for my money you're best served diving into this topical treatment of their recurring Know Your Meme segment. It's relevant, it's fun, and should feature ample footage of an apocalyptic Bill O'Reilly. Can't really go wrong with that.

5. JR Sport Brief (Tuesday, 4PM EST)

I'll be honest; I hadn't heard of the JR Sport Brief before today. But the call to action—"Sports Fans Come Chat with JR For the Latest News"—indicates that JR's going to be embracing the live comments aspect of YouTube's live streaming platform in a way that these other shows haven't. Then again, he had the Cowboys over the Redskins last night, which is disappointing on too many levels to count.