Tuesday 14 August 2012

Taylor Swift as a LIVE Host on YouTube with Google Hangouts - She makes it look so easy, we could all learn from this Webcast

You don't need me to tell you all about Taylor Swift. She's famous for singing (and baking stuff apparently). At age only 22, she's no stranger to live gigs and entertaining the crowd. But what I found out last night, to my delight, is Taylor makes the perfect YouTube LIVE and Hangout Host.

Taylor Swift at Google+ has 209,739 followers .. Facebook 33,790,465 likes .. Twitter 17,430,231 followers, so even before the LIVE YouTube Channel sprung into action, there were over 37,000 people watching. The highest live count was over 81,000 people.

What we see here is an excellent use of a live studio audience and Hangout guests. Remember, Taylor hosts this herself which shows her off as being a strong enough personality to do it all without a host. I can think of a dozen celebrities that could not do this at all.

I've outlined the timings of the show, as this will serve as a pointer to others. Although, Taylor and her crew use multiple studio cameras and one Google Hangout, the setup is quite simple. Taylor plays her new song near the end, not live, just via the sound system.

The whole atmosphere was like story-time, with people sat on the floor with Taylor playing teacher and guiding us through the lesson, OK taking the odd cue from the director (probably on autocue or even big piece of card, but who cares.. it worked).

The odd bout of screaming, bet hey, I would be if she asked me in there. She's a talent with infectious charisma and young enough to have grown up as a digital native. She knows none of the old analogue ways - maybe that's why is comes easy.

It's no real secret that the focus was to launch a new album and a single. Great way to do it all. Interestingly, the Event was not broadcast in the Google+ stream as it was a LIVE YouTube Event, the Hangout being a minor part. It was impossible to tell if the Hangout was On Air, it didn't have to be as some switching tech was used to swap between cameras and the Hangout.

Running order of the Show, just a time stamp and what happened. We can see Taylor wasted no time at all as announced a New Album and Title all within one minute of starting the show.  There were 14 questions, with 5 from the Hangout. Look out for a Thank You to Google and YouTube near the end.

My favourite part was at 01:41 where Taylor was fast to bounce off an audience member when you can hear, 'I'll buy that' muttered in reaction the album cover. These are the parts that make a good host. Do not let these opportunities pass by.

Without this fast reaction, it could have been a very different 24 minutes. As for the HD Video, that was just awesome quality. The new song, We are never ever getting back together was played at the end. I'm left wondering if Taylor wanted to play that live, my bet she did.. she that will come next time.


00:00 Oh, Hey
00:35 New Album
00:51 Title is Red
01:22 Album Cover
01:41 Improv, I'll buy that
02:00 Questions
02:08 Floor Q1
03:18 Hangout Q2
04:37 Floor Q3
06:20 Hangout Q4
08:44 Floor Q5
10:14 Hangout Q6
11:34 Floor Q7
13:26 Hangout Q8
14:54 Hangout Q9
16:24 Text Q10
17:15 Text Q11
18:18 Text Q12
18:45 Text Q13
19:16 Text Q14
20:05 New Single
20:45 Thanks Google/YouTube
21:20 Play the Song
24:55 End

The official YouTube text reads:
Taylor will be talking to fans around the world live online and in a Google+ Hangout on Monday, August 13th! She will talk directly to fans and answer questions in real time. You can submit questions into the live social chat during the webcast using your YouTube account. The webcast will be live across the world starting at 7:00pm ET on August 13 on YouTube.com/TaylorSwift or YouTube.com/Presents.

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