Google, a company known well for its redundancy, is making a move to eliminate a small portion of its duplicate services. For the past few months at least, those looking to produce their own live podcasts could choose between Hangouts on Air (intertwined with Google+) or YouTube Live (essentially the same as Hangouts on Air, but locked to YouTube). In an announcement made this afternoon, Google will end Hangouts on Air via Google+, and is moving everyone to YouTube Live.
Taking The Droid Life Show as an example, nothing is changing. Essentially, instead of starting our stream via the Hangouts website or extension, we simply boot up a livestream through YouTube’s Creator Studio interface. There’s no new account to setup or anything difficult about the transition. If anything, this should save people a headache, as there will no longer be two services providing the exact same experience across two separate platforms.
Officially, everyone will need to do their streaming from YouTube Live beginning September 12. For anyone with a scheduled Hangouts on Air session on or after that date, you will need to reschedule it using YouTube Live.
The only downside, at least from what I can see, YouTube Live does not support Q&A, Showcase, or Applause. These are little extensions used with Hangouts on Air that grant the streamer additional things to do, such as interact with viewers. If you need a Q&A feature for your stream, simply ask people to submit questions via a social network.