Google Hangouts On Air – What This Means

I've spent most of the day in a bit of a daze. The announcement that Google is rolling out Google Hangouts on Air to everyone over the next few weeks has staggering implications. I'll explore a few of the big issues here but I would love your thoughts as well.

1 – The free webinar platform that everyone has already heard of. "Yeah, we'll be live at today at 6" will launch a number of stars. People who were / are scared of webinars aren't scared of YouTube. YouTube is friendly – it's where the cat videos are. Awesome.

2 – The world's easiest workflow. It always seems that whenever I do anything live, the hardest work always comes after the event. The idea that I can hang up on the show and the bad boy is live (the archive) a few minutes later will only get me to produce more content – because I can now focus on the content – not the production.

3 – A platform for the phones. This stuff works on smartyphones as easily as it works on the desktop. When we streamed the Blue Like Jazz premiere a few weeks back, I was stunned that more than half the audience watched on their mobile devices. This will all happen automatically and I can't wait.

4 – A shot at some companies I hold dear. I'll still need companies like Watershed and GotoWebinar for my premium stuff, but let's face it, Google is sure making this cheap and easy.

5 – A chance for curation. I directory of what is happening live across all the live platforms could be very powerful profitable.

6 – Competition. Ustream and the rest won't go down without a fight. We're going to see some crazy new stuff in the next few weeks/months to compete. We will win. Awesome.

Those are my big take homes. What are yours?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Alistair Bull

    A really interesting development.

  • Paolo Tosolini

    Paul, if G+ offered a Google Checkout option for Hangouts, would you abandon GoToMeeting for your premium webinars? I sense they are not offering this feature to prevent Hangouts to become an adult content hub

  • Phyllis Khare

    Thanks for articulating this announcement so well. All I could do is jump up and down and shout yippee! The small businesses I work with can feel the potential, but it still getting them to turn on that camera – that's a challenge.

  • bruce jones

    Did my first Google Hangout today, it was wild for the first twenty minutes then we figured it out and had a great time. will be fun to see what happens

  • Scott Ayres

    Good points. I think this puts a huge hurt on Livestream and Ustream for sure. And for many using gotowebinar, anymeeting, meeting burner and etc. The fact that you can embed the hangout onto your own website is massive. You don't need these webinar platforms any longer. You can have people optin to your email list that you control, not gotowebinar, and shoot them the link to where it will be played live on your own site.. Some serious implications here.. I'm ready!

  • Chris Lang

    Yeah Paul, I dumped GoTo a few months ago when I got my Hangouts On Air account. I added 2,000 new G+ followers the day of my first show. Since then I host a weekly show where I interview top G+ power users and marketers well outside G+. But the fact that you don’t have to go to G+ to see it is the most powerful piece of this pie Paul.

    Heck I even broke the news that Google Analytics will soon track Google+ badges on your blogs so you can see where your followers are coming from on my show before Google did.

    I don’t push the YouTube streaming though, I push a shoutable URL (won’t spam up the place with that here) to my site where I embed the show. Probably doubled my sales in the last 6 weeks by having a show rather than just about anything else I ever used in 12 years online.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with this Paul. And of course I would love to have you on some Wednesday night soon, Jack Humphrey is my guest next week talking about Content Curation. Cheers!

  • Dan Safkow

    If I understood the update correctly, we’ll be able to show the Hangout in our own sites!? That’s significant, because I haven’t found a video chat platform that permits more than 200 viewers, and when hosting the broadcast, we can add call-to-actions buttons, etc. But will there be a way to get the code in advance, of is it something we’ll have to cut-and-paste on the fly before showtime?

  • paulcolligan

    Would love to do the show at some point.

    A lot of folk are excited about the embedding feature – and it’s a cool one – but … There are a lot of people nervous about anything Internet and marketing. My own list (and I’ve tested this) is more likely to click on a YouTube link than a link to my own Being able to tell people “We’re live at YouTube” is the ultimate marketing angle – IMNTBHO.

  • paulcolligan

    You’ll be able to embed it at your site – but you won’t be able to prevent them from seeing it for free at YouTube or G+ – at least as far as I understand it. We should know soon enough though.

  • Chris Lang

    I would love to have both you and Julie Perry as guests when you have time Paul. I always tout you two as the top YT experts.

    Just got off a show this morning, by bringing top experts and power users to a HOA I can really produce something of extreme value. And the HOAs show up at so anyone can go there, G+ account or not and see what is being broadcast live.

    Also HOAs stream live on the top of your feed on your channel too. So your audience being YT centric would seem to be really motivated to watch you there. Can’t wait to see what you do with HOAs Paul :]

  • paulcolligan

    Should be a blast. With they’d turn mine on – seems like they’ve turned on everyone else I know … should happen soon enough I expect.

  • Chris Lang

    Yes Dan and Paul, that is how it is. I have found no way to secure HOAs. Also the embed code is unique everytime so you either have to blog it as you start or embed the code and FTP the page as I do.

  • Marion Mehrer

    Hi Paul, Chris & Dan;

    Fantastic information! I was wondering