Firetalk, which aims to be a kind of Periscope for YouTubers and other creatives, has teamed up with the Young Turks to provide some interactivity for the live stream of the long-standing progressive political program.
The Young Turks was founded as a radio talk show in 2002, but has since become an online powerhouse, with daily live streams across a YouTube network of 25 channels. Firetalk will be simulcasting the Young Turk’s talk show featuring founder Cenk Uygur twice a week, giving viewers a chance to chat with the hosts and other viewers during the show.
During off-times, the Young Turk’s Firetalk channel will still offer pre-scheduled programming and the ability for viewers to chat with each other. Firetalk GM Rush Doshi argued that the network was an ideal partner for Firetalk. “The Young Turks really get community,” he said.
Firetalk streams and chat rooms are available through the service’s iPhone app as well as its website. The service officially launched at Vidcon last month after a few months of beta-testing, and Doshi said that his team has been busy building a live streaming service that appeals to existing content creators.
Firetalk broadcasters can program playlists of content based on existing YouTube videos to show when they are off air, and will soon be able to add viewers to their live stream to make for a more collaborative broadcasting experience. Firetalk is also working on adding gifting and ad-based monetization to its platform, with Doshi promising to give the majority of revenue to live streamers.
Doshi said that aside from YouTubers, Firetalk is also targeting bands, and even churches looking for new ways to reach and interact with their audience. “We are building it for this new generation of broadcasters,” he said.
Of course, Firetalk isn’t the only company trying to combine live streaming with social interactivity. Twitter’s social live streaming platform Periscope has seen a lot of growth in recent months, reaching close to two million daily viewers in less than two months. Firetalk hopes to be able to compete because of its expertise in live video: The service is owned by AVM Software, which runs the group video chat services Camfrog and Paltalk.