For those of you who follow some of the GonnaGeek Network shows which create live streaming content (or for those who listen to Better Podcasting), you may be familiar with the service calledHangouts On Air. Once part of the Google+ platform, then shifted to YouTube, Hangouts on Air is essentially a platform that makes it really easy for users to connect with each other and create an instant multi-camera video production. Combined with having extra features available such as the ability to add lower-thirds and other on screen graphics, it’s simplicity has made Hangouts on Air a staple for many users wanting to dabble in live-stream broadcast. Unfortunately it appears that Hangouts on Air is being retired in 2019.
We first spotted this earlier this week when The Starling Tribune and Legends of SHIELD co-host Michelle Ealey connected to a Hangout on Air and saw a message that indicated that the service was “going away later in 2019.” This retirement notice is confirmed on the Hangouts On Air with YouTube help page.
Further, this morning GonnaGeek Network’s Chris Ferrell noticed another notification when he started the Hangouts on Air broadcast for this morning’s All Things Good and Nerdy. It appears that when you start an HOA broadcast, there is now a disclaimer to confirm Hangouts on Air will go away “later this year.”
At this time, the current Google recommended replacement, youtube.com/webcam, is only a single streamed camera capability with no ability to simplistically add in other users to the stream. While the ability is there for one user to stream content through a single webcam and possible single-site multiple camera streaming through a switching program such as X-Split, ManyCam or OBS Studio, each of these solutions would require a third party video connection service to bring in other users for co-hosting or guest interview applications.
As of now there doesn’t appear to be any indication of a replacement multi-user, multi-camera option (such as when Google+ was retired and it moved to YouTube), so I guess if you’re using Hangouts on Air, it may be time to start trying alternatives. to ensure your live streaming experiences are not interrupted.