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YouTube is helping live video creators make money by charging viewers for access or placing ads within the stream, the site announced on its publishers blog today.

Essentially, this makes YouTube a pay-per-view service for the streaming video world. Satellite and cable TV subscribers already have a similar service, which allows them to view a live event — like Wrestlemania, UFC championship match-ups, boxing matches, etc. — for a one-time price that’s determined by the company putting on the event. Now, YouTube’s handful of eligible content partners can do this for their own live events.

Producers of live events that wouldn’t need the pay-per-view feature — such as Marvel’s The Avengers Red Carpet Premiere — can also monetize through advertising if they choose.

The new monetization option comes a year after YouTube launched the live video functionality for some of its content partners through YouTube Live. And until now, most of the bigger entertainment and sports companies weren’t able to get much use out of the service since there wasn’t a way to make money. Considering that other sites like have been offering pay-per-view/advertising options to its producers for years, it’s a bit odd that YouTube waited so long to enable it.

In addition to the monetization options, however, YouTube is also giving its producers a few new tools. The site has added real-time analytics, a new publishing (preview) flow view, and Free Wirecast software, which allows you to produce and stream professional-looking live events directly to YouTube from your desktop.

Photo via Korosirego/Flickr

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