YouTube has announced that it will begin testing of a new platform this morning will that will allow broadcast partners to begin live streaming content.

The test began at 8 a.m. PT this morning and will feature live-streaming content from four partners: Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood.

YouTube had already provided live-streaming with live matches from the Indian Premier league and the White House, but this new platform attempts to simplify streaming "directly into YouTube channels; all broadcasters need is a webcam or external USB/FireWire camera". The trial will only be available today and tomorrow and YouTube has provided a schedule for the experiment.

Right now, live-streaming is in a testing phase, but we have to wonder where YouTube really wants to take this. Is it going to try to compete with the more niche live-streaming players such as Ustream and media blog Beet.TV that it "continues to grow with an average of 32 hours of live video streamed and ingested into the system every minute"? So far, it doesn't seem likely, as the company's release continually emphasized that it would be working with partners. But what good is live for many shows? We tuned in already for Rocketboom's morning talk-show-esque stream and, while entertaining, we wondered why it couldn't be recorded and then broadcast - it would cut out the miscues and bumbled lines, wouldn't it?