How to Go Live on YouTube: Do's and Don'ts | Artlist
How to Live Stream on YouTube: A Beginner’s Guide How to Live Stream on YouTube: A Beginner’s Guide How to Live Stream on YouTube: A Beginner’s Guide How to Live Stream on YouTube: A Beginner’s Guide How to Live Stream on YouTube: A Beginner’s Guide

Highlights

In 2023, live streaming on YouTube is predicted to be bigger than ever before. It's time you understand why
YouTube streaming offers something unique and different to your audience – an easier way to connect and interact with them
In this article, we break down why YouTube streaming is so important, how to get started and what ideas you might want to use when going live

Table of contents

The live streaming market is booming, having grown from $1.24 billion in 2022 to $1.49 billion in 2023 and expected to reach a whopping $3.21 billion in 2027. Over a quarter of internet users are watching live-streaming content every single week.

As one of the largest live-streaming platforms on the internet and the second most-used social media platform overall, it’s clear there’s never been a better time to start streaming on YouTube Live. This beginner’s guide will explain how to live stream on YouTube.

What is YouTube Live?

YouTube Live is an online service provided on the YouTube platform where you can stream your video content live. In recent years, it’s also become available way to monetize YouTube content.

What are the benefits of YouTube Live Streaming?

YouTube Live is a great way for creators to connect with their audience, drive engagement, and build a loyal community while exploring various monetization avenues. Let’s look at the many benefits of streaming on this platform.

  • YouTube Live Streaming enables real-time interaction between content creators and viewers, fostering a sense of community and engagement.
  • YouTube Live allows for global reach, breaking geographical barriers and enabling individuals from diverse locations to access content simultaneously.
  • Live streaming encourages audience engagement through features such as live chat, polls, and Q&A sessions, creating an interactive viewing experience.
  • Creators can stream diverse content, including tutorials, live events, product launches and product unboxing, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage, catering to different audience interests.
  • YouTube Live offers monetization opportunities through ads, channel memberships, Super Chats, and merchandise shelf integration, allowing creators to earn revenue while streaming.
  • Live streams often receive higher priority in YouTube’s algorithm, leading to increased visibility and exposure for creators’ content.
  • YouTube provides detailed analytics and insights for live streams, enabling creators to track viewer demographics, engagement metrics, and performance data to refine their content strategy.
  • Creators receive immediate feedback from viewers during live streams, allowing them to gauge audience reactions and tailor their content in real-time.
  • Live streams can be repurposed into on-demand videos, extending their lifespan and reaching a wider audience beyond the live broadcast.

YouTube streaming ideas

Before you look at how to go live on YouTube, you may want to ask yourself, “Why am I YouTube live streaming?” Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Gaming

This one is obvious. Live streaming is dominated by gaming – it’s probably the number one reason people go live. So, sharing your gaming experience with an audience has massive potential for virality and growth if you’re someone who’s entertaining and engaging.

Podcast interview

Sometimes, you may want to host an interview on your podcast in a livestream format. This can allow your audience to ask your guests questions and receive answers live, as well as help boost the popularity of the podcast and YouTube channel.

Q&A

This is another popular reason why you may be looking at how to go live on YouTube. Hosting a live Q&A session is a great way to interact with your audience and fans, giving them the chance to get to know you that much better.

Hanging out

Alternatively, to Q&A sessions, you may want to just hang out with your audience. While no questions are asked, it’s still a great way for them to connect with you.

Live show reaction

Similar to podcasts, you may want to run a live stream reaction to a trending TV show episode that’s just aired or even watch with your audience in real-time. Think about big, cultural TV shows that draw in millions of viewers and spark weekly conversations – shows like Game of Thrones, for example.

How to live stream on YouTube

Now that you’ve got an idea and a plan, it’s time to look at how to live stream on YouTube. You’ll be relieved to know that for beginners, it’s a very simple, easy process.

  • First up, you’ll want to head to YouTube.com/verify to confirm that your channel is verified. Once that’s done, you’re good to go.
  • On the home page of YouTube, navigate to the “Create” button in the top-right corner – the camera icon with the + symbol inside. Click this and select “Go Live” from the drop-down options.
  • On your first live stream, you’ll be presented with “YouTube Live Terms of Service” that you’ll need to review and accept before going live.
  • When you first enter the “YouTube Live Control Room” (this is basically the YouTube Live dashboard), you’ll be prompted to select when you want to go live. It could be right now or at a later, scheduled date. Select start on “right now” and begin creating your live stream.
  • If this window doesn’t appear, just select “webcam” from the 3 menu options on the left of the YouTube Live dashboard.
  • Now, you can fill in the details about your stream. These details are very similar to how you would upload a normal video. You need to come up with a title, a stream description, a category, a thumbnail, whether you want to add it to a playlist and if it’s appropriate for kids.
  • Once you’re done with this, click Next. You’ll be asked whether you want to monetize the stream. Pick your option, then click Next.
  • In the Customization options, you can select settings for the live chat and participate (is it just subscribers or anyone). So decide how quickly the messages show and use other features such as adding a trailer and redirecting the audience to other content after your stream ends. When you’re ready, click Next.
  • Then, you’ll be asked to pick the visibility of the live stream. You can make the YouTube streaming a private session, unlisted or public. Once you’ve selected, click Done.
  • Lastly, you’ll be taken through to a “stream preview” on the YouTube Live dashboard. Here, you can review all your settings before finally clicking “Go live.”
  • After your livestream is over, you can review its performance through YouTube Studio’s analytics dashboard to track metrics such as viewership, watch time, and audience demographics, helping you make informed decisions for future broadcasts.

Basic YouTube livestream requirements

YouTube recommends enabling Live on your channel at least 24 hours in advance of your first stream. Note that you’ll need to have a minimum number of subscribers to go live from the YouTube mobile app. For users 18 and older, the minimum is 50 subscribers. Users aged 13 to 17 must have at least 1,000 subscribers. There’s no minimum subscriber requirement to stream from a desktop.

Extra monetizing tools for live streaming

Looking to make money off of live streaming? There are plenty of ways to do so. Let’s explore a few.

  • Ads are a primary source of revenue for YouTube creators. During live streams, ads can be displayed at various intervals, allowing creators to earn revenue based on ad impressions and clicks. However, keep in mind that excessive ad interruptions may disrupt the viewing experience and lead to viewer disengagement.
  • Super Chat lets viewers highlight their messages during a live stream by making a monetary contribution. The message appears prominently in the chat window, increasing visibility and providing an opportunity for creators to engage directly with supporters. Just be mindful to try to maintain fair treatment of all viewers regardless of their financial contributions.
  • Similar to Super Chat, Super Stickers allow viewers to purchase and send animated stickers during live streams to show support and express themselves. However, try to maintain a balance between monetization efforts and content quality to avoid overwhelming viewers with promotional content.

Differences between live streaming on YouTube and a Premiere

YouTube Lives and Premieres are two different features, but both have an element of real-time interaction that’s great for creating a sense of community and connection.

As we’ve discussed, live streaming lets you broadcast in real-time, making it a great way to directly engage with your audience, share news, host interactive events, and get immediate feedback.

Premieres are a way for creators to debut pre-recorded videos as a live event. Viewers watch together and participate in a live chat, creating a viewing experience that’s meant to be similar to a movie premiere or TV broadcast. They’re commonly used for video launches, new content releases, and special announcements. But the key difference is that the video itself is pre-recorded and edited, while the chat brings in a live element to the viewing experience.

If you want to create off-the-cuff content and have direct interaction through video, live streaming is the way to go. But if you want to interact through chat while still enjoying the pre-planned nature of a pre-recorded video, you may want to try a premiere.

Do’s and don’ts

Do…

  • Make your YouTube live stream public. You want people to see that you’re live and click on the notification.
  • Find out when your audience is most likely available and able to watch. There’s not much point in going live at 3 am if 95% of your fans are asleep, right?
  • Ask viewers to subscribe and click the bell, so they receive notifications whenever you go live or upload.
  • Promote your stream across other social media channels. Do this in the lead-up to the stream and when you’re live. This gives people the chance to make a note of when you’ll be live and ensures you’ll draw a bigger audience.
  • Make sure that your sound and image are working properly before you go live to avoid technical issues and provide a smooth viewing experience for your audience.
  • Generate excitement and anticipation by creating a trailer to promote your upcoming live stream, enticing viewers with highlights of what to expect.
  • Plan and create a script beforehand to maintain clarity and coherence during your live broadcast, ensuring that you cover all essential points and engage your audience effectively.

Don’t…

  • Worry about perfection. By its nature, YouTube streaming isn’t going to be perfect and polished. It’s a different type of content than the standard YouTube video, so if you mess up your words or something doesn’t go quite right, don’t sweat it. It’ll happen! With streaming, you don’t have to worry so much about how to upload high-quality videos to YouTube.
  • Live stream across multiple platforms. While you may think this is a good idea, it’s actually better to try pooling all of your audience members into 1 stream rather than having them spread out over multiple streams. That could get very confusing…
  • Stray off-topic. People are coming to watch your live stream for a specific reason, so stick to the plan and keep the content based on what you promised in the title and description.
  • Accidentally share personal information. Be mindful of what you say or display on-screen to prevent unintentional disclosure of sensitive details.

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Wrapping up

So, that’s everything you need to know about how to live stream on YouTube as a beginner! If you’re starting a YouTube channel over the next decade, YouTube live streaming may just be an alternative way to tackle how to become a content creator.

Figuring out how to go live on YouTube can seem like a confusing, daunting process, but it’s actually straightforward and easy. All you really need is a desktop or mobile device with access to a verified YouTube account, a working webcam, and a microphone.

Of course, there are many more features that you can incorporate, such as YouTube livestreaming software that will enhance your YouTube streaming experience or improve your webcam lighting setup. Before you get to the more advanced stuff, just practice how to do YouTube Live by getting comfortable on camera and interacting with your audience.

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About the author

Josh Edwards is an accomplished filmmaker, industry writing veteran, storyteller based in Indonesia (by way of the UK), and industry writer in the Blade Ronner Media Writing Collective. He's passionate about travel and documents adventures and stories through his films.
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