How to Livestream on YouTube

If you have a YouTube channel, you might be thinking about starting your own livestreams. And we encourage you to do so! Livestreaming is great for creator-viewer interaction. You could livestream a Q&A in which your audience can learn more about you. You could also offer various gifts (such as a shout-out on the stream) to your viewers in exchange for a small cash donation, which can increase the income you might already be getting from your channel.

How to enable your channel for livestreaming

Enabling your channel is a fairly simple process. In order to do so, your channel has to be verified. Maybe you’ve done this already, but if not, simply head over to www.youtube.com/verify. From there you will be allowed to enter your phone number and receive a text containing your verification code.

Now that your channel is verified, you can enable your channel for streaming. The steps vary slightly depending on whether you’re on a computer or a mobile device, but the process is simple either way.

To enable your channel on a desktop, follow these three steps:

  1. Head to the YouTube dashboard.
  2. Click the “Create” button (located in the top right corner of the screen).
  3. Select the “Go Live” option.

(Now, you won’t be able to start right away, as it takes 24 hours to activate the live streaming option for your channel.)

To enable your channel on a mobile device, follow these three steps:

  1. Go to the YouTube app.
  2. Select the camera icon in the top right corner.
  3. Select “Go Live.”

An important thing to note with this option is that you will not be able to livestream from a mobile device unless you have at least 1,000 subscribers. But, if you already have that many or more, you’ll be good to go!

How to stream from a console

Streaming from a console is also a simple process. Hit the share button on your controller, and then select YouTube. From there, log in.

After logging in, change the settings to fit the gaming stream, and then select “Go Live.”

Some useful equipment

Of course, for good livestreams, you’re going to need a good camera. However, there is a section after this one that covers recording software in more detail. For now, we’re going to quickly discuss some other equipment that will be useful for you to have the best livestream possible.

  1. Good lighting. If you record videos often, you probably have a good lighting setup. This will be helpful in your livestream quality as well. If you don’t have a lighting setup, you can purchase some light stalks for fairly cheap online.
  2. A good microphone. Having an external mic will increase your audio quality.
  3. A comfy chair. You’re going to be sitting in front of the camera and/or mic for a while, so make sure the chair you’re in is comfortable!

What is the best way to record a stream?

Using your computer’s web cam is obviously the easiest option, as it is free with your desktop and convenient to use. However, if you want the highest quality footage, using an encoder would be your best option.

An encoder is streaming software that will enable you to use higher quality equipment for your stream. You will be able to use an HD camera and a microphone with much better quality. You will also be allowed to use multiple cameras. These are just a few examples of the benefits that come with using an encoder. If you want your livestreams to have the best audio/visual quality, an encoder is the best way to go.

Two of the best encoders to use, both of which are verified by YouTube, are OBS and Streamlabs OBS (OBS=Open Broadcast Software). To stream with these rather than a webcam, follow these steps:

  1. Download the software.
  2. Select the camera icon on the YouTube homepage.
  3. Click “Go Live”, then click “Stream.” If this is your first time streaming, click “New Stream.”
  4. Create a title and description. Change the privacy settings to your liking, select a category, and add a thumbnail. You can also enable monetization if your channel has reached that level. Now click “Create Stream.”
  5. Head over to “Stream Settings” and copy the stream key.
  6. Head to the encoder and paste the stream key.
  7. Go back to YouTube and click “Go Live.”

Now you’re ready to begin!

Now, all that’s left is to plan out streams much like you plan out videos. Set a goal for each one, and plan out a day in advance. Make sure you promote the stream as much as you can. Remind your viewers of the date(s) you plan on streaming in your videos, as well as on social media.

You can now begin to livestream and enjoy even more audience interaction and channel growth.

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