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Guide to YouTube Live Streaming

Jun 01,2018• Proven solutions

Live streaming on YouTube is a great way to get more engagement from your audience, even if you do not have a huge following. As long as you have some reliable subscribers leaving comments on your videos you should be able to schedule a live stream and know it will have an audience. People feel a personal connection with their favorite vloggers so if you give your subscribers a chance to interact with you in real time they will probably plan to join in. The key to a good livestream is to respond to comments and questions from people who are watching. Besides watching the live chat of your video you can create a hashtag for your stream and monitor it on twitter.

Guide to YouTube Live Streaming

Anybody with a verified YouTube account in good standing can enable live streaming, but there is one additional piece of software you need before you can get started; an encoder. This article will tell you where you can download a free encoder and walk you through setting up live streaming on for your YouTube account.

What is an encoder and where can I get one?

Encoders compress your audio and video for livestreaming on YouTube. There is a huge price range for encoders because they are needed for every kind of live streaming. As a vlogger you do not need the same $500 encoder as a professional covering a huge event with multiple cameras. A free encoder should do just fine.

OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) is a quality, open source, program you can download for free from OBSproject.com. YouTube even suggests it. If you have a gaming channel and use an Elgato Game Capture device then you can use it as an encoder as well as a recorder.

You can also try the free version of a program like Xsplit, but you should be aware that in some cases (as with Xsplit) only paid versions allow commercial use.

How to Enable Live Streaming for your Account

Step 1: Sign into your YouTube account and go to "Live Streaming" in the "Creator Studio".

Step 2: Click on the blue "Get Started" button.

Step 3: YouTube will need to verify that you are you and not a robot. You can select whether you would like them to send you a text or a voice message with your verification code. A box will appear where you can input your phone number.

Step 4: Enter your verification code and click "Submit". You are now verified. Agree to the terms of service on the next page.

Step 5: YouTube will have provided you with a stream URL before you were even verified, and it can be viewed under "Live Streaming" in your "Creator Studio".

How to Start Streaming

Step 1: Copy and paste your live stream URL and stream name into your encoder under "Server" and "Play Path/Stream Key". Your URL and stream name can be found in the "Creator Studio" under "Live Streaming".

Step 2: Fill out the Basic info for your live stream the same as you would for any other video.

Step 3: Choose your quality in the "Stream Option" tab.

How to Schedule a Live Event

Step 1: Go to your "Video Manager" and click on "Events".

Step 2: Select "New Live Event".

Step 3: Give your video a title, description, and tags.

Step 4: Choose a start time for your broadcast. You can also choose to set an end time, but that is optional. If you do not set an end time your broadcast stops whenever you stop streaming using your encoder.

Step 5: In your "Privacy Settings", set your event to public – unless you only want to test your setup. Choose unlisted or private if this is not the stream you intend for your subscribers to see.

Step 5: Select your "Category".

Step 6: Choose whether you want to broadcast using your encoder (Custom) or using Google Hangouts (Quick).

Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.