How To LIVESTREAM On YouTube – UPDATED Beginners Guide!

Today we’re going to share how to live stream on YouTube!

YouTube live streams are an awesome way to grow your channel and connect with your subscribers. But if you’re new to livestreaming, you might be wondering how to go live on YouTube… 

Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

In this YouTube live stream tutorial, we’ll take you through exactly how to stream on YouTube, step-by-step. 

We’ll start with the most basic (& easiest) livestreaming options and build up to the more advanced live streaming apps, software and tools you can incorporate to easily improve your results!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Let’s get started. 

Verify Your YouTube Channel

First of all, you need to make sure your channel is verified and livestreaming is enabled on your channel. 

Go to YouTube, click on your profile picture in the top right corner and go to YouTube Studio

Go to your YouTube Studio to make sure your channel is verified and live streaming is enabled

In the left menu go to Settings, then Channel and select Feature eligibility. This is where you can make sure your channel is verified. 

If it’s verified, you’ll see that you have access to live streaming. If not, there will be a button that will allow you to verify. 

How to Livestream on YouTube on Desktop

Now that that’s done, inside your YouTube Studio go to Create and then Go live

To start live streaming on YouTube, go to Create and then select Go live

If you want to go live straight away, select Webcam in the top left corner. Allow permission for YouTube to access your camera and microphone. 

Then you can enter all the details for your livestream. These are the steps it goes through: 

  • Details: Give your live stream a title, description, thumbnail, specify if it’s made for kids and access more advanced settings 
  • Monetization: If you’re part of the YouTube Partner Program you can turn monetization on or off and select the type of ads you want
  • Customization: This is where you can turn on live chat, live chat replay, decide who can send messages and set a delay between comments
  • Visibility: Choose whether your livestream will be private, unlisted, members only or public and schedule your live stream if you’re not going live right away 
Go through these steps to set up your YouTube live stream 

Once you’ve customized those settings, hit Done and you’ll see a livestream preview.

This is where you can: 

  • Make any changes by selecting Edit 
  • Change your camera and microphone 
  • Grab a link that can be sent out to your audience by selecting Share 
You can adjust or customize more settings in the Stream preview window

When you’re ready to start streaming, press Go live.

It might take a moment to load but as soon as you see the red LIVE marker in the top right, you’re officially live. 

Next to that LIVE marker you’ll also see how long you’ve been live for, how many people are on your stream, and how many thumbs up you’ve been given. 

As soon as the red LIVE marker appears, you’re live! 

On the right is where all the comments come through. These can be sorted by Top chat or Live chat. We generally prefer Live chat so you can see the comments in real time.  

You can send a comment, emoji or a poll to your viewers in the chat. 

Down the bottom you’ll see your volume level indicator, the ability to mute your microphone, the shareable link, and the option to End stream

You can select how you want comments to be sorted in the Comments window

After you end your stream you’ll be presented with some analytics including: 

  • Views
  • Peak concurrents
  • Total watch time
  • Chat rate
  • Average view duration 
  • Duration 
Some live stream analytics will appear after you end your live

And that’s it! Now let’s check out how to livestream on mobile devices. 

How to Livestream to YouTube on Mobile

The process on mobile is very similar but there are some additional requirements that you will need to meet. 

To YouTube livestream on mobile, your channel must: 

  • Have at least 50 subscribers
  • Have live streaming enabled (you might need to wait 24 hours before starting your first live stream)
  • Have no live streaming restrictions within the last 90 days
  • Be verified
There are some different requirements for livestreaming on mobile

It’s also worth noting, if you have less than 1000 subscribers YouTube may limit the number of viewers on your mobile live. 

They say this is to help keep YouTube a safe community for everyone. But there is a workaround for this, that we’ll share very soon. 

To go live on mobile, open up the YouTube app, press the Plus button and hit Go live

To start your mobile live stream, hit Go live in the YouTube app

Then you can access the same settings as going live on desktop. You can: 

  • Add title
  • Select unlisted or public
  • Specify if the video is made for kids
  • Schedule for later 
Enter a title and adjust any settings for your live stream

Hit Next and you’ll be prompted to take a thumbnail image. If you want to edit, retake or upload a different thumbnail, just press the Edit icon. 

In the top right corner you can switch between the front and back camera. You can also hit the Share button to grab the shareable link for your stream. 

At this point you need to decide if you’re going live in portrait or landscape. Whichever way you have your phone when you hit Go live is what it will be for you entire livestream. 

So choose wisely! We usually recommend going live in landscape but this one’s up to you. 

You can edit the livestream thumbnail by hitting the Edit icon 

When you’re ready, hit Go live

Along the bottom there are options to: 

  • Switch between front and back camera
  • Sort the comments by Top chat, Live chat, Super chat or hide all chats
  • Add filters and overlays 
  • Save a highlight or mute your microphone 
There are settings, comments and filters along the bottom

In the top left corner you can see: 

  • The LIVE marker
  • How many people are currently viewing your live 
  • How many thumbs up you’ve received 

When you’re ready to end the stream, press the X in the top right corner and select End

You’ll be presented with some analytics after ending your stream including: 

  • Views
  • Peak concurrents
  • Total watch time
  • Chat rate
  • Average view duration 
  • Duration 
You’ll see the livestream analytics after the live ends

Press Done and a HD version will be automatically uploaded to your channel. 

If you press the More icon next to the upload, you can delete the upload, cancel HD upload or edit the video settings.

That’s the most basic way you can go live on YouTube using a desktop or mobile device. 

How To Level Up Your Livestreams

The best way to level up your live streams is using professional live streaming software. 

There are some incredible platforms out there that will allow you to really step up the quality of your live streams. They allow you to do things like add animated titles, bring in guests, share your computer screen and connect multiple cameras. 

Ecamm Live is our top recommended live streaming software for Mac

There’s a ton of different options available, depending on your specific needs. If you want to compare the top options, check out our guides on the Best Live Streaming Software on Mac or Best Live Streaming Software on PC

Our top recommended live streaming tool for Mac is Ecamm Live and for PC is StreamYard

Ecamm Live has a great mix of features. Whether you’re a beginner or someone looking for a lot more advanced features and controls, this is an awesome option. 

StreamYard is our top pick for PC but also a great option for Mac

StreamYard is another solid option with powerful features. It works in your web and phone browser so it can be used on iOS and Android. 

Both of these tools are going to help you majorly level up your live stream. 

PRO TIP: Using a third party live streaming software means even if you have less than 1000 subscribers, YouTube won’t limit the number of viewers on your mobile live.

To show you how powerful these platforms can be, let’s take a look at some of the features on StreamYard:  

  • Stream to multiple platforms at once (YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitch) 
  • Add screen shares into your stream 
  • Invite guests to join your livestream 
  • Pick from multiple different templates to decide how your livestream is displayed e.g. full screen, 50/50 with a guest, screen share plus your video – there’s so many options! 
  • Display viewer comments onscreen while you’re live 
  • Bring up banners, questions, polls and graphics 
  • Show a countdown timer 
  • Bring in background music 
When sharing your screen or streaming with a guest, there’s a bunch of different template layouts you can choose from

The amount of customization and control you have with these more advanced livestreaming tools is crazy! Especially when you compare it to the basic streams available in YouTube.

Another awesome way to level up your live streams is by adding music and animated graphics. 

If you want to find great music for your stream, we recommend checking out Artlist and Epidemic Sound. If you want to create custom animated graphics, we recommend PlaceIt and VideoHive

Our Top 3 Live Streaming Tips

As promised, here are our top tips that will help you make better live streams. 

#1 Edit Your Livestream in YouTube

Once you’ve finished your livestream on YouTube, you can either leave it as is or you can edit it using the YouTube video editor.

It’s a very basic editing tool designed just to trim or cut out sections. Currently you can’t move sections around. But this is great if you want to remove sections from the finished video on YouTube. 

Keep in mind that if you do make changes with the YouTube editor, you will lose the live comments on your stream. So anyone who views the replay won’t have access to the chat. 

It’s easy to remove any unwanted section from your stream using the YouTube video editor

#2 Run A Speed Test

Always try to run a speed test to check your internet connection before going live. If your internet isn’t up to scratch, there’s a good chance you’ll have a bad live stream with dropouts or other issues. 

Head to the website speedtest.net or download the app which will measure your upload and download speed. For a live stream, your upload speed is most important. You want to make sure there is a consistent and stable connection – so it’s not jumping around all over the place. 

At an absolute minimum, your upload speed should be 2.5 – 3 megabits per second (MBPS). 

Speedtest.net is a great tool to measure your internet speed before going live

#3 Use A Switching Device 

If you’re using the more advanced software like Ecamm Live or StreamYard, a switching device like the Elgato Stream Deck will take things to a whole new level. 

You can program the device to switch camera angles, bring up titles, hide guests and more just by pressing a button. It’s a really easy way to create more professional live streams with all the tools at your fingertips. 

Using a switching device is a great way to streamline your live streams

Now You Know How To Live Stream On YouTube

There you have it – that’s our complete YouTube livestreaming tutorial. 

We covered how to YouTube live stream the quick and easy way. Plus we shared how you can use more advanced tools to make your live stream look more professional. 

If you want to create professional titles, graphics and animations to use in your live streams, check out our guide on How To Make Animated Titles The Easy Way


Links

When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

Best Livestreaming Software:

Tools To Level Up Your Livestream:


Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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