Live streaming on YouTube
Create in-the-moment experiences, build a community with your fans in real time and more with YouTube Live. Whether you want to teach a class, host a workshop or show off your gaming skills, share your passion with the world by bringing your viewers along for the ride.
Why go live on YouTube?
It's now easier than ever to build and grow your community on YouTube Live. From creating connections to sharing a peek behind the scenes, Live unlocks new opportunities to reach your audience instantly.
Say hello to real-time connection with fans and goodbye to overly long video editing sessions.
Widen your reach beyond a single live stream by posting key moments from your streaming sessions as long-form videos on demand (VOD) or Shorts. Use clips to share with your wider audience off YouTube.
Live streaming on YouTube offers multiple ways to build your business, with monetisation options like advertising revenue, Super Chat and Super Stickers and channel memberships, including Membership Gifting. Get paid doing what you love.
Understand your stream's performance to help grow and retain your Live audience with metrics right at your fingertips. See your top live streams, how viewers are finding your content and more with YouTube Studio Analytics.
Discovering live streams
The Live destination page lets viewers access and find live streams for some of the most popular types of content, including Music, Fashion and Beauty, Learning and more. The Gaming destination is the quickest way to find the creators stream for the top trending gaming titles on YouTube.
Viewers can find upcoming and current live streams and Premieres on the Live tab of their favourite creator's channel page or set up notifications for upcoming live streams by selecting the 'Notify me' button. It's even easier for fans to discover you in real time with Live rings, which indicate when you're live and take viewers directly to your stream when tapped.
Through YouTube's search and discovery system, viewers are served the live streams that they're most likely to watch. From knowing your audience to optimising your titles and thumbnails, making content relevant to viewers can be key to performance.
Diving into live streaming
If you're streaming for the first time, you'll need to verify your channel, which may take up to 24 hours. Once enabled, you can live stream instantly. Ensure a seamless experience by using a reliable network and testing your set-up beforehand.
You can live stream using either an encoder, webcam or mobile device. With Live Control Room, you can set up and manage your live streams from your desktop.
Go live together
Invite a guest to join your mobile live stream. You can interview another creator from the comfort of your own room or take a friend to see your favourite spot, halfway across the world. The possibilities to connect with another guest whilst live streaming with your audience are endless.
Use live chat to turn your viewers into a community by keeping conversations going in real time – pin or reply to chat messages. Or take it to the next level by taking real-time mission requests in a live stream, hosting a Q&A session or creating a viewer poll.
Live chat moderation
Live has various tools to keep your live chat safer and more positive for viewers. You can also assign moderators to help you monitor and manage chat so that you can focus on doing what you do best – creating.
With the Live Redirect feature, send your audience to the live stream or Premiere of your choice by finding a video at any point in your stream. Using Live Redirect helps your audience to discover new creators and grow connections in your community.
Nurture a culture
Create a distinct culture that viewers want to be a part of by building traditions into your content. Share a secret language, phrase, gesture or hashtags with your audience to create a sense of belonging.
Tips and troubleshooting
Earning money from your live streams
The YouTube Partner Programme allows creators to apply for and set up revenue sharing on their content. Once accepted into the programme, you'll be able to turn on monetisation for your uploads and live streams.
You can choose how you earn money through ads, fan funding, channel and gifted memberships and more. Super Chat and Super Stickers are a Live-specific revenue stream that gives your viewers a fun way to show support.
If you enable monetisation on your channel and live stream, YouTube will automatically trigger pre-roll ads to serve on your content. You can also insert mid-roll ads during your live stream via the Insert ad icon in the top right-hand corner of the Live Control Room. In YouTube Studio, you can enable Super Chat and Super Stickers to let your viewers stand out in live chat, and channel memberships to unlock members-only perks for your most loyal fans.
Understanding audience analytics
You can check your stream's health and analytics while you're streaming in the Live Control Room, or post-stream in YouTube Studio. You'll see different metrics post-stream depending on whether you're live streaming using an encoder or on your mobile device.
Just like VODs, you'll get watch time reports for your live streams that include watch time, how viewers find your content, audience retention and demographics, concurrent viewers and more.