YouTube live streaming allows you to share real-time videos for free. You can live stream on YouTube via your smartphone or your computer. Here’s how to start broadcasting yourself on YouTube.

Enable Live Streaming On YouTube

In order to start a live stream on YouTube, you have to turn on the feature for your channel. It takes about 24 hours for the feature to be enabled.

Also, to upload videos longer than 15 minutes, you need to verify your YouTube account. All you need to do is:

Verify Your YouTube Account

  1. Go to YouTube’s verification page.
  2. Select your country and verification method (call or text).
  3. Enter your phone number.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Enter the 6-digit verification code you receive by text or via an automated call.
  6. Hit Submit.

Turn On Live Streaming

  1. Click Continue under the verification success message. This will take you to the Status and Features tab of your YouTube channel’s Creator Studio.
  2. Find Live streaming and click Enable.

 A confirmation screen will pop up that reads that Live streaming will be enabled in 24 hours. Read more about the entire process here if you need more help.

Live Stream on YouTube Using Computer

  1. Click on the camera-shaped Upload icon in the top right corner.
  2. Select Go live from the dropdown menu.
  3. You’ll likely get a pop-up in the upper left-hand corner with YouTube asking for access to your camera and microphone. Click Allow to grant access
  4. .Select the Webcam tab at the top.
  5. Enter the name for your live stream, choose the privacy setting, and switch on the Schedule for later toggle if you want the live stream to go out at a later time.
  6. Click More options to add a description and category for your stream, as well as select the camera and microphone it will be using.
  7. If you want to allow live chat, restrict the viewers’ age, or mark your video as a paid promotion, click Advanced settings.
  8. From Advanced settings, go back to the previous screen and click Next to take a photo for the thumbnail. You’ll be able to retake the photo or upload one from your computer.
  9. When you’re ready to go, click Go live.
  10. Once you’re done with the stream, click End Stream and confirm you want to stop broadcasting.

Once you finish live streaming, a prompt to edit the video in your Studio will appear. You can find your live streams in your Studio under the Live tab.

There are also a number of YouTube live streaming software that you can use to get the most out of your live streaming experience.

Live Stream on YouTube Using Smartphone

Streaming on mobile lets you stream from the YouTube app. Note: To be able to live stream on mobile, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers.

  1. Open the YouTube app.
  2. Tap on the Recording icon from the menu at the top.
  3. Select Live from the options.
  4. Give your live video a title, choose your privacy setting, and set your location.
  5. Press More options to access more settings. Here you can add a description for the live stream and schedule it to go out at a certain time.
  6. For advanced settings, tap Show more. Here you can set an age restriction, enable live chat, mark your live stream as a paid promotion, and enable monetization.
  7. Go back to the initial settings and tap Next.
  8. Take a photo for the thumbnail or upload one from your phone.
  9. When you’re ready to stream, press Go live.
  10. To end your live stream, tap Finish, and then OK.

Things To Know

Live Stream Length

There’s a maximum stream length restriction which automatically converts to video on demand, which is then archived on your channel for an unlimited amount of time.

  • Stream now = 12 hours (max)
  • Events = 8 hours (max)
  • Mobile = 8 hours (max)
  • 1440p or 2160p (4k) = 4 hours (max)

YouTube automatically transcodes videos into different output formats. Hence, videos can be downloaded in 1080p or 720p format and channel admins can control if a video can or can’t be downloaded.

Account Restrictions

  • A Community Guidelines strike. This could mean you violated YouTube’s Community Guidelines or rules of conduct. A strike limits your ability to run a YouTube Live broadcast for 90 days.
  • A previous live stream on your channel has been blocked or taken down. If any stream on your channel has been blocked, taken down because of a copyright issue, or suspected to violate the copyright of another live stream, the feature may be unavailable to you.
  • Your channel has offensive content. If more than a few videos on your channel were deemed offensive and had certain features disabled for them, you might not be able to live stream on YouTube.

Live Chat

Anyone who is logged in to YouTube can participate in the online chat during your live stream. You can moderate the chat, delete inappropriate comments, and even ban users who make inappropriate comments.

After the live event ends, people can continue to contribute to an ongoing conversation on the transcoded video. And pretty soon, YouTube is releasing a feature to let you playback the live chat while you’re watching the video so the experience is just like watching the actual live stream.

Privacy Settings

YouTube lets you set the privacy of your live streaming events as either Public, Unlisted, or Private. When your live stream ends, the transcoded video gets the same privacy setting as your live stream, which you can change later using Creator Studio.

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