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Create a live stream

You have two options to start live streaming on YouTube, Stream now and Events.

Stream now

Stream now is a simple way to stream. YouTube automatically detects the stream resolution and frame rate.

When you are live, we’ll transcode to lower resolutions so all of your fans can enjoy your stream no matter the quality of their Internet connection.

To go live instantly:

  1. Download and setup your encoder using the Stream Name/Key and Server URL. Learn more about encoders.

  2. Add a title and description in the BASIC INFO tab. You can also add a custom thumbnail that represents your event.

  3. Optional: Schedule your next stream time.

  4. Add an optional Fan Funding card to earn money for your stream.

  5. If you select the Gaming Category, add a Game title to people discover your stream.

  6. Set privacy settings to Public, Unlisted, or Private

  7. In the STREAM OPTIONS tab, select between Low Latency or Highest Quality. Low Latency is closer to real-time for users. Highest Quality provides the smoothest viewing experience for your audience.

  8. If you only have rights to the live show, check the Mark archive unlisted when complete box. You can use this to remove the archived live event from the search index. The link can still be shared and embedded. This will apply the setting as soon as the live event is complete.

When the stream is live:

Interact with the audience using live chat.

  • Share the link across social media platforms using our SHARE tool.
  • Keep an eye on the real-time Analytics section.
  • Monitor the stream in the player, top status bar and in the Stream Health tab.

When the stream is over:

  • Stop sending content from your encoder and we’ll end your stream.
  • We’ll automatically archive the event up to 12 hours and make it available in the Video Manager. We recommend recording a local archive as a backup. Keep in mind YouTube Video Editor only allows editing of videos 3 hours or less.

Events give you more control of your stream. You’ll be able to select privacy options, set a start time, enable a backup stream for redundancy, create multiple live events, and stream them all simultaneously.

  1. From the Video Manager, click Events
  2. Click New Live Event on the right. 
  3. Complete the Basic Info tab.
    • Title, description and tags
    • Enter Start and End times
    • Privacy Settings: Only Public events will appear on your channel, search results and promotion. Choose Unlisted or Private to test events.
  4. Select Quick to launch Hangouts on Air. Select Custom to use custom encoders and controls.

The Info and settings tab is not currently available on mobile or tablet.

YouTube Live supports multiple simultaneous live streams. For every live stream you create, you must proportionally increase your encoding and network resources. For example, three simultaneous live streams would require you to triple your encoders and bandwidth. Remember, each live stream will also need to be individually started and stopped.

Advanced Settings
Select the Advanced Settings tab.
  • Live chat and responses: Moderate live chat. Viewers are limited to a maximum of 3 comments every 30 seconds and cannot post special characters, URLs or HTML tags. The comment module does not follow embedded players.
  • Distribution Options: Enable or disable embedding and subscriber notifications.
  • Recording: Archives beyond 8 hours may not be captured. We recommend recording a local archive as a backup. Keep in mind YouTube Video Editor only allows editing of videos 3 hours or less.
  • DVR: Pause or rewind the event and return to live. The DVR will display the most recent 4 hours at 30fps, or 2 hours at 60fps at low latency.
  • Broadcast Delay: Introduce a 30s or 60s broadcast delay to the public stream. Even with no delay, you should expect the preview player to be up to 15 seconds behind the live feed.
  • Promote your event to all of your fans using featured content.
Monetization and claimed content
Select the Monetization tab.
  • Claim this video: Apply Track, Block or Monetize policy.
  • Monetization: Enable ads to serve pre-rolls and mid-roll ad cues when manually inserted.
  • Click the blue Create Event button to load the Ingestion Settings tab.

Currently mobile , Chromecast and game console devices are live-capable.
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