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Create a live stream

You have three options to start live streaming on YouTube: Stream now, Events and on mobile.

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 that all of your fans can enjoy your stream no matter the quality of their Internet connection.

To go live instantly:

  1. Download and set up 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 so that 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, tick 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 for up to 12 hours and make it available in the Video Manager. We recommend recording a local archive as a backup. Please bear in mind that YouTube Video Editor features aren't currently available for videos longer than 1 hour.

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. Select 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 that 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 three 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 that 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 30 seconds behind the live feed.
  • Promote your event to all of your fans using featured content.
Monetisation and claimed content
Select the Monetisation tab.
  • Claim this video: Apply Track, Block or Monetise policy.
  • Monetisation: 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 games console devices are live-capable.


YouTube live is available on Android 6.0+.

You can now live stream from the main YouTube app on mobile. After a mobile live stream ends, an archive of the stream is created on your channel and you have the option to edit the privacy setting (including setting it to private) or delete the archive.

Requirements for YouTube Live

Confirm that your channel is verified and that you have no live stream restrictions in the last 90 days.

Note: For YouTube live on mobile, your channels must have over 1,000 subscribers.

Enable YouTube Live for the first time

  1. Download the latest version of the YouTube app.
  2. Select the camera button.
  3. Grant permissions for the YouTube app to access the Camera, Mic and Storage.
  4. If prompted, verify your channel.
  5. Select GO LIVE.

Note: If you do not have a channel, you will be prompted to create one after selecting Go Live.

Create a mobile live stream

  1. Select the capture button.
  2. Select GO LIVE.
  3. Create a title, then select a privacy setting.
  4. Optional: Select settings.
    • Add a description.
    • Enable or disable live chat.
    • Enable or disable age restriction for your stream.
    • Indicate whether your stream contains paid promotion and add a paid promotion disclosure.
    • Select the back arrow.
  5. Select Next to take a picture for your thumbnail. You can upload a custom thumbnail (iOS only).
  6. Optional: Stream in landscape mode.
    • Hold your device in landscape mode.
    • Make sure that your screen rotation lock is off.
  7. Optional: To share your stream, tap SHARE.
  8. Select GO LIVE.
  9. To end a stream, select FINISH, then OK. An archive of the live stream is created on your channel after the stream ends. 
  10. You can edit the privacy setting (including setting it to private) or delete the archive on the my videos page.

Live chat on mobile

Chat messages on mobile can be moderated in the same way as regular chat messages. You can assign moderators, manage spam messages, block words proactively and block users from chat or remove chat messages. Learn more about how to manage live chat.


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