Create a live stream with an encoder

These instructions are for the new Live Control Room. If you can’t follow these instructions, you may be in Creator Studio Classic.

Streaming via an encoder lets you do more with your live stream. You can broadcast your gameplay, use external audio/video hardware, involve multiple cameras, and more. If you don’t want to use an encoder, you can go live with Webcam (no additional software required).

Introducing Live Control Room - for Live Streaming

  1. Download and setup an encoder.
  2. Ensure that you’ve enabled your channel for Live streaming.
  3. Click the upload icon in the upper right hand corner .
  4. Click Go live.
    • Clicking this will take you to the Live control room, where you can set up your streams and go live.
  5. At the top, select Stream.
  6. Enter a title and description, and select a privacy setting. You can also add a custom thumbnail that represents your event, schedule your live stream for a later date, or enable monetization (if eligible). 
  7. Start your encoder. Go back to the live dashboard and wait for the preview to begin.
  8. Click Go live on the right hand side.
  9. To end the stream, click End Stream and stop sending content from your encoder. All streams under 12 hours will be automatically archived. You can access previous, current, and upcoming streams in the Live Tab on your YouTube Studio dashboard. Learn more
Note: To access and start previously scheduled live streams, select the Manage tab.
Looking for Stream Now or Events? You’ll need to go back to Creator Studio Classic. To go back to the old version of Creator Studio, go to your YouTube Studio dashboard. At the bottom, click Creator Studio Classic.

Additional features

  • Copy and create a new stream: You can easily create a new stream with the same settings as a previous stream. When using this feature, the new stream will copy all associated metadata, settings, and the stream key from the stream selected. You’ll have a chance to modify the stream after it’s created. Select your stream and click Copy and Create to get started.
  • Custom stream keys: Use the same stream key more than once and organize your streams by saving custom stream keys.
    1. From the Stream tab, create a new stream.
    2. Go to the “Stream settings” tab.
    3. Under "Select stream key," select Create new stream key.
    4. Enter a name and description, choose your bitrate, and then click Create.
    5. Your custom stream key will show up in the "Select stream key" list. Make sure to select it before going live.
  • Instant Highlight Creation: You can create quick Highlight videos to capture your favorite moments during your live stream. 
    1. After streaming for one minute or longer, the Highlight icon will show up in the top right hand corner
    2. Click the Highlight icon
    3. Drag the anchor left or right to trim the video to your liking. There’s a 30 second minimum and two hour max.
    4. Create a title, choose a privacy setting, and add a description.
    5. Click Save. Your video URL will show up in the bottom left hand corner.
    6. Head to your video manager on your YouTube Studio dashboard. Once the video is done processing, it’ll show up in your videos list under Upload.
  • One-click Ad Insertion: Quickly insert a mid-roll ad into your stream.
    • When streaming, click the Insert Ad icon in the top right hand corner to insert an ad cue into the stream.
    • While you live stream, it is important that ad breaks have a predetermined length. Only stream cleared content, or a slate during the ad break, in case ad inventory is not available.

Change live stream settings

  • Enable DVR: By enabling DVR, you can allow your viewers or rewind your live stream. This is automatically enabled.
  • 360 video: 360 degree videos help you provide an immersive viewing experience. Learn more about 360 degree videos.
  • Allow embedding: Allow viewers to embed your video to a website or blog.
  • Stream Optimizations: Stream latency is the delay between your camera capturing an event and the event being displayed to viewers. Learn more about the difference between latency settings.
  • Added delay: Adding a delay will delay your live stream being displayed to viewers by either 30 or 60 seconds.
  • Closed Captions: Enable closed captions. Learn more about captions.

Details: Here, you can enable embedding and age restriction, or disclose if the live stream contains paid promotion.

Ingestion: Here you can view and copy your stream key and stream URL. 

Monetization: If eligible, you can toggle monetization on or off.

Live Chat: Here you can enable live chat, live chat replay, slow mode, and members only chat. Learn more about live chat.

Manage your live streams
From the YouTube Studio dashboard, you can access current, upcoming, and past live streams. Here’s how:
  1. Go to YouTube Studio or
  2. Click Videos.
  3. Click the Live tab.
    • Live Now: videos that are currently live streaming.
    • Upcoming: videos that have yet to stream, but are scheduled to be at a certain time.
    • Live Replay: videos that have already live streamed.

You can also access and launch scheduled live streams in the Live Control room.

  1. At the top, select Manage.
  2. Click on the scheduled live stream you’d like to launch.
  3. Click Live Dashboard > Go Live.
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