YouTube Live is an excellent platform for businesses, gamers, and social streamers alike. The problem is that starting a YouTube live stream isn’t exactly easy. If you’re not sure how to live stream on YouTube, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll show you how to stream live to YouTube in 2022 using a web browser, mobile device, streaming software, or hardware encoder.
Looking for the perfect system for streaming to YouTube? Check out our blog about the best YouTube live stream encoder.
How to enable live streaming on YouTube
Live streaming is disabled by default on new YouTube channels. To enable live streaming on YouTube:
Verify your YouTube account. It’s a simple process. Select your country, preferred shipping method for verification code and enter your phone number. Enter the 6-digit verification code when you receive it. Verified!
Enable live streaming from the channel features page (under Features Requiring Phone Verification).
Please allow up to 24 hours (maybe less) for live streaming to activate on your account.
As long as there are no live streaming restrictions on your channel, you can now stream live to YouTube using a web browser or streaming encoder. If you want to use a mobile device to live stream, there’s an additional hurdle: your channel must have at least 50 subscribers.
Four ways to live stream on YouTube
You can stream live on YouTube via:
Which way makes the most sense depends on your goals. Web or mobile will likely suffice for the average social streamer, while gamers should opt for streaming software. Consider a hardware encoder if you’re live streaming for your business or want to make a career out of live streaming. (Businesses should also look at subscription-based live streaming platforms for access to advanced monetization, analytics, and lead generation features.)
The easiest way to live stream on YouTube is directly from your web browser with a built-in or external USB webcam. (Be sure to check out our recommendations for the best webcam for live streaming.)
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A webcam could meet your needs if you just want to share your thoughts and interact with your audience in real-time. It is also possible to live stream through your browser using a high-end camera such as a digital camcorder or DSLR. To do this, you need a USB capture card to bring the video signal into your computer. Then YouTube can recognize the camera as if it were a plug and play webcam.
Once you’re done with a camera, you can live stream to YouTube from your web browser:
Sign in to your YouTube account and click the “Create a video or post” button in the top right corner of the screen.
Select Go Live from the drop down menu.
Choose to go live now or at a later date.
Select “Integrated webcam” as the stream type.
If prompted, grant YouTube and your browser any necessary permissions for live streaming (e.g. camera, microphone).
Edit the details of your event (title, description, category, thumbnail, etc.), configure the interaction features to your liking, and choose a visibility option (public, unlisted, or private). If you’d rather stream later than now, select a date and time to start your stream.
Look at your stream settings and make sure the correct webcam and microphone are selected.
Click Go Live.
That’s it. Remember to press “End Stream” when you’re done. YouTube automatically uploads an on-demand version of the live stream to your channel for viewers who missed it to watch. You can view and manage all of your scheduled and past live streams on the Live tab under Content in YouTube Studio.
How to stream live on YouTube: Mobile
Mobile live streaming is ideal for spontaneous audience engagements and dynamic events where freedom of movement is key. Unfortunately, you need to be somewhat established to do so. Only YouTube channels with at least 50 subscribers can stream live on mobile.
Also note that YouTube may throttle the number of viewers of your mobile live streams unless you have at least 1,000 subscribers. And the recordings of all mobile streams you publish are set to private by default. These terms will disappear once you reach the 1,000 subscriber milestone.
Once you hit the subscription threshold, live streaming to YouTube on mobile is pretty easy:
Download the YouTube app from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).
Open the app and press the plus icon in the middle of the bottom menu.
Select “Go Live”.
Grant all the permissions YouTube needs for live streaming (camera, microphone, photos, storage).
Use the camera icon in the top right to switch between your device’s front and rear cameras.
Set a title for your stream, configure privacy settings, limit your audience, etc.
If you don’t want to stream now, press More Options and schedule a time for your live stream.
Enter “Advanced Settings” to toggle live chat, monetization (if eligible), and more.
Press “Next” and take a photo for your live stream thumbnail or upload an existing one from your phone’s storage.
Choose to stream in landscape (rotate your device) or portrait (select “Stream in portrait” below) to go live.
Now you are ready for untethered live streaming. When you’re done, click Finish, then click OK to end the stream. A recording of your live stream will then appear on your channel. You can access and manage these and other recordings from the My Videos page under the Library tab.