From a live video call with a NASA astronaut to a gamer playing Minecraft in their bedroom, YouTube live streaming lets people share what’s happening in their life. But do you know how to live stream on YouTube?
In this article, we’ll show you how to live stream on YouTube using both your computer and your smartphone. Which means you too can start broadcasting live to your family, friends, and followers on YouTube.
Preparing for Your First Live Stream on YouTube
Before you can create a live stream on YouTube, you need to enable it for your channel. The procedure takes up to 24 hours, so think ahead and get your channel ready before you actually have something to stream. Once the feature is enabled, your streams will go live as soon as you create them.
Here’s what you need to do before you can dive into YouTube streaming.
1. Get Your YouTube Account Verified
You may have done this already to get the ability to upload videos longer than 15 minutes. If you haven’t yet, verifying your account is easy. All you need to do is:
- Go to YouTube’s verification page.
- Select your country and verification method (call or text).
- Enter your phone number.
- Click Submit.
- Enter the 6-digit verification code you receive by text or via an automated call.
- Hit Submit.
You’ll get a success message saying your account is now verified. That means you’re eligible to stream on YouTube, but you still need to enable live streaming. Here’s how you do that:
- Click Continue under the verification success message. This will take you to the Status and Features tab of your YouTube channel’s Creator Studio.
- Find Live streaming and click Enable.
You’ll get a confirmation screen saying that Live streaming will be enabled in 24 hours. Until then, the feature will appear On Hold.
2. Make Sure You Have No YouTube Live Stream Restrictions
YouTube broadcasting may be disabled even for a verified channel if the channel has violated YouTube guidelines in the past. Here are the restrictions that make you ineligible to stream live on YouTube:
- Your channel got 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.
In other words, if you haven’t ever been in trouble with YouTube, you should be good to go. However, if your channel has a history of getting warnings or complaints, you might be denied access to YouTube live broadcasting.
How to Live Stream on YouTube Using Your Computer
The easiest way to go live on your desktop computer is by using your webcam and browser. Just keep in mind that live streaming with a webcam is possible with Chrome version 60 or later and Firefox version 53 or later.
Once you have a compatible browser and a webcam, here’s how you create a YouTube broadcast on your computer:
- Click on the camera-shaped Upload icon in the top right corner.
- Select Go live from the dropdown menu.
- 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.
- Select the Webcam tab at the top.
- 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.
- Click More options to add a description and category for your stream, as well as select the camera and microphone it will be using.
- If you want to allow live chat, restrict the viewers’ age, or mark your video as a paid promotion, click Advanced settings.
- 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.
- When you’re ready to go, click Go live.
- Once you’re done with the stream, click End Stream and confirm you want to stop broadcasting.
After you finish live streaming, you’ll be prompted to edit the video in your Studio. It will now be available in your Studio under the Live tab.
How to Live Stream on YouTube Using Your Smartphone
First and foremost, your channel needs to have at least 1,000 subscribers for you to broadcast live on YouTube from your smartphone. If your YouTube channel meets that requirement, you can go ahead and start broadcasting.
Whether you’re using Android or iOS, here’s how to live stream on YouTube using your smartphone:
- Open the YouTube app.
- Tap on the Recording icon from the menu at the top.
- Select Live from the options.
- Give your live video a title, choose your privacy setting, and set your location.
- 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.
- 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.
- Go back to the initial settings and tap Next.
- Take a photo for the thumbnail or upload one from your phone.
- When you’re ready to stream, press Go live.
- To end your live stream, tap Finish, and then OK.
After you’re done broadcasting, the live video will be saved to your channel. You’ll be able to change the privacy settings for the live video or delete it altogether later.
If you’re a power YouTuber and want to use a USB webcam or a camera module for broadcasting on the go, you can also live stream on YouTube using a Raspberry Pi, connected to a camera of your choice.
YouTube Live Streaming Offers Endless Possibilities
From sharing your experience at a music festival to hosting an “Ask Me Anything” session with your viewers, live streaming offers endless possibilities. And it’s fun too.
If you want to take your YouTube live streams to the next level you’ll need to invest in some equipment. So here’s a list of the gear you’ll need to build a low-cost YouTube studio. You might also want to consider getting one of these top ring lights to boost the look and feel of your video instantly. If you want to explore other platforms for live streaming, start with Mixer, a YouTube and Twitch alternative from Microsoft.