Get ready to live stream on YouTube
Get set! Once your pre-production is set, see which type of live stream production option is right for you and get tips on how to make your production a success.
Explore options for going live
You can go live anywhere at any time from your mobile device, or you can host a live stream from your desktop in two ways: Stream now and Events. Use this chart to help you see which format and setup is best for you.
Desktop - Stream now
Desktop - Events
Great for Streaming on-the-go
Reproducible live streams that require a one-time setup
Highly customizable live streams setup
(Often used for one-off events, broadcast and concerts.)
Programming format Quick and easy Produced Tentpole Complexity of setup Low Medium/High High
Minimum equipment required*
- Mobile device with a camera
- Internet connection
- Laptop with webcam
- Streaming software (learn more)
- Streaming software
- Go live with one click on your mobile device’s camera.
- Stream anywhere with your mobile device.
- Capture must-see, impromptu events.
- Go live with just a few clicks.
- Streamline your workflow by setting up your live stream once and go live again without making any changes.
- Add “/live” to the end of the channel URL to easily share your live stream (i.e. www.youtube.com/user/creatoracademy/live)
- Go live with a customized output.
- Bring an immersive live experience with 360-degree cameras, multi-cam, and specialized hardware. Schedule multiple live streams in advance and notify your audience when they should tune in.
*You can always add more audio and video sources.
See it in action
Stream now: League of Legends Live EsportsLeague of Legends posts full matches live and as VOD during their biggest competitions. This has been a great way to bring in viewers for eSports leagues and gaming publishers. (Video in English)
Events: The Miracle of LiveAnimal Adventure, an educational animal park in New York, live streamed April's pregnancy and created a social media sensation with fans all over the world tuning in regularly to check on her progress. As the anticipation and audience grew leading up to the big moment, Animal Adventure Park became the second most live-viewed channel in the history of YouTube despite launching just 66 days before.
Events: CoachellaYouTube brings you the exclusive Coachella live stream with select acts also available in Live 360. Music fans from around the world can tune-in to Coachella's YouTube channel from April 14-16, on any screen (desktop, mobile and living room). You can choose from three always-on channels as well as a Live 360 Mode that will appear for select performances.
Make your production a success
Once you have the necessary equipment, test your audio and visuals using an unlisted video to make the most of your setup and so your live stream is smooth.
Frame the shot. Keep your frame interesting by moving around. Use a tripod, selfie stick, or weighted accessories to avoid camera shake and be careful to not block the lens with your finger! Test and optimize the audio. Find a location with low background noise and watch out for wind, traffic, and other background noises that can interfere with sound quality. Adding the right microphones/ accessories can help improve your audio.
Check the signal and test internet speed. The best quality streams come with a strong WiFi signal.
For desktop, it’s recommended to use an Ethernet cable connection.
Then - rehearse! Test the network ahead of time to make sure it can handle your stream and to be ready for any potential technical or visual issues. Practice makes (almost) perfect.
For a mobile live stream, here are a few additional considerations:
Mobile live is as easy as 1-2-3:
- Check that you have a good connection and try to stay in areas with a strong signal so your live stream doesn’t cut out. The connection uses 10MB of data per 1 minute of stream.
- Make sure your battery is charged. A good rule of thumb is 1% phone battery is used per one minute of stream. External battery packs can come in handy.
- Turn on your “do not disturb” setting so your stream isn’t interrupted by a phone call.
- Avoid camera shake by using accessories to stabilize the camera.
- Shoot in a quiet area or minimize background noise with microphones.
- Use WiFi (on mobile) and Ethernet (on desktop) for the strongest signal.
- Practice before you go live!
- Download PDF.