If you’ve decided you want to become a streamer or a content creator, you may be sizing up the various platforms that are available. For the most part, streamers these days tend to be pulled towards Twitch – at least initially. However, YouTube has seen a surge in streaming popularity in recent years, with some top-tier content creators making their way to the platform. With this guide, we’ll teach you how to live stream on YouTube, just in case you also want to use the site for your broadcasts.
It may have taken YouTube quite a well to take advantage of the growth of the streaming space, but it’s making up for lost ground. In the last year or two, some of the world’s biggest content creators have migrated away from Twitch, heading to YouTube and taking their audience with them. There are several advantages – and disadvantages – to streaming on YouTube, but it’s a development platform with a bright future in store.
So, if you’re eager to learn how to live stream on YouTube, read on – you won’t be disappointed.
Is YouTube a Good Platform for Streaming
It’s a tough journey, learning how to become a streamer. There are many milestones to achieve and many hurdles to overcome, and ultimately, it can be a disillusioning, troublesome path. For most content creators, becoming a top-tier streamer is, unfortunately, a pipe dream. It’s an aspirational thing that will never be achieved, even if the creator puts in hours a day and thousands of dollars in investments.
That’s just the nature of the industry – it’s oversaturated, the competition is unreal, and there’s a serious lack of originality. However, with that being said, there are many things that you can do to become as successful a streamer as possible. It helps if you’re naturally charismatic, funny, or talented, of course – but it’s not absolutely necessary to tick those boxes. Fortunately, choosing the right streaming platform makes a huge difference in the delivery of your end goal.
With that in mind, let’s look at YouTube and ponder for a moment if it’s a good platform for streaming. Let’s say you’ve invested several thousand dollars in a world-class streaming setup and you’re ready to go live, but you’re not sure if YouTube is the right platform for you. Here are some key pieces of information about the platform:
- YouTube has hundreds of millions (if not billions) of users, making for a massive potential audience.
- There’s a two-fold approach to streaming on YouTube, and that involves having the ability to turn a stream into an accessible VOD.
- Once YouTube Partner is achieved, streamers can earn money through the platform.
- Streaming on YouTube is relatively simple and accessible, so it’s welcoming to new streamers.
Can You Make Money Streaming on YouTube?
If there’s one reason people start streaming, it’s to make money. Sure, they might want to share their passion with the world or show people how talented they are, but at the end of the day, it almost always comes down to wanting to build a profile and earn money. That’s why people invest so much time, effort, and money in becoming the most subbed Twitch streamer or the most followed YouTuber, for example.
If you’re not earning anything back on your investment, then what’s the point? That’s how some content creators think, at least.
So, can you make money streaming on YouTube? Absolutely – and it’s not all that difficult. Here are the core ways that you can make money using YouTube streams:
- Ad Revenue: This is how creators have made money on YouTube for years, and it’s what it sounds like. If you run ads during your stream, you’ll earn a little money.
- Donations: If you’re a good enough streamer, your viewers will reward you with donations and tips when you’re streaming.
- Super Chat: In Super Chat, fans and viewers can purchase benefits, such as ‘sticky messages’ that linger at the top of the chat for a period of time, ensuring they’re more likely to be noticed by a busy streamer, for example.
- Paid Subscribers: Let’s say you’re a really good streamer – fans will want to subscribe to your content, paying a monthly subscription to unlock various channel benefits.
- Sponsorships: This comes much later on in your journey, but if you’re scoring thousands of followers and producing consistent content, brands will pay you to represent their products.
As time goes on, you’ll likely earn some of these things naturally and organically, but other things, like sponsorships, will require a lot more work. It’s essentially becoming a job at this point, and you’ll need to be signing contracts, endorsing products, and marketing yourself much better to prospective brands. It can get very busy, very fast, and many creators quickly learn that earning money from streaming is a troublesome thing, even if it does feel awesome.
How to Live Stream on YouTube
So, that brings us to the core of our guide – this is where we learn how to live stream on YouTube.
Before we talk about the logistics of actually streaming on YouTube, let’s make sure you’ve got the right equipment. It’s so important to assemble your streaming setup before you actually start streaming, otherwise, you’ll be on a back foot and forever playing catch-up. Here’s what you’ll need ahead of time:
- One of the best pieces of live-streaming software
- Some type of device to stream from
That’s a basic enough assortment of items to hit the ground running.
Now, as you can probably imagine, learning how to live stream on YouTube begins with actually creating an account on the platform. This is as simple as navigating to the site and clicking ‘sign up‘, then filling out the sign-up form and customising your profile. Before you can stream, you’ll need to verify your account and ensure that you’re in good standing with YouTube, if you’re going to use an existing account for your streams.
Fortunately, YouTube will prompt you to verify your account the very first time you try to go live – if you haven’t already, that is. There’s a cooling-off period that lasts around twenty-four hours before you can stream, so bear that in mind.
That’s essentially it – you’re ready, at the most basic level, to start streaming on YouTube.
Streaming on YouTube For the First Time
If you’ve made your account and collected your equipment, you’re almost ready to stream on YouTube… Almost.
Before you can hit the big-time, you’ll need to determine what live streaming software you’re going to use to broadcast your stream. This is a desktop app (used on a laptop or a PC) that will encode your stream, upload it, and send it across the airwaves to YouTube for your viewers to enjoy. It’s also what you’ll use to assemble your stream, incorporating cameras, microphones, overlays, graphics, and sounds.
Now, we’d recommend using one of the following if you’re learning how to live stream on YouTube for the first time:
- Streamlabs: free-to-use and powerful but needs a more resilient PC or laptop.
- OBS Studio: also free to use but less powerful and needs less hardware to run.
Ultimately, they’re both free and quite easy to use, but Streamlabs is the more powerful solution, boasting more integrations and features. Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll need to download and install the software, link it to your YouTube account, and arrange your equipment. When you want to stream for the first time, it’s as simple as entering a stream title and a little associated information, and then that’s it – you’re away!
Read Also: Streamlabs OBS vs OBS Studio
How to Become a Good YouTube Streamer
Okay, so you can become a YouTube streamer, sure – but there are lots more steps involved if you want to become a GOOD YouTube streamer. It’s not as simple as just sitting in front of a camera and playing a game, you’ll need to work hard and invest time, money, and effort if you want to grow on YouTube. We’ve taught you how to live stream on YouTube, but now we go one step beyond that.
Firstly, it begins with you as a streamer. If you want to have the longest streams or the most followers, you’ll need to work at it, and that means getting serious about the content you produce and how, when, and why you produce it. It’s important to be original, thoughtful, and genuine, and if that means creating a persona that you adopt when streaming, then so be it. In a way, it’s acting – there are lights, cameras, and a microphone, so soak up the role and get stuck in with pride.
It’s important to build a community when streaming, and that means talking to as many viewers as possible. Even streamers with millions of followers will engage with their chat, and if you’re not ticking that box, then don’t expect viewers to hang around. It’s about creating a stimulating environment, generating conversation and making a connection with your viewers, and ultimately, your followers.
Take it offline, too – create a Discord server that your fans and viewers can join and engage with you outside of the stream. It’s also a great streaming tip to diversify your content, uploading short-form videos, long-form videos, and yes, streams, all to YouTube. If you can create entertaining, original content, then you’re halfway there – some small streamers struggle massively with the creativity portion of being a… You know, Creator.
Read Also: How to stream YouTube on Discord
So, Are You Going to Give it a Go?
There’s nothing holding you back, as streaming on YouTube is free – it’s just your streaming setup that requires a little investment. If you want to become the next biggest content creator or the best Call of Duty streamer, then consider making a YouTube account and getting stuck in. It’s not like you’re the first – you’ll be joining the likes of TimTheTatman and Dr Disrespect, some of the biggest names in the business, and you’ll all be working on your streaming journey together.
We hope that this guide to learning how to live stream on YouTube has been something of a help to you. Be sure to check out our streaming tips guides on Esports.net for all the information you need to become a top-tier streamer or content creator.