How to Live Stream on YouTube for Beginners
Tons of people are interested in getting into streaming these days. This is great, because anyone with an internet connection can broadcast their feeds and try to gain audience. Of course, you need to set up a flow first and be ready to go. Here is a beginner’s guide to streaming on YouTube.
Enable live streaming
After creating a YouTube channel that you want to stream to, you initially won’t be able to stream. Click on Go Live on YouTube, and you will be taken to the criteria that must be set to allow it. First, you’ll need to verify your phone number, turn on live streaming, and wait 24 hours for YouTube to process the changes. If you want to stream from your phone, you will need at least 50 subscribers. You should be eligible to start streaming the next day if all of that has been done.
If you want to stream games from PC, we recommend using OBS. It’s free and relatively easy to learn after playing around with it a bit.
Set up a scene
First of all, you need a scene. This will be the general channel for what goes into your feed. Name it something like “Console” or “Webcam only”. Something that describes how you will use it. Once you have a few scenes, go to Sources and hit the plus button to add a source. These are the items in your feed that are displayed during the feed. If you are playing a game on your PC, select Window Capture and you can choose which window will be entered in this scene.
Enter a name and find the source, then resize it to match the correct size in your feed. If you want to place webcam images there, add another source, choose Video Capture Device, and find your connected webcam. If you’re playing through a console, you’ll need a capture device like an Elgato and select that here as the source as well.
When you have OBS editing your footage, be sure to add an audio source as well. For any sound from a windowed game, select Capture Audio Out and choose your PC speakers or headphones. Anything that is currently outputting audio will go into your feed.
If you have a microphone to set up to talk to your watchers, choose Audio Input Capture and search for your device.
Once you’ve inserted a few audio sources, don’t forget to pay attention to the audio mixer to make sure the audio goes through and is at the correct levels. If you ever want to hide a source in your feed, just click the eye icon so you don’t have to go back and add it again later.
Configure the flow
Now that you’ve got your scene and sources ready, it’s time to start setting up the actual flow. In OBS, select File, Settings and go to Feeds. Since we broadcast on YouTube, please select YouTube – RTMP as a service. You can now log in and connect your account to OBS to broadcast on your channel. After that, part of OBS will now show your YouTube chat when you go live. If you do not connect your account, you will need to enter your feed code which we will get from YouTube. We’re almost ready to go.
Open YouTube and sign in to your account in a web browser. At the top right, click the Create button and get started. You are now on the feed management page. The top of the middle will be your basic feed information (title, description, etc.), and below are the more crucial feed parameters. On the left, you can switch between streaming from a software encoder (i.e. OBS for us), webcam, or schedule a future stream.
First, we want to define the title and description for your feed. Scroll down to set your feed category, tile, and other important info.
Once that’s set, look at the stream settings. You will see a line filled with hidden characters. This is your flow key. Make sure no one else has access to it. If anyone does, be sure to reset it here. Copy this entry and enter it in OBS if you haven’t connected your YouTube account.
Under your feed key is the URL to post to your social media accounts to promote your feed and the latency settings below. You can change it to low or ultra-low if you have a really good internet connection, but we recommend that you leave this setting alone.
Now that everything is configured, you can click on Start Streaming in OBS. Just in case, keep your YouTube browser window open so you can check the health of the stream and its overall appearance.
Keep in mind that you will find things that you go wrong with during the broadcast that you want to adjust. If you have to, take some notes and play around with OBS to find the settings and scenes you like best for your stream.
Finding an audience on YouTube is very difficult. Don’t be discouraged if you go for a while and no one intervenes. Remember to always be polite to your observers. Welcome them to the feed and thank them for watching or subscribing. Tell them a bit about yourself to give them a reason to interact with you. Just keep streaming your favorite content and eventually someone will notice and you can make a friend or two along the way.