YouTube Live is an easy way to reach your community in real time. Whether you’re streaming an event, teaching a class, or hosting a workshop, YouTube has tools that will help you manage your stream and interact with viewers in real time.

Plan ahead for your first live stream. Enabling a live stream for the first time may take up to 24 hours. Once enabled, your stream can instantly go live.

You can live stream on YouTube via webcam, mobile, and encoder streaming. Webcam and mobile are considered great options for beginners and allow you to go live quickly. While encoder streaming is ideal for more advanced live streams.

There are a few ways you can live stream on YouTube:

Webcam: Live streaming via webcam is an easy way to go live without the need for an encoder. Start streaming from your laptop/desktop computer using your webcam. Anyone with a YouTube channel can livestream from webcam. Learn more.
You’ll need 1,000 subscribers, and a phone or tablet with a camera.

Webcam is an easy way to go live using your computer, without the need for live streaming encoding software.

Quickly live stream from your computer using a webcam.

You’ll need a computer with a webcam.

  • Ensure that you’ve enabled your channel for live streaming. Webcam is compatible with Chrome 60+ and Firefox 53+.
  • Click the upload icon in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Click Go Live.
  • From the left, select Webcam.
  • Enter a title and description, and select a privacy setting. You can also schedule your live stream for a later date.
  • Click More options > Advanced Settings for more settings.
  • Click Save. Your camera will then take a thumbnail.
  • Click Go Live.

When you’re done streaming, click End Stream at the bottom. All streams under 12 hours will be automatically archived.

Mobile: Streaming on mobile lets you stream from the YouTube app. YouTube Live is available on Android 5.0+ and iOS 8+. To be able to live stream on mobile, your channel will need to have at least 1,000 subscribers. Learn more.

  • Create & schedule a mobile live stream
  • On your phone or tablet, open the YouTube app.
  • From the top right, tap Capture and then Go live.
  • If this is your first mobile live stream: Enabling your first live stream may take up to 24 hours. Once enabled, you can live stream instantly.
  • Follow the prompts to create a live stream.
  • To schedule for later, tap More options.
  • To set options for live chat, age restriction, monetization, and more, tap More options and then Show more. Then tap Next.
  • To stream your phone’s screen, tap Create a channel and then Share screen.
  • Tap Go live.
  • To end your stream, click Finish. An archive of the stream will be created on your channel, and you can edit the privacy setting or delete the archive.
  • Start a scheduled mobile live stream
  • On your phone or tablet, open the YouTube app.
  • Tap capture and then Go live.
  • Tap Calendar and then Select your live stream. Note: You can delete scheduled live streams by pressing the delete button.
  • Tap Go live.

Encoder streaming: Encoders allow you to capture content, including your desktop, camera, microphone, and more, and send it to YouTube Live to be streamed to your audience. Learn more.

Encoders let you stream gameplay, overlays, and use hardware like preamps, mics, and cameras. This type of stream is commonly used for gaming, sporting events, concerts, and conferences.

1. Enable live streaming

Enabling a live stream for the first time may take up to 24 hours. Once enabled, your stream can go live instantly. Learn how to enable live streaming.

2. Install an encoder

An encoder converts your content into a digital format to stream on YouTube. Some encoders are software applications on your computer, while others are stand-alone hardware.

Here’s a list of YouTube Live verified encoders. None of these products are made by YouTube. Make sure to evaluate the products and decide which option makes the most sense for you or your business

3. Connect your hardware

If you’re using additional hardware, like a webcam, a microphone, or a headset, connect them and make sure they’re set up with your encoder.

Depending on your stream, you may use different hardware. Here are some typical examples:

Gaming & casual live events
Many streamers use an external microphone, webcam, and headphones. Gamers may also use other tools like a greenscreen.

Professional live streams
Advanced stream setups can include multiple microphones and cameras, mixers, and hardware encoders.

4. Connect your encoder and go live

To start streaming, enter your YouTube Live server URL and stream key into your encoder. If you have audio and video hardware, set it up with your encoder.

First, create an encoder stream

  1. Go to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the top right, click Go Live   to open Live Control Room.
  3. From the “Stream” tab, click New stream, or if you have a previous stream you’d like to copy, choose it from the drop down and then click Reuse settings.
  4. Edit your stream and click Save.
  5. If you’re in the YouTube Partner Program, you can monetize your live stream. Learn more.

Next, connect your stream to your encoder, and then go live

  1. In your encoder stream settings, if you see the option to stream to YouTube, select that. Otherwise copy the stream URL from YouTube and paste it in to your encoder’s Stream settings server. This may say RTMP server.
  2. Copy the stream key from YouTube and paste it into your encoder’s Stream settings where it says Stream Key.
  3. Set up your encoder, then start the stream.
  4. In Live Control Room, wait for the stream preview to show up, and then click Go live.
  5. To end the stream, click End Stream and stop sending content from your encoder. All streams under 12 hours will be automatically archived. You can access previous, current, and upcoming streams in the Live Tab on your YouTube Studio dashboard. Learn more.

When your stream is live, you can interact with your audience using live chat, and share the link to your live stream across social media platforms using YouTube’s SHARE tool. Be sure to use the YT Live chat tools and have moderators available as best fit your resources. All streams under 12 hours will be automatically archived. You can access previous, current, and upcoming streams in the Live Tab on your YouTube Studio dashboard.


From the YouTube platform, you can also embed YouTube live streaming into your WordPress site or by using the YouTube Pro plugin for WordPress.

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