6 Point Guide To Live Broadcasting On YouTube

Youtube-broadcasting-liveBy Matt Schlicht of Hipset Network.

You may have been uploading videos to YouTube for years – hell you may even have been able to build up a decent fan base. You know the tips, the best practices, the best camera angles, how the audio equipment works, how to promote your videos, how to respond to the comments. That’s great.

Live broadcasting is completely different. 

YouTube just gave the ability to live broadcast to every channel with over 1,000 subscribers. If you have a channel that falls into this category, I recommend you study up a bit on how to produce and promote a quality live broadcast. Luckily, I am an expert in live video, I was on the founding team of Ustream, the largest live video site, and helped produce countless successful live broadcasts for The White House, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and many more. I can walk you through the basics of how to produce a successful live broadcast on YouTube (and don’t worry, if you have any questions that I didn’t answer here just click here to tweet your question at me!).

1. How to enable live broadcasting on your YouTube channel.

The first thing you are going to need to do is enable live broadcasting on your YouTube channel – remember, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers to be eligible.

To enable live broadcasting go to your channel settings and click “Enable” next to “Live Events”.

2. How to create a live broadcast on your YouTube channel.

Now that your channel has live broadcasting enabled let’s create your first live event! To start, go to your live events. Click “New live event” in the top right corner of the page.

You will now have the ability to fill in your event’s title, description, tags, start and end time of the broadcast, and what category your broadcast falls under. Make sure that your title, tags, and description are very specific and related to the type of content you will be presenting during your live broadcast.

Click “Event Settings” to make sure your live broadcast is recorded, set the delay on your broadcast (No delay, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds), and click the “Promote through InVideo Programming” box so that YouTube promotes your live broadcast across the site.

To turn ads on your broadcast click “Claiming Options” at the top of the page and check the “Claim this video” box.

Click “Advanced Settings” at the top of the page to turn comments on and off, allow ratings, allow video responses, and turn the ability to embed the live broadcast on and off.

When the settings of your live broadcast are to your liking click “Create Event” in the top right of the page to create the live event.

YouTube will now ask you to upload a thumbnail for your live broadcast and to define the quality (“bitrate”) of your live video broadcast. For the thumbnail make sure to upload something that very clearly depicts the type of content you will be broadcasting (this thumbnail will appear across YouTube and on embeds of your live broadcast before viewers press play). For the bitrate choose something that your internet upload speed will support (use low bitrates for slow internet connections and larger bitrates for fast internet connections).

3. How to broadcast to YouTube and which programs to download.

Broadcasting live on YouTube requires additional software that you will need to download. I recommend downloading Wirecast.

Once you have downloaded Wirecast open it, click the broadcast icon in the top left corner, and login with your YouTube channel name and password. After logging in click “Connect to YouTube” near the top and select your live event from the menu. Change the settings to your liking and start the encoder.

Now, go to your Live Control Room and click “Preview Stream”. If the stream looks good then click “Start Streaming” to go live. Now you are live! Go watch the event from the event page so you can see what your viewers are saying.

When you are done broadcasting live click “End Broadcast”. Now you’re done, you just broadcasted live on YouTube! If you chose to record your broadcast then the recording will now appear in your videos.

4. How to promote your live broadcast.

When you record a video and put it on YouTube your fans can watch that video at any time. There is no urgency for them to watch the video right when you upload it. Live broadcasts are different. You need to promote your broadcast in such a way that your fans all come to watch while you are live – all at one time.

Here are a couple tips on promoting your live broadcast:

• Whenever possible you should promote your broadcast to your fans days before you go live. Tell them what day and at what time you will be broadcasting. This way they can put it into their schedule or at least remember that you will be going live soon.

• Always go live on the same day at the same time. This way viewers will become accustomed to watching your broadcast at the same time every week.

• Promote your broadcast an hour before you go live, five minutes before you go live, right when you go live, and while you are live.

• Create a YouTube video announcing that you will be going live soon.

• If you will be discussing a specific subject during your live broadcast then go contact blogs that cover that topic. The better your content the more related blogs will embed your live broadcast.

• When you are live tell your viewers to invite their friends to come watch.

5. What type of content is best for a live broadcast.

There are two types of live broadcasts, the scheduled ones and the spontaneous ones.

You should do scheduled broadcasts whenever you know in advance that you will have something new to show your audience. This could be debuting a new music video, doing a Q&A, making a big announcement, or live broadcasting a performance. The more unique and exclusive the content the more your fans are going to be dying to be one of the viewers that gets to watch it live and chat with you while it’s happening. Scheduled broadcasts almost always get more viewers because they were promoted more.

Do spontaneous broadcasts whenever something exciting happens. Your fans will love this. No longer do you need to record a video of the excitement and then show your fans – now you can live broadcast the excitement so that your fans are right there with you experiencing it as you experience it.

6. How to interact with fans while you are doing a live broadcast.

While you are live you need to keep in mind that people can see and hear what you are showing them on the screen in real time. Your viewers also have the ability to communicate with you via the YouTube live commenting system. What makes a live broadcast so unique is that you can communicate and interact in real time with the viewers watching you. Someone watching asked you a question? You can answer them immediately. Someone watching asked you to do something on the broadcast? You can do it. This is not a recorded video where you are the only one in control of what happens – this is a live broadcast where the experience is created by both you, the broadcaster, and the viewers.

Here are some tips on interacting with your audience while you are broadcasting live:

• Look at the chat room on the video page and answer the questions as your fans post them.

• When responding to a viewer make sure to call out their username. They love this.

• Encourage your viewers to talk in the chatroom and ask you questions.

• Ask your fans questions! Should you take your camera and go talk to that guy standing nearby? Should you release another new song right now? Ask your viewers!

• Tell your viewers to go share your broadcast on Twitter and Facebook.

• Tell your viewers to subscribe to you so that they don’t miss out on your next live broadcast.

• Tell your viewers to go share your newest piece of content. This could be a new song, a new video, anything!

That’s it! Those are the basics to doing a successful live broadcast on YouTube. If you have any additional questions tweet at us, if you think you have what it takes to partner with us and join our YouTube Network, apply here.

Have fun broadcasting!


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  1. The YouTube live broadcast is ok, but check out Gigee.me if you want to stream your concert & make 80% of ticket sales.

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