What is Youtube Live?

Youtube Live is a streaming platform built by Youtube – and so ultimately Google – where people from all around the world can broadcast how they execute various activities, going from live streaming events to gaming. 

What is Youtube?

Youtube is a free video-sharing service where people can watch, share, comment, and upload their videos for other people. The website can be accessed on different devices, namely mobile phones, PCs, tablets, and laptops. In addition to the website, Youtube also has an application for mobile devices.

What is Youtube Live?

Youtube Live is an extension on Youtube where you can broadcast live, to create an interactive and engaging experience with your audience. In other words; you can meet your fans and followers by using the live streaming feature. 

This livestream function was first used during major events (Royal wedding in 2011, Obama’s speeches,..) but nowadays its available for everyone making the content more accessible and varied.

Exclusive streamers

Just like other live streaming platforms, Youtube made some exclusive deals with popular streamers, meaning that they can only live stream on their platform. One of these exclusive deals is with ‘Typical Gamer’: He started his Youtube career in 2008, attracted over 9 million subscribers and still creates content around games like Minecraft, GTA 5, and Red Dead Redemption.

Recently Youtube also signed 3 other popular streamers: Valkyrae, Lazarbeam, and Muselk. These gamers – who used to livestream for years on Twitch – will now move to Youtube Live. During the past few years, they collectively collected over 21 million subscribers on twitch. 

How do you stream on Youtube Live?

Before you can start streaming on Youtube’s Live Streaming platform you’ll need to verify your Youtube account and have no restrictions linked to your account in the past 90 days.

If your account meets these basic conditions, you can just start streaming by clicking on the ‘go live’ buttons.

There are different ways of streaming on Youtube Live: 

  1. Mobile phone. This is great for vlogging and quick updates. Vlogging is like informing your audience of your activities throughout the day. To be able to stream from your mobile phone you’ll need at least 1000 subscribers.
  2. Computer. You could also stream from your computer using a webcam. This is great for tutorials and demonstrations.
  3. Gameplay – The encoder option. Via this option you can add overlays, mics, and many more while streaming gameplay. This is mainly used for streaming games, sporting events and concerts. 

What’s the difference with Twitch?

Twitch has always been the undisputed number one of online video streaming. When starting a new streaming platform, it’s difficult to differ from Twitch. With Youtube Live, Youtube has done its best to vary from Twitch. Below we discuss some remarkable differences.

How do viewers discover your content?

When you’re putting so much effort in live streaming, your goal will be to attract an audience. There’s a difference between getting views on Youtube Live and Twitch, so we decided to list them:

Browsing Channels

It’s easier to be found on Youtube Live, because the algorithm on the platform has more data to work with. It will suggest live streams based on the subscribers you have, and the video’s you find interesting. 

On Twitch, viewers mostly stumble upon channels by browsing games. Most users go for channels with a lot of viewers, making it difficult to attract viewers when you’re getting started on Twitch.


Youtube Live you the option to set a self-chosen thumbnail to attract viewers whereas on Twitch there isn’t an option to create your thumbnail. 

What is being streamed?

Youtube Live is a lot more flexible in terms of content than Twitch. While you can stream pretty much everything on Youtube Live, Twitch is focused on gaming content only.

How to monetize on Youtube Live

As a starting streamer on Youtube Live, you might probably ask yourself how you might be able to make money in the future as a streamer. Youtube Live has a few different ways to make you money. 

  • Super chat: A built-in donation system where Youtube takes 30% of the cut for most donations
  • Membership: based on the same principle as subscribers on Twitch. Someone pays $4.99/ month to enjoy additional benefits or just to support you as a streamer. Youtube also charges a 30% fee on this on the memberships.
  • Ads: You can turn on ads if your video meets the guidelines of Youtube. There are different kinds of ads: Overlay ads, Sponsored ads, skippable and non-skippable ads. You could easily choose where to add these advertisements  (at the beginning of the video, during or at the end of the video).Ads give the streamer on average 18$ per 1.000 views.
  • Influencer marketing: Many brands are using influencer marketing to promote their products but what does it mean? Brands offer money or goods to streamers who have a quite a lot of followers/subscribers to promote their products.

Is Youtube Live broadcasting esports events?

Yes, Youtube has recently announced a partnership with Video game publisher Activision Blizzard to be their exclusive streaming partner for all the esports titles including the Call of Duty League Modern Warfare, the Overwatch League, and Hearthstone esports.

We expect a big boost in the form of viewers, since Overwatch League counted 313,000 global viewers on average per minute on Twitch in 2019 while the Call of Duty League also saw high numbers, with 2.7 million hours watched on Twitch in the same year.

Get started on Youtube Live

Before you start streaming on Youtube live, It might be handy to take a couple of minutes to read through these tips that will help you make a better streamer in the future.

  1. Choose a good time to start streaming: 

Start your stream when most of your audience is active on the platform and also check your analytics to see when you get the most views on your videos.

  1. Improve your setup:

Make sure your setup is good to go before you start broadcasting. Is the lighting alright? Is your audio intelligible? Test your connection and make sure there is nothing inappropriate in the backdrop.

  1. Prepare your stream

What do you hope to get from going live? Choose an appropriate title for your stream and add a nice thumbnail. Add call to actions to your stream: decide what you want your viewers to do during or after the stream.

  1. Promote the stream

Make a short video on Youtube that announces your stream and what it will be about, Announce it on your social media

  1. Engage with your audience

Last but not least, engage with your audience. These are a couple of steps you could take to convince your audience to keep watching your streams.

  • Convince people to join your stream
  • Build anticipation with your viewers: Give viewers a reason to watch till the end.
  • Enable the chat and Interact with your audience
  • Shout out names