Why start a gaming live stream?
Live streaming is an interactive platform that lets you engage with your audience and increase your presence on YouTube.
Go beyond the game with live streaming
Live streaming on YouTube lets gamers go live anytime, anywhere, even on mobile. You can instantly offer your audience a fresh, unedited perspective. Live streams might eliminate your time spent in post-production (although it’s easy to create a highlight reel) while sharing unique and, sometimes unexpected, moments. Bonus: The built-in chat tool lets lets fans message you for immediate, two-way conversation.
- YouTube channels that live stream on a weekly basis have seen up to a 40% increase in subscribers and up to 70% increase in watch time.
- The average watch time for a live stream is three times more than the average watch time for a ‘traditionally’-produced video-on-demand (VOD).
- Live streams increase interaction with your viewers because you’re there in real-time with them.
- Be the first to get the word out! Stream now let you broadcast with the touch of a button.
Check out these easy steps for launching a live stream. Always remember to TEST your live stream when setting it up--go live and see how it looks! For long streams, consider archiving the video on your channel or edit the highlights for viewers to watch later on.
See it in action
League of Legends Live eSportsLeague of Legends posts full matches live and as VOD during their biggest competitions. This has been a great way to bring in viewers for eSports leagues and gaming publishers. (Video in English)
Live unboxing exampleTournament coverage and Let’s Plays aren’t the only events gamers can live-stream. Channels like Rev3Gaming have found success live-streaming unboxings, reviews, and other gameplay live events. (Video in English)
Ways to go live: Stream now, Events, or Mobile
You can go live anywhere at any time from your mobile device, or you can host a live stream from your desktop in two ways: Stream now and Events. Here’s how each one works:
- Stream now (Desktop) offers a repeatable format for live streams with a one-time setup and an unchanging URL—just add “/live” to the end of your channel URL to easily share.
- Events (Desktop) can be customized with multiple cameras, so this setup is often used for special events. You can create an immersive live experience with 360-degree cameras, multi-cam, and specialized hardware.
- Mobile is a quick and easy method to stream anywhere with your mobile device. Consider this option if you want to share spur of the moment, must-see moments with your audience.
For more strategies around live streaming on YouTube, check out our course.
- Live streaming provides real-time data, different from non-live YouTube Analytics. For example, you can see the number of people watching now and peak concurrent viewers.
- Review details on YouTube Live features and requirements.
See it in action
It’s easy to create a highlights clip while streaming from the Stream Now dashboardWhen using Stream now, click “Create Highlight”, choose start and end times, privacy settings, then upload the clip.
Events lets you edit your live stream into a highlights video.Start the Preview player to enable the “Create Highlight” buttons. After you’ve chosen start and end times, upload it to your channel and add a name, description, and privacy setting.
Strategies and tactics
Experimenting with different live streaming formats is one way to find what works (and what doesn’t) for your audience and channel. Here are a few formats we’ve seen gamers on YouTube use:
- Let’s Plays: Playing games live is a great way to diversify content and interact with your audience. Sometimes, gamers will even open servers up so that their audience can play along!
- Launches and Events: Gaming creators and publishers have used live streaming to host launches, throw fundraisers, and even show fans a behind-the-scenes view of events.
- E-sports: Global E-sports events have been successful at bringing sports fans together from around the world to watch a shared online sporting event.
- “Ask me anything” (AMA): What better way to have your audience pose questions to you than in real time? AMA is a newer format among gaming creators that boosts audience engagement.
- “Reaction” videos: Your live reaction to new games, strategies, publisher announcements, and even unboxing moments, can be an effective use of live streaming.
- Promotion: Have a new project or collab to announce? Live streaming is a fast, authentic avenue for marketing your new venture.
- Celebratory: Live streaming is an excellent way to show appreciation for your fans and share the excitement when you’ve hit major milestones.
Keep these tactics in mind before you stream:
- Plan: Even though live streaming is improvisational, it’s a good idea to plan out what you might cover so that your audience isn’t left hanging or bored.
- Practice: Find your live stream “voice”. Practice beforehand what you might say and do before you go live.
- Package: Planning out your stream’s title, thumbnail and description beforehand can help your stream be discovered and entice viewers to click.
- Promote: Check out the YouTube Help Center’s resource for promoting before, during and after your live event. Subscribers that ring the bell, will get a notification when you go live.
- Schedule: If you have a packed programming calendar, consider using live streams instead of uploads to offload some of the editing and post-production time.
Afterward, you can trim your live stream easily with Enhancements in Creator Studio. Consider trying out a live stream the next time you are inspired for a more spur of the moment video. Then, check YouTube Analytics to see how your fans reacted.