Best Practices For YouTube Mobile Live Streaming

We recently attended an online course with YouTube that covered best practices for mobile live streaming via the YouTube mobile app. We also got some insight into exactly how top creators are using mobile live streaming on YouTube and some of the results those creators are seeing. Continue reading to get the full breakdown of this course.

YouTube shared some impressive stats they are seeing with the new mobile live streaming on the platform. The first one is that viewers watching live streams watch 4x longer than they do when watching regular videos on YouTube. This means audience retention and engagement is generally higher on live streams, and that may benefit those metrics on the pre-recorded content on your channel as well. On top of that, channels that go live at least once a week see a 40% increase in subscribers and a 70% increase in watch time. These are all important stats to think about, and should encourage YouTube creators to implement live streaming into their video strategies.

Setting up a mobile live stream on YouTube is extremely easy. First you have to make sure your channel is verified and that your channel has over 1,000 subscribers. Next, download the latest version of the YouTube mobile app, launch the app, and grant YouTube permission to access your phone’s camera. After that, follow the below steps to set up your mobile live stream:

In YouTube’s mobile app, select the capture button, and select “Go Live” (you won’t actually be streaming yet):



You will then choose a title for your video and select your privacy settings:



Next step is to take a picture for your thumbnail:



Once you have a thumbnail you like, click “Go Live” to begin the stream:



Once you finish, the video will automatically upload to your channel. After the stream you can publish the footage on your channel for people to view it whenever they want, and you also have the option to delete the video.

We wrote about mobile live streaming and Super Chat earlier in the year, so be sure to check out both of those blogs to get a recap of how these new features work. We’ve also compiled some best practices for mobile live streaming, which you can read below.

Production Best Practices:

  • Test, test, test. Then test some more. Almost everyone has technical issues during their first few live streams, so it’s critical that you do a few dry runs (ideally in the exact location or venue where your actual live stream will take place).
  • Make sure to have a solid internet connection. If other people will be using the same internet connection, consider using cell data instead.
  • Make sure your battery is full, or you have an external battery for long streams.
  • Make sure the setting you are filming in has low background noise, or use a lapel microphone.
  • Use a gimbal or selfie stick for camera stability.
  • Make sure your phone is on “do not disturb” mode or airplane mode. This will prevent you from receiving calls or texts during the live stream.

Creative Best Practices:

  • Keep the audience engaged
    • Tease a big reveal early in the video which you lead up to, and keep viewers in suspense during the stream.
    • Play a game or hold a competition with prizes and results being announced at the end of the stream.
  • Let the audience interact
    • Take suggestions from the viewers, have them vote for an outcome, or let them speak to the host.
    • Consider asking your viewers what they would like to see you live stream next time you go live.
  • Keep the stream dynamic
    • Visit multiple physical locations during the live stream, or take your viewers with you as you walk them through a day in your life.
    • Consider having a co-host, or inviting other qualified speakers or on-air personalities to join you during your live stream.
  • Give the audience exclusive access
    • This is especially important for musicians. Giving the viewers a behind the scenes look of your recording studio or music video shoot are just a couple great ways to give exclusive access to your fans.
    • Combine these principles and encourage viewers to stay tuned in by telling them you’ll offer a free surprise at the end of the stream. As you’re wrapping up your stream, offer a link to free content or advance access to a video you haven’t released publicly yet. Better yet, give your viewers a link to a private section on your website where you can trade that exclusive content for their email address, so that you can notify them directly for your upcoming live streams and video releases.