How to Use YouTube Live from Desktop

How to Start a YouTube Live Stream from Your Desktop

The long awaited YouTube Live integration has finally arrived to your mobile device. This is wonderful news for those of us with the required number of subscribers (which is currently 1,000) necessary to start a YouTube Live Stream.

But wait – even if you don't have enough subscribers to go live from your mobile device there's still hope.How to go LIve on YouTube from Desktop

You probably didn't know this but you can engage with a live audience on YouTube directly from your desktop computer!

Why is YouTube Live Important

When you are ready to grow your audience on YouTube and improve the performance of your videos, live streaming is the way to go!

Check out this stat that comes directly from YouTube:

YouTube viewers watch 4X longer on live streams compared to VOD

This is huge my friends. One of the most significant factors that impact the ranking of your YouTube channel is called “watch time”. Essentially what this means is that when YouTube notices that people like to spend a lot of time on their site watching your videos, they're going to show your videos to more and more people.

Live video, is quick, easy and ultimately it captures the attention of your subscribers and people when they land on YouTube's homepage.

You'll connect more deeply, engage with your viewers directly, and get instant feedback that happens “in the moment” through the magic of YouTube live. Since I started going live regularly on my YouTube channel, my watch time has gone through the roof and so have the comments and shares of my videos (not to mention those incredible SuperChats – more on those in a future blog post).

Get Started with YouTube Live from Your Desktop

The ability to live stream on YouTube from your desktop takes advantage of the now defunct interface known as Hangouts On Air. YouTube moved this functionality over and integrated the toolset into their live event interface. This allows us go live without the need for complicated encoders or third party apps like Wirecast, OBS or Livestream. Start by logging into your YouTube account and going to this page:

Here are step-by-step instructions for Live Streaming on YouTube from Your Desktop

YouTube Live Recording Gear

When you are just starting out with live streaming from your desktop, you might want to upgrade some of your equipment. I use an external webcam and USB microphone (these are my Amazon affiliate links). You'll also want to be sure you have good lighting and a relatively quiet environment. For the full list of my recommendations for gear, head over to my gear page here.

Next, you might be asking yourself:

What Happens if I Make A Mistake?

My response: You can delete it!

I'm guessing you didn't know you could edit out mistakes from YouTube videos. This comes in really handy when your doorbell rings, or you stumble over your words, or (and this always happens to me) the information you shared in your live stream is no longer relevant (like when Blab shut down in the middle of the night without warning).

When this happens, open up the YouTube Enhancements interface, and edit out your mistakes, flaws and flubs. Here's how the YouTube editor works:

There's really no down side to going live on YouTube, especially if you want to grow your channel and reach your target audience. But if you still have any questions or want to learn more about the benefits of live video, check out this page for more tutorials. I have a full playlist covering topics like:

  • Mobile Live Streaming
  • Facebook Live
  • Instagram Live
  • Twitter Live
  • Third Party Live Streaming apps like EcammLive

Happy streaming!

Recommended Gear List

If you have a question, or want to leave feedback that might be featured on the podcast, you have three options:

  1. Call-in to my station over on or
  2. Use my handy SpeakPipe page to record your question in a voicemail.
  3. Send me an email here

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