YouTube Live is one of the most popular live-streaming websites today and with OBS studio you can easily stream games, music, or anything under the sun. With Twitch getting more saturated each day, YouTube is becoming a more viable option.

Learn how to stream on YouTube with OBS Studio in this quick and easy-to-follow guide.

Step 1 – How to Set Up A Youtube Stream

Streaming on YouTube with OBS Studio is a fairly simple process. It is easy for first-timers and easier for those who have streaming experience.

Follow the steps below to get you started:

  1. Next, go to the YouTube Creator Studio by clicking here or type on your browser’s address bar.
  2. Once you are in the YouTube Creator Studio dashboard, make sure that you are logged in to the account you want to stream from.
  1. There are two ways to go live once inside the YouTube Creator Studio Dashboard. The first one is by going to the upper right corner of the screen and clicking on Create – Go Live.
  1. If this is your first time streaming on YouTube, you will have a countdown notification before you can Go Live. You cannot do anything this time but wait.
  1. Once you are eligible to stream, you will have two choices. You can stream right away or set up a stream for a later date. For this guide, go to Right Now and click Start.
  1. The good thing with YouTube Live is it allows you to stream directly from your browser if you have a webcam. However, we are going to stream using OBS Studio. Head on to streaming software and click Go.
  1. YouTube will ask you if the content of the stream is intended for kids or if it’s for the general audience. You may also set an age restriction for your stream. For now, we will go with no age restriction and for the general audience. Click Save.
  1. You will now see the full YouTube Studio Dashboard. This is the control panel of your live stream.
  1. On the upper left side of your screen, you will a screen preview. It is currently blank with a connecting to stream software prompt. You will have a live stream preview there once you set up OBS Studio. You will also see the details of your stream such as the title, category, privacy, viewers waiting, and likes.
  2. Look a little bit to the right and click the Edit button. This allows you to modify the details and what your viewer will see.
  1. Feel free to input a new stream title and description.
  1. Scroll down a little and you may adjust the visibility of your stream through the dropdown menu. Public means everyone can see it. Private means only you can see the stream. Lastly, Unlisted means that your stream may only be viewed by those who have the stream link.
  1. Below the Visibility section is the restriction. It is uneditable because it is already set when you first opened the YouTube Live Dashboard.
  2. Scroll past the restrictions and you will see the Category dropdown menu. There will be a lot of categories to choose from. Of course, we want to stream games so we will click on Gaming. A Game Title section will appear. Choose the game that you want to stream. However, not every game will appear on the drop-down menu. Just leave it blank if that is the case.
  1. Next is the Thumbnail section. You may add a custom thumbnail for your YouTube live stream. Click on the upload thumbnail and change it to your preferred one.
  1. You may also add your live stream to a playlist. Create a new playlist if you do not have one yet.
  1. Click on the checkbox under the Paid Promotion tab if you are doing a paid partnership stream.
  2. The automatic chapters can be seen below. You may leave it as checked by default. This makes it easier for your viewer to scroll through your stream if there are significant events.
  1. Use the Tags if you want to make your stream easier to discover. Use tags that are relevant to your stream.
  1. The Language and Captions certification, recording date and location, License, comments, and ratings could be set as default. You may leave it for now and move to the customization section.
  1. Live chat should be checked if you want your viewers to interact with each other.
  2. Under Participant modes, everyone can send a message and participate if it is set to Anyone. The other option only allows your channel subscribers to participate in your stream.
  3. The message delay will allow you to set a delay between messages from your viewers. Just leave it as-is if you want them to interact in real-time.
  1. Once you are eligible for monetization, a monetization tab will appear below customization. But for now, it is not there since you are just getting started.
  1. Going back to your YouTube Studio dashboard, the stream chat will be seen on the right and the stream settings in front of you, just below the stream preview.
  1. The most important thing that you need to take note of under the Stream Settings is the Stream Key. The Stream Key is encrypted by default because it is sensitive information. Do not show it on your stream or else other people might go ahead to OBS and directly stream on your channel from their end.
  1. You may also select the latency you prefer. Normal latency has a delay at which your screen is shown to your viewers but you’ll have a higher quality stream. Meanwhile, low latency or ultra-low latency is used if you want to have a real-time interaction with your viewers.
  1. Your YouTube live stream will be available on your channel library once it ends. However, it can be disabled by checking the Unlist live replay once the stream ends option.

How To Link Youtube To OBS Studio

Now that we have configured our settings for the Youtube stream we need to link Youtube to our streaming software, OBS Studio.

  1. Open OBS Studio.
  2. To get your YouTube stream ready, click on Settings on the lower right side.
  1. Click on Stream.
  1. Select YouTube under the Service drop-down menu.
  1. There are two ways to stream OBS Studio to YouTube live. The first one is by connecting your YouTube account directly to OBS. The second one is by using a stream key. We will use the second option so click on Use Stream Key.
  1. Now, go back to your YouTube Studio Live dashboard and click copy on your stream key.
  1. Go back to OBS Studio and paste your stream key. Right-click, then paste or press ctrl + V.
  1. Click Apply then Okay.
  2. Click on Start Streaming on the lower right of your screen.
  1. The details of your stream will appear at the bottom of OBS. Here you will see if there are frame drops, live stream time, recording time, CPU utilization, stream frame rate, and your bitrate.
  1. Go back to your YouTube Studio dashboard and you will see that your stream preview is now showing what your OBS is capturing. The dashboard also switched from Stream Settings to Analytics.
  1. Analytics will show the information you need regarding viewers, chat rate, views, and average view duration.
  2. If you switch to the Stream Health tab, you will see if your stream has frame drops or if you have a high-quality stream.
  1. Once you are done with streaming, just click on end stream in the upper right corner and you are done.
  2. Do not forget to click stop streaming on OBS too or else it will continue to feed data to your stream key. A preview will continue to show up on your YouTube Studio dashboard as long as OBS keeps streaming.
  3. That is it. You are done and ready to stream on YouTube with OBS Studio.

How to view past streams on YouTube Studio?

Reviewing streams is a good way to capture memorable moments that could be part of a compilation video. Follow the steps to revisit your previous streams.

  1. Open your YouTube Studio dashboard.
  2. Click on Content on the left side of your screen.
  3. Click the Live tab.
  4. All your previous live streams will be shown except for those Unlisted once the stream ends.
  5. You may proceed to review, edit, and work on it like other YouTube videos.

How to schedule a stream on YouTube with OBS studio

Scheduling a stream on YouTube with OBS Studio is similar to how you would set up a normal stream. 

  1. Open YouTube Studio and click on Go Live. This will bring you to the YouTube Studio live stream dashboard.
  2. You will see the YouTube live dashboard that looks like you will stream right away.
  3. Head over to the left side of the screen and click the Calendar icon.
  1. You will see the upcoming streams dashboard. If you have no upcoming streams, then of course it will be blank.
  2. Click the Schedule a Stream on the upper right side of the screen.
  1. The Create Stream options would pop up. Fill in the necessary details such as the title of the stream, description, category, and thumbnail. Click on next to proceed to Customization.
  2. You may set the live chat options, participation, and delay under Customization. Click on next to configure Visibility.
  3. Check whichever Visibility option applies to your video.
  4. Next, it is time to set your stream schedule. Set the time and date of your stream then click done.
  1. When it comes to the actual live stream date, open OBS and start streaming. Just make sure that you are using the right YouTube stream key like you would on a regular stream.

Is streaming on YouTube worth it?

The short answer is Yes. Streaming on YouTube is worth it if you are also uploading other types of content. YouTube is also the second-largest search engine next to Google and there is a chance that you would appear on viewers’ recommendations.

The longer answer is it depends. Going with the YouTube route is the better option if you are looking to upload more content such as gaming highlights or lifestyle blogs. Think of YouTube as a one-stop hub for content creation. Besides, Google is handling it so it helps with ranking and visibility.

Twitch is currently the number one live streaming platform. However, joining Twitch is a gamble with the number of streamers joining every day. You will have a lot of competitors but at the same time, you will have tons of potential viewers. If you want a full breakdown check out our article on Youtube Streaming vs Twitch.

Wrapping Up

Streaming is a tough career choice but everyone has a chance to be on top. One thing that is important though is to choose a platform that you will stick to from that start as focusing on one platform at a time will help you grow.

We hope that this guide on how to stream YouTube with OBS Studio helps you jumpstart your streaming career.

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